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Fostering A Better Life For Pups

A local woman is making it her personal mission to help rescue dogs more humanely than might be possible through government-run animal care, and she hopes an upcoming fundraiser will help continue her quest.

Jenni Daley started a group called Wags and Wiggles Rescue, a group that places dogs that need care and are looking for their forever homes with foster homes rather than in traditional threadbare kennels.

“At the shelter, the dogs are all in kennels,” noted Daley, president of Wags and Wiggles, “our dogs are all in homes.”

Daley said her group really was borne of the need she saw to help dogs with special needs that traditional shelters couldn’t handle very well.

“We started in 2015, and we just really wanted to do a special-needs rescue, and we began working with surrounding shelters, although we just started working with (Fort Wayne) Animal Care and Control more recently, because you’ve got to be more established to work with them,” she said.

She added that as word spread about her group, more and more people began bringing their animals to her group for fostering.

“It started with just me, one other person, and a team of about 15 other fosters, but as people we knew, friends, and more other people heard about it, we just grew and grew. We got more and more dogs from shelters, and we started to help with dogs that needed medical procedures, or just those dogs that have been sitting in shelters for months and months.

“We’ve just been gaining and gaining momentum,” Daley said, “we’re kind of like the underdog.”

Daley noted that preparing dogs for their foster homes is a job that takes time, patience, and preparation.

“We like to make sure they’re solid and ready for a human environment before we place them with a foster,” Daley said.

Currently, it’s just Daley and one other person working full-time for the group, although they do have a team of 15 other people working as fosters for the animals.

To help raise cash for its mission, the group is holding a fundraiser for its rescue efforts on July 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hobart on Bluffton Road. That event is a garage sale, with all items donated to the group, and proceeds from all sales going to support Wags and Wiggles rescue mission.

The sale will take place at Hobart in Waynedale, located at 6110 Bluffton Road.

Daley noted every dollar her group raises is crucial, as the cost to foster just one dog can run about $200- $250. She said her agency spent about $50-60k last year, just in medical expenses alone for its foster dogs.

Daley said the group is funded entirely by donations, many of which they get from folks who see their posts on social media. In fact, she noted, the group just recently used Facebook donations to pay for surgery for a black and white husky mix that needed to have one of his eyes removed.

Even before Wags and Wiggles existed, Daley’s life revolved around saving dogs. She said she’s worked in dog rescue for about the last 16 years.

“I have rescued dogs myself,” said Daley, 36, “and I realized our shelters were overflowing with dogs. These were dogs that were just dying and could use our help. So the whole thing was borne out of that.”

For more information, or to donate to the group’s cause, see their website at wagsandwigglesfw.com

Michael Morrissey

Michael Morrissey

Michael is a professional writer and journalist. He attended South Side High School and Northwestern University. He has written for newspapers in Michigan City, Indiana; Pekin, Illinois; and Bradenton, Florida. He also has written for and edited websites in Florida and San Francisco, California. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer