Rescue work isn't all sunshine and rainbows.
Some are rescued but can't be saved.

In rescue, there are certain dogs that come into your life that are so desperately in need of kindness and understanding. The world has just been too hard on them, they aren't quite sure how to be loved. Others come to us so severely ill that no matter the amount of tests, surgeries, medications we throw at them, they have lived out their life. Our job as a rescue is to ensure these souls are allowed to cross over the rainbow bridge as peacefully and full of love as we can. This is the absolute hardest part of rescue, and never taken lightly. These pups are thought of and missed every single day. This is why we do what we do. These dogs are why we continue to advocate for underdogs. Their death was not in vain. They left this life knowing love.

Their Stories

In a perfect world, euthanasia would be non-existent. There would be the perfect number of loving homes for each individual dog. Sadly, that is not the world we live in. There are thousands of shelters and rescues all across the nation, however, sometimes the desire to help is not enough. At Hard Knocks Rescue and Training, we believe in quality of life for each and every one of our dogs. Our numbers may not reflect 'no kill' status all of the time. Our intake process alone sets us apart from many other rescues. We pull the dogs that are overlooked by rescues, adopters, and fosters. We pull the dogs that are shut down and unable to handle the basic needs of every day life (i.e. food, water, shelter).

One important thing we ask ourselves before pulling a long time shelter resident is, can we provide a better quality of life for this dog. Will this dog benefit from what we have to offer them? A lot of these dogs we get are on a euthanasia list, no one else has the time or resources to give them a chance at life. Because of this, not all of our dogs move out of our program, but instead end their lives with a forever home with Hard Knocks. Each and every one of these dogs were loved so very deeply. We wanted to honor their stories by remembering the lesson each taught us. Our job is to provide the basic essentials of life consistently enough that each dog has a choice to continue. We set them up for success the best we can, but it ultimately is up to each and every dog whether or not they want to co-exist in a peaceful, pleasant way. Its very difficult when the rescuer wants it to be more than the rescued does. That is one of the hardest lessons learned throughout this whole process.

We strive to provide the best care for the life of each animal we bring into our rescue. If we see them to the end, then we will do just that. Each dog has been surrounded by love and care til the last breath. Please join us in remembering these lost souls who have found their home with Hard Knocks and have crossed that rainbow bridge.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Bucky came to us after being locked alone in a room for 2 weeks after his owner passed away. He was very territorial and anxious leading him to be a danger to his foster family in their own home.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Dick came to us after being surrendered to Huntsville Animal Services. He was made to spend his entire life outside on a chain with little or no shelter or food. Dick was malnourished, unsocialized, and severely aggressive toward other dogs causing this tortured little soul to be a danger to himself and other dogs.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Joey came to us with trust issues and one of the most severe cases of resource guarding, to include water. We worked with him for 6 months on his issues but after several more bite incidents over that time, he continued to demonstrate no interest is learning to trust. In one bite incident, Joey had broken someone's finger through a bite glove and began attacking even his foster mom after it was thought progress had been made. Joey didn't slowly walk toward the rainbow bridge, he ran and crossed peacefully.

Leo the Lion-Hearted
Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Leo was a gentle giant who came to us 4 days before his passing. He had a tortured life being caged with little to no food and unknown to us when he arrived, he had been suffering from an infection resulting from his neuter surgery. This coupled with heartworm disease made his last days painful and heartbreaking when we discovered his issues were too severe for him to survive.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Lucy came to us with a history of biting and other behavioral issues and seizures. A neurologist determined she had a severe case of epilepsy and her wonderful and patient foster family worked with the vet on medications. After months, her seizures continued, causing her to digress in her behaviors and making her a danger to her loving foster family. Sweet Lucy and her beautiful smile are missed.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Macadoo aka Macaroni and Cheese aka Mac Daddy was a pup with a million nicknames and an equal number of supporters. Another tortured soul, he suffered from severe anxiety with containment issues and, after being attacked by a pack of dogs, issues with nearly every dog he saw. While he had an amazing foster mom and all the love and resources we had, it wasn't enough to overcome those ingrained behaviors making him a danger to humans and other dogs.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Nash came to us with a bite history and severe resource guarding. He was a sweet little soul who was so smart and gave the best hugs, however, he wasn't able to work through his trust issues that lead him to so fiercely guard his resources.

Razzle Dazzle
Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Razzle came to us with her little body riddled with issues, so many that she was in constant pain and it was ultimately not possible to save her. This girl was a gentle soul with the best smiles and kisses and her last days were spent in the sun, eating all the cheeseburgers she could, and being loved and adored.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Roland was a next level snuggler who made it feel like he was part of your skin! For several weeks, we had no inkling of any behavioral issues until he witnessed other dogs fighting and, unprovoked, viciously attacked the person trying to break up the fight. This left the person with serious injuries and us with having to make the hardest decision. He passed peacefully with his foster mom there calming and soothing him.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Sniffles came to us as a young puppy, separated from her mom and littermates too soon, with a leg injury / birth defect and already very mouthy with no bite inhibition. Since she came to us so early in her life, we had hoped we would be able to work through her problematic behavior. After Sniffles recovered from her leg amputation, this seemed to be the case as she was adopted by a loving family but soon she began fighting with the other dogs in the home, which spilled over to her humans leaving them and the other dogs with serious injuries. We brought her back under our care and continued to work with her on her unpredictable behaviors but she showed no improvement and no inclination to bond with anyone. After several consultations with veterinary and behavioral professionals, we let Sniffles cross the rainbow surrounded by people who understood her and loved her.

Rainbow Bridge | Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc.

Tilly was sprung from a local shelter's euthanasia list in September 2021. She spent her last 8 months of freedom enjoying the good life: soft beds, belly rubs, and playing with her favorite Kong toy. Tilly was 11 years old with failing health when she passed but she was loved completely by her HKRT family and her mama, Ella, every second she was with us.

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