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Legends of the Paws has delivered 132 dogs to KHS; all have been adopted

Staff Writer | May 13, 2020 1:11 AM

Legends of the Paws has delivered 132 dogs to KHS; all have been adopted

HAYDEN — Marked for death.

But nearly 2,000 miles and three days later, marked for life.

“That’s what we do,” said Vicky Nelson, development director for the Kootenai

Humane Society.

And it’s thanks to a partnership between two organizations dedicated to saving


Legends of the Paws is a nonprofit group that rescues dogs at risk for euthanasia

and delivers them via ground transportation to approved adopters across the


Since Jan. 1, KHS has taken in 132 dogs from Texas shelters — all courtesy of

Legends of the Paws.

“If we have the room, we’ll take them,” Nelson said.

They find them homes, too — all 132 have been adopted.

Good for the dog, good for the person.

Because after an adoption, Nelson hears the stories of joy, happiness and love that

result from bringing a pet into a home.

“Truly, it saves a human life as well,” she said.

Chyna, for instance, arrived from Texas in January. The seven-year-old pit bull

“probably had some troubles early in life,” Nelson wrote.

Yet, she was adopted in March and her owner has updated KHS on her status.

They are best friends.

“She stole my heart,” Nelson wrote.

Cheri Glankler, founder of Legends of the Paws, operates it out of her Garden

Valley, Idaho home. She founded it in 2014 and is funded by donations.

“The whole big concern is the dog getting a happily ever after,” she said Tuesday.

Before that day comes, though, are tragic stories of dogs marked for death that

she has rescued from shelters in the south, primarily Texas. They are dogs that

have been abused, neglected, and abandoned.

“We’re not talking a small percentage,” Glankler said.

She said there’s a stark difference between how dogs are treated in the north — l

ike family — and the south, where they are considered commodities.

“We don’t treat our dogs like they’re treated down there,” she said.

Legends of the Paws transports dogs to shelters around the country. It partnered

with KHS and Executive Director Debbie Jeffrey late last year.

Dogs transported to KHS are often adopted within days, Glankler said, “because of

the wonderful people in the north.

“Their lives are saved,” she said.

Legends of the Paws pays transportation costs while KHS covers boarding food and

medical needs, such as spay and neuter, vaccinations and microchipping.

She said Chyna was “emaciated” when they got her. She was moved to KHS — a

nearly 2,000-mile, two-and-a-half-day trip through New Mexico, Utah and up

through Idaho — and adopted by a veteran, who has bonded with her.

“It’s just so rewarding,” Glankler said.

But there is a price.

It can run more than $3,000 to ship a group of kenneled dogs to a shelter. Glankler

said she has paid upward of $4,000 a month to foster dogs. Many that Legends

rescues need medical care.

“I can’t let a dog go,” said Glankler, who is retired and has been involved in pet

rescues for three decades. “If I can find a way, I’ll do it.”

Legends will call places like KHS every month or so and say it has three dogs, 10

dogs, maybe 20 — all with one thing in common: Their time is running out and

they need a shelter to take them in, now.

“How many can you take?” it asks

The answer, said Nelson: As many as possible.

They come in all shapes and sizes and ages and breeds. KHS has taken as many as

35 at one time. Often, there is no history about the dog. Nothing about its behavior

or temperament or how it relates to other dogs. While most are healthy, some are

not well when they arrive and need medical help.

“We don’t know a lot about them,” Nelson said.

But they take them, knowing this: They will find them a home.

“More will come,” Nelson said.

KHS adopts out about 2,200 dogs and cats each year. It currently has two dogs

from Texas, a four-year-old black pit bull and a five-year-old retriever/lab.

With the coronavirus travel restrictions, KHS has not been able to accept dogs from

Texas since mid-March. That may change by June or even this month.

“Hopefully, they can start up again and bring us more dogs,” Nelson said.

Which means more dogs getting a second chance at life in North Idaho. “You know

they’re in a good place once they get there,” Glankler said.

Bless the beasts


Tessa Moreno, Kootenai Humane Society cat technician, checks on one of the cats at the shelter on Friday.


Photo courtesy of Kootenai Humane Society


Staff Writer | April 4, 2020 1:00 AM


Without clinics, thrift store revenue, KHS faces challenges as donations drop off


HAYDEN — Don’t forget about the animals at the Kootenai Humane Society.

That’s the message from Vicky Nelson, KHS development director, as the country deals with the coronavirus.

“Please remember that we’re still there,” she said Friday.

The humane society has closed temporarily, as has its thrift store on Third Street. Its clinics, such as spay/neuter, vaccine and microchip, are also shut down.

All of that has resulted in a loss of usually reliable revenue sources.

“The bottom line is, we’re getting hit pretty hard,” Nelson said. “Donations are down as well because people are unsure what’s going to happen.”

Still, spirits are up as staff continues to provide daily care for the 18 cats and nine dogs at the shelter.

KHS is open for adoptions by appointment, and a few animals have gone to new homes in the past week.

The shelter, fortunately, has not seen an uptick in people surrendering pets that they can no longer afford to keep due to a disappearing economy.

The capital campaign to build a new 24,000-square-foot shelter west of the Coeur d’Alene Airport on Atlas Road has raised just over $4 million toward its $6.5 million goal.

It will include more space for dogs and cats and a veterinarian clinic.

“As soon as we reach 90 percent of the goal, we’ll start to break ground,” Nelson said.

Contributions toward the new shelter have slowed, too, as the economy continues to reel, businesses close and people lose jobs.

Nelson understands the uncertainty of the situation has given people reason to hold on to their money.

That’s why any gift, even a few bucks, is appreciated

“We rely on donations from the community,” she said.

Nelson, KHS development director for seven years, said this is the biggest financial challenge it has faced.

“Absolutely,” she said.

If it continues, Nelson said she’s not sure what KHS will have to do. She does know staff there are adamant about maintaining services and care of the animals.

“Hopefully, things will get better,” she said.

Check out animals up for adoption at or call 772-4019.


Visting the Shelter


Shelter Hours



Physical Address

11650 N. Ramsey Road

Hayden, ID 83835


Mailing Address

PO Box 1005

Hayden, ID 83835


208.772.4019 - Phone

208.762.8645 - Fax

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