Our Story

Louie, OG

The story of Louie’s Legacy started in 2006 with a special little dog – named Louie, of course. Louie was a basset hound mix with red fur and different colored eyes, and he belonged to a shelter that had a 99% kill rate when he and our founder Emily met each other one fateful day.

For Emily, Louie was more than just a pet; he brought joy into her life and gave her something to care about and love outside of herself. When Emily first took Louie home, he was diagnosed with heartworm and some veterinarians even suggested giving him back to the shelter. However, Emily refused; and in the process of healing Louie, she found that he gave her something to live for at a dark time in her life.

Emily and Louie
Emily & Louie

After adopting Louie, Emily realized that there was an insurmountable number of shelter animals being put to sleep via gas chambers or euthanizing, and then carried out the backdoor of shelters as if they were nothing more than garbage. They never knew what it felt like to be cared for, to be safe or to be loved. Louie could easily have been one of those dogs, and he became an incredible catalyst for Emily’s mission.

After realizing how many animals were dying, Emily began to volunteer for various rescue organizations in the area while making medical and transport arrangements for animals. However, Emily soon realized that she needed to start her own rescue in order to save animals the way she truly desired to. So, on September 8, 2009, in the small home her grandparents built in the 1950s in Cincinnati, Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue began.

Emily, Louie & crew
Emily, Louie & crew

To-date, Louie’s Legacy has saved tens of thousands of animals while becoming one of the largest foster-based rescues in the country. Our philosophy behind the fostering-model is that we can gain far more knowledge about individual pets by allowing them to learn and decompress in family situations, instead of a cage.

Our mission is to find homes for as many animals as possible and to expand our reach to help in even more areas – especially those that struggle with euthanizing rates.