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Local dog rescue organization reaches milestone

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Hearts of Hope, a local dog rescue organization is celebrating their one-thousandth dog adoption this month--and they hope that’s just the beginning. 

The Celebration of 1000 dog adoptions was held at the Intersection music venue in Grand Rapids last Friday evening.

Hearts of Hope Dog Rescue President and Founder Janelle McFarlane began Hearts of Hope 5 years ago out of her home. Since then, the organization has expanded to over 100 foster homes and 50 volunteers. 

“Dogs, there are just tons of them, and they all need help,” McFarlane said. "We are just trying to help as many as we can." 

McFarlane said the celebration is overshadowed by the rising number of abandoned dogs each day. According to data received by the Bissell Pet Foundation, 60 percent of dogs are euthanized in the state of Michigan due to the lack of space or resources to provide proper care.

“It’s always an issue, until there are no homes without pets, and no more pets without homes, we are going have business to do here, we’re going to have work to do," said Steve Kelso.

Kelso is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Kent County Health Department. He added that even though Kent County has set a record in the number of adoptions the past two years, the need to find permanent homes for pets continues.

“We are an open admission shelter, which means we have to take anything that comes through the door. So by getting these pets into homes, and getting them adopted and with a loving family, that opens our doors for those that may not have a chance any other way.”

A complete list of adoptable dogs can be found on the Hearts of Hope website. McFarlane said she hopes to see another thousand adoptions over the next five years. 

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