Archive | May, 2013

The Beautiful Imperfections of Honey

30 May

In early November 2012, I received a phone call from the Mount Olive Pet Smart Adoption Center. I had just recently fostered an animal and found his forever home, yet gave in almost immediately to foster again. A girl from Pet Smart informed me that there was a female hound mix that was underweight, not eating, extremely depressed, and experiencing a skin issue. I told her that I would come and see the dog, but could not promise her anything else. I only had experience fostering smaller dogs in the past, and questioned my ability to handle one of her size. After one look at the sad girl that was given the name Gonzales Girl by others, I knew it was time for me to take her home and fix her up.


At home, she continued in her state of depression and was incapable of acknowledging any of the attention that she was given. She only weighed about 42 pounds when at her age she was expected to weigh at least 60. Although her current state at the time was fairly poor, she reacted fine to my dog and two cats. Her poor skin condition and the fact that she was already about 6-8 years old lessened her chances of adoption. My first tackle at her skin problems was a bath lavished in oatmeal shampoo and conditioner to soothe her itchy skin. Also, I changed her food to a grain free diet but unfortunately the itching still continued. The vets determined the cause of her itchy skin to be a yeast problem. Unknowingly, the oatmeal wash I believed to be helping the issue was making her skin worse.

After the yeast problem was controlled and she was fed a good quality grain free diet, things starting looking up for Gonzales Girl who I eventually renamed Honey. Why? Because she finally came out of her shell. She began playing with my little Dixie dog, ate her whole meals, and you could see life re-entering her eyes. One night I put her on my bed to sleep and she slept there every night there after.

Once the seventh week reached, Honey was a new and improved dog! She was well behaved, full of love and life, and her skin issue had been resolved. I took her to her first adoption event and spoke with a woman that had adopted a puppy with us two years earlier. She said that she wanted an older companion for her dog that would help to calm her down. I gave her my contact information in hopes of her calling. After leaving the event, I brought Honey to her new and forever home. She arrived in her beautiful home three days before Christmas. I was immediately brought to tears on Christmas morning after receiving a picture of her and her new sister relaxing on the couch. This is one of the many reasons why I foster these wonderful animals that are neglected and left behind.


-Geneva Soule

If you are interested in fostering, please fill out a foster application at


Adopting Special Needs Pets- Karen’s Story

29 May

Karen Smith, who has adopted two dogs from Eleventh Hour Rescue, sent a meaningful message to those considering the adoption of a pet. “Don’t ever be afraid to adopt a dog or cat with special needs, they need a furever home too. I think they know you saved them and they are forever grateful.”

In June of 2012, Karen found her soulmate, Casey, a 9 year-old golden retriever at Eleventh Hour Rescue. Casey was abandoned by his previous owner and placed into foster care in search of his forever home. Over the next seven beautiful months spent together, Karen and Casey formed an unforgettable companionship. Tragically, Casey suffered a brain aneurism on January 22, 2013, and died within minutes. Karen had trouble coping with the harsh reality of Casey’s death.

Several months passed, and Karen began to think about adopting again. She checked the Eleventh Hour Rescue website and one of the dogs that she was interested in was Sam. When she read the biography and found out he had a history of seizures she knew that he was meant to be with her. Karen attended the adoption event and when she saw Sam for the first time, she immediately knew that she was taking him home. She is very grateful for the happiness that Eleventh Hour Rescue brings to the animals they save as well as the people that adopt them.


Through the adoption process, Karen has the Eleventh Hour Rescue volunteers to thank especially, Mary Jo Conley for fostering Casey and providing guidance through her search for a loving companion.

100KChallenge: There’s No Place Like Home

29 May

We work hard to find the perfect, fulfilling forever home for every animal we rescue. We couldn’t do this without our amazing community of adopters and supporters. We are extremely grateful to be a part of a community that cheers us on every single day. We need your help now more than ever.

