Animal rescue groups seek more donations

by Sarah Melton

Dog Days of Charlotte, affiliated with the Animal League of Gaston County, has rescued hundreds of dogs since it began in March, but money is getting tight.

The rescue group consists of “Foster Gals” Leah Lenox, Carly Robinson, Aleah Haene and other volunteers, such as Monica Bandstra, Erich Podzinski and Colin Feehan. They pull 15-20 dogs a week from high-kill shelters that would otherwise be euthanized. Most of the dogs come from the Gaston County Animal Shelter, but volunteers do rescue dogs from York and Catawba counties as well.

The dogs are immediately vaccinated before being placed in a foster home and eventually taken to other rescue groups. It is not uncommon for the dogs to have expensive health problems.

“We have dogs that have heartworms because we get them heartworm tested,” said Robinson, one of the group’s cofounders. “A lot of these dogs come out of nowhere and never been on a heartworm preventive so they have heartworms, which could cost up to $500 for treatment, and then we will get some puppies with the parvovirus and that can cost $200-$300 to get them well.”

So far, Robinson and the other two cofounders, Lenox and Haene, and the volunteers, have been using their own money to pay for expenses when donations are low. They try to cover transportation costs for Bandstra, who pulls the dogs from the shelters and takes them to their foster parents.

“It is hard with the road block we’ve hit with donations right now,” Robinson said. “It is kind of us three girls and a few volunteers. The money is coming out of our pockets, which is fine, because that goes toward vet bills, supplies and medicine. But the more dogs we are pulling every week, that means that many more dogs are getting sick and we have to pay that much more money to make them well.”

The organization is also accepting donations of supplies, such as crates, leashes, collars, food and blankets, for its foster dogs. People can sponsor dogs by paying for their spay or neuter surgery, which is usually less than $100.

Robinson said the group is in the process of applying for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status as the Dog Days of Charlotte. In the meantime, she encourages people to give what they can to help the dogs that might otherwise be gassed at animal shelters.

“Everyone kind of knows euthanasia happens at the shelters, but when it comes to gassing twice a day, it just does something else to you,” Robinson said. “If you are really passionate about it, do something to help, whether it’s donating a couple of leashes, coming out to support an event or helping with the transports. Everything and anything helps.”

For more information about the Dog Days of Charlotte, visit and search for “Foster Charlotte Area Dogs – Save a life from local high-kill shelters!” or e-mail

Want to help?
Dog Days of Charlotte hosts “Dogtoberfest” Saturday, Oct. 9, at Jackalope Jacks and Philosophers Stone on E. 7th St. in Charlotte. A corn hole tournament will start at noon and a doggie costume contest will be held at 3 p.m. Raffles, vendors, adoptable dogs and rescues, corn hole golf, onsite grooming, music and professional photography will also be available. Raffle winners will be announced at 5 p.m. All proceeds will go toward Dog Days of Charlotte.

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