The Misfits Dog Rescue is Small Yet Strong


Riley/Shea (L) (owners haven't decided on name yet) was adopted 3 weeks ago and Ozzy - adopted 3 years ago are now best buds. Both were adopted by The Misfits Dog Rescue.

As you scroll through your Facebook feed, you come across a page. On that page you find photo after photo of adorably dressed dogs. The profile begs the question: why are there so many cute, small dogs in one place?

This is the page of The Misfits Dog Rescue.

In the world today, dog rescue centers are becoming bigger and more recognized. Right here in Colorado Springs, there is a small dog rescue non-profit organization called The Misfits Dog Rescue.

This organization was founded in 2014 by Susan Sterritt–now the director of The Misfits Dog Rescue–who has experience with fostering dogs from puppy mills and going to dog auctions.

“I wanted to start a rescue that was team-oriented, where fosters would be highly involved in decision making because they are the ones who get to know the dogs the best, and because a lot of rescues don’t allow them to do much other than babysit the dogs. We are a team effort,” Sterritt said.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 670,000 dogs are euthanized annually. The Misfits Dog Rescue aims to reduce this number the best they can. Many of the dogs they obtain are from overfull high-kill shelters and many of them are in poor health. Some of their rescues come from out-of-state and are brought back to their base in Colorado Springs to be nurtured and eventually adopted into “forever homes.”

Sterritt explained that they are primarily a small dog rescue.

“Occasionally [we] take in a large breed if we have a foster for one,” she said. “My personal favorite is the very scared ones. It is so rewarding to see them come out of their shell and live happy lives.”

Terrie Contreras joined The Misfits Dog Rescue two years ago. Before, Contreras had worked for Chihuahua & Small Dog Rescue, another dog rescue based in Colorado Springs.

“[Sterritt] still keeps [The Misfits Dog Rescue] pretty small,” Contreras said. “We’re more about quality than quantity. We’re always looking for volunteers.”

Contreras considers her work in dog rescue to have saved her life. After battling alcohol and fentanyl addiction, a damaging rotator cuff surgery and trying to heal after a deep family loss, she said it was difficult for her to get out of bed in the morning. But working in dog rescue has kept her moving.

She finds herself empathizing with the dogs she rescues and enjoys helping them to again find happiness and health.

One of her rescues is an extremely small Chihuahua named Keira whose entire back is completely bald from stress, abuse and neglect. Another one of her dogs, a Pomeranian called Fluffy, was found in a high-kill shelter with a broken leg.

Contreras said that “last year myself alone [adopted out] 43 and I do not know how many The Misfits did. But probably close to 200.” Most of these dogs come from overcrowded high-kill shelters. The Misfits Dog Rescue are notified that “they have a problem dog, that they have too many dogs and they are gonna be put down. They want us to come and get them that day before they make the decision to put them down. We do get some owner surrenders.”

One of these cases involved a man dumping one kennel of seven dogs on Sterritt’s porch to get back at his wife.

“We will not put a dog down if there’s any possibility that they can survive,” said Contreras.

Consistent with this message, The Misfits Dog Rescue page itself reads “making every misfit a perfect fit, in a new forever home.”

In the US, there are hundreds of animal rescue teams that are dedicated to saving animal lives from the hands of cruelty and put into the warm arms of a loving family and home. National Public Radio (NPR) indicates that “there are an estimated 14,000 shelters and pet rescue groups in the US, taking in nearly 8 million animals each year.”

Many of these rescue organizations are small and locally based, like The Misfits Dog Rescue.

If you are interested in volunteering, fostering, or adopting visit The Misfits Dog Rescue and send them a message.