Instead of living in cages, adoptable pit bulls at this Oregon rescue live in their own tiny cottages.
The pit bulls that occupy these cozy doghouses make up the 55-acre wooded sanctuary known as Luvable Dog Rescue in Eugene. While pit bulls at other rescues may be cramped in a tiny cage waiting months to be adopted, these happy and healthy pups each have a quaint cottage they can call home for the time being.
"A lot of dogs go downhill once they're in a shelter. It's a very stressful environment," founder Liesl Wilhardt told InsideEdition.com. "We wanted to give them an environment that was as cozy and homelike as possible."
There are six cottages at the rescue, Wilhardt said, and most of the cottages have two separate rooms. Each pit bull has its own room, but is able to socialize during daily walks through the woods, or in the cottage under the watchful eye of a volunteer.
She explained that each cottage, which costs between $20,000 and $30,000, is complete with plush furniture, dog beds, music, art work on the walls, windows, warm lighting, and donated recliners for volunteers to lounge on as they snuggle with the pups.
"It lets us see how the pit bulls will be in a home," Wilhardt explained. "A dog in a concrete run is going to behave very differently than a dog with a house, with furniture, televisions, and people coming and going. As much as we can learn about our dogs, the more successful the adoption will be."
The rescue is home to about 10 pit bulls at a time. They also take in 20-30 small breed dogs, which stay in the main kennel.
But, she explained small breed dogs tend to get adopted out within weeks, whereas it may take months before a pit bull is adopted. That's why she decided to invest in an environment for the pit bulls at her shelter that would help them cope with an extended stay.
In addition to a comfortable place to sleep, Wilhardt said volunteers take all the dogs for long hikes on the property every day: "We have miles of trails, so we have this great country road where they can see goats, and horses, and chickens."
Over the years, Wilhardt said the rescue has saved more than 2,000 dogs, and with further donations, a larger "dog palace" and a maternity ward to properly serve pregnant dogs, are in the works.