By LANCE ARMSTRONG, Valley Community Newspapers writer
Lynn Hagemann, whose pony rides business at William Land Park was featured in the Aug. 11 edition of this publication, has a love for animals that extends well beyond ponies.
For the past 23 years, she has operated a dog and cat rescue business, known as Hagemann Rescue. And in those years, Hagemann has found homes for about 1,200 dogs and about 800 cats that would have otherwise been euthanized.
In speaking about her efforts to save the lives of animals, Hagemann said, “We go to the pound to see whose time is up and that’s who we choose.”
Hagemann, whose love for animals began during her childhood, said that her road to establishing her dog and cat rescue business mainly began when she was a United Parcel Service driver.
“I’ve always rescued dogs and picked them up off the streets and stuff like that,” Hagemann said. “I worked for UPS and my mom (Fran Pederson) worked in a veterinary hospital and people would have their dogs and they wanted to put them to sleep, because they couldn’t afford the bill. My mom would tell me about certain dogs and I’d ask people on my UPS route and try to find them homes, which I did.”
In an attempt to assist more animals, Hagemann went to the local animal control shelter at 2127 Front St. and inquired about providing volunteer work.
After being turned away, because the shelter did not accept volunteers, Hagemann discovered an advertisement for the Yolo County Animal Services.
“The Yolo County animal control, they advertised that they wanted volunteers, so I went in there and I started taking animals down to (William Land) Park,” Hagemann said. “I talked to the people who run my contract there (at the park) and they said as long as they (obtained approval of) everyone around the area – the zoo, the animal control, the SPCA, everybody – and (the animals) were spayed and neutered, I could have them (at the park).”
Today, most of the animals available to the public for adoption through Hagemann’s rescue business are dogs that she acquires from the Sutter County Animal Control shelter in Yuba City.
Hagemann said that she feels especially good about taking animals out of the Yuba City shelter, because the animals at this Sutter County facility are housed in very tight quarters.
Generally, Hagemann selects mixed breed dogs, since purebred dogs are more likely to be adopted from animal control shelters.
The dogs and cats of Hagemann Rescue are strategically placed within a gated area near the entrance to the Land Park Pony Rides, in order that these animals receive the best exposure to guests of the pony rides and the nearby Funderland.
Hagemann Rescue animals are popular with many park guests and many times people arrive at the pony rides area simply to visit the dogs, and cats, if any are present.
In a show of appreciation, many people who have acquired animals from Hagemann return to visit her at her place of work.
Hagemann recalled that a woman recently visited her with some photographs of her dog.
“A lady came here and she had pictures of her little Chihuahua mixed dog, and they have two acres, and she was telling me how this dog sleeps on her husband’s arm at night on their bed and how spoiled it was and how they loved the dog,” Hagemann said. “And that’s what happens all the time with the dogs that people get here. And I love it when people get dogs here, because we get to turn around and get another one.”
When asked whether she is active with any hobbies, Hagemann was quick to mention that her involvement with animals is her hobby.
“(Working with animals) is in the blood, I guess,” said Hagemann, who in addition to her ponies, horses and mule, owns six “keeper dogs,” three cats and various geese and chickens on her property in Sheridan in Placer County. “I’ve always loved animals from the time I was a little kid. I’m not sure whether my mom and dad loved animals. Maybe that’s where it came from, but I love almost any kind of animal. I’m not real big into reptiles, but anything with fur on it.
“My interest is animals and that’s why I give the pony rides, because I love animals and that gives me an excuse to have (the ponies), and they pay for themselves pretty much. And I never get tired of going to the pound and getting new dogs to take home and teach them how to walk on a leash, and (working) with them.”
Considering that Hagemann said that she does “not make a penny” on placing dogs and cats in new homes, it is evident that she operates her rescue business because of her love for animals.
“We put (the animals) up for adoption for the money that I have into them,” Hagemann said. “So, actually they cost me, because I’m not like most of the rescue groups that charge for going to get the dogs, their time, gas and everything else. I just charge for the price of purchasing the dogs and shots, (de-)worming and that sort of thing. There’s no money in it. This is my hobby. I don’t drink beer, alcohol or anything like that, so I feel that if I don’t get all the money out of the dogs, that’s okay, because it makes me happy.”
On average, the cost of adopting a dog from Hagemann is about $60, and a cat from Hagemann costs an average of about $40.
For additional information regarding, Hagemann Rescue, call (916) 645-1161.