Hope’s days were numbered in an overcrowded Ohio shelter in January 2010. The pit bull mix was suffering—emaciated and suffering with heartworm. Azure was no stranger to helping animals in need. She spent her childhood growing up on 50 acres and saving animals of all shapes and sizes, including cats, dogs, squirrels, raccoons, and birds. So when Hope’s picture with her final plea for a home popped up on Azure’s Facebook timeline, she didn’t hesitate to help. The 23-year-old told the shelter she would take Hope as part of a newly developing rescue in her hometown in central Minnesota.
Swiftly, she arranged ground transportation from Ohio to Illinois where a volunteer pilot and his wife from Pilots N Paws waited for Hope’s arrival. The couple flew Hope and another rescue dog directly to the Princeton, MN, airport. Once the plane touched down, Ruff Start Rescue had officially taken in its first rescue dog. True to her nature, Hope was in good spirits. She was placed with a wonderful foster family that was able to give her some much-deserved love, attention, and care. Unsurprisingly, Hope won over her foster family and was adopted by them. And so began Ruff Start Rescue.
Hope was the first companion animal rescued by Ruff Start Rescue since its foundation and the gateway to a career for Azure, who still acts as the rescue’s president and executive director. Ruff Start is a figurehead of the central Minnesota animal welfare community and has served as the Princeton area’s sole non-profit 501c3 animal rescue organization since July 2010.
P.O. Box 129
Princeton, MN 55371