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Going to the Dogs
Written by Kelly Chandler Staff Writer
2016-04-13

John Pistorius, a client at Therapy Plus, a physical rehabilitation facility in Quakertown, welcomes Janine Horning's foster puppy, Ryan. Horning brings her fosters to work, which allows the dogs to socialize and showcases the animals available for adoption.

        Chris Baringer will tell you there are no typical days when it comes to running an animal rescue.

        The hours are long and there isn't much rest for the weary, especially when your charges don't speak your language.  Baringer runs Logan's Heroes, a Coopersburg-based rescue primarily dedicated to dogs that wouldn't otherwise have a chance at life in a loving home.

        "Yes, I am getting phone calls at all hours," she said with a laugh.  "At least once a day I'm getting a call about an animal who needs help.  And when you foster, you don't get a lot of sleep."

        Baringer founded Logan's Heroes in Dec. 2014.  After serving more than a decade with a Quakertown rescue, she decided to leave that business.  But a short time after that, she continued to feel a pull to help animals in need.

        "After talking with some people, although there's a lot of rescues out there, the need is still there," she said, noting she never stopped getting phone calls from people about rescues.

        So she started the non-profit and named it after Logan, a German Shepherd puppy who passed away from complications from a congenital defect.  Logan was returned to the pet store he was bought from, a typical 'puppy mill puppy,' Baringer said, and got very sick waiting for a rescue who could take him in. 

        By the time he got to Baringer, he was severely underweight, had pneumonia and ultimately succumbed to his health issues.

        "Those dogs who produce (can be bred) and are less fit to be sold are left behind," Baringer said.  "I believe they all should have a chance to be loved in a home just like the puppies that everyone sees in the window."

        Logan's Heroes' dogs typically come from commercial kennels and breeders, as well as a South Carolina shelter Barringer has ties to, which produces a lot of pregnant dogs and puppies.  And with all those dogs comes the need for foster homes to care for them.

        Janine Horning, of East Greenville, said she fosters with the organization simply because she loves the animals.

        "Dogs are so awesome…I feel that it's important to invest my time in fostering because I can.  Because of fosters these dogs get a second chance.  They get to experience love and make a family very, very happy.  It's also very gratifying."

        Through a unique arrangement at Therapy Plus, a physical rehabilitation facility in Quakertown, Horning gets to bring her fosters into work, which allows the dogs a wide variety of settings and people with which to socialize and learn from.

        "The dogs come to work with me every day and it gives them so much exposure," Horning said.  "The patients and the gym members love to see the dogs, teach them new things and give them treats.  They like learning about each dog's story and just sitting with them while the patient is sitting or on ice. 

        "We even had a patient hold a dog while he was doing squats instead of 15-pound dumbbells.  It was hilarious." 

        Baringer said the rescue is always looking for good homes which can provide a temporary home for the rescues until they are ready for adoption.  Logan's Heroes currently has about 26 foster homes but the need is still there, especially when large litters of puppies come in.

        New dogs also have to be quarantined for a certain amount of time to ensure they aren't infectious.  Each dog gets a thorough health screening, vaccinations, is tested for heartworm, is microchipped and spayed or neutered before being available for adoption.

        While the cost of care for each animal runs up to $800, the adoption fees range between $200 and $350.

        "We want them to be adopted but we need to make sure they are healthy first," Baringer said.  "That's very important to me.  If we have a super-adoptable puppy then that money goes toward an animal that needs more extensive care."

        Baringer said plans are in the works to move the organization to a 48-acre farm in Lower Milford Township.  She ultimately hopes to take in horses and partner with a veterans organization to offer a therapy program for military vets.  

        "We need support from the community if they want to help make this happen, so we can help large animals and start an equine assistance program.  But we're hoping to move in as early as July," she said.  

        In the meantime, Logan's Heroes is as busy as ever with events.

        This Saturday, they will host a low-cost vaccine, microchip and heartworm preventative clinic at Critter Corral in Coopersburg from 1-3 p.m.  They are also having a "Wags at the Winery" event at Country Creek Winery in Franconia Township May 14 from noon until 4 p.m.  There will be music, holistic/wellness workshops for owners and their dogs, dog-friendly vendors, food and wine available for purchase, a basket auction, dog games and much more, Baringer said. The organization is also running a shoe collection event in an effort to raise $1,000.  Additional information can be found on their website, lharinc.org.

        Despite her busy schedule, Baringer said she wouldn't have it any other way.  To date, she has been able to adopt out more than 200 dogs.

        "Personally, for me, it makes a difference in the life of an animal.  They go on to good homes.  I grew up with dogs and I know that it changed my life so I want to be able to help do that for someone else."

        For more information on Logan's Heroes, visit their website, Facebook page, email info@lharinc.org or call 484.719.7101.  


 

 

 

 

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