We couldn't do what we do without the people. The people in our community make this rescue possible.
-Becky Andrews, Director
In 1998 my daughter would walk dogs at the Red Hill Animal Hospital as they would sometimes have overflow shelter dogs staying there. She would come home and tell me about a particular dog that she was taking out on the jogging trails and how she was the only one the staff would allow to handle the dog. One day she received a call that the dog was going to be euthanized as no one wanted him and he had been there too long. Crying, she asked if we could give him a home.
As we lived on a large ranch with other dogs, I felt we could make room for one more. My daughter happily retrieved the dog and that was the beginning of a long educational process of understanding the broken shelter system in this country, the discrimination of certain breeds and the need to try and make a difference.
This dog was a pit bull. Actually more Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I freaked out. We had always rescued dogs. They would be dumped at the ranch, picked up off the highway but this dog was a whole new ball game. I was guilty of buying into all the media hype about these types and honestly wanted no part of this dog
With in 24 hours, he had my heart. He suffered terribly from separation anxiety, he was dog selective and had resource guarding issues. We worked through it all and he was the best dog I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. His name was Mr.Smiles. He traveled all over the United States with me. My constant companion and guardian.
In June of 2014, Mr. Smiles passed away. He was seventeen years old. I still cry when I think of him, but I made him a promise that I would help as many misunderstood death row dogs as I could, so I started Smiles Forever Animal Rescue in his honor.
We are a 501c3 companion animal rescue located in Fincastle, Virginia. We try to rescue the animals that are most in need, those on the euthanasia list for space,medical issues or resource guarding. We are not breed specific. We rely on donations and volunteers to rehabilitate and rehome the animals.