Animal lover helps 'death row' doggies
Say hello to Santo and Halas. And to Kish. Santo is a terrier mix. Halas is a pit bull. Kish Hilmert, Fargo, is the woman who adopted them. Kish flat out loves dogs, so what really gets her is hearing of dogs that aren't wanted and are about to b...
Say hello to Santo and Halas. And to Kish.
Santo is a terrier mix. Halas is a pit bull. Kish Hilmert, Fargo, is the woman who adopted them.
Kish flat out loves dogs, so what really gets her is hearing of dogs that aren't wanted and are about to be euthanized. So she's started a dog adoption service called 4 Luv of Dog Rescue.
She gets most of the dogs from shelters that don't have room for them and have to euthanize them. But Kish saves them from what she calls "death row" and seeks homes for them through her Web site ( www.4luvofdog.com ), Forum ads and fliers in stores.
Neighbors earlier told of another area pet rescue service and its success stories. This is a story from Kish:
The West Fargo pound had a puppy it didn't have room for but didn't want to euthanize. So Kish received a call, and she found "a wonderful home" for the puppy who, Kish says, is "loved dearly" by the family.
On both coasts
Kish grew up in Vienna, Va., studied acting and theater arts in Manhattan, pursued a theater career in San Diego and earned a degree in television, film and new media production at San Diego State University. She has been a video editor in Los Angeles and has worked on several documentaries.
She met her future husband, Clayton Hilmert, in California. When Clayton was named a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University, he and Kish, romantics as they are, became engaged in Trollwood Park, Fargo, and were married in 2006 at the Plains Art Museum, Fargo.
They have no children at this point, so "right now our dogs are our kids," Kish says.
Her concern for unwanted dogs has been with her for a long time. When she lived in Manhattan, she had Frankie, "a cranky 6-pound Yorkshire terrier mix I adopted. She traveled all the places I did, including Fargo." Sadly, Frankie had to be euthanized at age 14 because of deteriorating health.
While in Los Angeles, Kish was a volunteer for a dog rescue organization. "Having to go to the shelters and see all the beautiful, sad faces of dogs that most likely would not make it out of the shelter alive broke my heart," she says, "and opened my eyes to the huge animal overpopulation we have in the U.S.A."
Kish doesn't keep the dogs at her Fargo house; she finds foster homes for them. She credits Michelle Smith, owner of the Natural Pet Center, Fargo, with keeping dogs there until Kish can place them.
Kish encourages people wanting a dog to contact local pet adoption agencies. Or they can contact her.
She arranges a meeting of the prospective adopters with the dog. If it goes well, the people take the dog home for a two-week trial. If they still wish to adopt the dog, they sign an adoption contract and pay an adoption fee, which helps cover the cost of caring for the dogs while awaiting adoption and for vaccination and spaying/neutering fees.
Kish also would appreciate more volunteers to help with all this.
"Dogs are wonderful loving companions who do not have their own voice, so rescue people must be their voice and let people know of their needs and their existence," she says.
"I am very passionate about rescue and my dogs," she says. For that, Santo and Halas and many other dogs can be grateful.
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