Posted: Jan 21, 2011 3:54 PM by Beth Saboe (KPAX News)
Updated: Jan 24, 2011 12:42 PM
FRENCHTOWN - A Western Montana animal rescue was recently voted "top dog" in an online contest and awarded a $1,000 grant.
Visitors to the website voted for their favorite Petfinder.com Network rescue groups for 13 weeks. The Frenchtown shelter takes in homeless basset hounds and is run entirely by volunteers.
"Winning this grant will definitely help us pay lots of bills and help more homeless hounds," said Leslie Ames, President of Bassett Rescue of Montana. "Fundraising is always a challenge and it's something we work at constantly."
Ames began rescuing basset hounds over 10 years ago. She's a one-woman operation who loves everything about the breed.
"They're very, very devoted to their people. Basset hounds are very loving and are very funny. Tell you what, I'm never depressed, I'm always happy. I might be overworked, but I am one happy lady," Ames said.
Winning the $1,000 grant was a total surprise to Ames as someone else nominated the shelter and then worked to gather votes. Ames said the money will go towards paying the facility's heating bills and helping with the animals' medical bills.
Basset Rescue of Montana is always looking for more volunteer help. Ames runs the facility pretty much on her own, but said she couldn't do it without the help of Dr. Sara Stephens of Alpine Vet Service, Dr. David Bostwick of Missoula Veterinary Specialty Clinic, Dr. Ken Hannum of North Valley Veterinary Clinic and the many people who donate their time to help out.