Rescue Stories

D and Lil Bandit

I’ve struggled with drug addiction for 20 years and have never had a solid 6 months of sobriety in all that time. I had been drowning for so long, never seeing that I had an option to swim to shore I was on an island all alone.

My dog Bandit’s reality was he never got much food or a safe place to sleep. He had hot nights sleeping out of my car and being walked with 3 feet of shoelaces because I could never keep up with where I put his leash. His nails were so long that I know it had to have been painful for him to walk. For months I carried a pair of dog clippers in my purse, and I had the ability to take care of my dog’s poor paws, but the insanity of addiction is that we let the things that should matter the most to us fall to the bottom of the list. 

I knew I needed to seek treatment but never bothered looking much into it because there was no way I was going to lose my best friend, Bandit.
With the help of my sister, GOD and the universe seems to have played a hand in connecting me to Dogs Matter. Dogs Matter showed up for me so that I could get the help I needed. It was a gift to be able to focus on myself and my recovery knowing Bandit was in good hands.
I received updates and pictures to ease my mind before I would even reach that point of worrying. It’s like they knew exactly what I needed to feel relief. For the first time in my life, I was determined not to give up. I was motivated to get my dog back, get my life back, and earn my family’s trust back. Dogs Matter has been a lifeline for both Bandit and me.
They have helped me totally judgment-free to where my eyes can now focus on the things in life that truly matter. I am forever grateful to Taylor, Stephen, Lisa, and all the people behind the scenes at the organization.

Oh, and that island I had feared being deserted, it wasn’t. 

Ruthie & Blaze

​Once I filled out the application on the Dogs Matter website, I got a call back very promptly. I was literally in a time crunch to find someone or some place to take care of my dogs while I was at treatment. They found a foster family that would take both of my dogs and not separate them. I was afraid that a foster family wouldn’t take two dogs at a hundred pounds a piece. But they pulled it off!

My dogs were well loved and taken care of, which gave me a huge sense of relief while focusing on my extended time in treatment and recovery. Throughout my 6 months in care, I was sent stays updates with pictures through my counselor. Even when I wasn’t always available, they continued to reach out and motivate me to get better and get my dogs back!

Dogs Matter continues to follow up with me and to be there for support even after my treatment. They have helped me with food, dog supplies, vet care, and coaching me as I get back up on my feet.

No words can ever fully express how very grateful I am to Stephen and Taylor. These guys really do care! 

Lil’ Milo and JJ

My experience with Dogs Matter was so easy! I would have never heard of Dogs Matter if it wasn’t for a nurse whom worked at the treatment center in Arlington! Milo was a new addition to my life. And I wasn’t able to give him the attention he needed. So I called Dogs Matter and gave them all the details of my situation. They were great, helpful and I didn’t feel judged. They even encouraged me and made me feel confident that Milo was going to be taken care of. I was going into treatment on a Monday I called Taylor on a Friday and we arranged a drop off for Milo. Communication was on point all the way through. Sent him pictures of Milo that I loved. He posted them on the Dogs Matter page. Milo was fostered in less than a week. It gave me so much joy to know someone was going to be able to love on him.

Originally I was going to do treatment for 30 days but I decided I needed more time. I kept in touch with Taylor and communicated to him the situation. I was pretty stressed about it. But Taylor and Stephen Knight put me at ease through the whole situation. These guys know the situation. They have probably gone through a lot of the same things you have gone through. Milo came back well groomed. Smelt amazing, so healthy and full of life.

When I reunited with Milo it’s like we never were apart. Taylor and Stephen thank you so much. And to the foster family, thank you as well. I can never repay you guys for what you have done for Milo and I. The Dogs Matter crew not only have a big heart for your pet but also for the owners as well! I highly recommend Dogs Matter to anyone needing temporary fostering for their pets. And the reunion video is just a HUGE joy to the whole experience. Give them a shot you won’t regret it.

Tigger & Raider

Dogs Matter truly helped save my life. I could not find anybody that would take my dogs when I needed to get to treatment. People said to just surrender them. Tigger and Raider were my only reason for still being alive. There was no way I was just going to drop them at the pound because ALL the rescue agencies I contacted either wouldn’t or couldn’t take them while I was in treatment.

When I found Dogs Matter, Taylor reached right in to my darkness and worked tirelessly, he found amazing fosters for both my dogs. I completed treatment at the Santé Center for Healing, moved into a sober living that allowed both Tigger and Raider.

