OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - They call her the poster puppy for Gulf Coast Canine Rescue and Rehab, the driving force behind its efforts.
"Her name, Hope, represents it all," says Tammy Tarazano, Gulf Coast Canine Rescue and Rehab founder.
At just one week old, Hope, a yorkshire-terrier mix was found thrown over a fence. She was the size of tennis ball and later discovered to have a hole in her heart. But, with the loving care of Tammy Tarazano and community contributions, Hope got the surgery she needed. Now, a healthy and active little dog, she celebrated her first birthday Saturday.
"To see her now and what's she's become is really great," says Tarazano.
Hope's big day doubled as a fundraiser for the rescue. The organization started around the time Hope was found. Of the nearly 240 dogs rescued, almost 200 have been adopted.
"To see a dog go from rock bottom, who's hurt and injured then several months later go to a great home, it's unbelievably rewarding," says volunteer Joshua Price.
"We've continued to keep Hope's fund in place, and we've done quite a few orthopedic surgeries, amputations and major surgeries for the dogs," says Tarazano.
To continue its efforts, Tarazano says the rescue is in need of food, cleaning supplies and a permanent place to call home. The organization is renting the place it occupies now.
For more information on how you can help the rescue, you can call 228-243-6999 or stop by 2011 Government Street in Ocean Springs.