Volunteers of the Month – June 2015

Julia D Volunteer of the Month

Our Volunteers of the Month for June are Nicole and Matt Lesmeister! Nicole began volunteering for Last Hope at the insistance of a friend in 2009 by fostering cats. In 2014 they began fostering dogs on the weekends and fell in love with Pit Bulls. They continue to foster cats full-time and take in dogs on the weekends when they’re able.
Since the adoption center opened they have become more involved than ever. Nicole makes sure the cats are well cared for and also holds a cat open house once a month for those cats that aren’t comfortable coming out to adoption events.
Matt has set up Internet networks at the adoption center, acquired donated computers and set them up for volunteers to use, supports the network and computers and other hardware, and he recently set up Office 365 which will enable us to communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively.
Nicole and Matt (and their family) value their time spent volunteering for Last Hope:
“We volunteer for Last Hope because we know the animals need and appreciate everything we do for them and because they are truly dependent on us. The joy of experiencing an animal you have fostered get adopted is truly overwhelming. We have also met the most amazing individuals volunteering at Last Hope. Nowhere else have we met more passionate and caring people. We have become better because of the love from the animals and the inspiration we find from fellow volunteers. This organization is an important part of our lives and we are grateful for it.”
Thank you, Nicole and Matt! All your help means so much to the animals in our care.


Cat of the Week: Willy

Julia D Cat of the Week


Willy is a gray classic tabby with the characteristic swirls instead of stripes on his side. Willy recently came to Last Hope with an eye injury. Critter Crusaders sponsored Willy’s vet care and his injured eye was recently surgically removed. We’ll post new pictures of this handsome boy when he’s all healed up!

Willy 2Willy is living with a foster who is helping him heal up from his surgery and getting him ready for a forever home. He is bouncing back quickly and is, overall, a very healthy boy. Willy has tested positive for Feline Leukemia (FeLV), which has the potential to shorten his life, but despite the hype about FeLV, many vets will tell you that this disease does NOT have to be a death sentence. Cats with FeLv can live long, full, healthy lives with proper care and nutrition. Because FeLV can be spread from one cat to another through contact with saliva or bodily fluids, Willy does need to be an only cat (indoor only cat), or live with other cats that also are FeLV positive. FeLV cannot be transmitted to humans or other animals besides cats. Willy’s labs otherwise indicate a younger adult cat in good health. We think he deserves the opportunity to live out a full life in a happy home, don’t you?

You’d never know this sweet and friendly 5-6 year old boy ever had to live on the streets, as he doesn’t have an ounce of meanness in him. This cuddly guy loves to sit in your lap, get rubbed behind the ears and gently rub his face in your hands and purr his gratitude for the good food and gentle vet care he has been receiving. He is a charmingly gentle-hearted and loving kitty. He would love nothing more than to have a forever home to live out his days with a warm lap to snuggle in, warm patches of sunshine, and a human best friend.

Willy is vaccinated, neutered and microchipped. He needs an indoor only home. Please contact adoptions@lasthoperescueia.org for more information about him. An adoption application can be completed HERE.


Dog Flu Information

Julia D Dog Flu

We’ve been hearing about it on the news and now it has come to Iowa. The dog flu, also known as H3N2, has been reported in several states including Iowa. So what do we need to know about it and how concerned should we be?

First of all, there’s no need to panic. There have been other flu types that have made the rounds but we’ve gotten through them and we’ll get through this one, too. Dogs most at risk for serious complications are puppies and older dogs because their immune systems are weaker. Dogs most at risk for contracting the disease are ones that come in close contact with infected dogs. The best thing you can do, especially for puppies and older dogs, is to limit close exposure to other dogs. The flu is transmitted nose to nose.

Dog FluThe signs of the disease include fever, cough, nasal discharge, lethargy, and decreased appetite. If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms it’s best to consult a veterinarian. The dog flu is a viral infection so there is no cure for the flu itself, but vets can provide care for the symptoms and keep an eye on the overall health of the dog.

Summer is the time that people are out and about more and they often bring their dogs along with them. Just be aware of where you are taking your dog and what other dogs he’s coming in contact with. There’s no need to panic and leave your healthy dog at home; just know your surroundings and take necessary precautions. This flu has a very low mortality rate (2-3%) so with the proper care and precautions you can still have a healthy and happy summer with your four-legged buddy.


Dog of the Week: Evita

Julia D Dog of the Week


Evita 3Evita 2Hi my name is Evita, I am around 8 months old and am a Black Mouth Cur/Pit Bill mix. I am a bundle of energy and love to follow my foster parents around. I’m leash trained and almost totally housebroken. Kennel trained. I love to go on walks! I would do best in a home with older children. I get along well with dogs of all sizes and I don’t mind cats. I really hope to find my forever home soon.

If you would like more information about Evita, please email adoptions@lasthoperescueia.org. To complete an adoption application, click HERE.


Top Four Misconceptions About Rescue Animals

Julia D Article


Sometimes people think that there must be something wrong with a pet that ends up in a rescue organization. You can find animals that have had challenging pasts, but that is more the exception than the rule. And if animals in our care have had difficult life stories, Last Hope is committed to training and loving them to help them overcome their challenges.

