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For nine years, the 700 or so dogs taken in and adopted out by the You Lucky Dog rescue program in Oregon have been just that: lucky dogs.
Now, the two women behind the operation said they will continue only long enough to see that the last five dogs they have up for adoption get placed in loving homes too.
Jane Huth, 63, and Anne Schumann, 68, said there comes a point in every dedicated dog handler’s life when he or she knows it’s time to hang up the leashes. They plan to phase out You Lucky Dog as soon as the five remaining dogs are adopted.
Both women said it’s because of undisclosed health issues — theirs, not anything that afflicts the dogs.
“We all have health issues,” Ms. Huth said, including other relatives in her explanation.
As they have in the past, they put the dogs first during an interview Thursday. They want the focus of the story to be on these dogs that they have available for adoption:
● Rollo, a male, 2-year-old described as a “pit bull”-boxer mix.
● Flo, a year-old female believed to be a cross between a boxer and a beagle.
● Rudy, an 11-year-old male German shepherd with arthritis and a loving heart.
● Sami, a 9-year-old male flat-coated retriever mix.
● Patches, a year-old female who appears to be some sort of Dalmatian mix.
“It was a very, very hard decision,” Ms. Huth said of the plan to phase out the group, which has been assisted by 14 volunteers.
Ms. Huth and Ms. Schumann live in the same neighborhood. Their facility is run from Ms. Huth’s residence on Blandin Street.
“It’s going to be hard knowing that we could rescue them, but we just can’t physically do it any longer,” Ms. Schumann said.
Ms. Huth said she’s been around dogs since writing a letter to her father on Jan. 6, 1960, when she asked him for a puppy as a little girl.
He obliged, and she kept a copy of that penciled letter hanging in her kennel.
She said she was proud of rescuing countless dogs that were scheduled to be destroyed. Many came from dog wardens in Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Sandusky counties when You Lucky Dog began.
After Lucas County hired Julie Lyle as its dog warden, the group received dogs from that shelter as well, Ms. Huth said.
— Tom Henry