Students help rescued pets: Volunteers transport pets, help find homes



Taylor Andaverde, left, and former Madison College student, Samantha Hack, right, are just two of the volunteers helping Lola’s relocate homeless dogs from Texas.

Jessica Deegan, News Editor

Imagine an animal shelter with people wrapped around the building… just waiting to surrender their animals.

Larissa Gavin, originally from Wisconsin, founded Lola’s Lucky Day: dog rescue in 2015, and took this problem into consideration after understanding the trouble that states like Texas go through with their extreme dog population.

The distress occurs when people neglect to spay and neuter their animals. Neglecting to do this causes over-breeding to occur, and innocent animals to be left on the street. Lola’s Lucky Day saves as many of these animals as possible by transporting them from Texas to Wisconsin, where animal over-population isn’t an issue.

Lola’s Lucky Day is a non-profit, volunteer based business that makes as many trips to Texas as possible to collect these homeless dogs. After Hurricane Harvey hit in September of 2017, the need for finding these dogs new homes increased immensely.

Samantha Hack, one of Lola’s devoted volunteers, commented that during the month of December, they stopped keeping track of the number of dogs saved and the money being spent since it was so much at one time.

This remarkable business is rescuing so many dogs that they have to take some of them to other rescues in the Madison area.

“We try and keep them as local as we can so that we know where the dogs are going,” said Hack.

“We try and do transports every weekend – there are always dogs in Huston ready to come to Wisconsin,” said Hack. Some trips consist of meeting a transport at the half way mark in-between Huston and Madison, while others consist of driving the entire way to Texas to retrieve the dogs.

Lola’s pairs with a doggie daycare in Lake Mills that allows them to bring the dogs there when they get back from their transport on Sunday evenings. From there, the approved adopters and foster parents (if needed) meet to take their new family member home.

According to Hack, they try and do as much fundraising as possible since it costs so much to treat all of the animals that they are taking in.

“It’s getting more and more expensive, but we do this because we love all of the dogs,” explained Hack. The purpose for the costly care is due to getting the dogs up-to-date on their vaccines, spaying or neutering, and getting them a health certificate that allows them to cross state lines.

“It is incredibly seldom that we are pulling dogs that are already sprayed or neutered. Almost every single one needs to be sprayed or neutered, and a lot of these dogs are also heartworm positive. Heartworm disease is horrid down south, and it’s killing dogs everyday simply because people aren’t getting a heartworm preventative,” Hack said woefully. “Heartworm treatment is incredibly hard on the dogs, and if they have a big enough infection, it is possible that a large, adult heartworm could possibly lodge itself incorrectly, and stop their heart.”

By adding a heartworm treatment to the dogs vetting, it increases the cost for that one dog by $350. That is why helping our local rescues, especially Lola’s Lucky Day is so important. “The only way that we are able to continue and function as a rescue is by our volunteers and our donors,” said Hack.

Lola’s has an Amazon wish list that vastly helps their stock so that they can take care of the dogs to the best of their ability. The list includes things like puppy collars, and plastic water bowls for the long transports. The list is always being updated on things that Lola’s may need at the time.

They also have a 100 Club, and with 41 members already, they hope to soon reach their goal of 100. The Amazon wish list and 100 Club is essential for this business to thrive because it allows Lola’s to have monthly monetary donations, and/or items to help take care of and save the vulnerable dogs.

Madison College student Zach Mueth is already getting involved with Lola’s and supporting them as much as he can.

“We’re trying to spread the word in any way we can. We’re hanging posters and putting a lot of efforts towards social media to reach as many people as possible. The fundraiser will run three weeks into April. We are seeking money donations through GoFundMe. All donations will go directly to feeding, sheltering, and providing for any health needs for the dogs. We want to keep Lola’s operational,” said Mueth.

Besides donations, Lola’s is also in great need of adopters.

“If we can spark interest for dog adoption, it would basically be a double win. One dog finds a new home, and Lola’s has room to take in another dog that has been abandoned. Pet adoption is vastly overlooked and we want to help change that,” said Mueth.