Happy holidays to everyone! I’m happy to share a project that has come full circle. And just in time for the holidays! You may recall my Quilting For Rescue Pets blog about my small kennel quilts to fit pet carriers for cats and small dogs.
This year, I sent quilts to several animal rescue groups that save the lives of pets in disaster areas. To celebrate the holidays, I decided to conduct interviews with some of the rescue groups.
I’m sharing my Holiday Heroes Interviews about these wonderful animal rescue groups. Staff and volunteers give so much to help homeless animals.
The first interview was with Dana Kahn, Founder and Director of Bark And Roll Rescue Companions (BARRC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Dana founded BARRC in 2015 after working with the East Baton Rouge Animal Shelter (EBRAS). She fostered dogs and promoted their adoption program. She was also the talented photographer for all of EBRAS’ adoptable animals.
Dana fostered over 1,200 dogs and puppies since 2012. BARRC works with a network of foster parents who train, socialize and shower affection on homeless dogs. Dana’s mission: To save the world one dog at a time.
I hope you enjoy Dana’s interview!
Tell us about BARRC.
BARRC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We received tax-deductible donations as well as grants and I personally fund the rest. I am basically a one-man show but have one person that I consider my partner that is a full time foster for me.
Where do most of your animals come from?
We are a small rescue and we have 3 to 10 foster homes. However our goal for next year is to develop a larger network of foster homes. Our dogs/puppies come from shelters, owner surrenders. And recently a large number come from the Pets for Free on Facebook.
How much support do you give to foster pet parents?
We provide all medical and supplies such as toys, bedding, crates and food. The only cost to the foster is time and love.
Do you work with other animal rescue or shelters?
I work with any shelter that asks for my help, I have pulled dogs from Texas to Florida. I think all rescues should work together and will help anyone I am able. We average 150 to 200 dogs/puppies adoptions a year.
Do you mainly help homeless animals left behind in natural disasters?
No. We get 5 to 10 calls daily. We do dispatch “rescue” teams during a disaster to help overcrowded shelters make room. We also sent a team to do home rescues during Hurricane Harvey.
Can you briefly explain your adoption process? Do you include home visits?
We do not require home visits. We have adopters complete an application, do a personal meet and greet once we have matched them with a pup.
We do diligence by our pups but I don’t think people should be made to feel like criminals because they want to adopt a dog.
Anyone can buy a dog – we want them to choose to adopt! I definitely think adopting has become more mainstream in the last 10 years.
What’s the one thing you wish more people knew about animal shelters?
That there are amazing dogs there. They aren’t broken. They have been failed by humans not anything they did or anything wrong with them.
It isn’t just mutts (though mutts are amazing) there are pure bred expensive breed dogs/puppies in shelters. You can’t buy love but you can adopt it!
How did you get involved in helping animals?
I have had animals since I was a child: sheep, horses, cows, dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks. As an adult I always had a dog and it got me through a lot. I got into rescue through a friend who asked me to watch her foster mama with babies for the weekend while she went out of town for a family emergency she ended up staying for over a month.
And I was hooked and started fostering, then photographing dogs at our shelter, helped revamp their adoption program and then started my own rescue so I could help more both in our parish and out.
What is the most rewarding part of your work? What is the most challenging?
Reward: When you take a terrified/matted mess of a dog and see them blossom into the beloved family member they are suppose to be. Challenge: Dealing with the disposable mentality of society. Dogs are living, feeling beings not sweaters to be tossed aside when you are tired of them.
Tell us more about some of your other programs to help animals.
We go into schools and help educate the kids of safe pet interaction practices, importance of spaying and neutering.
How can people help local animal shelter and rescue groups?
If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, donate. If you can’t donate, volunteer. Even if it just to share their social media posts/pics. You never know who you know that may want to foster, adopt, donate, volunteer.
It’s the holiday season and a time for celebrations, sharing and giving. How can people help BARRC?
If they use the Amazon Smile link when they use Amazon for every day purchases, we get a portion of everything they spend and it costs them nothing!
Follow our social media pages BarkAnd Roll Rescue Companions and @barkandrollrc on Instagram and share our pups. Of course you live in the Baton Rouge area, we need foster homes, assistance at adoption events, and adopter referrals.
I was so happy to make some small kennel quilts for BARRC. How did you hear about the Small Kennel Quilt project?
Through the Petfinder Foundation.
Thank you for all your good work to help homeless dogs, Dana! Happy holidays!
Dr. Pet Mom
“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures. They give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.”