A dog rescuer wanted to create an ideal space for shelter pets. She came up with three key concepts, which led to the creation of cottages for the dogs on 55 acres of land.
Liesl Wilhardt has built the Luvable Dog Rescue in Eugene, Oregon, that gives dogs a “quarantinable, private, quiet space,” according to an interview with ABC News. Instead of kennels, she uses cottages and open space to provide rescue dogs with a happy, comfortable place to live and play.
“I realized in researching what dogs needed to be happy; the standard requirements that exist,” Wilhardt told the news outlet. “I realized that doing individual cottages can meet some of those requirements.”
Wilhardt began fostering dogs in her home 17 years ago and wanted to build a bigger space to help more animals. Through fundraising and her own savings she was able to open the six-cottage dog rescue, which currently houses 10 pit bulls, 24 little dogs and four litters of puppies.
She works with a business that donates furniture and electronics to furnish and outfit the cottages. The goal is to make them homey, which she believes is key for keeping the dogs in good spirits.
“We have flower boxes with flowers in the summer. We try to create a really cozy atmosphere because kennel stress is a really big stress for a dog. They can be fine when they get there and three months later they’re deteriorated.”
The dog rescue offers miles of private trails for the dogs to roam and hike.
“We have country roads to go down the road to see horses and chickens and goats,” Wildhardt told the news outlet. “We’re only 10 minutes from town so the dogs go for field trips to town.”
The rescue focuses on Pit Bulls and other dogs who aren’t easy to adopt out. All of the dogs on the grounds were rescued from kill-shelters.
“It takes a long time to find Pit Bulls homes,” she added. “There’s a much smaller pool of potential adopters for Pit Bulls. And then of course we have really strict standards of adopters. We don’t want them to wind up in another bad environment.”
“They’ve all come from death row, high-kill shelters,” she told the station. “We get most of our dogs from Southern California. We have a huge network of people we work with.”
Wildhardt treats her dogs like family. She even houses the mom dogs in a yellow cabin that belonged to her mother. Now, pregnant and nursing dogs can feel safe raising their pups in a place that they can call home, until they find forever families, along with the rest of the lucky dogs at the shelter.