DEKORRA (WKOW) -- Ever since the economic downturn, shelters across Wisconsin have been inundated with pets that people just can't afford.
It's a situation that's made for a very busy year for one Dekorra woman who's mission is finding a home for as many abandoned german shepherds as she can.
for Lori Fowler, having just one german shepherd is never enough.
"It's just nice to be absolutely unequivocally loved." Fowler said. "It's like you walk in the door and "She's Back" You know!? and you laugh because I was out for five minutes."
Lori is head of the arf german shepherd rescue which tries to find homes for abandoned shepherds throughout the state.
And she's seen a lot of bad situations but is amazed at how quickly dogs forgive.
"You think, "oh my god, you've had such a rough life and you should hate humans" Fowler relates, "and they're the first ones that walk up and lick your face."
But, these days a lot more german shepherds are coming in from loving families that just can't afford to keep them thanks to foreclosure and job loss.
Lori is getting hundreds of requests a week for help and can barely make a dent, but she does make a difference.
Shavaio is typical of the dogs that come into arf. a shepherd, just a beautiful dog, about three years old and just getting over puppydom. andit's that puppydom that's part of the reason why they end up here.
"When they're cute puppies and chewing on things, you say, they're a puppy, and it's cute, you know?" Fowler explains, "but when they're a hundred pounds and doing it it's not so cute."
Those bad habits can be fixed by the right owner, that's why Lori performs an extensive review of each adoptive family.
"I want to make sure the next stop is the forever home." said Fowler
And she's found forever homes for 200 dogs in the past 10 years.
"The first one was the hardest." said Fowler, "But the2nd, 3rd, 4th, eh the 100th! I'm aunt to so many dogs."
And she has no plans to stop helping more shepherds with a compassion that's positively Wisconsin.
Foster families and donations are the key to making the German Shepherd rescue work and Lori is in desperate need of more.
If you'd like to donate or be a foster family, visit the ARF web site at http://arfrescue.com/