City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Tails of Hope

Finding the Right Home for the Right Dog

Article by Jennifer Lorenzetti

Photography by Daniel Lorenzetti, Cucumber Key Photography

Originally published in Centerville Lifestyle

There’s a special place in heaven for those who give their time to rescue dogs. This is evident when talking to the volunteers at Tails of Hope, a nonprofit animal rescue organization that specializes in matching the right animal with the right forever home.

Founded in 2010, Tails of Hope receives dogs from various sources, including those rescued from kill shelters or unfit homes. They then turn to their network of foster families, who will host the dog or dogs, help them work through any medical problems, facilitate a spay or neuter if the dog is old enough, and ultimately learn the dog’s personality, in order to match it with its forever home.

An example of this is Trish Nemitz and her husband Chad Andres, who volunteer under the moniker Nemitz Fosters. Their commitment is so great that they have turned the basement of their Hamilton home into a foster area, where the dogs have ample room to cluster together (as litters of puppies do) or to be isolated (as in the case of a shy or traumatized dog). The area is truly more of a “B&B” for foster dogs than it is a basement, with sinks and cleaning facilities, a finished foster room, and access to the fenced backyard for play (or potty) time.

The facilities, plus the experience of Nemitz and Andres, make them ideal foster parents to help all sorts of dogs and puppies transition into their new lives. Take, for example, a recent case of animal hoarding. About 150 dogs were rescued from a home in which they received little human attention and no spay or neuter. One chihuahua pup called Azalea is getting over her fear of humans while staying at Nemitz Fosters.

“We usually know very little about the dogs,” said Nemitz, who has created a safe, comfortable bed and a small, fenced area for Azalea to run, so she doesn’t have to deal with too much stimulus. “We go at the dog’s pace.” In Azalea’s case, this means slowly learning that a hand reached out to her might be holding a treat or delivering affection.

Meanwhile, in the “foster room,” the playpen is a riotous tumble of three puppies. With tiny barks and curious faces, they happily touch noses with a Nemitz Fosters alumnus, this writer’s 4-year-old Jack Russell mix—that is, until the older dog gives a warning growl that the youngsters are becoming too much. “Puppies have no sense of boundaries,” Nemitz said with a smile, leading us out into a spacious backyard where many fosters have run and played.

Tails of Hope goes through a rigorous process of matching each dog with its new home, in the hopes that the match is a good one. A big dog who needs room to run won’t go to a family in a small apartment; a tiny dog may not be a match for a family that has several other pets. The application process seems extensive, until you realize that this match is intended to last a lifetime.

Tails of Hope regularly hosts Saturday morning adoption events at the Colerain Avenue PetSmart, just north of Cincinnati. A recent morning’s event saw 19 adoptions take place, many of which are chronicled on the organization’s Facebook page, with humans and (most) dogs wreathed in smiles.

As a nonprofit, Tails of Hope welcomes help from all comers. One doesn’t have to have foster care rooms, like Nemitz and Andres, in order to give a temporary home to a dog awaiting adoption. And, for those who can’t foster, Tails of Hope maintains an Amazon wish list of items that the foster families need.

Of course, it is worth a visit to the page, to see the adoption portfolios of the adorable puppies and adult dogs. Maybe one wagging tail is destined to bring happiness into your home. It did to ours.

To learn more: