Second chances are the name of the game for Eric and Brandy King. The idea pets deserve a second chance at a happy and fulfilled life is the foundation of their rescue, Born Again Rescue and Kennel, or BARK.
Operating since 2019, the couple and their son, Ty, has worked to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome dogs who were unwanted or abandoned through no fault of their own. They’ve managed to find new homes for over 65 dogs and have served not only Warren County, but many of the surrounding counties.
Both Eric and Brandy have a history rich in animal experience and have been animal lovers their entire lives. Rescuing less fortunate animals has always been a passion even before starting their own organization.
Brandy rescued her first pet as a child, an abused dog named Pokey, and the drive to help animals never waned. Over the years, the Kings have served as a foster home for numerous animals on their way to forever homes. However, BARK finds its roots in the rescue of a husky named Oreo who was a bait dog in a dog-fighting operation. The journey with him, Brandy said, showed them they wanted to do more for the dogs who needed them.
They describe BARK as their passion, while they still work full-time jobs outside the rescue.
“Our goal is to help any dog we can. We also want people to think about how dogs can be more complex than a newborn baby. They can come with issues, problems and backgrounds that we don’t know or understand,” said Brandy.
Each dog is sent to its new home with a checklist meant to educate their family about the dog and what to expect during his or her lifetime. For the time being, they dedicate their time and resources to dogs but hope to acquire more property and consider the idea of taking on a larger variety of animals in the future. They currently keep between 15 and 25 dogs at a given time.
BARK sets itself apart from other rescues by keeping the dogs in a home setting. Brandy emphasizes that living in the home with other dogs and people allows them to receive socialization that is crucial to the development of social skills with both people and animals.
“Some dogs can break down socially when you have them separated and locked up. I understand sometimes you have to have the kennel but, at least here, it helps them out,” said Brandy.
Each puppy goes home with a blanket that he or she used while with the King family, the familiar scents helping ease anxieties in their new environment.
Prospective owners can expect a thorough vetting process before being allowed to take home a new dog. The application requests information ranging from living arrangements, dog experience and personal references to speak to the character of the applicant.
“It’s important for the adopter to be perfect for the dog as opposed to the other way around,” said Brandy. “These dogs have been through so much from being abandoned, left in cages for years, abused and neglected. We want to get the right person for the dog. We have no problem with turning people away. We don’t want dogs tied up or kenneled outside anymore. We can’t just let anyone have a puppy.”
Those looking for their next best friend can request specific dogs in their application or ask for a dog fitting any number of specifications in order to be notified should a dog matching that description find its way into the rescue.
When considering new owners, the Kings take into account the personality and needs of the dog and how it will fare in the home. Once an application is accepted, the next step is to meet the dog and have the family approved.
For those who wish to contribute for BARK’s mission, donations can be made in the form of currency or items. Dog-related items are always welcome and an Amazon wish list is available with frequently needed supplies. Cash can be donated directly or paid to their vet account at Sparta Road Veterinary Clinic.
Their current list of available dogs can be found on their website at https://bornagaintn.wixsite.com/bark. Interested parties may contact BARK at (931) 304-8818 or via its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bornagain.tn, to inquire about dogs and begin the adoption process. Kenneling services are available on a special needs basis.