Taylor and the fosters were so encouraging and kind to me and my dogs. I could go on…. just know that if you have fur babies that have stood by your side through all of the moments of chaos, without judgements…both you and those babies deserve to find healing. Let Dogs Matter help you too. You’re worth it. Thank you Taylor…. thank you Dogs Matter…. thank you to the fosters…. so very much!!!

Bernard & Big Boy Blu

God Blessed me with my dog Blu back in February 2020. I say he is a blessing because having Blu as a companion has done wonders for me mentally. Through the pandemic and other struggles with drug addiction I have faced, Blu has always been there with me. Unfortunately, I relapsed back in October of 2020. Right away I knew I had to return to treatment. Of course, due to Covid this was not possible. Thus, Blu and I had to deal with it all on our own for a while. During the winter freeze we kept each other warm when my power was out for a week. The isolation from the world was only bearable because of my boy Blu.

So, you can imagine my concerns when it came time for me to find a temporary home for Blu once my treatment date became available. With the help of a friend and her knowledge and transparent care for both of us, another blessing came my way via Dogs Matter in Dallas. They called me and within a week they had a foster family in place…absolutely amazing!!! And it didn’t cost me anything. They are a nonprofit and took care of all expenses. This lessened my stress and eased my mind that Blu was going to a safe place for the next 3 months.

Dogs Matter has become such a huge support system for me after treatment that I never realized I had as part of their Aftercare Program. They have provided counseling service, peer support, housing resources, help with a pet deposit at my new place, and much more. These guys are fantastic! Never judging and super supportive. I am forever grateful and will tell anyone who is going through similar struggles that Dogs Matter is the way to go.

Angela, Lee & Petee

Angela and Lee came to us after many years of on and off sobriety looking for desperate help with their new pup, Petee. They found Petee on the side of the road covered in fleas and amongst siblings that had not survived. Inspired by Petee’s resilience they too wanted another chance to live a healthy live and decided to enter treatment separately with the hopes of reuniting as a family once they were well.

Angela checked into Nexus. Lee checked into Homeward Bound. After 60 days of successfully completing treatment, working their aftercare program, and getting back on their feet, we were able to reunite them! There is no doubt that Petee played a major role in their recovery. Knowing their dog was in a safe place and the motivation to see him again strengthened their resolve to stay sober.

“We just love Petee so much and he loves us. He’s having a blast playing soccer on the beach with his dad. Thank you for all you guys helped us with. We appreciate everything Dogs Matter has done to keep us together!”

We are now happy to report that Angela, Lee, and Petee are all doing well living the beach life down in Corpus Christi. Congratulations to them and we are grateful to all that helped make this reunion a success.

Albie to the Rescue

I’ve been sober for one year today (updated December 13, 2020). I didn’t think I’d ever be able to say that. It’s something I honestly had begun to believe was not possible for me. I’ve spent the last seven years trying to get sober, yet finding myself caught on a nonstop, nightmarish merry-go-round of relapse, rehab, and, if I was lucky, a couple months of sobriety outside of a locked treatment center. I had acquired all the knowledge I needed to stay sober, but was missing the most important piece of recovery: participating in a program where I continuously replace my long held beliefs for a new way of seeing my life and experiences. There have been many ups and downs, days more beautiful than I’ve perhaps ever had, and days I had previously thought would be too painful to experience with a sober mind. Through the grace of something that is beyond my human conception, along with more help from others than I could’ve ever asked for, I finally have been able to string together enough days to get to the place I’m at today.

Dogs Matter and the people who are involved there has been one of the sources of help that has meant so much to me and my recovery. If it weren’t for them, I honestly don’t know if I’d still be here. When I first got sober, I barely had the desire to live, and I certainly wasn’t motivated to do the work necessary to maintain sobriety. At least, not for myself. The only reason I had to keep going was my dog, Albie, and the people in my life who would be utterly devastated should I fail to get better. And I knew that not choosing recovery was the same as choosing death. Dogs Matter not only took amazing care of Albie while I was in treatment, they also believed in me and believed that I could recover, even though I really didn’t believe it myself. Being the dog mom that Albie deserves was enough motivation to get me through the first few months of recovery.

I’m just so grateful to have been given this chance, and I am so blessed to be able to use my experience to help others who are struggling just like I used to struggle. Thank you, Dogs Matter. I’ll be sure to do whatever I can to help others just like y’all helped me.

