The Means Report continues its annual giving episodes with a look at Hands 2 Paws Rescue with Pat Logue and Liam Bryant.
Brad Means: Hands 2 Paws is a wonderful group, that helps dogs find homes, dogs that really in many cases are simply forgotten, and it gives a roof over those dogs’ heads, and a second chance at life and Pat Logue, and her grandson Liam Bryant are key parts of Hands 2 Paws. Pat and Liam, thank you all for coming to The Means Report today, we appreciate you.
Pat Logue: Thank you.
Brad Means: So Pat, let’s just kinda get a general idea of how this happens, where do you find these dogs, do people drop ’em off at Hands 2 Paws, do you get a phone call to come get ’em, how does it work?
Pat Logue: Yes, pretty much any way you can think of.
Brad Means: Yeah.
Pat Logue: Sometimes people will say, I found a dog, I don’t know what to do with it, and they don’t wanna take it to the animal shelter. So they’ll call us and sometimes we’ll well, we don’t have a physical place to put the dog, but if you will foster the dog, we’ll help you train it, and we will purchase the food and the medication it needs. And we’ll try to find a home for it.
Brad Means: Do you find in a lot of cases that people are willing to step up and foster those dogs. And say, yeah, I’ll be with you for a couple of weeks, couple of months, and see what happens, that they want to help?
Pat Logue: Absolutely, we hardly ever get turned down, unless the circumstances are that they just cannot take a dog in.
Brad Means: Yeah. Liam, what’s your role at Hands 2 Paws, I know you’re busy with your schoolwork, and just being a typical 8th grader, how do you help with the animals?
Liam Bryant: Well, I just like, I sort of calm them down.
Brad Means: Yeah.
Liam Bryant: I just like if they bark, I try to calm them down while they’re in their cage, and if they’re still barking, or like you know sort of stressed, I ask someone to let them out and I take ’em on a leash for a walk, or to just pet their head, or just hug them, you know.
Brad Means: What a sweet way to handle those animals, and you know, Liam brings up a good point, Hands 2 Paws really focuses on this, calming those dogs down, making them not so anxious and stressed. How do you do that? How do you turn a dog that’s maybe shivering on the side of the road into one that might fit in a home?
Pat Logue: Well it takes time, if you’re actually picking up a dog on the side of the road, it might take several trips, so that the dog sees you, and you’re bringing food. There was one dog that it took weeks to capture. It was actually a dog that somebody had lost, and, but we finally, we had a network of people out looking for this dog, and we did finally capture it. So you just have to be patient. It’s not gonna always happen, when you get out of the car and pick him up. But sometimes it will. Sometimes a dog will come right to you, and want that help.
Brad Means: You have to earn its trust.
Pat Logue: Right.
Brad Means: And so food and patience are two good keys. ‘Cause I know there’s probably not a soul watching who hasn’t tried to get a dog to come to him or her and don’t run away. You gotta come back and try the next day.
Pat Logue: That’s right.
Brad Means: Liam, talk about how long it takes you to be able to be comfortable with these. You mentioned that you pet ’em, you take them for walks. You look trustworthy, do they kinda latch onto you pretty quickly?
Liam Bryant: Yeah, they like sniff. I have like nine dogs.
Brad Means: Yeah.
Liam Bryant: So they can smell all of my dogs and they know that I’m trustworthy and they usually just come to me. But in some cases they bark at me, so I usually get a treat, and like, take my hand out and give it to them.
Brad Means: Yeah, that’s a good way, they love food, they see you as a food source, and then that trust begins to develop. Pat, what about these foster families. How do you make sure that they’re legit, and they’re gonna be kind to these creatures?
Pat Logue: We’re very hands on with our foster families. I call and get references.
Brad Means: You do, yeah, good.
Pat Logue: Which is sometimes funny, because sometimes people will say, well, I’m not adopting a child, you know a dog. But it’s important that we know that the foster has people who know him, because we’re meeting them for the first time. And when we, we have a application process. So we learn about the foster parent. It’s on our website. And once the foster, we start with a meet and greet. And to see if the dog and the foster are gonna get along. And then we follow up, we make house visits. And it it’s nog working out, we’ll take the dog back. It’s not judgemental at all, it’s just that, you know, this may not be the right dog for you to foster.
Brad Means: Now, I’ve heard that there’s a role for professional cuddles at Hands 2 Paws. That sounds like an easy job, kinda walk me through how one would become a professional cuddeler?
Pat Logue: Well, when we first formed back in 2015. We made an alliance with the Brass Knuckle Pin Ups, which is another rescue group. And they mainly rescue pitbulls and pitbull mixes. And just working them has been wonderful, and so they’re president and our president came up with the idea of, what if we had a room, that people could go to and, you now, pet dogs and socialize and talk with them. And even if they couldn’t foster the dog in their home, if they could go to this room and spend an hour once a week, you could be a professional cuddeler. And you do have to go through a little bit of training.
Brad Means: Sure.
Pat Logue: But, you can take, if you’re like a college student, take your books in there and study with the dog laying on your lap. And there’s a, you know, we have rest room and air conditioning and heat. It’s just a really nice relaxing place to go, and be a professional cuddeler.
