What's a devoted rescuer to do when her family of 4 humans, 6 dogs, 5 chickens, 1 rooster, 1 tortoise, and an ever changing roster of foster dogs outgrow their California home? Some might say it's time to stop fostering and rescuing pets, but not Candice Miller. Her solution was to purchase a 12-acre ranch in Eugene, Oregon so that she could save even more pups!
Candice was quite literally born into a legacy of dog rescue. Her father, a lifelong dog lover himself, was always willing to open their home to stray dogs in need. He instilled in his daughter a strong respect for animals, and a desire to help those unable to help themselves. Instead of playing Barbies with her girlfriends, Candice spent her childhood romping in the backyard with her fur friends.
When she became an adult, Candice naturally gravitated towards rescue, and adopted her first senior dog at the age of 18. It was the despair of losing this beloved pet, and emotional turmoil in her personal life that first led her to become a shelter volunteer.
She spent more than 3 years devoting every spare moment to the shelter, and it began to take its toll on her. She witnessed momma dogs bred over and over then dumped, former fighting dogs forever scarred emotionally and physically, dogs intentionally burned or dragged behind vehicles... every day Candice's heart broke over and over again. Finally she decided that she needed to take a step back for her own well-being, but she couldn't stand the thought of no longer being part of the solution.
That's when Candice discovered fostering. She took home two extremely ill pups and nursed them around the clock. She watched them grow strong, playful and independent until the time came for them to be adopted. Candice was hooked. She had found her niche. Since then she has opened up her home to more than 30 foster dogs, each with their own set of obstacles to overcome.
Two special members of her canine pack - Roofus and Kilo - act as the faces of her rescue efforts. Roofus was discovered by Candice's son when he was a tiny, wormy pup of about 8 weeks. The family already had 3 dogs, so Roofus spent the first few weeks of his life being secretly nursed back to health in her son's room. When the little Pibble was finally discovered by Candice's husband, he fell in love. Roofus became the newest member of the pack and quickly changed the entire family's perception about Pit Bulls. Check out those ears!
Candice first met Kilo after an exhausting shift at the shelter. She spotted the terrified, cowering dog as she was preparing to leave, and decided to see if she could comfort him. She patiently lured him out into the yard where they quietly bonded. After 2 months of working with Kilo, the shelter deemed him "un-adoptable." He was on the brink of being euthanized when Candice begged to adopt him. Kilo was saved. As you can see below, he has proven to be quite the helper in taking care of the orphaned pups that pass through the home.
Candice specializes in nursing tiny, pitiful puppies into strong, playful family pets. Check out the Roofus and Kilo Facebook page
for more irresistibly cute photos and videos. One of her greatest success stories is her foster fail, Penny. You'd never know it to look at her now, but Miss P was one sick little puppy when Candice first got a hold of her. Now, one year later, Penny has just celebrated her first birthday at the Oregon rescue ranch.
The property is currently undergoing a complete overhaul to accommodate Candice's furry guests. Each foster dog will have its own individual yurt complete with heat, A/C, music, plush bedding and a little yard. It'll be kind of like Tiny House Nation for dogs! When they aren't lounging in private luxury, they will be free to play and explore the ranch's 12 acres under supervision from Candice and the family. There are going to be some pretty lucky rescue pups in Eugene, Oregon!
According to Candice, there is nothing more rewarding or good for the soul than the selfless act of becoming a foster pawrent. Shelters and rescue groups consider their foster folks to be among their most valuable volunteers, and for good reason. Fostering can be difficult - it's joyous to watch a dog blossom under your care, but sad to say goodbye. However, there are precious few safe havens for dogs in need of foster, leaving many pups out in the cold. Candice urges dog lovers to consider saving lives through fostering. It's like an extended puppy slumber party!
Candice is working on obtaining 501c3 tax-exempt rescue status for the ranch which will allow her to accept financial donations towards her cause. Until then, she is incredibly grateful to all the wonderful supporters who donate dog supplies from her Amazon wish list
If you would like to contribute products from the list to the Roofus and Kilo rescue ranch, you can send your purchases to:
Roofus & Kilo, PO Box 1207, Marcola, OR 97454.
Featured Image via Roofus & Kilo/Facebook