Puppy Love: Be A Saving Grace

By Cindy Dezern

Project No Kill Canine Rescue (PNK) rescues small breed dogs from local high kill shelters and places them in loving foster homes until an adoption match has been found. PNK is based in Kernersville and is the primary adoption partner of the local Kernersville Petco. Founded in early 2016 by Cindy Dezern, PNK remains a small rescue group, but their dedication to helping these deserving dogs obtain a better life is huge. Rescuing dogs is a 24/7 commitment with no breaks for holidays. PNK fully embraces this commitment.

Regarding commitment, adopting a dog is a big one. It is important to evaluate your lifestyle before adopting a dog. Dogs are highly social beings who require substantial quality time with their owners, patience, and a financial commitment to ensure their lifelong well-being. Summer is an excellent time to adopt a dog. Children are out of school, so it is a great opportunity for parents to educate children on how to properly raise and care for a dog. If our children learn the importance of compassion for animals, it will help break the cycle of animal abuse which is a national ongoing battle. Most importantly, parents can show children how to read a dog’s body language so they would recognize when a dog is happy, fearful, or highly aroused. This could greatly reduce unpleasant and even dangerous encounters between a dog and your child. PNK and most all rescue groups welcome their dogs back if the adoption does not work out. Notwithstanding, no one wants to see dogs locked up in an overcrowded shelter anytime, much less on a hot summer day.

PNK has provided a happy and loving home for nearly 150 dogs since their inception. One will never forget the first dog that enters your organization. Dog owner Tami K. shares her experience with PNK: “One day I was heading into Petco in Kernersville and there was a woman outside the store at a table with the cutest dog I had ever seen. On my way out I stopped at the table and grabbed a flyer and listened to what she was telling a lovely couple about her nonprofit. I asked about the name of the dog she had with her and she said, “Toast.” My heart melted immediately. I left feeling I had to have that puppy. From the flyer, I looked up their Facebook page when I got home and there was a picture of Toast. My husband and I already had two dogs we adopted from Forsyth Animal Shelter and I wanted to add Toast to our family. I messaged Cindy and inquired about Toast. Someone had already filled out an application for her. I was devastated but decided to complete an application anyway. Low and behold, the other applicant decided to wait on a new pup. Cindy inquired with my vet from my application and then we had a thorough face-to-face interview. I learned Toast was her first rescue and that Cindy and Toast’s foster mom loved her so much–she was in great care. It took a little time for Toast to adjust to her new surroundings and siblings, but she has been a wonderful addition to our lives!

I am still an avid follower and supporter of PNK, we even adopted our other beautiful baby Bella from PNK a year after Toast. I believe PNK is a necessity in our community. Cindy has built up a small, but strong foster/volunteer team. PNK has nursed sick dogs back to health, they have kept dogs in foster care until they found the perfect family fit. Cindy is very thorough when finding homes–these dogs have already had a tough time so they deserve good, stable places to live. The PNK team have good hearts and so much love for what they do; I am fortunate to be part of the family!”

One of the most important components of rescue is foster care and the ongoing search to find dedicated foster families. Volunteer Vanessa B. explained, “Fostering dogs is a bittersweet rollercoaster adventure that fills one with joy. Most people ask, how do you do it? Don’t you get attached? The answer will always be ‘YES, I get attached.’ The dogs also get attached, but we go into the relationship with the understanding that our encounter will be a temporary stop on the road to happiness. It is customary for the rescue group or the shelter to provide all the resources to be a successful foster to a dog, so there is no cost to you. Fostering does require patience, effort, training, and understanding of their behavior, but experiencing the transformation of the dog–usually from a nervous wreck to a happy dog that has found a forever home–is extremely rewarding. Fostering for PNK has been very gratifying. Although it is a smaller rescue group it is full of hope and love for the homeless dogs of our community.”

Lastly and most importantly, donations are the heartbeat of a rescue organization. PNK has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not being able to hold adoption events for months, they rely on online donations. Cindy added, “We thank all those who have continued to support us through these challenging times. We cannot do what we do without your help and the community’s help. The dogs need all of us. No donation is ever too small.” If you would like to sponsor a dog, you can set up a one-time or monthly donation on their website www.PNKNC.org. “It helps more than words can express,” Cindy added. If you are interested in learning more about Project No Kill, you can email us at information@pnknc.org or follow us at www.facebook.com/KvilleShelter. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 965, Kernersville, NC 27285. Project No Kill is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt not-for-profit organization organized under the laws of North Carolina.

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