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It’s A Dog’s Life


By: Kevin Sheehan, Special Columnist

I am a dog person, and even if I wasn’t allergic to cats, I would still be a dog person. Sadly, many people do not treat dogs the way they deserve. Often, if you want to see a person’s character, look at how they treat animals. That being said, one group in Osceola County are making a change.

Happy Trails Animal Rescue is a non-profit that was founded in August 2013 by a woman named Erin Swilley. They specialize in severe abuse/neglect cases in high kill shelters whose behavioral and medical needs make them ineligible for adoption. Basically, she tries to take dogs that are on death row, and give them a chance at life.

Fundraisers are constantly happening for the rescue. In fact, one will happen in a few days at Tractor Supply in Saint Cloud on June 11th. I will go to get my car washed, and you should too!

I got in contact with Erin, because I know the schedule for running a non-profit can be crazy. To provide a living, Erin does freelance web design. Not only that, but she is still a full-time college student! She is striving for her Bachelor’s with the ultimate goal of getting her Master’s in Non-Profit Management.


With all that, she still finds time to take in one dog a week. Going over the Rescue’s website, it is very educational. It has much more information than I can share here. Everything from upcoming events, how to donate and receive tax deductions, what pets are available for adoption, and even more.

What if you want a dog, but you aren’t sure of the commitment? Look at the section on her page about becoming a foster parent! It can be a 3 to 6 month commitment that will save a dog’s life, and the rescue will provide everything needed!

It takes an ambitious person to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness, and that is what Erin is doing. Her rescue is the only one in Central Florida that will take severe behavioral cases. If you want to help, contact the rescue at HappyTrailsAnimalRescue@yahoo.com. You don’t have to adopt a dog to make a difference.

Please visit: happytrailsanimalrescue.com to learn more!