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Paws on Your Heart Pet Rescue Support Program

At a Glance

  • Supports organizations that rescue, care for, and adopt pets
  • Supports organizations that help other pet rescues

About Us

Dumped, shot, neglected, abandoned, hit by a car and left at the side of a road, victims of abuse. These are the sad stories of too many cats and dogs in Iowa. Rescues take them in, but care costs can be daunting. When injuries and illnesses are life-threatening or life-altering, medical expenses quickly add up. And adoption fees fall way short of paying these bills. Donations are needed to pick up the slack.

This is where Paws on Your Heart comes in. To help save the lives of homeless dogs and cats in Iowa and help get them adopted, we offer annual grants to area rescues and to organizations that support such rescues.

Rescue work is a big job. Beyond the homeless pets that rescues bring into their care is the community from which these animals come. This prompts some rescues to reach out to that community -- with educational or inspiring messages, free pet food, discounted vaccines, and much more. We applaud such efforts.

Who are the winners in this endeavor?

Dogs and cats that need a helping hand clearly benefit. Once healed from illness or injury (which often takes months), these pets are ready to find their furever families.

People gain, too! The families adopting rescue pets are the ultimate winners and the beneficiaries of all the comfort, love, companionship, exercise, stimulation, and much more that pets give to their humans. Along the way, others are touched by each rescue pet’s journey to survival: foster families, veterinary clinicians, and the devoted fans who follow rescue stories on Facebook. All of us are moved by these stories of resilience and hope.

And lastly, but most importantly, the humans who help make this happen are rescue donors. Here, we salute those who give to the Paws on Your Heart Pet Rescue Support program. Because of you, we are able to give grants to multiple, deserving Iowa pet rescues each year. Together, we are making a difference, one pet at a time!

But you do not need to just take our word for this. If you use Facebook, you can follow the good work of our annual grantees whose stories we post there. In addition, we send all donors a letter each winter, showcasing the best of the year’s photos and success stories about the good work that our grantees are doing. You will be able to see your gift dollars in action!

And when you see these stories, you can appreciate that your donations are never just “spent.” Instead, they are invested by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, and only the interest is used in our annual grants. Because donations thus “last forever,” they keep benefitting rescues year after year!


This program will provide grants to non-profit organizations that rescue, care for, and adopt pets; or help other pet rescues in Iowa. Focus is on rescue of or services for dogs and/or cats. Preference is given to organizations that are volunteer-run, small, and funded by donations.

Basic Information


563 880-6166


726 Acre Street Guttenberg, IA 52052


Susi Nehls and Roy Blair

Director Email

Success Story

A great success story happened this year when several parties worked together. When Dog Gone Rescue, one of our 2023 grantees, received our grant, they told us about a lab named Freya in their care that had ligament injuries to both knees. They are a small rescue, and the effort to raise funds for surgery on one knee (let alone both!) was daunting. We introduced them to another grantee, Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids, an organization that provides and directs advanced medical care for homeless pets here in NE Iowa. Critter Crusaders took on Freya’s case and paid for her 2 expensive knee surgeries. They also guided Dog Gone Rescue through Freya’s lengthy post-op care in which exercise had to be very restricted. Freya has now healed and is ready for adoption!

Fund Details

Fund Name

Paws on Your Heart Pet Rescue Support Program

Year Founded


Here for you. Molly Moser Affiliate Communications Manager 563-588-2700

Support This Fund

Paws on Your Heart Pet Rescue Support Program