Heartland Small Animal Rescue
Heartland Small Animal Rescue
Heartland Small Animal Rescue, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 rescue based in South Bend, Indiana.

We focus our rescue efforts on companion animals that are scheduled for euthanasia in local shelters. We foster many different types of animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils, hamsters, hedgehogs, and reptiles.

We rely on a network of volunteers and fosters to provide love and care to our animals until they find forever homes.

One foster family's story shows how taking in animals can save dozens of lives

Millions of animals are euthanized in shelters each year. Though the situation might seem hopeless, it turns out just one family can save lots of lives by fostering. You can learn about fostering or adopt a pet at a PetSmart adoption event this weekend.

Posted on May 2, 2014 at 2:40 p.m.

It is often hard to explain how much of difference one foster can make within a rescue. When millions of animals are euthanized each year in shelters, it is hard to grasp that just one family or person can make any impact. The truth is one foster can save many animals in the course of a year.

So here, in black and white, is the list of animals our family has fostered since May of 2013 and a little about them. We typically foster only one dog at a time, sometimes two.

Halo was never really a foster, even though she was – technically. She won my son’s heart at the national adoption weekend last May. He melted the hearts of every volunteer when he cried and told me he couldn’t leave her behind. Her one year adoption anniversary is this Sunday.

Huck was the first puppy that we fostered. He was smart and full of energy. He was adopted by my brother and sister-in-law. He is my nephews’ best friend.

Olive stayed with us for a longer time. She came within seconds of being euthanized at a local shelter. She became very ill after we rescued her. She was so thin and weak, we wondered if she would make it. She spent a week at the vet and weeks recovering, getting sick again and recovering again. She was adopted and seeing her out on the beach, healthy and happy, was a reward like no other.

Jethro and Ellie Mae were lanky hound dogs. Jethro was awkward on our hardwood floors and made us laugh every day. Ellie stood guard at our basement door; she just knew there were cats down there! She now spends her days running in her huge country yard. Jethro found his home, too.

Sonny was my daughter’s favorite foster of all time. Meeka was my husband’s favorite, and Ripley was my favorite. All of them found great new homes. Trixie was also a family favorite, with her little black circle around her eye. It was just this week we said goodbye to her and sent her home with her new little girl.

Sadie was the first senior we fostered. She was sweet and was adopted very quickly by a loving couple. Our second senior was Gigi. She, unexpectedly, never left our home. She is our one and only small dog and my youngest son’s best buddy.

Mya had a rough start on her journey. She was returned when she couldn’t get along with a family dog, then adopted. Then, she was returned again because she didn’t like a cat in the family. The third time really was the charm for this girl, and she has a great forever home.

Apollo, Lilah, Elwood and Buffy were short-term guests. All were adopted quickly after coming into our home. Apollo’s first time in a home was with us. He was fascinated by everything.

Sydney came to us from another foster home. She was being a bit of a bully and pestering the other dogs in the home with her rough play. She fit in very well here and has never left.

Athena was a long-term resident. She was a black pit bull. In the rescue business, these two details often dictate a long road to adoption. We didn’t mind. She was a great foster and loved our children. The perfect family did come along, and she is very happy with them.

There were also Cici, Teagan, Otto, Dutch, Ginny, Dexter, Tug, Hank and Stella. All of them brought something special into our home, with their stories of abuse, neglect and facing euthanasia. We even lost one of them that was simply too ill to save. Knowing that he was loved by our family before he died is very important to me.

Beanie was my son’s favorite foster dog and a favorite in our rescue. My son cried for the first time about a foster leaving when Beanie found his home. He told me how happy he was for Beanie.

There was also Mr. Peabody, Dora, Lucky, Buddy and Bella, Roxy, and Twix. Each of these dogs stayed with us just a night or two while they visited the vet.

We've also fostered many small animals, from sugar gliders to hamsters. We have had a hedgehog and an iguana. Just to list a few of their names: Mirette, Claudette, Josette, Gerard, Mikey, Frankie and Loki, Popcorn and Peanut, Iggy, Mario and Luigi, Spike, Templeton, Asher, Ben and Jerry, Bill and Ted, Calypso, Penelope, R.C. and Pippin. Our rescue finds homes for these little guys too.

Our current foster is Barley. He was recently surrendered to a shelter for jumping his fence. He was terrified and growled in the shelter. We thought he would be quite a lot of work. However, he happens to be the easiest foster we have ever had. He is well mannered, affectionate and house trained. He doesn’t pull on a leash and plays well with children and dogs alike. He is scheduled to meet his potential new family this weekend.

So, from one PetSmart Charities National Adoption Weekend to another, this is the difference one foster family has made. The simple fact is that these dogs would have died in a shelter if they weren’t rescued. They couldn’t have been rescued without a foster family to take them in. We may only be one family, but when you multiply our efforts by each family within our rescue, you can start to see the change and hope we can bring to animals in need.

Please visit us this weekend at the PetSmart Charities National Adoption Event to meet our animals, adopt a new family member or to learn more about fostering! We will be at the South Bend location on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Mishawaka location on Saturday, May 3, and Sunday, May 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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