Here are the four main misconceptions about rescue animals:

  1.  There is something wrong with them. False! The truth of the matter is that most animals end up in rescue through no fault of their own. Perhaps the family fell on hard times or didn’t plan appropriately for bringing home a new pet. Given a loving family and stable home, even the most timid of rescue pets can still thrive.
  2. Not knowing their history is risky. First of all, rescues often do have information about the history of many of their animals. Secondly, pets can be pretty resilient. Even pets that have experienced some sort of trauma can make loving and loyal companions.
  3. They’re diseased. At Last Hope all of our animals are fully vetted before being available for adoption. All health challenges are fully disclosed to the potential adopter.
  4. They’re too old. There are so many benefits to adopting an adult animal. They’re likely out of the chewing stage, house training goes a lot faster, and they’re more independent than young animals. Even if your heart is set on adopting a young pet, there are still options. Last Hope has had many puppies and kittens available for adoption. You may have to wait a little longer but younger animals to become available.

Don’t let the fact that an animal ended up at a rescue deter you from adopting him. There are many wonderful pets just waiting for their forever homes.


Cats of the Week: George and Nelly

Julia D Cat of the Week

George  Nelly

We have TWO Cats of the Week this week because Nelly (black) and George (orange) are a bonded pair and need to George 3
Nelly 2find a home together.

This bonded pair are the perfect couple! They love to lounge around in the sun and play together all day! They do great with other cats and are quite a curious duo. Nelly loves to climb and explore and George will come looking for love from his human friends as often as he can. They would love to have a house to call their own and a family to get lots of love from every day!

If you’re interested in George and Nelly, complete an application HERE.


The Happy Tail of Lola and Macy

Julia D Happy Tails

Lola and Macy Happy Tail

Kegan and Lindsey adopted two puppies from Last Hope recently and generously agreed to share their Happy Tail.

They decided to adopt from Last Hope because they were able to meet the puppies at Petco and were able to take them home for a “trial run.” They chose the puppies based on their temperament, how adorable they are, and because they just seemed to “click.” Kegan and Lindsey decided to name the puppies Lola and Macy. In the picture, Lola is on the right and Macy on the left.

After the first night in their new home, Lola and Macy seemed to realize they were really home and were excited to be there! They are puppies so there have been some mishaps and accidents, as expected, but overall they are very bright dogs and are learning quickly. They love that the dogs can be independent of each other but also get along well and entertain each other. “We love how different they are and each one seems to fit better with one of us, based on our personalities, but they love and respect us both the same as well. They entertain us and brighten our day, every day. Life is never slow or dull now.”

In addition to loving their new family members, they said this about Last Hope: “We would recommend Last Hope to anyone. It was such a great experience and process. We felt as prepared and informed as we could be in the adoption.”

Thank you, Kegan and Lindsey, for taking such good care of our pups and for sharing your Happy Tail!


Dog of the Week: Sassy

Julia D Dog of the Week


Sassy 2Hi! My name is Sassy, but my friends call me Sarsaparilla and Sassafras! I am a medium sized Mastiff mix with a giant-sized personality! My favorite thing in this world is people! I love them all, big and small. I get so excited when I meet them my whole body wiggles to show off my excitement. I have lived with kids before and am quite fond of them. They can lie on me and pet me all they want and I will just smile with delight at the attention. I am still learning all of my words. When grown up people tell me to sit, I sit on their lap. I love to be close to them! I really like food too so you could use that to teach me lots of things. I like to please people so it won’t take me long to learn anything you want to teach me.

Sassy 4I am already house trained and I like a crate so I will go in there and wait for you to come back if you have to go to work. I am happy to sleep quietly at the end of a bed all night or I will go in a crate. I have lived with other dogs and cats before. I get along with most other dogs as long as you introduce me properly.

If you want to know more about me please email adoptions@lasthoperescueia.org. You can fill out an application for me HERE. Indoor homes only. Adoption donation $200.


Cat of the Week: Sophie

Julia D Cat of the Week


Sophie came from a really bad situation, and was in terrible health when she came into her foster home. She was very underweight and had a terrible upper respiratory infection. However, you should see her now! She is a healthy and happy young lady with a ton of energy! She is afraid of dogs, but gets along well with other cats and children. She is a bit timid around men. She loves to chase a laser pen light and snuggle with her foster family members. Sophie eats well and uses a scratching post. Sophie has the energy of a kitten but is also sweet and loving. Sophie is FIV/FeLV negative, she is spayed and current with her vaccinations.

Please contact adoptions@lasthoperescueia.org for more information about her. An adoption application can be completed HERE.

**June is Adopt A Cat Month and Last Hope is celebrating by reducing the adoption fee on adult cats to $25! Sophie is eligible for this special so don’t hesitate to contact us about her**

Sophie 2


Julia D Uncategorized

Hey, welcome to our new digs! We (and by “we” I mean Andrea!) have been working hard behind the scenes to bring you a new and improved website and blog. The website went live today and can be found at https://www.adopthope.org/. You can find the blog by selecting it on the left side of the site or come here directly at https://www.adopthope.org/theblog/.

On the blog we will continue to feature dogs and cats of the week as well as articles relating to pet ownership and Last Hope happenings.

We invite you to roam around the new site and see all the new features and watch this space for blog updates!