Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–An animal lover her whole life, Meagan Koehler has always dedicated herself to helping pets. Previously, Koehler served on the board of directors for PAWS & More Animal Shelter in Washington and as the fundraising director of a regional foster-based rescue and saw firsthand how fostering helps pets find forever homes. Wanting to expand southeastern Iowa’s ability to foster pets and reduce the number of animals euthanized due to overcrowding in nearby states, Koehler opened It Takes a Village Animal Rescue & Resources on March 16.

A foster-based rescue, It Takes a Village provides educational resources about the importance of pet adoption and low-cost spay and neuter opportunities and places homeless and surrendered pets in volunteers’ homes. They also make sure they receive the care they need until their new forever family adopts them. Koehler elaborated: “This gives us a unique ability to allow the animal to decompress away from the stressful shelter environment and to get a comprehensive view of their health and mobility as well as how the animal will behave in a home. This is valuable insight when needing to know if a dog is good with cats, children, or other dogs.”

Additionally, It Takes a Village works with local vets to ensure the animals they take in receive any medical treatment they need, get neutered or spayed, and get microchipped. For baby animals not old enough to get spayed or neutered, It Takes a Village sets up an appointment for them to get it done at the right age and makes following through with the appointment a condition of their adoption. To help pets and families ease into their new lives together, It Takes a Village can also set up a free initial training consultation with one of their partners.

Moving forward, It Takes a Village hopes to expand the number of pets they can foster by getting more volunteers and by accepting donations of pet supplies. Koehler encourages anyone interested in getting involved to learn more by contacting It Takes a Village via their Facebook Page.

To help acquaint the community with their organization and raise funds for supplies for their foster animals, It Takes a Village will hold a community event in Weed Park Aug. 28. Dubbed the Village Dog Days of Summer Fest, the event will feature many fun activities for people and dogs to enjoy together, including a microchip clinic, a pet photo booth, a mutt strut, as well as lunch and a visit and book signing led by a local veterinarian.

As It Takes a Village grows its work throughout Muscatine County and surrounding regions, its board, which includes Vice President Casey Koehler, Secretary Karen Hartman, Treasurer Jennifer Wolfe, and Member at Large and Adoption Coordinator Missi Broders, hoped to expand their reach by joining the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “We are emphatic about establishing strong community ties.” stressed Koehler. “Our Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry does so much to help support and grow local businesses and nonprofits–this was a no-brainer for us.”

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