Cat of the Week: Laffie

Julia D Cat of the Week

My name is Laffie. I am a beautiful torti. I was brought into Last Hope fearful but all I need is some TLC and you will see the softer side to me. I’m unique, as I’m a polydactyl kitty which means I was born with an extra toe on all of my paws. I may get frightened at first in my new home and may need an adjustment period, but I’ve come a long way here at Last Hope and enjoy spending time with the volunteers here! Please give me a chance to be your family kitty!

Laffie comes with spay surgery, being up to date on vaccinations, and a microchip with lifetime registration.

If you’re interested in this great girl, please complete an application HERE or email

Dog of the Week: Groot

Julia D Dog of the Week

Groot is a 5-month-old puppy recently transplanted to Iowa from Texas. He came here with his littermate, Jeff. He is currently almost 30 lbs. Groot is just about the biggest sweetheart you will ever meet. He LOVES people, kids, and other dogs as long as they do not bark at him. He is too interested in cats, he thinks they need to be chased. Groot is good at walking on a leash, he knows “sit” and is mastering “lay down” and “come.” Groot is crate trained and potty trained, as long as he is taken outside regularly. He does prefer to sleep in your bed at night and does that like a champ! He loves to be active and have something to do when he is not napping. He is still a puppy, so he needs plenty of his own toys to chew on, balls to play with and daily exercise. He loves to run and play, so a fenced in yard is preferred. He can entertain himself well, but likes to check in with you and have you play with him too. He hopes to meet you soon!

Groot’s adoption fee is $300 which includes neuter surgery, being up to date on vaccinations, a microchip with lifetime registration, and a free obedience class.

If this beautiful boy strikes your fancy, please complete an application HERE or email

Happy Tail: Cheyanne

Julia D Happy Tails

Cheyanne was a foster in Jen’s house when Brianne met her and fell in love. She knew her fiance, Phil, needed to meet this dog and he fell in love with Cheyanne, too.

Brianne was over at Jen’s house each week during the adoption process and because Cheyanne already knew Brianne, the transition was smooth when the adoption went through.

She now lives in Minnesota (although she’s not a fan of all the snow!) with Brianne and Phil and she’s loving life! They have a cabin they go to in the summer and Cheyanne loves it there and has become a favorite with their extended family and is spoiled at family gatherings.

Her favorite things are snuggling between Brianne and Phil and sleeping a lot.

Will You Marry Dad?

Cheyanne even had a paw in helping Phil propose to Brianne. He put a tag on her that said, “Will you marry Dad?”

It sounds like Cheyanne is living the life she’s always deserved. Thank you, Brianne and Phil, for giving her such a wonderful forever home!

Dog of the Week: Dizzy

Julia D Dog of the Week

Meet Dizzy! She’s a very sweet 11-year-old Shih Tzu/poodle mix that made her way from a shelter in Illinois to Iowa. Dizzy is very low key. Her favorite spot is her soft pink bed. She would really like a home where her people are home all day or at least aren’t gone too long. She does fine with her foster dog siblings but is totally fine with being the only one. At her age dealing with young ones, two or four-legged, is too much work so older kids and older or calm, laid back dogs would be best. Dizzy hasn’t been cat tested but as long as they are respectful of her, they should do fine. Dizzy is crate trained and walks well on a leash but moves pretty slowly and likes to take her time. Her favorite time of day is breakfast and dinner and anything in between involving food! She will wiggle her little tail and looks like she is smiling because she is so excited.  If you are looking for an easy-to-love girl, Dizzy might be the one for you!

Dizzy’s adoption fee is $200 which includes spay surgery, being up to date on vaccinations, a microchip with lifetime registration, and a free obedience class.

If you think this great girl would fit into your family, please complete an application HERE or email

Cat of the Week: Amaya

Julia D Cat of the Week

Amaya is a sweet little lady with a lot of love to give! She was picked up as a stray and has come a long way in her time with us. She’s learned to love a good petting and even comes looking for attention occasionally. She’s pretty independent but always friendly and willing to take love and attention if you are there to provide it. She would do well in a home with other cats.

