The Mission of Home At Last (HAL) is to provide a loving, healthy forever home for dogs with no other alternatives. Many dogs are deemed "unadoptable" for several reasons: age, chronic health conditions, and behavior problems. The typical family home is not appropriate for these dogs. Some have failed adoption multiple times only to be returned to the placing organization. HAL opens the doors to these dogs, giving them a chance at life where none existed.
While the majority of the animals we support are dogs, HAL is also home to horses, cats, pigs, roosters, and a few birds.
Although HAL’s sanctuary is located in Minnesota, we choose not to reveal our exact location in an effort to protect some of the animals from their previous life and “owners”. Many of these dogs have been seized by law enforcement because of severe neglect and cruelty.
HAL works to direct adoptable dogs to the appropriate adoption rescue. HAL works closely with multiple adoption groups; hence can provide networking assistance for dogs looking for homes.
In addition, HAL provides behavior consulting services when dogs in a home are struggling to adjust with their new families. Oftentimes an in-home visit and observation session can lead to changes in the adopting family that leads to success and a happy home for a troubled dog.
Dogs develop very strong bonds with their human companions. In essence, these humans become the "pack" in which the dog lives. When the dog is given up for whatever reason, it can be extremely traumatic, and often leads to anxiety-related behaviors such as destruction of household furnishings, chronic barking, or soiling in the house. After a dog experiences any or all of these traumas, the anxiety-related behaviors become entrenched and it becomes nearly impossible to find a home able to tolerate and willing to rehabilitate the dog.
Senior dogs are often "dumped" by owners for financial and emotional reasons. These dogs are very difficult to place because their life expectancy is, of course, unpredictable, and short by comparison. They also often have chronic health concerns that are expensive to treat. HAL provides a comfortable, safe place for senior dogs. In fact, 50% of HAL dogs are 10+ years of age. They are given necessary medications along with joint supplements, any pain control necessary, and lots of soft places to lay their old bones.
In some cases, dogs that have been abused or simply misunderstood bite humans in their lives. Not all bite cases are a result of a truly dangerous dog, and are often caused by the humans involved, whether intentionally or not. Understandably, rescues have a difficult time placing a dog with a bite history, especially if it involves children. HAL assesses each potential resident and examines the circumstances behind the bite. When deemed appropriate, these "biters" come to live at HAL.
The lifestyle at HAL provides for wide open spaces, high activity levels, and relaxed expectations from humans, hence the biting behavior is extinguished. Unfortunately, some dogs suffer tremendously at the hands of their humans, and the resulting trauma renders these dogs unplaceable. Some dogs retreat completely from human contact, others become highly defensive. Still others never receive the love and touch from a human to begin with and are considered "feral" or wild. HAL's open spaces and constant access to warm places offers an ideal location for these fearful and feral dogs. They can recover from the trauma they experience on their own terms. Feral dogs are confined for a few days until they learn the feeding routine, and then are allowed to come and go in and out of the house and the dog "house" at will. These dogs quickly learn that there will be no pressure from their human caretakers to interact. They come in for meals and warmth, and sometimes to observe from a distance as the other dogs get hugs, ear scratches, and belly rubs! It is perhaps the most rewarding experience at HAL when a feral dog reaches out for the very first time. To trust despite having been beaten, starved and neglected is the bravest thing a dog can do.
Home At Last Animal Sanctuary
P.O. Box 744
Forest Lake, MN 55025
©2014 Home At Last Minnesota