Palatine nonprofit looking for homes for dogs rescued after Hurricane Ida
Among all of the lovable dogs that recently arrived in Palatine after being displaced by Hurricane Ida, one especially tugs at Jennifer Riordan's heart.
Eden is a "very sweet and very social" 9-year-old Rottweiler who needs heartworm treatment and removal of a couple of benign fatty tumors. "Who's going to take her?" Riordan said. "It breaks my heart."
Riordan is the founder of the nonprofit Many Paws Global Rescue, which so far has taken in 35 dogs from Texas and New Orleans following the devastation of the Category 4 hurricane that made landfall Aug. 30 in Louisiana.
Despite the challenges, Riordan said she is hopeful about finding foster or adoptive homes for all the dogs, including those who require more care, like Eden. To that end, Many Paws will hold a fundraiser -- with all the dogs in attendance -- Oct. 3 at Durty Nellie's gastropub and concert hub in Palatine.
The dogs, all socialized and dog-friendly, are being housed at Baxter & Beasley, a doggy day care, boarding, grooming and training facility in Palatine that is owned by Riordan's parents. Riordan works as operations manager at the facility, which her parents named after their respective childhood pets.
Many Paws Global Rescue has welcomed two batches of dogs after Hurricane Ida.
First, Palatine volunteers drove to Davenport, Iowa, to pick up 17 dogs on Sept. 9. The dogs had been driven there by the Humane Society of Tulsa. Then, 18 more dogs were delivered Wednesday night straight to Palatine by the Humane Society of Tulsa.
"It's like a caravan of animals," she said.
Some of the dogs were relinquished by owners who couldn't support them after their losses in the hurricane, Riordan said. Others were found and rescued, and there are also newborn puppies whose mothers gave birth in very stressful situations.
"None of them were microchipped, which makes it even more difficult," she said.
Eden is among five dogs who tested positive for heartworm, a disease that pets cannot spread to humans but requires a lengthy, expensive treatment. Most importantly, the treatment only can be administered when dogs are in a stable home and can get plenty of rest and quiet time -- the opposite of the social, "playtime" environment at Baxter & Beasley, Riordan said.
Many Paws was founded by Riordan in July 2019 and is part of the network of the Bissell Pet Foundation, which also hosts its website, Riordan said. The foundation, based in Michigan, has been working to place dogs rescued after Hurricane Ida; it was founded by Cathy Bissell, the wife of Mark Bissell, who owns the vacuum company by the same name.
The Palatine nonprofit already found homes for 17 of the Hurricane Ida dogs thanks to word-of-mouth among clients of her parents' business, Riordan said. "I am very thankful that Baxter and Beasley has been a platform. We've got amazing clients."
Many Paws also has been spreading the word about the rescued pups on its Facebook page at facebook.com/manypawsglobalrescue.
The nonprofit charges a $450 adoption fee. But unless the nonprofit gets a substantially discounted "rescue price" from veterinarians, the fee barely covers expenses for spaying, neutering, microchip, vaccines, rabies shots and the like, Riordan said. Heartworm treatment alone is $1,500 per dog, she said.
The fundraiser will be 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 3 at Durty Nellie's, 180 N. Smith St. in Palatine. There will be a $5 attendance fee. The event will occupy the music area plus two beer gardens, and will have food, drinks, live music and "tons" of raffles, Riordan said.
People will be able to take the dogs on walks guided by volunteers. They won't be able to take the dogs home immediately, but can fill out paperwork to get conditional approval, pending checks done by volunteers, Riordan said.
Riordan said the fundraiser is still in need of a band. She also hopes area veterinarians will step in to help. Rand Road Animal Hospital in Palatine agreed to sponsor one of the heartworm positive operations along with neutering, she added.
Anyone interested in contributing can contact Riordan at (847) 406-8662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.