Amaya’s adoption fee is $85 which includes spay surgery, being up to date on vaccinations, and a microchip with lifetime registration.

If you like this gray and white beauty, please complete an application HERE or email

Dog of the Week: Bentley

Julia D Dog of the Week

Hi, my name is Bentley, I am a ten-year-old fawn Chihuahua.  When I came to my foster home six weeks ago, I had lost my owner who suddenly passed away and was separated from my two friends that I lived with, so I was pretty emotional.  I have been neutered since then as well and my personality is really changing for the better.  I get along great with other dogs of all sizes and I could care less about cats (my foster home has two that are bigger than I am!).  Because I just recently got neutered my foster family is just starting to let me out into the main part of the house without gates and I am doing very well at not marking.  I know what it means when they say it’s time to “go outside” and I go out an do my business without any problem.  I sleep in a big crate at night with a really soft bed and blanket and I sleep all night long. I would love to find a family that could be my forever home.  If there are children, they would need to be older children that understand that I am a senior dog and can be gentle and patient with me.  I like to be out in the yard in the sun and I like to sniff around check things out. I walk great on a leash but for some reason I get grumpy when you take my harness off.  I am happiest when I am with humans but I don’t need to be on your lap.  I like a really soft blanket and just to know that you are there.  My teeth aren’t the best, so I prefer a mixture of soft food and small kibble.  I don’t really care for treats but I do like carrots that are broken into little tiny pieces.    I would love to become the next member of your family and my sweet little face will make you smile!

Bentley’s adoption fee is $200.00 which includes neuter surgery, being up to date on vaccinations, a microchip with lifetime registration, and a free obedience class.

If you’re interested in this cutie, please complete an application HERE or email

Dog of the Week: A. Chance

Julia D Dog of the Week

Last Hope took a chance on me…and I’m so very glad they did! My name now is A. Chance, I’m a sweetheart for being such a big guy. I’m strong and tough on the outside, but full of love and cuddles on the inside.

I’d really love a home where I can be your main man; other dogs are okay but I do best as a single dog. I love people of all ages, but again, I’m a big guy so I think kids that are older would be best for me. Won’t you take a chance on me, too?

A. Chance’s adoption fee is $250.00 which includes neuter surgery, being up to date on vaccinations, a microchip with lifetime registration, and a free obedience course.

If you’re interested in this great guy, please complete an application HERE or email

Happy Tail: Texas Blaze

Julia D Happy Tails

Brett and Alysha had already adopted a rescue dog, Tessy, in the past and were looking to add to their family. They found Texas Blaze (they call him Blaze) on Petfinder and his profile sounded like he would get along well with Tessy.

The first week was a bit of an adjustment for the whole family, but Blaze looked up to Tessy for clues on how to behave. After a while, Blaze’s true spunky personality came out and it’s smooth sailing now.

They love that he’s friendly and loves to snuggle. His favorite activities are walking the neighborhood and jumping on the couch for snuggles and nap time.

Sounds like Blaze found his perfect forever home! Thank you, Brett and Alysha, for opening your hearts to another rescue dog.

