Bow-WOW! Puplandia celebrates 2nd year, 230 dogs adopted
It's only their second anniversary, but Puplandia Dog Rescue has more than 200 reasons to bark, arf and yip for joy.
The Beaverton-based nonprofit organization has fostered and found a new forever home for 231 dogs — many of them surrendered by their previous owners or located at other shelters.
"There's a lot of jokes about millenials who wait for the millions to come to them while sipping coffee," says Brook Benson, founder and "alpha" of the organization.
"I am not that millennial," the 32-year-old explains. "I am going to save a life."
Before the dogs can be fostered, Benson takes the pets in for two weeks and ensures they're spayed, neutered and tagged with a tracking microchip. She provides pretty much everything the foster family needs, including vet care, food and supplies.
Prospective volunteers fill out an application online to get started, and the dogs stay with their foster family until someone is ready to adopt them. Benson, who lives in Aloha, monitors the pups' behavior first to find out what sort of home will be appropriate.
"As much as they don't speak English, they will tell you what they like and don't like," Benson says.
Dozens of supporters gathered this Saturday, April 21 for the organization's two-year birthday party at Hazeldale Dog Park on Southwest Farmington Road.
Humans chowed down on a raspberry parfait cake donated by Beaverton Bakery, while the animals had their own canine confection courtesy of Sugah's Cookies in Damascus. Fido's cake was cut first, of course.
"I love Brook's philosophy. She finds the right dog for the person," notes volunteer Bobbi Janssen, whose family fosters Puplandia's pooches. "It takes a team. Everybody has to be on board… pets, spouses and kids."
"Brook always goes for it," adds Benson's mom, Robin Freeman, who says her daughter has a masters degree in education and worked with kids with autism before deciding on a different life path. "It's pretty amazing. She's got so many people."
It's true that the organization has an outsized impact, considering its bare-bones budget. Benson is always looking for donations or partnerships, and one major source of support is her friends' recyclables, which she redeems for the 10-cent deposit.
"She's very dedicated, she's very passionate and she really likes dogs," describes foster Carrie Wilson of southwest Portland. Wilson has managed to adopt only two of the dogs she's taken in, including Raj Carlos, a one-year-old Chesapeake Bay terrier mix with his own Instagram.
"When you go to a shelter you don't really know what it's going to be like," Wilson says. "I love it."
In the future, Benson hopes to establish a permanent base for Puplandia where her pack has 100 acres to roam. For more information on Puplandia Dog Rescue, click here.