Everyone has busy lives, jobs, families, and obligations. Imagine all of your responsibilities, and then add running a foster based animal rescue to your day! We were beyond impressed when we met Diana Niemi, who is the founder and director of There’s Hope Dog Rescue located in Freeville, New York.
When we arrived, Diana was dealing with family illnesses, her personal dog was in surgery, and she just had a baby a month ago AND also has another child! We were almost speechless. How was she doing all of this, and how was she still so excited for our visit? Oh, but she was. She told us that no matter what, she wanted to meet with us and was excited about the opportunity to get some exposure for the animals in her care, many of whom were dogs that were deemed unadoptable, about to be euthanized. We could tell that Diana let nothing stand in her way when it came to helping these animals. Only with a close knit family of fosters can she do what she is able to do which includes training, networking, events, projects like her simply amazing coloring books and the daily trials of running a home based, foster rescue like this.
It has been said that home is where your heart is. And There’s Hope Dog Rescue is ran out of her home. What a great combination! Diana exudes love, and told us about why she started her rescue with the support of her husband. She wanted to help dogs that other rescues would not take in because of breed discrimination or behavioral issues. She doesn’t believe that all dogs can be saved, but she tries her best to make sure she does everything in her power to TRY whether that be behavior training, physical therapy or socialization. Diana and her foster family often bring their adoptables to a local university where not only can they get socialization, but they help the students with exam anxiety! What a great idea for everyone!
There’s Hope Dog Rescue does have relationships with shelters in the south including Kentucky and North Carolina, but also concentrates on their local needs as well. Diana told us of local rummage sale ads offering free dogs with “no questions asked” and how they often race to rescue these dogs. We met some of them in her care, some of whom had been used as bait dogs for dog fighting. We saw before and after photos and proof in person that in most cases, there IS hope. Happy go lucky bully breeds playing freely on her living room floor, foster parents laughing at their antics, all while telling us what these dogs had been through brought tears to our eyes. How special people can be when they band together for the love and care for animals AND each other.
With a sense of humor as you will see in our latest episode of “Stop Hounding Me”, Diana graciously answers some of our questions and plays along with our antics!
Again, when it comes to daily lives, we all struggle with trying to balance work, family, home and our love of animals and what we can do to help. Diana does this in a way that makes it seem effortless, but we KNOW that she gives her all. As she told us about the “family” of her fosters, and what they mean to her, we implore you to consider fostering in your own community, and certainly helping Diana in this way if you are in the Freeville or Ithaca, New York area.
There’s Hope Dog Rescue has some wonderful dogs up for adoption here, each with their own story.
Thank you to Diana, her fosters who were there even helping watch her beautiful, new baby. The love in her home, along with the love for and from her own dogs touched us. And we only hope that it will touch you to follow Diana’s example and follow your heart. Diana’s long term goals include having a facility to be able to take in more dogs. Let’s help her by donating here.
Freeville, New York