Volunteer of the Month: Sonia Brandley

Julia D Volunteer of the Month

Sonia is the founder of Last Hope Animal Rescue. We asked her to convey the story of how it all began and here it is in her own words:
I have always said that Last Hope started with a dog named Honey and her six puppies. This may not be the exact starting point but, for me, it’s where Last Hope started to develop into the group that it is today.
Honey was a sweet older farm dog that hadn’t had a very easy time of it. She had had many litters in her years on the farm and the farmer was tired of it. He told his wife he was going to shoot her and to get rid of her puppies. So, when I got the call to help, I said yes without hesitation. Honey and her puppies were the first of many mothers and puppies I fostered that first year. In 2004, Last Hope adopted out over a hundred dogs and I personally fostered 70 of them. I realized over the course of that year that I had found my passion.
In 2006, I moved my family from Cedar Rapids to Shellsburg. We purchased an acreage that included an old 6,000 sq ft turkey building. My fellow rescuers encouraged me from the get-go to turn this building into a shelter, but I really felt we needed to focus on being a foster based group (and my daughter, Reese, was only 1 at the time so I was facing the challenges that come with being a new parent). In 2008, that all changed when the 500-year flood hit Iowa. In one weekend alone we collected and set up a dozen kennels and went to the Vinton shelter and pulled every dog they had. This made way for all the dogs that had lost their homes due to Cedar River flooding as the town of Vinton was under water. This “temporary” shelter operated for the next seven years on my property, and over those years I learned so much about dogs, dog care and shelter life in general.
In January 2015, Last Hope found our current building on 16th Ave SW and entered into a lease with the option to buy after two years.  This was a huge risk as an organization, as we had not truly had any overhead prior to this and weren’t sure about sustainability.  We moved the 9 residents from Shellsburg into our new facility, it had housed many businesses but most notably, it was the former Frey Pet Hospital location. Through the help of a capital campaign, we secured money for a down payment and moved forward with purchasing our building. The addition of a formal adoption center in town, allowed Last Hope to grow our volunteer base and work to bring dogs in that were harder to place immediately.  It also allowed us to be nimble and react quickly to emergency situations as we had space for intake.  An added benefit was the addition of a formal cat rescue program, which has now grown into serving the needs of many counties.  This year, I opened CR Grooming at our adoption center, a full-service groom shop that is an extension of Cedar Run Pet Boarding & Daycare, my business in Hiawatha.  This groom shop serves the needs of many, including Last Hope animals that join us and are in need of a little professional TLC.
My hopes for Last Hope are that we continue to focus on the power of our people connecting with animals.  We have been truly blessed to have the volunteer and support network that we have today, I am so thankful for each person that contributes their time, voice or efforts to Last Hope because every little bit truly helps. As we approach our 15th year as an organization, our foster base has grown and we have seen new programs work to focus on advocacy and community outreach.  Our adoption center now houses 19 dogs and 35 cats as we work to find loving homes for them.  This building is so vital to not just the animals that we care for, but the volunteers that flow through it and touch the lives of many.
We’ve encountered many challenges with our dated building, from electrical to structural, but this month we’ve been forced to start tackling some of the larger and more pressing structural issues to maintain sustainability.  A great portion of our roof has started to fail, and water is permeating our building.  In addition to the many leaks we have found inside, contractors have found mold and serious moisture damage in our decking and structural systems.  We have had to call in professional help and have begun the arduous task of moving forward with a new roof, gutter and soffit system in phases to help lessen the burden of cost. All the while, caring for animals in need, focusing our efforts on those who need us most. Please consider a donation to Last Hope today. Phase 1 of our building improvements is planned at $6,800 with total repair coming in at just over $15,000.  In addition to this, we have accrued medical debt in excess of $15,000 in the last 30 days.  We have Tilly’s medical debt of $7,200 that we will work to recover through the Linn county attorney, as well as the expense for multiple dogs who have joined us lately as owner surrenders with serious medical issues.  We will be sharing fundraising campaigns through the end of the year to cover these steep financial needs, please consider sharing this information with your friends and family and invite them to learn more about Last Hope and how they can get involved today.  Thank you for your continued support of Last Hope and for helping us to spread a mission of compassion and advocacy for animals in need.

Cat of the Week: Tuffy

Julia D Cat of the Week

Tuffy… A sweet orange Tabby and white boy who we suspect has had a tough life, yet this sweet soul wants nothing more than to be loved on, petted, and treated with kindness – for which he will reward you with the most endearing, rumbling purr that will just grab your heart! He is about 6 years old and was found by a kind cat-loving person in an area of Cedar Falls which for some reason is a prime area for people to abandon their animals.  Tuffy, however, at one time was someone’s pet as he was neutered!  He had horrific injuries on his back and it required some surgery and many stitches, and he also had a hole in his leg!  Through all of that, he has remained loving and so appreciative of the loving care he has been given.  He will make someone a very loving and sweet companion!

Tuffy’s adoption fee is $85 which includes neuter surgery, being up to date on vaccinations, and a microchip with lifetime registration.

If you’re interested in this sweet boy, please complete an application HERE or email