Wisconsin woman offers shelter to homeless hounds

  • Associated Press
  • December 4, 2013 - 5:00 PM

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A western Wisconsin woman is easing the worries of homeless residents by taking in their pets while they search for a new place to live.

Jennifer Lengel has sheltered 27 dogs in the six months since she started the Homeless Hounds program at Puppy Palace, her La Crosse dog daycare and boarding center.

Lengel said she was motivated by a Salvation Army volunteer who asked to her to temporarily house one family's dog.

"I found out this situation happens a lot, more often than we think," Lengel told La Crosse Tribune ( ).

The program is free, but Lengel requires owners to update her weekly on their search for a new home. She says most pets stay about a month.

Thus far, 16 Homeless Hounds have been returned to their families. Two were given up for adoption, and the remainder "are waiting to go back home," Lengel said. She said the response from families reunited with their pets once they find homes has been "amazing."

"I see a lot of tears," Lengel said.

Puppy Palace client Heidi Eglash recently nominated the Homeless Hounds program for a grant from the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. The program relies on donations to cover the cost of pets' food and veterinary care, including spaying and neutering.

"It must bring (homeless owners) great comfort," Eglash said.

© 2014 Star Tribune