Vermont Has Good Karma

VERMONT - For eleven years, one organization in Vermont has worked endlessly to rescue stray dogs, to find them a permanent lifelong home.

Good Karma's inspiration for rescuing dogs from the south stemmed from Hurricane Katrina; the 3rd strongest hurricane to have hit the US, it left about 600,000 animals killed or stranded after the storm.


Teal Church, a volunteer for Good Karma, overseas most of their adoptions. The process begins with an application, and concludes with a home visit. "There's a lot of emotions that go into this organization. We have to drive the dogs, and we make sure the dog is safe when they are adopted." Church explained that the experience of volunteering for Good Karma Rescue is similar to the sensation of riding a roller coaster. "It has its ups and downs. It's a lot of work, but it's nice to see at the end when everyone's happy. When you first see a dog that was in horrible condition and wasn't supposed to live, and it ends up going to a great family, it's a great feeling."

Many people may wonder about Good Karma's process. It begins with volunteers who pick up the dogs from specific areas and drive them to designated spots. Church explained to News7 she used to have a farm in Montpelier where rescued dogs were held until they were adopted. This process ended about seven months ago, due to a new change in the system. Now, the organization looks for foster families to take care of the dogs. This has been a challenge for the organization.

Seven years ago, one particular person reached out to the organization in hopes of finding the perfect dog for her lifestyle. Martha Elmes, a Lyndon resident, discovered Good Karma through Pet Finder, and immediately fell in love with a black lab she now calls Cole. She noted Church's efforts to assign dogs to the proper and safe homes, and believes other shelters should adapt to Good Karma's process for adoption. "Teal is very committed to doing the right thing. Like anybody in a dog shelter organization, your heart is with the dogs and making sure their human partner is as solid as a dog. The dog is the primary consideration of Teal. She just wants to make sure they have good homes." Elmes currently has two dogs, both of whom were adopted from Good Karma Rescue.

Good Karma is awaiting a new building in Burlington to take care of the dogs. People have donated thousands of dollars for the building. Currently the organization has about eleven foster families, which makes things a bit more challenging. Good Karma Rescue hopes to utilize the building in Burlington in hopes of sheltering as many rescued dogs as possible.

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