CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Two years ago, Karen Cowen, Susan Briggs, and Lillian Diaz started the Faith and Hope Foundation.
Their goal was to rescue as many stray dogs as possible. Lately, they're seeing an increase of dogs who need a home. Mainly mothers with litters of puppies.
When Cowen moved to Corpus Christi 13 years ago, she was shocked at the number of stray animals in need of saving. Just like their most recent rescue, a 10-year-old dog named Sassy.
"She was living in the backyard and her owner had died," Cowan said. "People were throwing food over the fence, and look where she's come."
After meeting the two other Faith and Hope's founders while rescuing dogs, the trio has teamed up to saved almost 1,000 dogs from a life on the streets.
The women pull dogs from the euthanasia list to find them their forever home, which is usually in Washington, Oregon, or even Canada.
These places have strict spay, neuter, and leash laws, so the demand for dogs is much higher. Karen said when they originally tried finding dogs their homes here in the Coastal Bend, many times it wouldn't work out.
So far, out of the nearly 1,000 dogs they have housed, only four have been taken to find a new home.
The process of getting the strays from the streets to a permanent home could not be done without foster parents.
"They are they heart and soul of faith and hope because without them, we can't save dogs," Cowan said.
Dogs that are fostered come fixed, vetted and food is provided, as well as a trainer who helps socialize them in their temporary homes.
"For the foster you know it's a minor inconvenience, but for the dog, you're changing their life," said Hope and Faith foster parent, Jimmy Cantu, while holding his temporary black and white puppy.
The foster parents explain these dogs come with a lot of baggage.
"He was about 4 pounds, 5 ounces," foster parent Michelle Pagan said. "He was sick. he had parasites, ringworm, stuff like that."
They all agree that seeing these dogs get adopted by owners who want them helps make any type of inconvenience worth it.
"We are going to do this, we are going to fix this problem, if it takes years. we're not giving up, we're going to do it," said Claire Snyder, another Faith and Hope foster parent.
Currently, the Faith and Hope Foundation has 25 active foster parents, with about 50 total.
With the great need in dogs needing homes, more foster parents are currently wanted.
The entire foundation runs on donations. If you aren't able to foster or donate, Karen and her team are grateful for even a share on Facebook or a verbal endorsement.
If you're interested in helping, visit https://www.faithandhopefoundation.org for more information.