Chas & Porkchop

After several years of being addicted to alcohol and drugs, Chas lost everything and found himself homeless with his dog, Porkchop. Chas was living at The Bridge, a homeless shelter in downtown Dallas, that also provides kennel services for their clients’ dogs. After becoming stabilized and healthier, Chas had an opportunity to attend Soul’s Harbor, a 6-month drug and alcohol program and recovery community that also provides a job and a safe place to live. The only issue preventing Chas from entering treatment was what to do with Porkchop. Once you leave the shelter, you must take your dog.

It was at this point Chas was fortunate enough to get in touch with Dogs Matter and within a couple of weeks, Porkchop was neutered, updated on his shots, and taken to his temporary foster home. And Chas was off to start his new sober life.

Chas has now been able to work full-time and move into his new apartment with Porkchop living their best life together again!

Romeo and Bo

Reunion time!! Romeo and Bo are back with Mom and ready to start a new and healthy life together. Dogs Matter’s Aftercare Program will be able to follow this family for a year to make sure everyone stays happy and healthy! We help with pet deposits, food and medical expenses. This just makes us smile so much.

A previous client dog with his owner

Sebastian Saving Lives

An organization, Dogs Matter, saved me and my dog, Sebastian.

At the end of my drinking and drugging, me and Sebastian were homeless living out of motels. I wanted to go to detox but I wouldn’t leave him behind. He even saved my life one time when I was overdosing on heroin — licking and pawing my face every time I would go under bringing me back.

A friend turned me on to Dogs Matter and I got in touch immediately. We were in bad shape — both of us. I was so drunk and high I was slipping in puddles of his urine in my motel room — not realizing at first what they were or that I wasn’t walking him. When I did realize, I knew I had to get him to safety. Dogs Matter got him fostered quickly by a house manager at a great sober living home. I went to detox immediately and when I got out that same sober living gave me and Sebastian a scholarship so we could get on our feet.

I’m sitting here with him now as I type this — 11 months clean and sober and we’re very happy. Thank you, Dogs Matter. From both of us.

The Truth About Ginger

Say hello to Ginger — she made her way from Dallas to St. Louis to be reunited with her owner who has worked hard on her new and sober life. This trip would not be possible without the generous supporters of Dogs Matter. Ginger is now safe and back together with her Mom. Happy tails and happy trails.

Photo of dog Cash Money

Cash Money

REUNITED! Happy to announce that after 1900 miles across country, Cash has been reunited with her Mom. Cash is resting but happy to start her new life with her Mom. Thanks to all the donations, prayers, and positive thoughts that has given this family a second chance for a healthy and happy life.

Rocco and Harley!

Rocco and Harley are brother and sister boxers. They came to Dogs Matter while their mom is in rehab to begin her journey to being sober and responsible again. We helped place them in a temporary home together. Their caretaker has given them everything they need including food, treats, walks, outings and more. Most of all, their temporary caretaker gives them lots of love. Now, their mom can focus on herself and get well so they can be a family again.

The Story of Shey and Jamie

My name is Jamie T. and I am in recovery. I have been clean and sober since 04/17/15. The first time I went into treatment for my addiction was March of 2014. I had to leave my 15-year-old dog, Ginger, at a Day Care Center. I ended up leaving early because I was so worried about Ginger and could not focus on treatment. Ginger passed a few months later and I was devastated which would lead to bad relapse. When I was ready to go back to treatment, I found myself in the same dilemma. I had recently adopted my new puppy, Shey, and did not know where to turn. I had heard about Dogs Matter in a 12 STEP meeting and decided to give them a call. Without hesitation, they came to my apartment and explained the process and the paperwork. I knew without a doubt that Shey was going to be good hands. Shey was picked up on April 15, 2015 and I boarded a plane on my way to treatment at Michael’s House Treatment Center in Palm Springs, California.

During my inpatient treatment at Michael’s House, Dogs Matter sent pictures of Shey playing in the backyard of his Foster home. With that reassurance, I was able to completely focus on my recovery so I could be the best doggie daddy that Shey deserved. After thirty days in rehab, I was on my way home to Dallas and the first stop was to pick-up Shey at the Foster house. Shey bounced in the air like a kangaroo when he saw me and then ran and brought me a stick. I burst into tears knowing I had done the right thing for the both of us.

Shey and I have come a long way in two years. Shey has become an award-winning Dock Dog Diver. His biggest competition was placing first with a jump of 21’4” at the Smoky Mountain Dock Dogs. My biggest accomplishment besides my sobriety is graduating from community college. I now live in Boulder, Colorado, pursuing my bachelor’s degree in psychology at Naropa University. I am a Lead Advocate with Heroes in Recovery and work with recovering addicts and alcoholics at an alcohol education center. Without Dogs Matter, there is no possible way that I would be where I am today. Shey has been a big part of my recovery, giving me motivation, responsibility and unconditional love during the rough days. Shey and I will be forever grateful to Dogs Matter.

