Jeneane Ruscheinksky, founder of Our Last Hope Animal Rescue Society, posed outside her Princeton office with a new family Saturday morning. Evan and Ashley Jones of Chilliwack, and their children, adopted 11-month-old Rudy. Photo Andrea DeMeer

South Okanagan woman runs group saving dogs from certain death

A woman who founded a cross-border dog rescue society is now operating the organization from Princeton B.C.

Jeneane Ruscheinsky is the founder and CEO of Our Last Hope Animal Rescue Society, which was started in Hope B.C. in 2011.

Since then the society has saved thousands of dogs from certain death, and placed them with eager, adoptive families.

Approximately 85 per cent of the dogs processed through Our Last Hope come from California “high-kill shelters. They are good dogs, dogs that are being euthanized for space.”

Our Last Hope recently opened an office in downtown Princeton on Bridge Street, but the society has been working here and expanding its services to the Similkameen and Okanagan for the past two years.

“It’s never just one person helping these dogs. It takes a whole team.”

Ruscheinksy receives daily updates from the kill shelters about dogs that are available for adoption.

“The whole team gets in line and we organize our transportation. We get the dogs vetted and they begin their journey to Washington, where we go down to pick them up and then we bring them here.”

She described the shipping network as a kind of “underground railroad.”

The dogs are placed in volunteer foster homes and are assessed for about three weeks.

“We give them time to decompress and acclimatize…we only adopt out healthy dogs.”

The animals are spayed or neutered and vaccinated before they are approved for adoption at a fee of $550, which covers part of the cost of rescuing and caring for the animal.

Our Last Hope Animal Rescue Society is a registered not-for-profit and also depends on donations for its work.

Adoptive families come from all over the region and as far away as Alberta. Saturday Ruscheinsky placed an 11-month-old German Shepherd mix named Rudy with a family from Chilliwack.

Potential adoptive families often come to Our Last Hope through pet search websites affiliated with the group.

“Our goal with this is really about making the right match…As much as we are doing this for dogs we are doing this for people.”

Ruscheinksy founded the society following the 2010 killing of 56 sled dogs in Whistler B.C.

“The first three dogs cost me $5,000 and I gave them away,” she said.

“We are still going on and the need is still out there and if there wasn’t good people wanting good family dogs, if there weren’t adopters out there we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Anyone interested in adopting, fostering or donating can contact the group at ourlasthopebc@gmail.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP looking for people of interest in a theft in November

The Revelstoke RCMP are looking for two people of interest in the… Continue reading

City of Revelstoke proposing 6% property tax increase

The average home would see their annual bill go up around $100

Fundraiser for Australian Wildlife Rescue Service coming to Last Drop Pub on Friday

Live music events at Traverse and the Regent as well this weekend

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Lecture series celebrates Okanagan art

David Doody presents at Vernon Art Gallery for UBCO Lecture Series

Kelowna RCMP search for suspect in violent wallet theft

The woman was walking along McCurdy Road when she was pushed down by a passing male

Earthquake on top of highway closure a wake up call for Island’s West Coast

“When someone says, ‘Be prepared for 72 hours,’ that means exactly that: be prepared.”

Restaurant owners present cheque to family of Kelowna girl diagnosed with tumour

Central Kitchen and Bar staff recently held fundraiser to help with Elara’s treatment costs

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Taxi association asks B.C. Supreme Court to stop Uber, Lyft from operating

Petition alleges Passenger Transportation Board did not take taxis into account

Morning Start: Wuhan coronavirus vs. SARS

Your morning start for Tuesday, January 28, 2020.

Majority of Canadian boards had no female members in 2016 and 2017: StatCan

Statistics Canada says 18.1 per cent of director seats were held by women in 2017

Most Read