Jaime Schoon is working to ensure that dogs housed at Gary Animal Control escape euthanasia with her group Northwest Indiana Death Row Dogs.
Working with three other volunteer rescue coordinators, Schoon receives information on dogs released from stray hold and those that are surrendered.
Her team contacts local 501c3 or not-for-profit rescue agencies to pull animals from the shelter, even using Facebook page Northwest Indiana Death Row Dogs to spread the word.
“We use social media to help the rescues with funding and finding foster homes for said animals,” Schoon said.
“If need be, we do cat-test dogs and do a small behavior assessment. We also supply the facility with vaccines and dewormer through public donations and fundraisers.”
Schoon first began volunteering with the shelter, at 625 W Ninth St., Gary, by transporting animals from there to outside rescues.
“The shelter’s location is not easily accessible. They also have a high intake and small staff. It has always been where my heart lies,” she said.
“Without rescue coordinators, the animals would not get the exposure to rescues that they get now. The city does make steps to find rescue, but I would assume the euthanasia rate would be much higher.”
“We are all continuously working on placing the animals at all times of day and night,” she added.
With recent news of the Gary Animal Control closing and partnering with the Humane Society Calumet Area in Munster, Schoon will begin working with HSCA to find foster families for dogs not doing well in the shelter environment.
“We are going to mainly stick with Munster as that is where the Gary dogs are going and that is where we feel we are the most needed,” she said.
A 1995 Crown Point High School graduate, Schoon resides in Crown Point with husband Jason and children Ryder, Hunter and Dylan.
She is employed as a kennel tech by McAfee Animal Hospital in Valparaiso and enjoys spending time with her four dogs, rabbit and turtle.