A New Beginning

I got my first rescue animal, an orange tabby, when he followed me home on a short walk from a friends’ house when I was 5 years old.  After putting up signs and asking around, we found out the cat had belonged to a family who moved away and decided to leave him behind. My parents said I could keep him so I named him Dopey, after the baby dinosaur who followed Will and Holly back to their cave on Land of the Lost. And so began my life of owning rescue pets.

In 2009, our dog Ferris (who I found as a 4 month old puppy that was dumped near a local Home Depot in 2001) died suddenly from cancer. Devastated, I felt like I wanted to do something in her memory, and thus became the first of many years of participating in an annual fundraiser for the Pasadena Humane Society. Helping an organization that does so much for so many animals (including wildlife) was wonderful, so I decided this year I would do something different to promote animal adoption and help raise money for them by creating a calendar to give as a gift to donors. It ended up raising over $50,000 for PHS. Not too shabby!

The staff and volunteers at PHS were so helpful and supportive of me and my project. I was in their office a couple of times a week for two months collecting donation letters and address labels and shipping out the calendars. I would take occasional breaks from the shipping and post some pictures and videos online of dogs and cats in need of homes at the facility, which helped get them adopted. I loved being there and seeing that things I was doing for them was actually making a difference.

I had met a few of the Board members while I was there and had several conversations about the organization. At one point, a Board member asked if I was interested in becoming a member myself. I was so honored that they would even consider me, but I also wasn’t sure what that would entail. After additional in person and email conversations and a lunch meeting with one of them, I got all of my questions answered. I was ready to move forward with whatever I needed to do to become a member. I had another meeting with 3 more board members, which was scary and exciting because it was like being interviewed for a job you’ve always loved doing but have never had in any official capacity.

Last week, the Board members had a meeting and it was decided by unanimous vote to have me become an official Board member, which I gleefully accepted. I love that I get to be part of  an organization that helps so many animals, including two of our dogs, which we adopted from PHS after they had been found wandering the local streets. Waking up to them next to me in my bed, I think of the life they had before being rescued and it makes me sad. But then I look at their faces and I can tell they are happy, grateful and obviously, spoiled. I am totally ok with that.

Rescue pets are awesome.
Rescue pets are awesome.

31 thoughts on “A New Beginning

  1. I could not agree more. I have had several rescue pets and have never had a bad experience…until a few days ago when my oldest kitty friend said goodbye to this world. I’m devastated but I know he had a wonderful long and happy life. Thank you for all that you do for the animals!

  2. I love, love, LOVE that photo!! Seamus & Marlowe have become such great friends. I fully support the PHS. Unfortunately, our local shelter has had issues (mismanagement, abuse, embezzlement), so I’m not comfortable donating to them. You have found a great organization Anne, and I am happy to help.

  3. Congratulations! May you and the PHS have a long and successful relationship.

    And yes, rescue pets are awesome.

  4. Rescues ARE awesome. My sweet kitty that passed away in February (after 17 years with me) was a rescue and so is my new kitty. I love that you can change a life so profoundly but of course they do that with their new owners every day.

    You know who else is awesome? Pet people!!!

  5. Our cat, Tilly, was a rescue. We adopted her in May, 2002. The people she lived with previously (I will not call them a family) moved out and abandoned her. She had been at Greenhill Humane Society for nearly 2 years when we found each other and it was love at first sight. She was difficult to place because she had radial hypoplasia (aka twisty cat). Because of this she was frequently teased by visitors to Greenhill’s cat room & some of the other cats tried to pick on her from time to time, but the workers intervened since she couldn’t protect herself effectively. We lost her to cancer in May, 2012, on Mother’s Day.

  6. This post brought a tear to my eye. I’ve been following you on Twitter for quite some time now and I know this is truly a passion of yours. You are such a good person to want to help animals in any way you can. Thank you for being such a wonderful animal lover and human being.

