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People Power: Stay Awhile

Camp K9 provides rest for the weary and romps for the feisty

  • Dogs play at Camp K9 in Indiana

    Cenna, a shepherd mix up for adoption, is surrounded by his buddies in an outdoor play yard at Camp K9. Dogs at Linda Candler’s facility are a mix of owned pets who are day campers, grooming clients, and foster dogs up for adoption. KRISTY BOYD/CAMP K9

Linda Candler’s three-hour drive from her home in Mishawaka, Ind., to Indianapolis last December began with a stop to pick up some discounted shop vacs—crucial tools for dehairifying Camp K9, her doggy day care—and continued with the delivery of a lovable pit bull to the rescue group waiting to take him.

The doggie drop-off took place in the parking lot outside a pancake house: Candler and her cohort Kelly Adelsperger handed off Tucker (the pit bull) to Casa Del Toro Pit Bull Education and Rescue, and then scooped nine new pooches into the company van, decorated with stickers of doggies in the window. Seven dogs were from shelters in Kentucky. A chow chow and dachshund mix came from an Indianapolis shelter.

"We don’t go anywhere without bringing home at least one dog who needs a home," Candler says.

It’s a mantra she’s maintained for the last three years. She recalls a Great Pyrenees surrendered at the shelter where she once worked. "[The owner] said, 'We didn’t understand how big he was going to get,'" she says with frustration. The sweet Irish setter she recently helped rescue has a similar story.

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