Idaho was a state that we knew little about. Sure, we knew of Idaho potatoes and vast farmlands as far as the eyes could see. But its beauty simply took our breath away.
Idaho was state #44 on this Adventure Of A Lifetime, and we needed some inspiration to keep going. We didn’t have to look far. The beautiful wildflowers, waterfalls and hikes in the woods supplied us the energy we needed. And Four Paws Pet Adoptions, our #44 rescue pick in Rexburg, Idaho supplied us with a thankful heart and a sense that we could keep doing this. Why? Who would know what these amazing animal rescuers were doing for the animals in their area? Probably not many. And they deserve their story to be told.
On the latest episode of Stop Hounding Me, you will see the first potato hat. Probably.
You will also get to meet Bob, Bobbette and Deb. Potato race? A bobcat? All we have to say is that this was probably one of our best episodes yet.
Four Paws Pet Adoptions was started in 2002. A small group of volunteers decided that they had to do something. Over 90% of the animals at that time in the city pound were being euthanized. 90%! It took one person to say this was not going to happen any longer. And with the support of her husband, Bob and other friends and volunteers, Four Paws was born under the leadership of Bobbette Carlson.
Bobbette is humble, respected and determined. Under her direction, Four Paws is what it is today. But she cannot do this alone, and she wouldn’t want to. Bobbette explained to us that she wasn’t even allowed to have a pet growing up. And she knew nothing more about animals other than she loved them, and she knew she had to help.
Animal rescuers often feel alone and misunderstood. Without the support of the ones around them, most importantly their family, their job is made harder. Bobbette and Bob are prime examples of what families can accomplish together for animals in need. Having been married for over 52 years, and having their daughter Jodi work tirelessly alongside them as well, they have the whole package and it works so well for this rescue.
Bob joked that he warned Bobbette not to get involved in animal rescue. And Bobbette sincerely laughed, because she knew his concern for her and for what they were about to undertake in 2002.
They both told us of stories that made us tired just listening. From renovating this facility, to the many meetings and conversations they had to go thru with officials, what they decided to do for the animals in their care was not something that was handed to them. As Bobbette explained, she felt it was and is important to start at the top. Talking to officials that could actually help them get this started and keep them going was important to her. Animal rescue may be an act of the heart, but it takes great business sense to keep it going. And Bobbette and Bob worked together with many volunteers to turn this building into a place not only of hope and love, but of organization and success.
In 2008, they purchased a home with a large, beautiful yard and opened this gorgeous facility. Rescued cats are taken from the city shelter to this free roaming adoption center where prospective adopters are welcomed to visit with open arms.
Four Paws is a beautiful, clean and loving facility that any rescue would be fortunate to land at.
From the friendly and welcoming inside, to the outside areas, the cats under their care have found a wonderful transition from shelter life, abandonment, abuse or owner surrender situations until they find their forever homes.
Bobbette told us stories of each animal we met. Her devotion to the ones here was not only apparent to us, but the cats as well as they played contentedly despite some of the situations that they came from.
Happily, the only animals under their care now are cats because the shelter is having great success placing dogs. But they do have dogs in foster homes as needed. Keeping the cats and dogs separate allow for more peace in their residential area and also gives needed rest and adjustment time for the rescues.
The animals under their care are not the only ones in a winning situation here.
When we arrived for our visit with Brickle and Digby, we were literally greeted with open arms. They wanted us here, and we felt like the entire trip had been worth it, just for this moment. We often feel alone on this adventure and overwhelmed. But as they took us to the beautiful backyard, we felt like we were in an Idaho oasis. Not just of beauty, but of hope, love and inspiration. They often have residents that volunteer and visit for therapy sessions. We know of no better therapy than to be needed by, and in the company of animals.
Travel weary, we were handed presents for Brickle and Digby.
To say that this meant everything to us, and to the dogs was an understatement.
We knew right away that they would be successful for the long term. Why? Their personable, devoted and thankful attitude would help them help more animals. And we believe they are also helping their volunteers while their volunteers help them in return. In order to accomplish what they do in such a grand way, they need more volunteers and of course fosters. If you are in the Rexburg, Idaho area, can you step up to help?
As we witnessed the volunteers talking about projects, obligations and rescue cases, we also saw them hugging each other. We saw them looking to Bobbette with thankful hearts. They wanted to be here. Animal rescue may be a thankless job sometimes, but with the support of each other, they will always know where they should be. Right here.
Four Paws Pet Adoptions strongly believes in the importance of spay and neuter as the first defense against unwanted animals. Shelters and pounds are often criticized for euthanizing animals. And no one likes to hear the numbers, especially the 90% rate that was happening in Rexburg, Idaho when Four Paws was started. But what some do not realize is that this problem starts with the community. To prevent unwanted animals from ending up in the shelters in the first place, spay and neuter services MUST be provided. The numbers may amaze you.
But what happens when people cannot afford these services or do not even realize the importance of doing this?
According to the Four Paws website, “As a no-kill rescue, our ongoing goal is to increase public awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering their pets. All Four Paws animals are spayed/neutered and vaccinated. We are proud to have saved the lives of over 3,000 companion animals. (This number is up to 5,000 now) Rescued cats are taken from the City of Rexburg Animal Shelter to the Four Paws Adoption Center or placed in foster care until permanent loving homes are found. Dogs are fostered by volunteers while they await adoption. Our animals are clean, well fed, and given love and attention each day.” Four Paws has low cost clinics available periodically, and they wholeheartedly invite the public to sign up. Less animals will end up in overcrowded shelters and ultimately to them. Isn’t this the goal of all animal rescues and shelters, to not have a need for their services any more?
For them to be able to help their community, this takes funds…not just love. And they are often on the verge of running out. We do not want that to happen. Four Paws Pet Adoptions is run 100% by volunteers. Their only funding comes from what donations they are able to get.
All donations, whether that be food or supplies or monetary are appreciated by this amazing group of people.
If there was ever a time to get involved in animal rescue, this is it. The example that Bob, Bobbette and the selfless volunteers we met made us feel that good people of the world are out there.
Four Paws are not just good people that want to help animals, but also good people that want to make their community better and that care for people too! Often, is is hard to not get angry at people in general when we see what happens to animals out there. But in order to solve the problem of unwanted animals, people have to be helped too. And Four Paws Pet Adoptions is a rescue in our country that deserves wonderful things to happen for them. We will never forget our visit with Four Paws. And we thank them from our hearts for allowing us to tell our fans about them.
FOUR PAWS PET ADOPTIONS IS A 501C3 ORGANIZATION AND ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.
You can mail your donations to or visit Four Paws at 119 South 4th West, Rexburg, Idaho 83440.