Pay it Forward: Hearts 4 Paws rescues 'overlooked' dogs to give them forever homes

Pay it Forward: Hearts 4 Paws rescues 'overlooked' dogs to give them forever homes (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Hearts 4 Paws works to find homes for rescued animals in Utah.

Laurie Epperson started the organization six years ago.

"I saw the need of certain dogs that were being overlooked by some of the bigger rescues," she said.

Epperson and her volunteers rescue the dogs from animal shelters and foster them until they are adopted.

"Most dogs, it's like being put in jail for a crime you didn't commit, so you they are scared and overwhelmed," she said of some of the animals she helps.

She also gets dogs from veterinarians and owners who can no longer keep the animals.

"It keeps me busy, but it gives me a great sense of peace knowing what I'm doing is changing the life," she said.

After she finds the animals, she gives them to foster families. Some of the animals have special needs and the foster families take care of them and get them ready for adoption.

"We're happy to take on that expense--it's really not that much," said Joe Simmons, who fosters dogs for Hearts 4 Paws with his wife, Nicole.

The Simmons have fostered several dogs at once, and even adopted some themselves.

"It's puppy-sitting to save lives," said Nicole.

Hearts 4 Paws also pays for any medical procedures the dog may need.

"I always say we get paid in sloppy kisses," said Epperson. "We're all doing this for the love of the animals."

Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to help Hearts 4 Paws save more lives.

The group holds adoption events twice a month. They are also always looking for more foster families.

If you're interested in helping or adopting, visit the Hearts 4 Paws website or Facebook page.