The dogs were out Saturday at Pura Vida Coffee during a Canines and Coffee fundraiser for a local foster-based nonprofit group, For Otis Sake Rescue.
The group presented dogs available for adoption and gave information to people interested in fostering.
“We’re in desperate need of foster homes, so the more foster homes that we have, the more dogs that we can pull out of these shelters and bring here,” said Kelly Middleton, vice president and co-founder of For Otis Sake, which is based in Hagerstown. “We’ve had some fosters who have been with us for three years and have helped us save, you know, 10, 20, 30 dogs that they fostered in their homes.”
The rescue does not have a home office, she said, so it relies on volunteer foster families to house animals until they have a permanent home.
“We pull dogs from very rural, underfunded rural animal-control facilities. We bring them here, put them in our foster homes and then we take care of their medical needs, behavioral needs,” Middleton said.
“Our mission is really to rescue nationally, so we go as far as Texas, Ohio, Kentucky — all over the country,” Middleton said. “We bring them here and serve our community locally through education and adopting through the community and partnering with local businesses.”
Pura Vida Coffee, at 14035 Pennsylvania Ave. near Hagerstown Regional Airport, likes to support causes near and far, owner Margie Yeager said.
“We have plenty of space on the side of our building,” Yeager said. “We like to give back locally and globally. … Locally, we’re just excited to partner with For Otis Sake and other nonprofits and other organizations which help reach needs in our community.”
At Saturday’s event, For Otis Sake sold merchandise, including dog toys and T-shirts, and raffled items to raise money. Middleton said volunteers and foster families answered questions for those interested in helping out.
Janet Getz was there with her fifth foster dog, Polly.
On July 4, Getz and her daughter drove nine hours to get the 2-year-old mix, whom they originally were not going to foster. However, after spending hours with Polly on the drive back, Getz’s daughter decided she was their responsibility.
“You just break down when you see them,” Getz said, adding that fostering can be hard at times, but it’s worth it. “The dogs are so broken when you get them. … It takes love and patience.”
Polly, who was thin and had a cast on her back left leg, had no trouble making friends Saturday.
“Polly came to us from Kentucky. She was thrown from a moving vehicle on a busy interstate, and a good Samaritan stopped and picked her up,” For Otis Sake Rescue Founder Laurie Brewer said. “They were looking for a rescue, and someone tagged me in her picture on Facebook and I said, ‘We’ll take her.'”
Brewer said it looked as though Polly recently had puppies, but none was found. Once she came to Hagerstown, her tibia was repaired. A rod was placed in her leg and will stay in until mid-September.
Once she gets a rotten tooth fixed and gains about 15 pounds so she can be spayed, she will be ready for adoption, according to Brewer.
For Otis Sake, founded in October 2014, has grown from rescuing dogs in a few nearby states to wider parts of the U.S.
The organization takes in dogs no one else wants and keeps a close relationship with adoptive households, Brewer said. It will step in and help with medical or behavioral problems, no matter how long ago a dog was adopted.
“Our goal is to keep our dogs in the right homes,” Brewer said.