Welcome, Patch!

Patch is the newest member of the Dogs Matter’s family. He is an eight year old Jack Russell Terrier and has been with his owner since he was six weeks old. His owner has been struggling with the disease of addiction and knew he needed help but didn’t want to have to give Patch up. Then he found Dogs Matter, who offers temporary foster care so he can get the help he needs without losing what is most important to him…..Patch!

Welcome Home, Tedward!

Dogs Matter would like to celebrate the reuniting of Tedward and his mom, Kelli. Tedward is so happy to be back with his mom in their new home. Kelli has worked hard to get clean and sober, get a job and now move into her own apartment. Dogs Matter was able to take care of Tedward while Kelli could focus on herself. Here is the result….two happy faces. Congrats Kelli and welcome home Tedward!! Dogs Matter could not exist without the generosity of our donors and our foster families.

Loki Here!

When Loki’s owner made the brave decision this holiday season to seek inpatient treatment to get healthy, she turned to Dogs Matter for help to temporarily foster Loki while getting treatment. Dogs Matter gladly took care of and made arrangements for Loki so her owner did not have to worry and could focus on recovery. After being cared for by Dogs Matter and her foster family, Loki was excited to be reunited with her owner. Dogs Matter helped 20 dogs just like Loki in our first year of service.

Hey, Shey!

While Shey’s owner completed a 30-day rehab program away from home, Dogs Matter stepped in to make sure Shey (a 1.5 years old, half Black Mouth Cur and half Black Lab) was taken care of with a comfortable, safe place to stay. Dogs Matter sent pictures and updates to Shey’s owner while in treatment, who was grateful to know Shey was in a safe and healthy environment. Knowing Shey was well cared for while he was away, allowed her owner to really focus on getting better. Shey’s owner has now finished an outpatient program. Shey is now legally his service dog and can travel everywhere with him!

She’s got…Spirit!

As you can see in Spirit’s picture on the top, her owner wasn’t able to take of her because she couldn’t take care of herself. When she made the brave decision to get help, Dogs Matter came and got Spirit and helped her get clean and back in good health. Dogs Matter got Spirit groomed, fed and took her to the vet to get all her shots and medicine to help her feel better. What seemed to make Spirit feel the best was the loving temporary foster family that took care of her. Because of Dogs Matter, she will be able to go and live with her owner again when she is ready. In the meantime, Dogs Matter comes by once a week and checks on Spirit. They bring her food and treats and anything else she needs.


As you can see in his picture, Zippy was thrilled to be reunited with his owner. Previously, his over was not able to care for Zippy because of addiction and knew Zippy deserved a better life. His owner decided to surrender him to an animal shelter and worried he would never see him again. When his owner went to Homeward Bound Treatment Center and told them about the situation, they immediately got in touch with Dogs Matter and the next day they came and got Zippy to take him to a temporary foster home. His owner was so happy and able to focus on himself and getting better.

Meet Murphy and Chloe!

Introducing Murphy, a 1.5 year old Lab/Husky mix and Chloe, a 7 year old Tibetan Terrier. We helped care for these two while their owner was in a drug and alcohol treatment center. Their owner worked really hard to get clean and sober and was motivated to get back to these two and take good care of them. When their owner completed treatment, it was a happy reunion!

Hello, Bo!

Dogs Matter was pleased to take care of Bo while his owner got help he needed to stay clean and sober and find a new place to live. Bo had a wonderful foster family who fed and walked him every day. Bo even got to take trips to the park with new dog friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Meet Kai, Our First Rescue!

We’re pleased to announce that this month we welcomed our very first rescue to Dogs Matter — Kai, a two-and-a-half year old Akita/Shepherd mix. We stepped in to help Kai so that her owner could continue and successfully complete treatment for drug addiction. It was a difficult separation at first. When her owner began treatment, Kai was taken by her Dad and restrained in the backyard all day. When her owner found out about how Kai was being cared for, she wanted to leave treatment to help. Instead, Dogs Matter came to the rescue and has taken Kai to a very safe and healthy foster home so her owner can focus on treatment. Kai has been bathed, dipped, dewormed and tagged. She is eating healthy, nutritious food and treats and enjoys playing with her new friends in a big yard. She gets two walks a day and lots of love.  She even got to visit her owner recently – who is now committed to staying and finishing treatment knowing that Kai is in good hands.