" Coming to the Rescue"

Pound on the Hill Animal Rescue

Dana Darby and Lee Harrington took a respite from their tech careers when Dana's father became terminally ill in 2004. When they moved from their home in Northern Virginia to a family rental property on the Southside of Bessemer they not only found they had moved into a culture which was totally foreign to them, they found dogs... lots of dogs. There were an estimated 100 dogs living, roaming on the hill where they had planned to stay for only 6 months.  Curiosity led Dana and Lee to approach their neighbors to ask about the dogs. What are their names? Which dog lives where? The community was very suspicious of the two misfits who had seemingly just appeared one day.  This made getting information on the dogs very difficult. When first told many dogs were left behind by people who were evicted or incarcerated, Dana thought they were joking.  One by one Dana and Lee began befriending the dogs. The first was a very large yellow lab they named Arlo. Arlo came in tow with a small friend they named Guthrie. Their home and property quickly filled with dogs. When their veterinarian realized they were rescuing she mentioned a rescue group who might help them.  Dana and Lee did not know they were "rescuing" or that there were others who were organized and doing the same. The name "Pound on the Hill" was attached to them by some of the older residents of the Bessemer communities. After being asked if they were the Pound on the Hill dozens of times, the name stuck. Fast forward 10 years. After working non stop and now full time in rescue, Lee and Dana paired with Sanderlin Holmes and Susan Pearson after a happenstance meeting over a dog named King. With Sanderlin and Susan's help, support and unending confidence Pound on the Hill Animal Rescue was officially born and became a non profit August 15, 2016. They were soon joined by Lois Bourget from Massachusetts who heads up their Northern operations.  Massachusetts is where many of the Pound's dogs are adopted. In August, 2018 Pound on the Hill - Massachusetts Chapter was realized  The sister organization is driven by Lois Bourget, Amy Lindqvist, Jennifer Barsalou, Carly Capopulo and Denise Levesque; all who come from years of volunteering in rescue and have expertise in finding the perfect home for each dog. Though Pound on the Hill Animal Rescue is not a large organization, they do big things.  In addition to the dogs who are rescued and placed in homes, they work on changing the culture of dog care in their area. The City of Bessemer is currently working with POH to implement better animal control, care and protection ordinances in the City. Dana and Lee believe education and community outreach is what will eventually make the most difference in the lives of dogs in Alabama. The two regularly go into homes and communities where most would not dare venture to gently inform families and help with food and veterinary care. They believe the unconditional love of dogs will help to offset the violence and despair found in many poverty stricken communities. Dana says there is nothing more fulfilling than to see a relationship grow between an owner and the dog they had previously tied out and forgotten. It is a win for everyone.