We are pleased to announce that we are the only New Jersey finalist in this year’s ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The ASPCA is challenging fifty shelters and rescues across the United States to save more lives and find more animals homes this summer. We are in the running for over $100,000 in grants: money that we can use to build our new, permanent kennel, pay the incredible medical expenses for our animals, and continue to rescue until all the cages are empty.

Help us show our rescue animals that there really is no place like home. We appreciate your support in any way: adopt, foster, volunteer, donate, advocate.

Follow along via Facebook and our website.

Foster Families: The World of Cat Fostering

23 May

Picture 143

Most people are surprised when they enter my home.  I live with my boyfriend and our two very close friends in a three bedroom house, there are three personal cats who are there permanently.  Normally when people walk in they chuckle at the signs on the wall; “Home is where the cats are,”  “beware of the cat,” the standard kind of signs that garnish a home filled with fur-ball love, the only indications that there are kitties in our home.


Out of the corner of their eye they see something dart across the living room, then look up at the bookshelf and see eyes peeking down.  Looking around the corner, they notice there are cats plopped here and there – two in the window, three on the couch, five in a pile on a tiny chair.

Wandering into the “dining room,” they realize the room isn’t meant for dining at all but is instead a cat paradise with toys, scratchers, food, chairs and beds galore.

Picture 313

As they turn to me and say “how many cats do you have?” they continue to stare as I give them a number anywhere from 5 to 19.  Yes, 19, there have been three or four occasions where we have had 19 cats at once, more than our adoption facility holds.

Picture 314

To answer some immediate questions:  No, my house actually doesn’t smell like cats.  Yes, I am out of my mind.  No, I am not some weird old woman who lives at the end of a cul-de-sac, I’m actually only 25 and no, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  We have saved 80 lives in 10 months – that’s 80 cats (and maybe 5-6 dogs) who would have died if we had not opened our home to them.  At times it is stressful but the majority of the time it is simply beautiful and fulfilling.

Picture 315

Fostering cats has to be one of the easiest things possible to make a difference (unless you have 19.)  If any of the cats are sick, they are kept in large kitty condos in separate bedrooms as to not spread illness or infection.  Because of this, sometimes you’ll only actually see five cats, all the others are in quarantine.  I always tell people if you have a spare bedroom or small bathroom you can keep the door to closed, you can fosters cats.  All they require is some clean litter daily, some food and water and of course as much love as you’re willing to give them.  They repay you with purrs, tail swishes and leg rubs, the best forms of payment out there.

Picture 316

There are so many stories I want to share with everyone.  The time we were given frightened, shaved Persians out of a hoarding situation and how good it felt the first time we got them to purr.  Or maybe the kittens that were taken from a meth lab who had been abused but immediately knew they were safe in our arms.  Perhaps I would tell you of another rescue that pulled a nursing mother and 9 seven week old babies from a high kill shelter right before they were going to be put to sleep, only to find out they had ringworm and thus wanted to take them back to be euthanized but instead we opened our hearts and our home to them.  I would tell you about the 9 month old cutie who was being given away on free website because he got too big, the playful girl abandoned at a local barn, the babies and moms we saved an hour before they were going to be put to sleep at a shelter in New York City, perhaps even the baby boy who was so sick and infected that he had to have his eye removed.  There are so many stories to tell but only so much time.  Each and every foster holds their own story and at the end of the day, when you say goodnight to each and every one of them, you can see the trust and love in their eyes and know that without you, they would no longer be alive.

Picture 317

Fostering cats is the easiest thing in the world.  Yes, there are hardships, but that is expected when you’re making such a huge difference.  There is absolutely nothing better than watching them get adopted and getting updates, because more often than not, the adopters stay in touch.  Years later I still get updates from my first fosters, it shows me that not only did I make a difference in the cat’s life, I made a difference in the life of that family and the experience made a difference in me as well.

Picture 318

If you’re interested in fostering cats or dogs with us, please fill out a foster application. To view our adoptable cats and kittens, please visit our website.


100KChallenge: Pup Rally!

