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Everyday Heroes: Puplandia

Brook Benson made a drastic career change last year.

After driving down to Los Angeles to rescue some dogs from a kill shelter over Christmas break 2015, Benson, then a teacher, knew she had to do more to help out dogs in need.

“When I came back [from L.A.], I knew that that’s what my job was supposed to be,” Benson said.

So Benson quit her job and turned her Beaverton home into a nonprofit dog rescue called Puplandia.

Benson said she takes in dogs surrendered by their owners, then gets the dogs vaccinated, healthy, fostered and, eventually, adopted out.

She also works with dog shelters in Oregon and California.

“We’re the last rescue that they call if they’re going to be euthanized in L.A.,” Benson said. “We can’t always take [the dogs] because we’re full, but we try our hardest.”

Sometimes, Benson’s hardest involves hours of travel time and relying on her network of volunteers. It took a big effort, for example, to rescue a trio of dogs from a kill shelter in Bakersfield, California.

“A volunteer, whom I’ve never met, who lives in Klamath Falls, who follows us on our Facebook page, drove to Bakersfield,” Benson said. “[She] got them out of the kill shelter and drove them all the way back to Klamath Falls where I met her at her house.”

Benson said she doesn’t get paid for running Puplandia. She’s a volunteer, just like everyone else involved.

But the cost of getting dogs healthy, especially when surgery is needed, can be daunting. Benson said Puplandia has so far survived on donations, and discounts from corporate partners and local vets.

“It’s a huge risk,” Benson said of Puplandia. “[My husband and I] have to pay our bills, we have to pay our mortgage.”

If you’d like to adopt from Puplandia or donate to them, click here.

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