Pawfect Life Rescue
Julie Utoff opened Pawfect Life Rescue in 2013.
Shortly after the passing of her mom she noticed on Facebook a post about a dog soon to be euthanized if not adopted within days.
Many expressed they wished they could help or they wished someone else would.
“I wasn't able to save my mother,” she explains. “But why couldn't I be the person to save this dog?”
Julie had worked with birds of prey and exotic animals for years, yet always adored dogs, so the pieces simply fell into place at a time when both she and the dog needed rescuing.
So, she informed her somewhat skeptical husband that she was determined to open a rescue to make a difference in the world by saving dogs. Perhaps more importantly, Julie saw the rescue as a way of overcoming her grief by creating a lasting, meaningful tribute to her mother.
After plowing through legal red tape and consulting with other rescues, she opened Pawfect Life Rescue with five dogs being transported from Alabama, thanks in large part to connections she’d made previously as a rescue volunteer. After clearing the required isolation period, the five saved pooches went directly to Julie’s rescue facility – a.k.a., her home.
IN THE BEGINNING
Julie located and invited families to meet the new arrivals, witnessing first-hand the bonding between the families and dogs.
She realized that the difference she wanted to make in the world was happening in that moment.
It would alter her life for good.
“It was like magic and I wanted to keep doing that,” says Julie. “I loved that feeling of making everybody happy and being able to affect change.”
The dogs affected change as well. Within a few years she fenced off her yard to allow the rescues ample play space, rather than restricting them solely to neighborhood walks.
Before long, the yard could no longer contain her growing dog population, forcing Julie to decide whether to maintain a small home-based rescue or to continue growing elsewhere.
Thankfully, she chose the latter.
With more and more people seeking rescues to adopt, along with no shortage of homeless dogs, Julie invested in a full-sized facility capable of saving more dogs for adoption.
From five dogs housed in her own house, Julie began accepting a dozen or more rescues at a time.
From a fenced in yard, Pawfect Life now has its own isolation center maintained by a dedicated, diverse volunteer staff with established protocols in place to ensure the dogs’ safety and health.
From dogs greetings families in her kitchen while her husband cooked dinner, Pawfect now hosts public open houses for meet-and-greets with potential adopters and foster families.
Thanks to the new facility and incredible staff, Pawfect Life saved the lives of more than 300 dogs last year and over 1000 dogs since its inception! And that number is sure to grow as volunteers have become increasingly active in fundraising and social media, such as Petfinder where all Pawfect’s rescues are posted to reach a broader adoption pool.
But Julie has no intent of ending her efforts with the current endeavors. One of the most cherished aspects of her work is passing along the Pawfect legacy to future generations. At a time when most kids are glued to their phones or video games, Julie actively reaches out to young people to get them involved in the “hands-on experience” of rescue, even if that involves only fundraising to help save dogs’ lives.
“Maybe I can help create that next generation, that inspiration which might come through when someone’s younger,” says Julie.
This is yet another way she has ensured that her mother’s memory, as well as her drive to create a better world, will endure from this generation to the next.
Yet, regardless of how many kids she pries away from iPhones and Xboxes, or how many dedicated volunteers work tirelessly at the rescue facility, or how much critical material or cash donations are received, Pawfect Life Rescue will always need as much public assistance as possible to pay the bills that save the dogs.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you would like to donate to this remarkable organization or are considering volunteering, please contact Pawfect Life Rescue website or visit “Amazon Wishlist” and enter “Pawfect Life” to learn the current items most needed by the Pawfect Life Rescue.
As always, if you are unable to donate, please pass this story along to as many friends as possible. Pawfect Life is rapidly growing and needs the help of our community to keep it going for years to come.