Egyptian rescue dogs get second chance in Iowa

Woman's trip to Egypt inspired her to adopt two dogs

Banana’s leg was amputated after she was hit by a car. (Courtesy Andrea Ruba Photography,
Banana’s leg was amputated after she was hit by a car. (Courtesy Andrea Ruba Photography,

IOWA CITY — Two injured rescue dogs from Egypt have a second chance at life thanks to an Iowa City woman and Shellsburg-based Last Hope Animal Rescue.

Maren Stevens saw stray dogs everywhere she went while on vacation in Egypt in February, from Cairo to the pyramids. When she got home, she found the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals (ESMA) online and learned they were sending some dogs to the United States in search of homes.

The dogs being sent were the hardest cases — dogs who had been injured and stood little chance of being adopted in Egypt, Stevens said. ESMA works with Indiana non-profit Guardians of the Green Mile to bring the dogs to the United States.

Stevens wanted to help, so she contacted Last Hope Animal Rescue, which agreed to sponsor two Egyptian dogs.

That was about a month ago. Banana, a mix-breed dog who was hit by a car and had to have one of her back legs amputated, is staying with Stevens while Last Hope searches for a permanent home for her.

Stevens said Banana is a happy, healthy dog who doesn’t let having three legs slow her down.

“She jumps up on the bed, plays with my two dogs,” Stevens said. “She’s just like any dog.”

The second dog, a puppy who had been burned with acid, was fostered by a family who then decided to adopt him.

Lynn Snyder, a volunteer on Last Hope’s intake team, said it’s common for families to foster animals before adopting to see if the dog is compatible with their other pets and children.

Stevens said even when the Egyptian dogs find homes, there will still be a need for more animal foster families.

“There are plenty of dogs here who need foster homes,” she said. “It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, there are always dogs who need homes.”

Last Hope doesn’t have a physical shelter — every animal they sponsor stays in a foster home while the organization looks for a “forever home” to adopt them. Often they are dogs and cats facing euthanization at other shelters due to physical ailments or difficulty being placed for adoption — the same things that sent Banana across an ocean in search of a home.

Last Hope would like to sponsor a third Egyptian dog, Barclay, a German Shepherd mix whose legs were badly burned as a puppy. They are looking for a foster home willing to take him in while he waits for adoption.

“We’re open to rescuing any dog,” Snyder said. “If we have a foster family that steps up, we’ll rescue them.”


For more information about adopting or fostering from Last Hope, go to or call (319) 333-0542.

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