One random July evening in 2008, Jessica Kamish (CEO) was surfing the web looking for a sister for her current 3 year old pug Rocky. She came across the website for Midwest Pug Rescue where a banner read, “Foster homes needed in Omaha, NE.” As Jessica was the president of the Omaha Pug Club, with membership of more than 150 pug lovers, she was sure that she could find a couple of fellow pug lovers who would open their homes and hearts to a pug in need and foster for the rescue.
An email was sent out to the address listed on the website, and an email was quickly received back that there was a 6 year old female who was found in O’Neil, Nebraska who needed a foster home. At this point Jessica sent an email to the pug club asking for foster homes. One couple replied immediately, Megan and Josiah (Si) Hollibaugh. They had just adopted two pugs from another rescue and wanted to help out a pug in need.
With much contemplation, Jessica and her fiancé Matt decided to go ahead and take on this 6 year old puppy mill pug and give fostering a try. They named their foster pug Lily. Lily changed Matt and Jessica’s life. As a puppy mill survivor she had never experienced life outside of a kennel. There were so many firsts, and they found glory in the small things. The experience touched them both and they wanted to become more involved. Shortly after deciding this, Lily became part of their family.
Jessica soon began getting emails about all the pugs needing rescued in Nebraska and Iowa. At this time, the only pug rescue in the area was Midwest Pug Rescue in Kansas City, MO, and it was obvious that the rescue need was great in the Nebraska and Iowa area as well. Jessica continued to seek out additional foster homes to help with the influx of pugs that needed rescued in the area. Megan and Si were the first foster home to take in a foster pug after Jessica. Their first foster was Yoda, a three year old mostly blind male who was surrendered to the Council Bluffs Animal Shelter. They too were touched by their fostering experience and wanted to find a way to help the pugs in need even more.
After finding it hard to stay in contact with the pug rescue in Kansas City, Jessica, Matt, Megan and Si decided that it would be best to start up their own rescue and run it the way that would work best for them. Pug Partners of Nebraska was created in December 2008, and the EIN number request was filed with the IRS. In January 2009, a generous Omaha lawyer agree to help the group file their 501(c)(3) paperwork.
On January 30, 2009 the state certified Pug Partners of Nebraska’s Articles of Incorporation.
Since then, Pug Partners of Nebraska has rescued over 140 pugs. We have over 20 foster homes, many volunteers, and have countless happy-ever-after stories about the pugs PPN has rescued. As the rescue has increased in size, Pug Partners added new positions to better help them rescue more pugs in need. In July 2009, positions were added to include a foster qualifier, foster coordinator, adoption qualifier, and adoption coordinator. In January 2010, these roles were further condensed to include a foster director and an adoption director. In March 2010, the positions began evolving once again and will continue to evolve as the rescue continues to grow.