Brad Means: Who benefits more, the human or the dog?
Pat Logue: Oh, both, absolutely both.
Liam Bryant: Yeah.
Brad Means: So what about you, have you been a professional cuddeler, I’ll ask you that first of all Liam. Have you gone in there, and maybe professional, ’cause you’re part of the whole Hands 2 Paws group anyway. Ever just chilled out and hung out with a dog for an hour or so.
Liam Bryant: I think so.
Brad Means: Yeah, sure, I’m sure you have. When did you know that you loved dogs, and were good with them, and they loved you too? Was it when you were just super little?
Liam Bryant: I mean, I got a, I think I got my first, I begged my mom for like a year, and then she finally got me a, which is like every single kid, you know, every single five year old. But at six, I got my first dog, and I named her Olly. And she was just the sweetest little thing, we went to the mountains together. That’s when I started to really like have a connection towards dogs.
Brad Means: Well I’m so grateful that you do, and I know if they could speak, they would say the same thing. Because you’re making such an impact in their lives. How can people help you? Other than volunteering, other than trying to step up and foster. What kind of support do you all need? I know you said you don’t have a place to house the dogs, but you do send them over to this place called: The Dog House. That Graced Kennels in Augusta. How can people help your overall effort.
Pat Logue: Well, the donations are what help us pay for the kenneling of these dogs. So, you know, you can donate on our website and we go to different dog events around the County, and we’re always ready to take donations. I would like to say, what makes us different. When we started as a rescue, there were already many fine rescues in the area. But many of them take their dogs up North, because the States up North don’t have this much trouble with stray dogs as we do.
Brad Means: Yeah, there are no kennel shelters up there as well.
Pat Logue: Yeah, yeah. So, we wanted to be able to save the dogs that have special needs. Maybe they need extended medical treatment. Maybe they were senior dogs. And sometimes people don’t want senior dogs. Or dogs that just needed behavior therapy. So that’s what we focused on. So, it takes money to, you know, take these animals through the medications they need, or sometimes even surgery. And, just to feed them, and ’cause we help our fosters, we pay for everything they need us to pay for.
Brad Means: I was gonna ask you about that, if someone steps up and says yes I’ll do this, y’all can hook ’em up with that care,
Pat Logue: Right.
Brad Means: You name it.
Pat Logue: Right.
Brad Means: What would you say to somebody that’s on the fence about either fostering or fully adopting a dog, with special needs. No, it’s not my dream dog, no it’s not what I always pictured. How can you make those people realize that the animal has worth.
Pat Logue: Well, I’m sure they know that the animal has worth, because they show up at our doorstep. So, I know that they already know that. But they can take the animal home and try it out, and see if it works and we can come in and give them pointers, and if it doesn’t, we can take the dog back. So, there’s nothing, you know, there’s not risk involved.
Brad Means: What would you say to someone, what’s something that the average person might not know about caring for a dog, that you noticed, that you’d say no he only knew this, you know, it would make it easier, and a light bulb to the human finally comes on. Something we may overlook.
Pat Logue: Well I think it’s that it’s okay to kennel a dog within the house.
Brad Means: Really? No, it makes them feel like they’re in jail.
Pat Logue: When I grew up, you didn’t do that, but I found out it is a great, you know dogs are den animals, so it’s a great way to make them feel protected and safe. And, so if you know that, you might be more inclined to foster.
Brad Means: You know it’s funny, I used to think that. I used to think, oh no, it makes them feel like they’re in jail, and I was kidding just then. They want it, there’s something in a dog’s DNA that makes him want to get into a kennel. And if you don’t have a kennel, they’ll sometimes just hang out under a chair or in a corner of a room.
Pat Logue: Exactly right. Right, yes.
Brad Means: What do you wanna do when you grow up, when you have to move on with your life, do you think you’ll still be involved with animals.
Liam Bryant: I think so, but the main thing I want to do when I grow up, is either be an actor or a musical producer. What’s your favorite instrument, or kind of music.
Brad Means: Liam, I appreciate everything you do for those animals. They love you, don’t they?
Liam Bryant: Yeah, they do.
Brad Means: Of your nine dogs, which is your favorite?
Liam Bryant: I don’t really like to pic favorites, but–
Brad Means: They’re not watching.
Liam Bryant: Yeah. Well, we have nine dogs, but not all of them are ours, you know, some of ’em belong to there. We live like right next to each other. So, she has like half of the dogs. So, we only have three, so she has six.
Brad Means: You love them all don’t you?
Liam Bryant: Mm-hmm. We have like a giant farm.
Brad Means: Listen, I am so thankful for you, and what you do, all right. And I appreciate you, leave the for today, go into the world and do great things. You are an outstanding young man. Pat, thank you for what you do for our sweet dogs.
Pat Logue: Thank you.
Brad Means: And I know you’re gonna get a ton of support. I want to put the information on the screen right now. It’s Hands 2 Paws. They are an outstanding organization. Won’t you please help them continue their mission. All the information there on your screen. Pat and Liam you all were awesome guests.