Hull’s Haven Border Collie Rescue encourages failure.
The organization, run by Sally Hull of Meleb, jokingly refers to those who adopt dogs after fostering them as "foster failures."
Mission Gardens resident Carolyn Whitehead is one of those recent failures. After one month of fostering Yorkshire Terrier Gemma, she decided about a month ago to keep the pooch at her pad for good.
"This lady phones me from Thompson and says ‘I’ve been approved to adopt Gemma,’" Whitehead recalled. "The more I talked to her, she got the strong impression I didn’t want to let her go."
Whitehead said the Thompson resident relayed her hunch to the rescue operation, which gave Whitehead an ultimatum to adopt Gemma or to let someone else do it. Gemma, a puppy mill survivor, had to have over 20 teeth pulled when she came to Hull’s Haven. Now, she is Whitehead’s quiet "little old lady."
"I was so drawn to her because she’s been through so much already," Whitehead said.
Whitehead, originally from Oklahoma, has a midwest connection to Gemma, who found her way to Manitoba from a rescue in Missouri — just one of several animal-care organizations with which Hull’s Haven works.
"We have friends in the States that run rescues," Hull explained. "(The organizer of Missouri rescue Halfway Home) pulls dogs from puppy mills or kill shelters, and we tell her if we can take them or not. Then she moves them up to us (if we can take them)."
She said foster families are the "backbone" of the organization, which had over 50 dogs in foster care at press time. She’s appreciative of the current foster family roster, but since several of them also help out other local dog rescues, Hull’s Haven is always looking for more.
Hull, who has served as the rescue’s executive director for its entire seven-year history, could use some help keeping the rescue viable. The organization is set to hold its second-annual Hullaballoo fundraiser at Victoria Jason Park on Redonda St. on Sept. 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
"We couldn’t function without (these fundraisers)," said Hull, who has 10 of her own dogs while fostering at least two others at any given time.
Hull was happy with attendance at the original fundraiser last year, but hopes to see it grow this year, noting there are more prizes to be given away.
One major component of the event is to wrangle as many of the adoptive dog parents — and their adoptees — as possible for a photo on the park’s hill at 1 p.m. Hull estimated over the course of the rescue’s seven-year run, the rescue has adopted out 1,500 dogs.
"That’s the centrefold of our calendar," Hull said. "The best part of it is not even the fundraising. It’s getting to see all the dogs that come out that we’ve adopted out. That’s really fun."
As well, there will be demonstrations from the Winnipeg Police K9 Unit, the Ruff House Rowdies, the Warp Factor Flyball Club, and Hull’s Hooligans & Woof Pack, while one of Hull’s dogs, Frodo, will have his own "kissing booth" called Frodo’s Sugar Shack.
"Rumour has it he’s a better kisser than Brad Pitt!" said co-organizer Yvonne Maxim.
"More tongue, anyway," Hull added.
The event’s rain date is Sept. 21.
For more information, visit www.hullshaven.org