About Us

Emotional Rescue was founded on the ideals and principles of one woman who heard the cries of too many animals in need. Shannon Tarr, founder of this rescue is looking for support in the ways of fosters, adopters, and volunteers to aid in the care and socialization of these future pets. Through the support of many, we can continue our goal; saving the lives of abandoned, injured, and dejected dogs. For us, every dog life matters. We save from all over the United States, making our mission to help sick animals reach from Coast to Coast.

The number one question for folks wanting to help a rescue is, "How can I help? I don't really have any money or things to give?" The best thing you can do for our rescue is offer your time. Whether that be through fostering incoming critters or walking and caring for the ones already here. Fostering is COMPLETELY FREE! ER will cover all of the vetting costs, food, and supplies required to keep our four legged friend happy. All we need from you is s roof over their head and spare time teaching that pooch what it means to be part of the family.

This is a story about a tiny glimmer of hope and how it grew. Beginning with a photo of broken spirits, worn down bodies and always pleading eyes, reaching out for a chance: maybe only to live long enough to die being held in tender, warm arms but maybe also to learn that the world can be kind and that there is a family waiting, if only they can hold on.

That is how the mission begins, always emotional, always with a degree of urgency. Once brought into rescue, medical care is given to start mending bodies but just as important is the loving care to mend their spirits.

We believe that every dog has a family it is meant to adopt. Not only does the dog benefit, but the family has a new member that makes them complete. Often, the new canine member brings healing to the human members as well, making a profound connection. Some dogs may also serve as Emotional Support Animals, giving companionship, confidence and empathy to humans who are need, as they once were.

Some of the dogs at Emotional Rescue require lengthy treatment before they can become healthy. This is the case when a dog has been infected with heartworm, a serious disease with an equally serious treatment that requires tender care and patience as well as medical treatment. In these cases, we encourage families to reach out and make a connection even before the dog is available for adoption. We believe that such connections benefit everyone involved. We can make arrangements for dog and human to be united with a "foster to adopt" option. In this agreement, the dog lives with it's new family, the family provides the necessary medical attention with Emotional Rescue's Veterinarian partners and the Rescue continues to fund the treatment. Not only does this option allow for a bond to develop sooner between human and canine but often the bond is stronger and more intense because the human has a hand in healing. This is one way that our adopters can have a hands on effect with their dog's emotional rescue.

If you see a dog that captures your interest, please fill out an application. There is no fee to submit an application. Because we feel that every dog is meant for one special family, we do not feel that we are in competition with other rescues. We do not require that you ONLY submit an application with our rescue and no other. When a dog and it's family meet for the first time, it is clear that destiny is in play. Every family needs to go find their dog, just as every dog needs to find it's family. Many of our dogs have crossed the country in their journey. We just fix them up and help them find their family.

When you find your dog, you will agree that this is indeed an Emotional Rescue: for both dog and human.

Every so often, I get asked "What's a Rez Dog?". To answer this, I need you to set aside your idea of America. The Reservations in South Dakota are hundreds of square miles and there isn't a vet in sight. THOUSANDS of dogs live and die here on their own. We partner with Lightshine. I think of them as first responders, scooping up who they can, and dispursing them to rescues in other states (but first they ALL hit a vet clinic for shots, brucellosis testing and a health certificate). Can you imagine what an undertaking this is? They brought in around 2,000 dogs in 2018. And there are times they have to STOP picking up more dogs because they have nowhere for them to go.

Amazingly, nearly all of these dogs WANT to like humans, they just need rescues to give them a chance.

Rez dogs usually don't live longer than 2 years. It's rare to find a mama with pups older than 10 weeks old...she can barely feed herself much less puppies after her milk is gone.

This picture shows a little family we were able to help. Mama and pups had mange, skin infection, worms (HUGE bellies full of worms that stole whatever nutrition the pups were able to take in) and of course...they were starving to death. All 3 are alive and well AND adopted.

These are Rez Dogs and THIS is Rescue.