Because Speranza Animal Rescue is a no-kill rescue, meaning that we never euthanize an animal because of a lack of space, we have several dogs that are not currently adoptable, but are in rehabilitation.  Dogs can be in rehab for medical or behavioral issues and each case requires a different approach and plan.  The following dogs are currently in rehab at Speranza:



Alice is in rehabilitation because she is very leery of new people and her fear can cause her to be less than friendly until she trusts you.  High quality treats and time help her learn to trust new people.  There are several volunteers at the rescue who walk and play with her and there are always volunteers working to get to that comfort level with her.  She is an amazing dog that loves to run and play fetch.


Boomer was found on the hood of a car in Harrisburg and he has been at Speranza for over a year.  Boomer is slow to trust new people and he really needs work on his leash skills.  He thinks a leash is the ultimate tug toy and plays hard! He is great with dogs and loves to play fetch.


Diego was found alone on a porch in Harrisburg.  He loves other dogs and gets to play with three other dogs every day. Diego does well on walks and can be handled by most of the volunteers; however Diego does not do well with people in his face or on his level.  He has acted out before, but he has been doing very well for the last several months.


Our sweet, little Elmer has had some issues when encountering people.  He is sweet and affectionate to most, but he has had his moments where he loses his manners.  He grew up in a foster home with other dogs and children, but for some reason he lost his confidence along the way. Elmer is adored by the many volunteers that walk him and give him love.


Gordon was found wandering around after his owner tried to sell him on Facebook.  He was not too excited to see strangers trying to help secure him and get him to Speranza.  He allowed Janine to leash him and bring him back to the rescue.  Gordon has opened up enough to trust a very limited group of volunteers to handle him.  He is protective of his handlers and we are working to help him understand that everyone around is here to help him.


Gretel will likely be in rehab for a long time, as she has so much work to do.  When found, we thought that she was feral, but sadly she knows basic commands, which leads us to believe this confused girl was once a pet.  It took weeks for Janine to gain Gretel’s trust and we have made some big steps since then.  Gretel is now housed in our new kennels along with 16 other dogs.  She is very temperamental and we take her rehab one day at a time to understand where her comfort level is at for that day. There are four or five regular volunteers handling Gretel so that she can learn to fully trust a few before we introduce her to more.


Jefferson came to Speranza with severe chemical burns and deep wounds all over his body.  He spent several weeks at Dillsburg Veterinary Center receiving care and lost an eye in the ordeal.  He is very affectionate and stubborn.  He walks when he wants to and he demands belly rubs when he wants them! Jefferson is walked by all of the volunteers, but we are all careful to stay on the side where he can see and to stay out of his face.  Jefferson has acted inappropriately more than once and we are trying to determine the trigger of this behavior.

Jersey Boy

Jersey Boy came to Speranza in late February of 2017.  He could only be handled by the Animal Control Officer that helped save him at the shelter in New Jersey.  Now at Speranza, he is only being handled by Janine.  He is slowly coming out of his shell and starting to enjoy life with Janine.  He is still very leery of anyone else, but he will come around in time.



Karma has been at Speranza for some time now as she is slow to accept new people and new environments.  Karma is one of the sweetest dogs to those that she trusts, but she is fearful of strangers and reactive when around them.  She is also a terrible leash biter and struggles to accept that a leash is not a tug toy.   She absolutely loves her time playing with the other members of the ‘family circus'- Diego, Tucker, and Boomer.

Monkey Joe

 Monkey Joe is the one dog who’s resource guarding we have not been able to break yet.  Monkey is a very sweet, smart and stubborn boy. He does not like anyone near his food, toys, or other objects that he decides to guard  Monkey is a fantastic communicator and always let’s you know when he is uncomfortable, which makes respecting his space very easy.  Monkey loves to play with other dogs and he is a volunteer favorite.  He insists on getting belly rubs and often refuses to walk until he is satisfied with his ‘tummy time’.


Our big, dopey Dexter is striking with his big ears, goofy smile and beautiful coloring.  He was estimated to be between 1 and 2-years old when he was found as a stray in Philadelphia.  He is a Great Dane mix and has some hip dysplasia and knee issues for which we are treating him.  He is very dog reactive but loves to play with tennis balls.  Dexter has also shown some uncertainty towards men.  


Toby was surrendered to Speranza by his previous family when he was under a year old.  Toby was showing signs of aggression when he arrived at Speranza.  Janine quickly identified his aggression as all bark and reactivity.  Toby is a very vocal boy who feels the need to convince everyone that he is super tough; when in reality he is insecure and scared.  We are working to socialize Toby more people so he learns to trust



Handsome Ernie was found as a stray in Harrisburg during the spring of 2017. He is estimated to be between 1 and 2-years old. He loves going for walks and walks very well on a leash, even when walking with his best friend Riley.  Ernie is leery of some men and has some food guarding issues, so we are keeping him in rehab until we can work out those issues.