  7. Congratulations on becoming a board member for a rescue! I am a founding board member of a pug rescue in Virginia. We are tiny and every dollar raised is a struggle. And there are times when everything we do just isn’t enough. Ours is a foster only rescue so we really get to know and love the pugs that come through. It’s hard work, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
    Your position is vastly different than mine, but you have a big heart. There may be times of sadness for you. The more animals (and people) we bring into our lives, the more we open ourselves to the love and the heartbreak of losing them.
    You’ll do many more amazing things for PHS.

  8. I wish my two rescue fur babies loved each other as much as Seamus and Marlowe but it’s still early days so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Absolutely love that photo of your two. Sincere congrats on your appointment and best wishes for every success in the new year.

    1. We have a min-pin we adopted from a local shelter about 3 years ago, and a whippet mix we got from a rescue about a year ago – they accept each other’s existence, but don’t cuddle and don’t play. Which is the whole reason we got the 2nd dog!! Ah, well. You gotta love them.

  9. At home with 2 rescue dogs… Love them to bits. All the best for 2014 and good luck in what you will be doing

  10. Congratulations, Anne, I’m sure you’ll make even greater contributions to the organisation as a Board member. Our latest rescue pet is a four year old guinea pig named Todd, who we got as a companion for our half bald, diabetic girl guinea pig Jaffa, when she lost her lifelong friend this year. We’ve previously had rescue dogs and cats, and support the Dog’s Trust here in the UK, and when my Mum died a year ago we made donations in her memory to Welsh horse and pony rescue which she’d supported for years – it’s great that there are do many organisations and individuals all over the world who care about animal welfare, isn’t it? Also sad that it’s necessary, of course… Keep up the great work! xxx

  11. I have had many rescues though out my life and I support many shelters. I have yet to take it further as you have and go the extra steps i.e. calendar,board member. I commend you and wish every possible best wish in your endeavor.
    Oh and that picture is simply the BEST!!!

  12. Bella and Butler were rescues as well. They are such an important part of our famy. Although I feel like they rescued me sometimes.

  13. I love how many of you have rescue pets of your own! When I created the calendar, so many people were sending me their own rescue pet pictures and stories that I created the rescuepetsareawesome tumblr. The link is on the right side of the home page if you’d like to read some pretty amazing stories or share your own. Yay pets!

  14. My husband and I rescued our first dog last springs and we couldn’t be more happy with our decision. Campbell is such a loving and devoted dog and we couldn’t imagine life without him!

  15. I don’t think that they could have picked a better person. Congratulations. You will be a wonderful asset to the board. I just took in a kitten who was living on the streets. One animal at a time can make a difference.

  16. Congratulations, Anne! That’s great!

    My pets aren’t rescues in the most traditional sense of the word, in that they didn’t come from shelters or rescue groups, but they’re the typical occupational hazard discards from silly people who don’t come back for them, etc, so they fit right into that group. Thanks for helping out!

    Here’s a pic of Storm, my youngest, an owner surrender. Taken years ago and captioned by a friend. 🙂


  17. Congratulations, Anne! Totally the right fit for the right person in the right spot in the right organization.

    That’s a lot of rights.

  18. Congratulations! I love that–just days ago–I was reading your story about retiring, and how striking out on a new path is scary, but often rewarding…and here I find you’re venturing out into something new that you love. If you hadn’t decided to leave your job as a hairdresser, you wouldn’t be in the place you are to help the PHS, and doing this wonderful work. Good for you! 🙂

  19. Yeah I would lose my shit if I met Nathan Fillion too! :0) Actually last year at MegaCon in Orlando, I did lose my shit when I met and got my photo taken with Wil! I had previously seen Wil and Jonathon Frakes at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri when I was a little girl (shortly after Next Generation started). I told Wil that. He remembered the event (or at least he pretended he did).

    Although I promise not to lose my shit this year at MegaCon! :0) Glad you both will be there (and John Barrowman too).

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