Wendy Schroeder hopes to not only find a home for a neglected Labrador police recently rescued from a Nebraska City shed, but a network of volunteers willing to give animals of southeast Nebraska a friend in the time of crisis.
Schroeder said she was picking up her dog at Arbor Valley Animal Clinic at midday when she overheard that a neglected dog would put be euthanized by 5 p.m. per Nebraska City's three-day wait policy.
Convinced to help, she called Hearts United for Animals in Nemaha County and Nebraska No Kill, a rescue organization in Lincoln, but there was no foster homes available.
She then called the national advocacy group, Dogs Deserve Better. Although they could not take the dog in, they advertised his adoption online.
Meanwhile, Schroeder called her friend, Meredith Cumro, about the dilemma. Meredith and chiropractor Jeff Cumro paid the veterinarian bills to have the labrador mix neutered and updated on vaccines. They could foster him for only a week and an older couple has volunteered to take him a week afterwards.
Schroeder named the dog Reme, an adaptation of the Hungarian word for hope, and her hope is that a good home will be found.
"The bottom line is, he needs another miracle. He needs a forever family," she said.
Reme weighed about 40 pounds when found by police last week, when he should have weighed closer to 60 pounds.
Despite his condition, Cumro said he is energetic and friendly.
"He's a lab through and through. He loves to run, he loves to play and he likes treats," she said.
"He's a lovable dog and he would make someone very happy. Just because he is malnourished doesn't mean he should die. It wasn't his fault," she said.
Schroeder invites anyone who can help in this situation to e-mail her at email@example.com.
She says the rescue effort should not stop here.
She said the Otoe County and most of southeast Nebraska is sorely lacking in resources and networking to help displaced animals.
She is hoping Reme's situation will activate animal lovers in the area to form a network for foster care and a voice for clinics like Arbor Valley that are forced to act as a shelter without the proper resources.
"It's going to take a community effort, it's not a job for any one person that is for sure," she said. "There is a huge need here."