MILTON — Patricia Kruger has always had a passion for helping animals find forever homes ever since she was 12 years old.
While volunteering, she rescued a puppy named Mylo from being euthanized.
"I waited day after day with Mylo for someone, anyone to come help him. No one ever came," Kruger said. "The day came for him to be killed. I just could not let that happen, so I took him home."
Kruger said she kept Mylo for 16 years until he passed away in 1999. After he died, she said she found it hard to cope without him until she realized there were more animals that needed homes, just like Mylo.
So, five years ago, she started the Mylo Foundation to promote rescue, foster and adoption for healthy, adoptable shelter pets scheduled to be euthanized.
"Slowly I let go (of my grief) and found more Mylos who just needed someone willing to sit with them through the first couple of nights and encourage them to let go and trust," she said.
The foundation is foster-based, Kruger said, with several volunteers fostering dogs they retrieve from shelters who were set to be put to sleep. She said these dogs are at risk for euthanasia for several reasons including illness, behavioral problems or breed limits. About 80 percent of her funding comes through fundraising efforts, Kruger said, and donations from the community.
Since she started the foundation, she said she and her volunteers have saved approximately 200 dogs per year from as far away as Mobile, Alabama. Currently, there are 30 dogs needing homes through her foundation.
"We have been really blessed," she said.
Kruger said she knows their is a problem with animal control in the community. She said while she knows that shelters are doing a good job in lowering the number of animals they euthanize, she still wants the residents to know they need to do their part.
"Please get you pet neutered or spayed," she said. "Don't just dump your pet at a shelter. If you have a problem reach out to people like us."
For more information about the foundation or ways to adopt, foster, donate or volunteer, call 994-0908 or visit www.themylofoundation.com.