With the recent heat wave, Livermore had several reports of dogs needing to be rescued from hot cars. It's very easy to underestimate how hot it gets in a parked car, even with the windows cracked. If the owner spends a little bit more time than anticipated away from the car, dogs can become very ill or even die.

Even conscientious dog owners have endangered their dogs this way. But while Livermore has been in the news for unintentional mistreatment of dogs, one Livermore woman has been flying under the radar for doing exactly the opposite. She has saved and improved the lives of rescue dogs for the past decade. Wendy Taylor gets dogs from Bay Area shelters and fosters them, nursing them back to health and preparing the way for them to get adopted into new homes, or as the foster caretakers say, "forever homes." Most of the time she works with a group called Pound Puppy Rescue.

"We specialize in pregnant moms and puppies 3 months or younger," she said. "These dogs would have to be euthanized if they were left at a shelter."

Wendy's husband, Jim Taylor, a software architect, often picks up supplies, and even dogs for his wife to care for, on his way home from work in Sunnyvale. Most of the dogs Wendy cares for are abandoned, and some of them are taken from abusive owners or animal hoarders. Wendy, who has lived in Livermore for 20 years, worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for 15 years. But then she had to quit in order to care for her son who has special needs.

She became a volunteer and foster dog rescuer after going through the adoption process while finding a dog for her daughter, Samantha Taylor, now a student at CSU Monterey.


Advertisement

As I talked to her, she was taking a dog with a broken leg to a vet. The dog is going to need surgery, and then at least three weeks of recuperation. Wendy will try to nurse the dog back to health and then help find a home for it.

"She's such a sweetheart," said Taylor.

Taylor becomes extremely attached to the dogs she fosters and says it's very hard sometimes to let go of them when they are ready for adoption.

"I just have to tell myself that if I don't do it, I won't be able to save the next one."

Once a potential new home is identified, Pound Puppy Rescue interviews the potential new owners, and even inspects their home to make sure it is ready for a dog. Any Tri-Valley residents interested in possibly adopting the dog with a broken foot after Wendy nurses him back to health, can go to www.poundpuppyrescue.org, and check to see when she becomes available.

Right now Taylor has passed on her love of canines to Samantha. While at college, Samantha became aware of another student that was abusive to a Chihuahua. She convinced the dog owner to willingly give up the dog. She asked her mom to pick up the dog, and Wendy got the 2-year-old Chihuahua into a nice foster home and eventually a new "forever spoiled" home.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@bayareanewsgroup.com.