MUSCATINE, Iowa – An animal lover her entire life, Meagan Koehler has always been dedicated to helping pets. Previously, Koehler served on the board of directors of PAWS & More Animal Shelter in Washington and as the fundraising director of a regional foster care rescue and saw firsthand how the family of hospitality helps animals find a home forever. Wanting to expand Southeast Iowa’s ability to accommodate pets and reduce the number of animals euthanized due to overpopulation in neighboring states, Koehler opened It Takes a Village Animal Rescue & Resources on the 16th. March.
A foster home rescue, It Takes a Village provides educational resources on the importance of pet adoption and low cost spaying and neutering opportunities and places homeless and abandoned animals in the houses of volunteers. They also make sure they get the care they need until their new forever family adopts them. Koehler explained, “This gives us a unique ability to allow the animal to decompress away from the stressful environment of the shelter and have a complete view of its health and mobility as well as how the animal will behave in a house. This is valuable insight into whether a dog is good with cats, children, or other dogs.
In addition, It Takes a Village works with local veterinarians to ensure that the animals they host receive all the medical treatment they need, whether they are spayed or neutered and are microchipped. For baby animals not old enough to be spayed or neutered, It Takes a Village sets an appointment for them to do so at the right age and makes follow-up a condition of their adoption. To help pets and families live better together, It Takes a Village can also set up a free initial training consultation with one of their partners.
Going forward, It Takes a Village hopes to increase the number of pets they can accommodate by getting more volunteers and accepting donations of pet supplies. Koehler encourages anyone interested to get involved to find out more by contacting It Takes a Village through their Facebook page.
To help familiarize the community with their organization and raise funds for supplies for their foster animals, It Takes a Village will be hosting a community event at Weed Park on August 28. Dubbed the Village Dog Days of Summer Fest, the event will feature plenty of fun activities for people and dogs to have fun together, including a microchip clinic, pet photo booth, dog leg, as well as a lunch and a tour and book signing led by a local veterinarian.
While it takes a village to expand its work in Muscatine County and surrounding areas, its board of directors, which includes Vice President Casey Koehler, Secretary Karen Hartman, Treasurer Jennifer Wolfe and Membership Coordinator in General and passing Missi Broders, hoped to expand their reach by joining the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We want to build strong ties with the community. Koehler emphasized. “Our Grand Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry does a lot to help support and develop local businesses and nonprofits – it was obvious to us. ”