From “Death Row” To Best “BEST IN RESCUE”: This is one post you MUST read

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Being a huge dog lover, heck animal lover I could not pass up the chance to share with you an amazing story. Not only that but how you can help out as well. As we all know there are so many kill shelters in America and so many dogs without homes. If I could have more dogs, I would. I would save each and every last one of them. Today I wanted to chat about an amazing dog named Sugar and her adventure along with her message.

In August of 2017, a Shepherd mix named SUGAR and her three 1-week old puppies were dumped at a “high-kill” shelter in Riverside. They were mere hours away from becoming just another statistic of the approximately 670,000 dogs euthanized each year at these shelters. 

Fortunately, The Furgotten, a Los Angeles-based 501c3 dedicated to saving dogs, stepped into fostered SUGAR while she raised her puppies. The puppies were quickly adopted, but SUGAR was left behind – hers’ is a story typical of abandoned mama dogs: they simply do not get adopted. While SUGAR was fortunate enough to find a network of temporary foster who provided her safety, she was shuffled from situation to situation for nearly 2 years.

Enter Kimberly and Chris- they had fostered/placed numerous dogs on behalf of TheFurgotten and agreed to host SUGAR only until a forever home was found. They went right to work sharing and posting and taking SUGAR for “meets,” but things started to change along the way – they discovered the closer they got to finding her a home, the less they wanted to let her go – it became clear SUGAR was already home.

“When people ask me ‘why her?’ I remind them that I’m technically a cat person,”Chris says with a laugh. “I’m a cat person, and SUGAR has won me over – that really says it all.”

When Kimberlystumbled across Hallmark’s “The American Rescue DogShow” – the only show of its kind to shine a spotlight on rescue dogs – it was in its 3rd season and they were looking for candidates for categories such as ‘Best in Snoring,’ ‘Best in Underbite,’ ‘Best in Wiggle Butt,’ and so on. SUGAR had finally settled into her new life, and with this new level-of-comfort came a new quirk, she would not let Kimberly or Chris pass her by without demanding a belly rub.

My Ricky boy is thinking about the “best in wiggle butt”……

“Turns out this was one of the show’s categories – ‘Best In Belly Rubs,’” Kimberly shares,“so I submitted a few videos and they selected her for the show. Now I just hoped she would ask for a belly rub on-command.”

Best In Rescue
Credit: © 2020 Crown Media United States, LLC | photo: Kim Nunneley/ Alexx Henry Studios, LLC

Hundreds of rescues from all over the country descended upon Santa Monica, CA all hoping for top honors over the two-night televised event that featured other adorable categories including, ‘Best in special Needs,’ ‘Senior,’ ‘Couch Potato,’ ‘Talking,’ ‘Ears,’ and ‘Wrinkles,’ –with the winner in each category facing off for the title of ‘Best in Rescue.’

For Kimberly and Chris (and SUGAR, of course), just participating in the show exceeded their expectations. They considered it a huge win – all of these incredible rescue organizations being featured on national television. The message of rescuing and fostering was being shared across the country.

SUGAR went on to win the ‘Best in Belly Rubs’ division. She was then whisked to the finals and was crowned overall ‘Best in Rescue 2020,’ earning a total $35,000 donation for The Furgotten.

Best In Rescue

SUGAR is now embarking (pun intended) on her year-long ‘Best in Rescue’ reign with a mission to be the inspirational example of a “foster win.” Chris and Kimberly serve as her spokes humans to help educate people who are ready to bring an animal into their home by way of adopting and/or fostering. They are armed with a plethora of experience-based tips for potential dog owners, including how to manage expectations for success, the realities of short and long term fostering. They hope to shine a spotlight on the older ones and mamas (like Sugar) who get left behind yet also deserve a loving home. 

Best In Rescue

They are passionate about sharing the importance of saving “death row dogs” and cheering on any and all foster outreach programs. SUGAR’S story “from Death Row to Champion”is the ultimate example that every animal has worth.

SUGAR is available to show off her ‘Best in Belly Rub’ technique, pose for photos, and do whatever else might inspire that adoptable canine – or future foster – who might be losing hope.

What We Can Learn From Sugar and one way you can HELP

Sugar is so inspiring and from the moment I saw her photo and read her story, I was in love. We need to do more for these amazing and talented dogs that are in shelters around the United States. I go to the shelters and I just look into some of their eyes and think, “they have lost hope”, but it does not have to be that way.

The more we share stories like Sugar the more we can reach people to understand the problem that we have in America. We need to consider these helpless and sometimes neglected animals. We need to reach out to them and love them. I know, you might be saying just like me, “I can’t adopt any more pets”.

The thing is you can donate food and tools to your local shelters, but the easiest way is through an amazing company that is giving back. Pet Play is donating one bed for each bed that is purchased. Having two dogs that have come from the shelter just giving a loving dog a bed to sleep on is such an amazing idea. Giving them comfort and hope.

This is an amazing way to not only spoil your little fur babies but give something to a fur baby that has no one. I do hope that you share Sugar’s story and check out Pet Play and their amazing beds. Trust me I shall be buying my dogs a couple of news beds.

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