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Happy Tails Rescue Inc. has saved 73 dogs this year

"Phoenix," a burned pit bull mix found on the streets of Gary, was saved by Happy Tails Rescue after being contacted by Humane Society of Hobart. He healed and has a home with an adoptive family.

Provided by Happy Tails Rescue

MUNSTER | Happy Tails Rescue Inc. a nonprofit organization, has worked with local area shelters to save 73 dogs since it was established in January.

“Our relationships with Northwest Indiana animal controls and shelters are very important to us. We trust them and they trust us to do right by the dogs they give us,” Happy Tails Rescue Director Emily Halgrimson said.

Happy Tails Rescue is a foster-home based rescue group.

“We saw a niche that needed to be filled in the region and jumped in,” Halgrimson said. “Many dogs find the stress of the shelter too much, so (they) behave in ways that make them seem unadoptable.

"But once you remove them from that difficult environment, they’re completely different. There are also many animals that need more medical attention than shelters can provide, or are unlikely to be adopted because of age or breed. These are the ones we help.”

Local shelters like Humane Society of Hobart and animal controls like Hammond Animal Control contact Halgrimson when they have a dog they can’t help for various reasons.

“Sometimes they call us when they have a dog unlikely to be adopted, like a senior. They also call us when dogs need medical help due to a curable illness like mange, cherry eye, or skin issues,” Halgrimson added.

Happy Tails Rescue takes every dog to a veterinarian for a thorough checkup, vaccines, a heartworm test, fecal test, and spay or neutering and microchipping.

“If a dog is heartworm positive, we treat it, “ Halgrimson said. “We’ve treated dogs with many medical issues - from dogs set on fire, to pregnant dogs with pneumonia, to emaciated dogs - no medical problem is too big.”

Happy Tails Rescue has relationships with rescue friendly veterinarians in Northwest Indiana. “Our wonderful vets make what we do possible,” said Halgrimson, “without them offering their services at great discounts or oftentimes even free, we couldn’t do what we do.”

Happy Tails relies on a network of dedicated foster homes to care for their dogs. “Our foster homes are the backbone of our organization. All supplies and vetting is provided by us, but our foster homes provide a safe place for our dogs until they’re adopted, and lots of love,” Halgrimson added.

To learn how to become a foster parent, visit