PITTSTON, LUZERNE (WBRE/WYOU) — Many dogs in need of a forever home don’t end up in traditional shelters. Some find a haven at Tracey’s Hope in northeastern Pennsylvania where they wait for their turn.
The one-year-old coonhound German shepherd mix named Andy is the latest addition to Tracey’s Hope.
To say he’s a bundle of energy is an understatement.
Andy has taken up residence here since he was a few months old.
“Andy was found on my porch in a crate. He was very well kept and he was a crazy puppy so I imagine they couldn’t handle him,” Denise Kumor, Founder and CEO of Tracey’s Hope said.
Kumor’s home, which for roughly a quarter century has doubled as an animal rescue shelter, has been a last hope for abandoned and mistreated dogs, or those that can no longer be cared for.
“Many, many. So, so many I can’t even count them.” When asked, “Dozens, hundreds?” Kumor said, “Oh, hundreds. Yeah,” Kumor stated.
Caring for the dogs requires many helping hands week in and week out.
“I’ve always wanted to work at an animal rescue,” Kathy Wert, a volunteer of Tracey’s Hope explained.
Wert has been a Tracey’s Hope volunteer for more than six years.
She is among the volunteers who show up daily to clean crates, wash dog bedding, and help meet the dogs’ many needs.
Reporter Mark Hiller asked, “how long do you think you can continue doing what you do?”
Wert responded, “Um, as long as I can. As long as I’m able to.”
The volunteering is free. Everything else isn’t.
The costs add up quickly for this non-profit. Take for instance a washer. It’s used a couple of times a day, several days a week. In the short term it needs to be fixed. In the long term, it has to be replaced.
Dog food, medicine, and sometimes even emergency surgery can become a financial strain.
Tracey’s Hope holds several fundraisers throughout the year to ease the burden made greater by the pandemic.
“It’s put a damper on a lot of things especially organizations like this, you know, when we rely on the public to help us,” Karen Yerke, a volunteer with Tracey’s Hope said.
But that burden doesn’t prevent Kumor from accepting dogs as long as she has room.
“So we try to work with the shelters,” Kumor continued.
Some volunteers end up providing the forever home these dogs desperately need.
Wert serves as a permanent foster mom for Molly, a 16-year-old blind dog.
Hiller asks, “What’s it been like for you and Molly?” Wert says, “Oh, it’s been great. I love having her.”
Tracey’s Hope: giving rescue dogs a second chance.