When she was eight years old, Kim Frigault walked by what was then called a “dog pound” on her way home from school. Heartbroken at the sight of the dogs stuck behind bars, she freed the animals when she thought nobody was looking. The town constable caught her and took her home where she was punished.
The constable recognized that her intentions were good and offered her the chance to work at the facility so she could provide more constructive assistance to the dogs. Frigault started visiting the pound every day, walking the dogs and providing them with food and water. In addition, she took photos of the animals which she posted around town so their old owners could find them or new owners could adopt them.
The years went by but Frigault’s ardor for dogs has not abated. In 2001 she co-founded Long Trail Canine Rescue (LTCR) to help minimize the need to euthanize adoptable dogs. The all-volunteer non-profit works with shelters in three South Carolina counties which are only able to keep dogs for a maximum of thirty days before euthanizing them.
“We have a team down there that knows what we’re looking for,” said Frigault. “We take all breeds because we are primarily interested in personality and behavior.”
LTCR tries to match dogs with humans of similar energy levels and lifestyles, making sure that active dogs move in with active families while more sedentary people might be matched with older animals.
When she’s not rescuing dogs, Frigault spends her summers atop Mt. Philo assisting her husband John who serves as the Park Ranger, a job he has held for the last four years. The couple used to own a hair salon in Connecticut but when they retired, they decided to change careers and John was hired by the Vermont Department of Parks and Recreation. Their first post was at Wilgus Park in 2002 at which time they also started an off-the-grid alpaca farm in Grafton. They later worked at Townsend and Jamaica State Parks before coming to Mt. Philo.
“It’s a beautiful place to live,” said Frigault. “The community has really embraced us.”
Frigault enjoys interacting with park visitors who range from morning dog walkers to school groups, tourists, and locals hiking up to enjoy the spectacular sunsets. More camps and classes are visiting as part of Vermont’s initiative to get kids outside and the couple helps out with geology lessons and scavenger hunts.
In the winter, Frigault moves to Costa Rica where she runs a non-profit called Hope for a Street Dog. The mission of that organization is to reduce overpopulation by scheduling high-volume spay/neuter clinics which can operate on 50 to 80 animals a day. Frigault also visits the local schools to help children learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership in the hope that the younger generation will take the lead in taking better care of their animals.
Frigault loves being able to devote her time to helping canines in need. “It’s the most rewarding thing that I could do for a job,” she said. “I try to encourage people to get the courage to bring that first foster dog in and feel that passion. They really do save a life.”