Let Love Live helps many dogs through collaboration of foster program

Let Love Live is a foster-based rescue organization with a new Wadena location in conjunction with the LLL rescue based in Texas.

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Let Love Live Midwest director Becky Costner shows some love to one of the organization's new dogs on April 29, 2021. The organization is a foster-based rescue with Wadena and Texas locations. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

If you’re needing to feel the love of a dog or the smile that comes with caring for a dog, Let Love Live has the program for you. People can apply as a foster care home for short or long-term stays as well as adoption and can volunteer to play with a dog or take them for a walk as they’re awaiting adoption.

Let Love Live is a foster-based rescue organization with a new Wadena location in conjunction with the LLL rescue based in Texas. The nonprofit organization started in 2018 with space for horses, livestock and domesticated animals, and expanded to Minnesota in 2021 for dogs young to senior, according to their website. LLL Midwest director Becky Costner said the rescues focus on collaboration and partnership.

“Obviously we all need to be able to work together to be able to be a resource to many, many, many, many dogs that just one organization alone can’t do that but when you can partner then you can pull together many, many rescues and everybody together is able to make a direct impact for those dogs,” Costner said. Costner worked as the shelter manager at the Wadena County Humane Society for about a year and a half and volunteered since 2016 .

The partnerships range to as many rescues and shelters as possible to open up space for more dogs. In Wadena, the space will mostly sit empty, though always ready to take in dogs and transport them to homes. As needed, the building has pop-up kennels for about 10 big dogs and 10-15 smaller dogs.


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The pop-up kennels are adjustable to the dog's size. The building has room for about 10 big dogs and 10-15 small dogs. The organization is gathering more supplies for the dogs after opening on Feb. 1, 2021. Rebecca Mitchell/Pioneer Journal

The dogs enter the LLL program with a two-week quarantine in Texas before transport to rescues and families in the United States. The fosters are widespread throughout Minnesota and growing in Wisconsin and North Dakota.

The dog transport process

The Minnesota and Texas teams use a custom trailer to transport the dogs, which is fitted with 28 kennels that each have their own drain for any accidents, climate control, two generators, running water and a webcam for the driver to check in on the dogs. They also have a van that the other team drives and each time they meet up, usually Tuesdays and Saturdays, they swap vehicles. The teams often meet around Kansas City.

With fosters in Pepin, Wis., Albert Lea, Redwood Falls, Bloomington, St. Cloud and Ottertail, the team begins making their deliveries as they ascend Interstate 35. Fosters are provided with the supplies needed, including food, a leash, kennel and veterinary care. The foster-based program allows Let Love Live to support more dogs than what their building has space for.

“A lot of the dogs come right off of our transport and they go right into the arms of the foster,” Costner said.

LLL MN jumped in with a transport of 14 dogs on Feb. 1, which were originally scheduled for another location. Without a building at the time, the dogs had a short stay in Costner’s home for the night before every dog had a new foster home. They signed a lease at their Jefferson Street location five days later. The staff includes Costner, two part-time employees and volunteers.


“It’s all fun and it’s all challenging, and it’s all just the continued growth of what we’ll have right now in this building,” Costner said. The dogs are usually in the building for less than 24 hours.

Program stats from Feb. 1-April 29:

  • 83 active foster families

  • 164 dog adoptions

  • 152 dog transfers to rescue partners

  • 371 dogs have entered the program

As dogs are constantly entering the program, the staff track the dog’s needs of foster care and when an upcoming adoption is on spreadsheets. Before their arrival, Costner shares the dogs’ bio information with partner rescues and shelters. She also ensures the breeds, sizes and ages of dogs are well spread throughout the organizations. With lots of communication and time caring for the dogs, Costner describes her role as “a big circle of everybody doing everything and then I piece it all together and kind of make it work.”

Why foster?

While opening amidst the COVID pandemic, the relationships between fosters and adopters has been successful as they are able to stay connected and offer resources. Adoption counselor Shannon Schey also said sharing about the dog’s likes and dislikes are beneficial to fitting a dog and an adopter.

People can foster for a few days or months as well as include their own preferences about the type of dog.

“Any amount of fostering helps even if it’s like for three days it’s always great because we still learn so much about that dog in that first three days,” Costner said. “All of that helps them be able to match them with their new families and everything.”

Costner said the value is also in teaching children and families compassion, opening their heart and seeing the bigger picture of need—which a lot of people have realized with animal rescues during the pandemic.

As the organization bountifully grows in Wadena, Costner said community opportunities like short-term fostering for medical or housing cases are aspects they’re looking forward to.


“We (rescues and shelters) are all here for the animals and that’s just the big picture: we’re the voice for the animals, we’re the advocate for the animals and so it’s all about advocating for the animals in need,” Costner said.

Get involved

Many of the organization’s fosters are first time fosters, as Costner and Schey said. If you’re interested in supporting dogs through fostering, adoption, volunteering or sponsorship, call 218-631-6221, email or check out the Let Love Live MN Facebook page. LLL is located at 204 Jefferson Street North, Wadena.

Rebecca Mitchell started as a Digital Content Producer for the Post Bulletin in August 2022. She specializes in enhancing online articles as well as education, feature and health reporting.
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