Service Trip 2024: Day 4 - Redfield & Stuttgart - Last Hope K9 Rescue
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Service Trip 2024: Day 4 – Redfield & Stuttgart

Service Trip 2024: Day 4 – Redfield & Stuttgart

Day 4: Redfield

By Alie Wulf


On our fourth and final day of the Service Trip, we spent the morning visiting Redfield Shelter, located in the rural area of Redfield, Arkansas. This was one of the smaller shelters that we visited, with just two outdoor kennel areas, partially covered, that currently house 5-6 puppies each. This shelter is located literally RIGHT next to a water treatment sewage area (surprisingly it wasn’t smelly!), which the ACO told us the pups love to jump into when they get loose. Luckily, we didn’t witness this!! We did, however, witness puppies who were so excited about having visitors that they promptly figured out how to climb one of the shorter chain-link fences, escape their runs, and come up to greet us! Thankfully they just wanted some loving so they came straight to us and did not run away!


I was very pleasantly surprised by the conditions in Redfield. The dogs/puppies had a large fenced area to run around in and they were all able to play in the run together – this may not be typical but it seemed like both groups got along well. The kennels were also mostly clean, with newer dog houses and gravel areas that were covered to shelter the dogs from rain and the hot sun. It was also wonderful to hear that all of these dogs will be making it out of the shelter, and most will come to Last Hope to be adopted up north – this was definitely not the case with most other shelters that we visited, sadly.

Unfortunately, our time was cut short at Redfield when some of the worst thunderstorms and downpours I’ve experienced rolled in around 11:00 am. However, because the shelter and dogs were already so well taken care of, we were able to complete most of our projects by then anyway! At Redfield, we were able to wash the dog houses, bathe all the dogs, cut nails, fix and reinforce fencing (an impromptu project due to the cute puppies climbing the fence!) and shovel gravel to fill in any holes around the dig defense so the puppies couldn’t dig under and escape.

Redfield was a great shelter to end on and hearing about the improvements at this shelter over the year, both in terms of the facilities and attitude of the local town and policies, was an uplifting way to end the trip. I cannot wait to meet some of these puppies from Redfield who have already started transporting to MA! Rumor has it they are great in their crates and have very few accidents inside, so be on the lookout!


Day 4: Stuttgart

By Kate Kapusta


As we pulled into the shelter on our last day, I had to catch my breath.  This shelter, Stuttgart, is where my resident pup was pulled from. I pictured her sitting in her kennel, scared and confused about why someone dumped her.  I looked around with the other volunteers, taking it all in.  We were feeling all of the feelings for the fourth day in a row… and of course, once again, some of us had found dogs that we didn’t want to let go. Laughs and tears always mixed together during these southern shelter days. It never got any easier, but it wasn’t about us or our feelings – we all put those aside to save the dogs.

The Southern fosters had their arms open with appreciation, welcoming us to Stuttgart. What maybe they don’t realize is how much we appreciate them too. Here in the North, we are handed their foster dogs on a silver platter – dogs that they have already vetted, bathed, loved, and nursed back to health.  It’s something us first-timers on the trip needed to see to fully understand.

We bathed dogs, cleaned runs and kennels, gave the dogs love, organized, heartworm tested, administered vaccines, etc.… anything and everything.  Everyone took a role and poured their hearts and their last bits of energy into it. We never faded – we couldn’t.

Some of the dogs we wrapped our arms around today might not make it out of the shelter. Many are perfect dogs, and yet there are no available foster homes or adopters. The dogs wait and wait, but no one is coming back for them. Currently, the shortage of fosters and adopters is a challenge in both Arkansas and Massachusetts.  There is nothing we can do but continue to spread the word and encourage others to volunteer. Without enough fosters, a shelter dog’s fate is inevitable.

My first LHK9 Service Trip was everything I wanted it to be and more. Yes, it was hard. Yes, we all cried. But it also brought so many new friendships, hope, and help to the dogs without a voice.

Until next year, Arkansas!!

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