Nonprofit rescues dogs that would be euthanized

Click HERE to read stories published in the May 29 – June 11, 2019 issue of Gilroy Life

Above, Jake.

A blind Papillon mix was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles and taken to a shelter. When his owners were contacted, they refused to pay the $20 to get him back, saying “he wasn’t worth it.” He made his way to the Bay Area via a rescue group and was adopted by the founder of Jake’s Wish Dog Rescue, Heidi Schlagel.

“Despite being blind, Jake has an amazing personality and resilience beyond compare,” Schlagel said. “No matter the challenge, Jake is up for it. He has faced many challenges including a significant back injury that he’s now recovered from. Jake serves as an inspiration for dogs and humans alike — to never give up and to use personality to overcome challenges.”

To help support the nonprofit, Jake’s Fest 2019 takes place at Kelly Brewing Company in downtown Morgan Hill and will include two live bands, food trucks, wine and beer for purchase, a silent auction with various items like trips to Mexico, Hawaii, and Carmel and lots of fun wine excursions to bid on. There will be a kissing booth, photo booth and multiple vendors with items from ceramics to dog loving T-shirt’s for sale. Jake’s Wish Dog Rescue is a volunteer driven 501C3 nonprofit so all funds raised go directly to the dogs.

Photo courtesy Heidi Schlagel Jake’s Wish founder Heidi Schlagel with Groot and Roo. Both have since been adopted.

Since its inception in 2014, Jake’s Wish has rescued and placed more than 1,000 dogs. Schlagel said the goal is to double that in the next five years.

They are dedicated to rescuing dogs in need from surrounding communities. These dogs may be shy, sick, injured, orphaned . . . many are at risk of euthanasia.

They bring these dogs into loving and skilled foster homes where they receive the medical and behavioral care needed to be adopted into wonderful forever homes. They also serve the community by providing information and education on responsible dog ownership.

Their mission is to help dogs in underserved shelters as they are most at risk. The main shelters they rescue  pups from are San Martin, Hollister, Los Banos, Salinas and San Jose.

“Our passion is dogs that would otherwise be put to sleep because they require expensive medical care,” Schlagel said. “Jake’s Fest allows us to build our medical fund so we can say ‘yes’ when asked to take a dog in need.”

Robert Airoldi

Editor at Gilroy Life
Robert Airoldi is the editor of Gilroy Life newspaper. If you have a story idea or an Around Town column item you want to tell him about, you can reach him at (408) 427-5865 or at
Robert Airoldi