Hope’s Last Hope

I really think Dogster is great dog site, for so many reasons, but the members are what makes it the best site. I want to...

Horst Hoefinger  |  Apr 17th 2009


I really think Dogster is great dog site, for so many reasons, but the members are what makes it the best site.

I want to introduce you to Sandi Harper, she’s a Dogster member who works endlessly to help fight the battle against animal cruelty. She donates her time and money to help animals in need, now she is in need. Not for herself, but for a beautiful dog she named Hope.

Hope lived at a gas station near the interstate. She has lived on the streets for most of her life, no one really knows all of her story. She used to hang out at the gas station and restaurants in the area. Many people love her, and they have brought bags of dog food, toys and other items to the gas station and other places for the cute little black dog.

Lots of people worked with Hope for many months, some tried for more than a year to bring her home. On April 16, 2008 she was darted by a wonderful man from the University of Tennessee Veterinary School. She was transported to the animal hospital where she was spayed, vaccinated, examined and cared for lovingly for a week.

Then she came home to live in Fort Knox until she could be socialized enough to bring her inside. We had her for 6-1/2 wonderful months during which she learned to be petted and loved. She made great strides as she began to enjoy life as a pet instead of a wild animal. She was healthy and happy and we thought, safe. Just a few days prior to Hope’s introduction into the big dog lot she went missing. On Halloween 2008 the galvanized chain link of her kennel mysteriously came unraveled, and Hope is gone.

Just recently Hope was re-captured, and is living in a foster home with new foster parents and other pets. The dartman from the local university once again rescued our favorite feral girl. It was a very scary, arduous and exhausting capture, but Hope has recovered nicely once again. Dartman told me that he will not dart Hope again. He is a busy man who works mainly with wild animals such as tigers, and I must respect that decision.

After much discussion and many tears, my husband and I agree that it is not in Hope’s best interest to bring her to our home ever again. She attracted the ire of many people who wished to do great harm to her. Threats of shooting and poisoning were common from several people in the neighborhood where she was finally captured. Additionally, someone felt the need to terrorize her causing her escape on Halloween. It would simply be cruel and unfair to Hope to bring her to my home again where she would once again draw negative attention. There are many behind the scenes events that I will not disclose here for legal reasons. Suffice it to say that Hope would not be safe in my yard.

When Hope was captured the second time after such a hard fight and a long difficult chase, I didn’t have the guts to put her down. I had actually considered it because of the threats and unkind actions by many, but it seems a shame to snuff out such a bright light considering how hard Hope fights to survive. This was not a casual passing thought on my part. For several months I anguished over Hope’s ultimate fate, and what I would do when the time came. While she lay there limp on my vet’s floor just after capture, I cried like a baby and made the decision to place her in foster care. I have fought long and hard for this dog. I don’t want to fail her on the grandest scale now, but she must have a permanent home as soon as possible.

Hope is currently in a temporary foster home with two other large dogs in another county 80 miles from my neighborhood. She plays with the dogs at the home, but spends most of her day in an 8 x 14 kennel. I wish to find a permanent home for Hope, to give her a chance at life. I do love her enough to let her go although it tears at my heart. Her foster family works with her as much as possible, but they work a lot and time is an issue. Hope interacts well with the other dogs. She still tolerates petting although I’m not sure she understands it, she is making progress and could blossom with the right owners.

Hope is available for adoption by the right family or person. She requires much time, knowledge and patience. The ideal home would be one where someone has much time to work with her, perhaps someone who does not work outside the home. She is not a pet for an inexperienced person. She needs the companionship of other dogs, and a very secure fenced area in which to play. References would be required, and I personally would transport Hope to a new permanent home. If you are interested you may send me a pmail, and we can discuss the possibilities.

I know this isn’t our typical situation but I have to believe someone out there is just waiting to add some Hope to their family.