KRONENWETTER, Wis. (WSAW)-- Dog days aren't just for summer for Sean Dumais. He's worked with dogs for many years.
"When I was younger I worked as an apprentice with a trainer for a facility in California that trains protection dogs and working dogs," Dumais said.
As life moved on, he strayed from training. But in 2016, he got the itch again, and mentioned it to his fiance Heather Zynda.
"I told Heather I wanted to start training again," he said.
"I thought, why not use a rescue," said Heather.
Sean added, "told her that that's probably not gonna work."
"He thought I was crazy," Heather said with a grin.
"Took me about a week and a half to think about it," Sean said.
"I showed him some ideas. He kind of went with it," added Heather.
And just like that, Crossroads K9 Rescue was born in the summer of 2016. In that time, they've rescued almost 120 dogs. 43 this year with 7 more on the way. They keep it to German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois breeds.
"I have a very large network of friends that send me dogs," said Zynda. "Potential Shepherds that need to be rescued, or mixes."
"Most of the time she gives me a day or two notice and then I'm on my way to get them," Dumais said about traveling to pick up the dogs.
Once the dogs arrive, if healthy, they'll stay at Sean and Heather's house only for a couple of days before they're transferred to a foster home. From there, Sean continues the training, while their vet needs are taken care of by PAW Health Network.
"We really do enjoy working with them as a group," said Carlo Riolo, President/CEO at PAW Health Network. "They're structure and organization and professionalism is really on point."
Once a week, a group of volunteers visit the home to interact with the K9's.
"We just want to help out with as much love and attention we can give the animals that we can," said volunteer Allison Montalbano. "That's what we're here for."
Dumais adds, "they bond with us as a pack member so its good to have outsiders come in and they learn outsiders are not a threat, learn how to interact with them and good to get playtime people other than the people they see every single day."
No dog is off-limits.
"Puppies. We have a 7 year old. Aggressive to gentle," said Zynda.
Just this year, Crossroads K9 has affiliated themself with Patriot K9 Partners, a program that pairs a canine with military veterans. And soon, they'll begin training dogs for diabetic detection.
Where they are now compared to the summer of 2016 is no small feat.
"I think we're a thousand times different than what we ever thought it was going to be," Dumais said.
"They're very selfless," added Montalbano.
Riolo says, "their success is by no means dumb luck."
"We are out there to make life better for K9's and for people," said Zynda.
A nice treat for all involved, on a job well done.
Crossroads K9 Rescue is always looking for foster homes. For more information, click on the link attached to this story.
They have a couple of fundraisers on the horizon, if you'd like to get involved.
The first is a spaghetti dinner on February 9 at Razz's Bar & Grill in Weston. Then, on April 6 is the Paws on the Pavement run/walk at River Park in Mosinee and on August 10th is the Kruzin' for K9s.
Click here for more information about the events or to adopt/foster one of the dogs or even donate