Since March, Brigitte Thompson has been operating her non-profit organization, Vermont Dog Rescue, out of her home.
"We facilitated all the fostering and adoptions in my front yard and it was great during the summer, but as it got colder, we really needed a place to go," says Thompson.
That's when Hinesburg Police Chief Frank Koss stepped in. Thompson lives up the street from the police department.
"She had emailed me and asked if she could use our police garage every other Sunday and we decided it was easily something we could do for them," says Koss.
In addition, Koss has begun collecting donations for the dogs from the community, posting needed items on Facebook this past Tuesday. The department also chips in change to a jar labeled 'Animal Shelter Funding.'
"Everybody but one officer here has a dog, so yes, we're definitely animal lovers here," says Koss.
"I was so surprised when I got the call from them that they were doing this," says Thompson. I'm so thankful."
Thompson partners with a shelter in South Carolina to bring the dogs to Vermont. She has around 20 volunteers who transport them.
"I found her on Front Porch Forum and saw she needed foster parents," says volunteer Margie Dunki-Jacobs. "Within five minutes of having (Sophie), I said 'I don't think she's going anywhere, except to my house."
"We had gotten her name through one of the other shelters we had worked with," says Audrey Moore and Barbara Forauer, who knit beds for the dogs. "For many dogs and cats, they've never had a warm place to sleep."
So far, Thompson says 302 dogs have been saved.
"There's a huge over-population crisis down there," says Thompson. "They don't do a lot for spay neuter, as we do up here and they're euthanized."
Thompson facilitates fostering and adoption of these dogs every other Sunday inside the police department's garage, beginning around 7 p.m.
"The best part for me is adoption day," says Thompson. "Seeing the huge smiles on the kids' faces and the parents' faces, it's the best feeling."
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