• Kirsty Penn

One Lady & Her Dogs

Updated: Mar 14

“I rescued Castle from a high-kill shelter in CA in 2012 and the experience there just always stayed with me.”

Aishah Hammock told me this when I reached out on Facebook to discuss her new business, ‘The Haus of Dogs,’as well as the brilliant work she is doing to protect our beloved canines from death.

Not an easy task but this young lady runs a one-woman company, very inspiring right? For me hearing her story has been enlightening, it’s clear this is a woman who has a passion and determination to match.

What Aishah went onto tell me really stayed with me and created a very tragic and lasting picture in my mind.

“Rows upon rows of dogs both indoors and outdoors, most of them barking endlessly. The rest were either whimpering or laying on the ground, disinterested in passers-by or anything... They just looked really depressed, full of resignation. I knew that someday, somehow, I needed to do something to make a difference.”

Make a difference she did, most people I know would have felt this way after seeing any animal caged and helpless. What makes Aishah unique is she is doing something about it. She works in unison with the, ‘Three Little Pitties All Breed Rescue,’ in Houston, TX. It is heartening to hear how they help Aishah with the rescues.

“They are fantastic humans.” she praises them and goes onto talk about the wonderful work they are doing.

“They work with trainers, animal behaviourists, fosters and vets and assess the health and demeanour of the dogs and ensure they're ready for their 2-day van ride to Seattle, Washington.”

It is extraordinary the work these people are doing. In today’s world when all we see and hear is bad news, fakes news and even more bad news, it’s certainly good to know some folks are getting it right.

Aishah tells me that ‘Three Little Pitties,’often work with animal control in Brazoria. The public cannot adopt from them so they do depend upon the rescues to save the dogs. It is a sad, yet unfair fact that due to lack of space and resources the dogs must be euthanised.

I’m told that one of the shelters transports about 150 dogs and cats to the Pacific Northwest (Oregon & Washington) once every 2 weeks, occasionally weekly.

They have a large fan base here in Western WA, of people who have adopted from them or fostered for them, while they find permanent homes for their Texas dogs”

As for Aishah it seems even her own friends know of her generous heart.

“My friends made a bet that I would adopt one of the shelter dogs during my trip to Houston, Texas. I almost made it!”

On the final leg of my trip, when I was at a shelter in Oregon...I fell in love with one of the dogs there and sure enough, I adopted him and drove 7 hours back to Seattle from Roseburg, Oregon, with him in the passenger seat.”

Aishah works very hard to make the lives of these dogs better. She is an inspiration and now with, ‘The Haus of Dogs,’ she has even more hard work ahead of her. I wanted to know how she has managed to create such an amazing enterprise.

My partner gives me the courage, strength and confidence to tackle any and every obstacle that comes my way and I wouldn't have taken the plunge if not for his belief in me, honestly.”

She credits both her partner and his Dad as being instrumental in setting up the shop and making it fit for both the dogs and their human visitors. Her own father has played a tremendous role in helping his daughter get started by gifting her with the capital. Aishah told me that she knows she is fortunate to have his support and wants to make him proud. I imagine he already is.

Sometimes to truly succeed in this world we need people behind us – For the dogs at Haus that person is Aishah and that makes them very lucky indeed.

When I was younger, I was ignorant and oblivious to the shelter and rescue world. My first dog, purchased from a breeder, was an overpriced, incredibly cute...Cavalier King Charles Spaniel-Poodle mutt, that had a fancy designer breed name: Cavapoo. He was my world and I don't regret having had him but he was special not because he had champion bloodlines or came from a professional breeder... He was special because he was him. A rescue dog shouldn't be an inferior dog or a damaged dog or a bad investment. I don't judge people for buying from professional breeders; everyone has a right to choose for themselves but I do hope there will come a day when people realise that a dog's worth and behaviour aren't determined by whether he was bred by a professional breeder or whether he was the product of 2 dogs that weren't fixed.”

Perhaps this is something we all need to consider with Christmas around the corner and puppies still seen as a cute and cuddly present.

“I truly hope to shed a light on the plight of the adoptable dogs in Texas and how badly they deserve and need a permanent home. It's senseless to keep reproducing more dogs when hundreds are euthanised each week not due to aggression, old age or disease, but due to lack of space and workforce to care for them.”

“I welcome all dog parents (parents of rescue dogs and parents of breeder dogs) to The Haus of Dogs, to work together in a non-judgmental environment, to raise awareness of shelter dogs and help save lives”.

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