22 May

We are so excited to once again be a finalist in this year’s ASPCA 100K Challenge. From June 1st – August 31st, we will be aiming to save even more lives and find more dogs and cats forever homes as we compete to win grants to help us build our new kennel!

Stay tuned for more details about special adoption events, how you can help, and updates on how we’re doing!

We wanted to get our amazing volunteers geared up for the challenge, so we hosted a Pup Rally last Thursday at the location of our future kennel! It was a fun night featuring delicious vegetarian appetizers from Marley’s Gotham Grill. Our group brainstormed some great ideas for the summer and had a wonderful time. Rescue pup Tyler even made a special appearance! He is looking so much better and has come a long way since we saved him thanks to his foster mom, our very own President!

We can’t wait to share all the exciting events happening this summer. Go Team EHR!


Some of our amazing volunteers who attended the Eleventh Hour Rescue Pup Rally!

Kennel Club: Pack Walks

20 May

Volunteers during one of our winter pack walks.

Last week, we gave you a brief overview of Eleventh Hour Rescue’s Kennel Enrichment Program and why it is so important for our adoptable dogs to receive various kinds of enrichment while living in a shelter environment, such as our kennel in Randolph.

This week, our focus is on one of the most important aspects of our program- our Pack Walks. Each weekend, our senior volunteers host pack walks, where a group of our volunteers get together and each grab a dog from the kennel to bring over to Horseshoe Lake in Succasunna for a nice leisurely walk. The walks last approximately one hour and we make the loop around the fields and lake (a little over a mile and a half in all). In the warm spring weather, middle of summer, the crisp chill of fall, and even the dead of winter, our dedicated volunteers come out to get our dogs out, exercised, and socialized in this great group activity!

According to FernDog Training– “Walking dogs together in a group is the single best way to help dogs achieve a calm state of mind in the presence of what normally causes them to react. By keeping dogs moving together you unify them, bond them as pack mates, and give them a non-confrontational positive experience around people and dogs (two of the biggest triggers of reactivity).”

While it is so important that our dogs get out and properly exercised, the positive socialization around other dogs, as well as people, is really the key for many of our kennel pups. It is amazing to see the transformation of a dog who gains confidence from experiencing these positive experiences when they may not have ever had that opportunity in the past. To see a row of 10 or so kennel dogs walking perfectly in sync down the path is really a thing to behold, especially when you consider that some of these dogs are considered dog-selective or dog-reactive.


Some volunteers even throw in a little basic agility, like the jump that Bach is completing!

It only takes about two hours of your week to make the day of one of our adoptable kennel dogs! We are ALWAYS looking for volunteers to join us on our pack walks. Let our kennel dogs help you get active – it’s a win-win situation! Visit to fill out an application. One of our volunteers will be in touch to help you get set up and on your way to making a huge difference in the lives of our pups.

Volunteers on a spring pack walk

Volunteers on a spring pack walk

Happy Homes: Georgie

9 May

If there was a story that could touch your heart, it would be Georgie’s story.

Picture 122

Like many of the dogs that come to us, she was unfortunately an abuse case.  After being rescued by a local Tennessee shelter, Georgie spent some time in foster care before making her way to Eleventh Hour Rescue, here in New Jersey.

But her troubles ended when she met her new mom, Patricia.

Picture 121

Patricia had heard about Eleventh Hour through a friend and after loosing a dog a few years back, was growing lonely and was thinking about adopting a new companion.  Patricia was planning to go to an adoption event when she read about Georgie on Eleventh Hour’s website and was instantly touched by her.  It was puppy love at first sight when Patricia saw Georgie online, and Georgie’s touching background grabbed at her heart.

Three months later Georgie is well at home with Patricia.  Described as loving anything that squeaks, we know that Georgie has plenty of toys to play with.  “She can be a little shy at first”, noted Patricia, “but she’s getting better and liking people even more.”


Patricia commented that “the nicest thing is to come home to a friend.  She acts as if she’s amazed that I came home each time, and I want to reassure her that I’m coming home”.