You know how sometimes we see cute images of animals online and then click to see the photo, or watch a video. And other times, especially for those of us involved in animal rescue, we see images that are harder to look at. Sometimes those images are graphic and gratuitous.
But they are telling a story.
The truth is, day in and day out there are thousands upon thousands of animals in various situations ranging from “Geez, I could use a good home” to dire.
I work with many rescue groups and shelters that help all those cases and many more in between.
One of my favorite groups is called Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T). START does two things: 1) Animals are rescued from high kill shelters in Southern and Central California and transported to Pacific Northwest rescue organizations where they are rehomed.
2) START funds veterinary clinics in local communities to facilitate no/low-cost spay/neuter services in the hopes of reducing unwanted births and fewer intakes at the already overcrowded animal shelters.
Pretty cool, huh? AND… as of this writing, 8359 animals have been transported by START!
What I specifically love about START is how they interact with their supporters.
They regularly send out beautiful emails sharing photos of a dog or dogs at the shelter (the “before” photos), letting us know a bit about their backstory. Seeing an animal suffering is hard. And yes, some stories are sadder than others. But all the dogs need good homes.
Supporters know that START does great work and they make donations so that START can rescue the dogs from the shelter situation. Once the dogs are safe, they go stay at Aunty Sandy’s- a boarding facility run by a woman with the biggest of big hearts.
Aunty Sandy showers them with love and affection and assists in tending to any veterinary needs.
When the dogs are ready, they are either lovingly placed on transport or some are adopted locally.
Sometimes, dogs are pulled from the shelter because they only have a few days or weeks left to live and START and Aunty Sandy make sure they know they are loved for at least that time.
Then comes my favorite part. START sends out a follow-up email with the “after” photos. We see smiling dogs, dogs with treats and balls and friends and families. START is clever and writes a wonderful and entertaining follow up note, often in the voice of the happy-to-be-safe dog.
I cheer and smile and cry happy tears for the dogs and give thanks for all of START’s efforts.
This month, START was kind enough to share What to Expect When Adopting a Dog in their fabulous newsletter. As a thank you, I’m making an extra donation to them at the end of May. (So if you haven’t purchased a copy yet, doing so now will help them out!)
There is so much more good stuff to share about START, so why don’t you head over to their website and check it out. You can subscribe to their newsletter and watch the beautiful stories of dogs they save week in and week out. And while you are there, consider making a donation- big or small- they all help.
Thank you START for the amazing work you do to help animals, and sharing it with us in such a constructive and loving way.