Foster Fur Hero: Speed Queen’s Maranda Ott

Senior dogs have a champion in Speed Queen team member

Since becoming the official laundry partner of Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS), we’ve gotten to meet so many passionate animal advocates.  But these heroes exist in a variety of organizations – many affiliated with BFAS. Today, we’ll introduce you to one of our own teammates. Maranda Ott is our senior creative services specialist at Speed Queen and just one of the many animal lovers in our company.

As much as you think you’re prepared for bad news about your pet’s health, you never are. And when the vet coming to speak with you is already in tears, well… there’s an almost overwhelming feeling of dread. That was the case for Maranda Ott and her boyfriend, Taylor, when the vet delivered the truth…no sugar coating. Pebbles, their senior dog from a local rescue in Alabama, had IMHA, bronchitis, and a tumor on her spleen. They had to get her to an emergency vet.

This was adoption day.

Yes, you read that right, adoption day…they’d known each other an hour or so.

Special people …

Animals in shelters and rescues face a myriad of challenges keeping them from their forever homes…and then there are senior animals. Knowing they might only have a few years with them and might encounter health issues, most adopters pass on them…most of them. Maranda and Taylor aren’t most; they’re those special people who see how deserving these senior guys and gals are and want to give them all the love and security they deserve.

They started with Bogey, an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd/beagle, that they rescued from Secondhand Hounds in Minnesota. While they got him when he was young, he is the reason they want to rescue senior dogs. Maranda said her gut told her this guy would be a good fit, but the more likely reason started a bit further North …in her heart.

Maranda sees the help that senior dogs like Bogey need and she wants to be that person. Not only that; she wants others to see how much love these four-legged friends have to give.

“I’m senior dog all the way,” she jokes. “I want to be that senior advocate.” While she can’t commit to fostering, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who gives more of herself to animal causes – something that’s continued since she started volunteering years ago at the humane society in high school Back in Wisconsin.

Truly committed

Like so many with a passion to help animals in need, Maranda never gives up …something that was quite apparent over the summer. Driving home from a weekend excursion, Maranda and Taylor saw a female dog who looked like she had given birth or had multiple litters wandering around a gas station that was close to major highways.

She knew there must be pups in the area in need of attention, so she  took to Facebook to raise awareness and get other to be on the lookout.

Over the next couple weekends, she returned to the area and organized help, knowing that the pups were still out there. She kept after it…along with a lot of help. After roughly of month of work, all the animals were corralled. Today, they are healthy and in foster homes awaiting forever homes.

There’s no quit in Maranda.


True commitment is rare. Let’s face it, it’s exceptionally hard. It also requires heart and a bit of faith. Thankfully, for a senior dog with serious health issues, Maranda has all the qualities above and was willing to help her get treatment.

“I felt that she wanted to be part of our family…she had life in her eyes,” Maranda said of why she made the hard decision to fight for this seriously ill senior dog when many in the same position might have given up. Afterall, in addition to the health problems and being a senior, she also was listed as aggressive.

Whatever the future held for the dog, she wasn’t going to face it alone…she had two humans and a senior sibling in her corner.

Today, months later, Pebbles is living her best life with this loving…and committed family. As for that “aggressiveness” that brought her to the rescue?

“There’s not an aggressive bone in her body,” Maranda said, adding that she loves kids, and her brother…though she concedes Pebbles may love Taylor the most.

For Maranda and Taylor, it’s just another example of how great senior dogs are, with so much life and love to share. She’s also hopeful stories like hers lead others to adopt or find ways to get involved with rescue organizations.

“There are so many rescues out there and they all need donations, supplies …,” she said, adding that while not everyone can foster, most everyone can help these organizations in highly impactful ways. Her advice – get involved.