Street Dog Hero: A Bend Non-profit Saving Dogs

In the summer of 2022, my family and I volunteered with Street Dog Hero and helped foster a puppy from a 2-week-old litter of mixed breeds. We fostered a little puppy that was larger than her siblings and was the only brindle of her litter. We decided to stick with the nickname “Puppa” and cared for her for a solid seven weeks. 

We found out about Street Dog Hero via a FaceBook post from the company, informing their followers about the new litter they took in. Two women spotted a homeless man throwing puppies into a nearby canal, his reasoning was that the mother of the puppies passed away and the man could no longer take care of the puppies. Thankfully, the women stopped him and eventually the puppies made their way to Street Dog Hero. 

Street Dog Hero is the first non-profit organization established by Marrianne Cox in 2017. Cox, an avid traveler and animal lover, eventually became fed up with always feeling disheartened at the sheer amount of street dogs she’d see on her travels. When the constant feeling weighed on her too much, she decided to step up and start the organization still operated today. 

Two-hundred million dogs live as strays on the street worldwide and more than 3 million have been taken into shelters in the past 10 years. 1.5 million of those get euthanized in shelters and other illegal immoral ways such as puppy mills and dog fighting, but that number can decrease via fostering or adopting through organizations such as The Humane Society or a non-profit such as Street Dog Hero, established in Bend, Oregon. In the summer of 2022, I fostered a 2-week old puppy from Street Dog Hero, whose litter was saved from being thrown into a canal by their owner.

Fostering a dog wasn’t easy, my parents described it as having another baby, which is basically what it was. We had to bottle feed Puppa multiple times a day, keep constant watch, and make sure she didn’t do anything that was classified as bad behavior. 

After a couple weeks, we started getting in touch with the people at street dog hero, just to have checkups and check-ins. The staff was super nice and caring, and did their best to assist us, giving us new supplies to use or recommending things to us if we were cornered.  

Naturally, as we spent more time with our puppy, it started getting harder and harder to imagine letting her go, but we just couldn’t keep her. School would be starting up soon, and both of my parents would be working, so it just didn’t work to have a puppy at that time, but as she got older and older, that time was soon approaching. 

The day we gave her back was a gloomy day, we grew so attached to this little puppy (who ended up being double the size of her siblings) and every day that was so eventful and hectic turned slow and boring. 

A couple weeks later, we received a letter in the mail, that was from Puppa’s new adoptive family. They write to us about their recent passing of a few pets, and how Puppa, now Tesha, brought a new light into their lives. My parents and I were, and still are, so happy she went to such a great home, no matter how much we miss her. 

My experience changed the way I viewed shelters as a whole. Before fostering, I didn’t know just how much of a problem neglected and abused dogs were, but helping out and making a difference helped out not only my own views but the company itself. We were able to help them, and just by spreading the word, they get more and more help as time goes on. 

Street Dog Hero

The nonprofit centers around rescuing and fostering, constantly bringing in street dogs from around the world with help from many rescue partners and company partners, and then bringing them back to Bend. Some of these partners include Plateau Veterinary Hospital & Orthopedic Center, Pack Dynamics, Willamette Valley Animal Hospital, Bend Pet Adventures, and many more. All these partners help them remain as a nonprofit and also helps them get the donations and supplies they need. Along with other donations from other companies or people. 

Street Dog Hero hosts many events to encourage others to help foster or even adopt all the dogs they bring, ranging from puppies to older dogs. They also have a volunteer program for children that focuses on how to treat dogs with kindness and how to properly care for them, preventing abuse and abandonment in the future. Events and volunteer or foster opportunities  can be found on their website and their social media.

If you or anyone you know is interested, don’t hesitate to visit their website and check out their social media. 

Why Fostering is Important

Fostering is important for these dogs after they are taken in by a rescue organization, otherwise, there’s not much else that can happen. Fostering provides a safe and welcoming space for dogs who deserve it and need it, and can help with raising a dog or caring for it before it can go to its forever home. 

Dogs all over the world are being rescued from terrible living situations, such as streets where they get abandoned, homes that neglect them, puppy mills that abusively breed dogs to sell their puppies, kill shelters, and many more establishments. Just by donating, volunteering, or fostering through local shelters, these unfortunate circumstances can be put to rest for the sake of all dogs.