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Three decades in, Farmington's Last Hope is going strong

Last Hope founder Bev Orr works with veterinarian Ralph Nordine in the early years of Last Hope. The no-kill animal rescue has placed more than 43,000 animals in its nearly 30 years of existence.

Growing up on a farm, Bev Orr, saw how many stray animals there were that needed to be cared for. As a little girl and an animal lover, though, there wasn’t much she could do.

Last hope is her way of doing what she wanted to do many years ago.

Last Hope is a non-profit animal rescue Orr started in 1985. It has placed more than 43,000 animals in good homes since then. The organization started with only 20 to 30 members and has now over 900 members. Last Hope is dedicated to saving abandoned, unwanted and helpless dogs and cats. Animals are given the medical care they need and, if old enough, spayed or neutered.

“It is very important to get the message out there to get your pet spayed or neutered,” said Orr. “Doing this for your pet benefits their health in many ways.”

Until the pets are permanently adopted, they stay in a volunteer’s home and receive foster care. Volunteers care for sick or injured animals until they are fully recovered. Animals aren’t placed in a permanent home until they have fully recovered and are in good health.

“We’re always looking for fosters. There’s no such thing as enough,” said Amy Konop, an administrator at Last Hope. “The phone rings from the morning until the night with people who have found a stray animal or are giving up their animal, but we’re lucky to get one call every two weeks with someone who wants to adopt a pet.”

Last Hope is coming up on its 30th year and Orr said she wants this to continue for many years to come. Last Hope doesn’t believe in destruction of healthy pets.

“There is no such thing as a bad dog or cat,” said Orr. Many times they receive calls about a family giving up their pet because of bad behavior. Orr has 11 pets and they are all ones she has adopted from Last Hope. A few of them were given up because they wouldn’t behave but Orr is happy with the pets she has adopted and not one of them causes her trouble.

“You just have to be patient with your pet.” Orr said.

Last hope is always looking for help. It could be as little as becoming a member and donating to Last Hope or as big as volunteering to give foster care to an animal until it is moved to a permanent home. Every action, big or small, is crucial to the health and future of these cats and dogs.

“We do everything we can with the resources we have.” Said Konop. Konop is an owner of one animal from Last Hope but she says, “There’s many more to come.”

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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