Nonprofit Spotlight: AMI Pup Rescue, Inc.

There are many nonprofit organizations in Bradenton and the surrounding area doing incredible work to support our community by helping those less fortunate, promoting the arts, providing education, and more.

As part of our nonprofit spotlight series, we’re excited to tell you more about AMI Pup Rescue, Inc., their mission, and how you can help. Here’s what they had to say.

Can you tell us a little bit about your mission and how you help to support our community?

AMI Pup Rescue, Inc. was founded by Deborah Greenspan and a few others in early 2021. Each of us had spent many years in the dog rescue community. We had adopted from and fostered for other rescues, volunteered walking dogs, cleaned kennels, and supported many fundraisers financially.

We found that we wanted to give back more significantly, so AMI Pup Rescue was founded to fill the continuing growing need to pull and re-home dogs from our local overloaded shelters.

We built a foster-based organization on Anna Maria Island (AMI) and are grateful for the collaborative support of local veterinarians and grooming facilities that allow us to get dogs from the shelter into loving homes!

In our first year, which amounted to just nine months, we – with the support of fosters that opened their homes to these dogs – were able to bring in 64 dogs from area shelters, give them needed veterinary and grooming care, and re-home them into loving, long-term homes. We were able to increase that number the following year to 89 dogs and we are on track to do the same this year, but we want to do more!

We pull dogs from local shelters that have been found roaming in the community and no owners have come forward to claim them. We also accept dogs that are surrendered by their owners when they can no longer care for them. We arrange for these dogs to be spayed or neutered, obtain all vaccines, and microchip them.

Many of these dogs have never had any dental work and their mouths are painful and infected. We have taken in several dogs that have been hit by cars or otherwise require orthopedic surgery, dogs that have kidney stones requiring removal, and have restored vision to dogs losing their eyesight.

While the dog is being vetted, we search for an appropriate home by advertising on Facebook, Petfinder, and our website and comb through applications to find the perfect home.

Who do you serve and why?

We serve dogs in need within our local community: those that find themselves in local shelters, like Manatee County Animal Welfare, and those that are with local families that can no longer care for them.

We keep most of our adoptions local as well; the majority of our adopted dogs currently reside on Anna Maria Island or in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. So, in a way, we are serving the residents that generously open their hearts and homes to a rescued dog in need!

Can you describe a few of your key programs?

We have an informal program that we call “Seniors for Seniors.” Senior dogs in the shelter system are one of the saddest parts of rescue. These dogs deserve to live out their lives in a loving home with all the comforts. Most of these dogs require more significant veterinary care due to arthritis, cataracts, pain management, dry eye, and severe dental disease. Some have kidney stones or chronic urinary tract and skin infections. The expenses associated with correcting medical issues and providing continuing care for chronic conditions is extensive.

We work diligently to establish an ongoing network of senior adults with stable, loving homes that want to give these senior dogs a loving home. Many active, senior adults want a pet in their home but find it difficult to obtain a small dog. Through our Seniors For Seniors Program, we are able to match a senior dog in need with an active senior adult that wants a dog and find fulfillment in caring for an animal.

We do extensive vetting of the potential adopters, meet with them several times, and do home visits to ensure these homes are likely to see the dog throughout its remaining years. We continue to work with adopters of our senior dogs to ensure the adopter has all the needed guidance and resources to care for their senior dog through the end of life.

We’ve adopted another program associated with dog training. Most often, the dogs we take in as owner surrenders or from the shelter are well-adjusted, house-trained, wonderful dogs that have lost their place with their original family. When we have a dog that needs a little more help, we engage Adam, a certified trainer and founder of Tail Wags Training. Adam is a positive reinforcement trainer that specializes in understanding the ‘why’ of dog behavior versus just plain obedience training.

That said, we recommend Adam to our adopters when they want help with obedience training or house manners, and we’ve seen great success in this area as well. We are proud to say training support is part of AMI Pup Rescue’s program; partnering with a professional organization like Tail Wags Training sets our rescue apart from others.

What’s the best way our community can help?

We mentioned that we are a foster-based rescue, which means that we depend on folks in the local community to open their homes to dogs that we take into our rescue. The families and individuals that foster our dogs just need to provide love to them while we get them some needed vet care and grooming.

AMI Pup Rescue provides the foster everything they need to care for the dog: food, beds, leashes, crates, medical care, the works! The foster family just provides care and security. In most instances, the foster commitment is only two weeks, so the commitment is really a short-term one. We are constantly looking for foster homes as they are the lifeblood of our rescue: without them, we are limited to the number of dogs we can help.

We often lose fosters when they decide to adopt their foster dog – known as a ‘foster fail’ in our community! Of course, we are thrilled when a foster family decides they want to give their foster dog a forever home, but that means we also need to seek out a new foster home as a replacement.

Fostering is also a great way to ‘test drive’ a dog before adopting and several adopters have gone this route. When someone sees us market a dog they may be interested in adopting, they keep the dog in their home under our foster program and have the first right to adopt once the dog has completed all its vetting. If you, or anyone you know, has thought about being a foster, please reach out to us for more information!

While we need fosters more than anything else, we do always appreciate monetary donations and dog supplies. You can help by visiting our donation page or our Amazon Wishlist.

Wow! We’re so thankful to AMI Pup Rescue for the incredible work they’re doing! To learn more about this organization, visit their website and follow them on Facebook!

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