Speed Queen Foster Heroes: Delivering Texas-size love for dogs in need

Since becoming the official laundry partner of Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS), we’ve met so many passionate animal advocates. But these heroes exist in a variety of organizations—many affiliated with BFAS. To honor them for their efforts, we’ve gifted several special foster moms and dads a TR7/DR7 washer and dryer set to help simplify their laundry routines, allowing them to focus on providing the best possible care for their furry foster friends.

Today, we’re introducing you to Annie in Dallas, Texas.

There’s a special place in Dallas where the term “lost cause” doesn’t exist. Here, in a house seemingly like others in the neighborhood, amazing miracles are performed. And if you’re a special needs puppy, this home is where you want to be. Here, you are not a lost cause because you have Annie Housel in your corner. And she will not give up on you.

Jumping into the deep end

Annie’s start in fostering dogs came six years ago when she was scrolling through her Facebook feed and saw a pregnant pit bull at an area shelter. The post noted they would likely need to abort the babies. But Annie wanted to give these pups a chance and thought, “how hard could it be?”

After a few weeks, she got her answer: it would be quite the challenge. Mom gave birth to 13 puppies and promptly got sick, which meant bottle feeding the newborn puppies. With Annie’s help, Mom and 12 of the pups pulled through!

From that point on, Annie’s home has been the place where doggie miracles happen. Over the last six years, Annie has not been without foster animals, making her a life-saving asset for Dallas Dog.

No lost cause

Is there anything more powerful than having someone in your corner who believes so strongly in a positive outcome that you have no other option than to try to match their level of optimism? Even when veterinarians share a bleak outlook, Annie isn’t shaken.

“Even when everything is against you, you still have to try,” she said.

And this statement is far more than just words. Like when a 3-week-old pit bull mix with a broken neck came to her home. The prognosis was anything but good. But a lost cause? Never. Annie believed and got to work. Over the next several weeks, the little guy got better and, because of her social presence, popular, too. That was four years ago. Today, the not-so-little guy lives on 25 acres in New Jersey and has his own pond.

“This is what makes it all worthwhile,” she said. “I want the hard ones.”

Whether it’s hand-feeding puppies with syringes, providing oxygen treatments, helping dogs dealing with recent amputations, and everything in between, at Annie’s house, every dog has a chance.

Inspiration beyond

By sharing her efforts through networking and social channels, Annie has also inspired others—whether it’s to foster, donate to the shelter, or adopt animals.

“Even if you only foster once, you’ve saved two animals—the one you foster and the space for another,” she said, adding that the experience may also inspire someone else to do the same. “It can snowball into a bigger storm.”

Her optimism is, indeed, contagious.

Simplifying everyday life

To help simplify one area of Annie’s hectic daily routine, we gifted her a TR7/DR7 washer and dryer set. And her experience started with a bit of shock and awe.

“Honestly, I got a bit shaky that I would be gifted something for doing something I love,” she said.

After installation and one run of the pet hair remover cycle on the DR7, Annie could already see that this would be a gamechanger for her pack, which includes three dogs of her own and a foster crew that can range from a couple to 17. And with the puppies and special needs animals she takes in, the sanitizing capabilities of the set are equally advantageous.

“I could wash something today and tomorrow it’s full of hair again,” she said of clean items that just need a refresh of removing hair. “It’s amazing what comes off.”

To learn more about Dallas Dog, visit dallasdog.org. To meet more of our foster heroes, visit speedqueen.com/foster-fur-challenge.