Animal Rescue of the Week: Episode 16 – Happy Tails Dog Rescue in Florida

While Stephanie and Peter Stanton were adopting Sophie from Miami Dade Animal Services they learned that 36,000 dogs were being euthanized annually. Hearing that staggering number they knew they not only wanted to play a part in saving lives but that they had to. They dove feet first into the amazing yet challenging world of dog rescue and never looked back. Leveraging their years in Corporate America they started Happy Tails Dog Rescue. Their business experience paired well with their passion for saving animals and has resulted in their rescuing hundreds of dogs from being euthanized at the largest kill shelters in South Florida for the past 10 years. Charlie’s story.

To learn more about them, please visit their website or facebook page today!

“Welcome to the Air P A Animal Rescue of the Week podcast featuring outstanding organizations around the country that are helping animals and the people who rescue them. This podcast is proudly sponsored by do bert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue really transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal rescue. Happy Tails. Dog Rescue is a foster based rescue started 10 years ago by husband and wife dual Stephanie and Peter Stanton. They’re located in Southern Florida and believe that every dog deserves a loving home, regardless of age, condition or situation. People dogs who are on the euthanasia list with just days to live and provide them the necessary veterinary care and place them with loving foster homes until they find their forever home. Hey, Stephanie and Peter, how are you? We’re great. Rachel, how are you? I’m doing good. I’m so excited to have you guys on the show today. And you guys air from happy tails Dog rescue in South Florida. I am really excited to learn more. So why don’t you kick us off and tell us about you guys where you’re located and maybe how you came to be. Okay, Well, first of all, Rachel, thank you so much for having us on the program. We’re also very excited and honored to be a part of your podcast. Eso, as you mentioned, were Happy tails Dog Rescue. And we’re husband and wife team that have been rescuing dogs from kill shelters for the last 10 years. P and I both are from the corporate America Worlds, and we were inspired to start our dog rescue when we rescued our dogs. Sophie from Miami Dade. Animal Service is down in Miami. When we were down there rescuing her, we learned that the euthanize about 36,000 dogs a year and the entire ride back from Miami, all I could do was complain about how horrible that was. And I can’t believe that we live in a world where their youth and I think 36,000 dogs a year. And I said, Peter, we have to do something we can’t just, you know, know that that’s happening and not not try to contribute to the solution. And, uh, at that moment that that quote from Gandhi flashed through my mind that it said, you know, be the change that you want to see in the world And I said, P, you know, we really need to figure this out because we both have business backgrounds. You know, we both looked at each other and said, Well, we have no idea what it takes to rescue a dog, but we can figure it out. Yeah, that can add just The reference of the corporate world is just what that gave us. Was the the thought process around how to do this, setting up systems and procedures that really work because we didn’t know anything, but we didn’t know that. The worst thing you can do is to dive in. It was something and get yourself in over your head too fast. So we kind of mapped it out as we would have been a business. Hey, what’s the process from beginning to end and what do we do about it? And we obviously had to learn along the way early, but that’s what help get us started. I want to spend a few minutes and kind of talk about that, um, with you guys. So how did you you got into this pretty blindly, right? You knew that that number was staggering, right? 36,000 um, animals a year, which, you know, is about 100 a day. Um, that’s a pretty big That’s a pretty big problem. Talk to me about how you got started. What? That what that looked like for you guys? We thought to our so that well, we probably need a shelter because we thought to ourselves. Well, when you pull a dog on a peculiar shelter, they need a place to go. So let’s go find a small little place that we can rent and turn it into a shelter. Well, long story short, we found this really cute little cottage right on federal highway here in Boynton Beach. Ah, the woman was a dot the landlord with a dog lover herself. So she gave us a relatively good deal, and we created a little small little shelter, and it was able to hold six dogs at a time and soapy. And I said, Well, let’s just start with six dogs at a time. So that became the working model at first. So we had a functioning shelter like Peter said, learned a lot of hard lessons, but one of the lessons we learned was that that’s not such a easy solution when rescuing dogs. Because one of the things you have to keep in mind is kennel cough and how disease spreads very quickly among dogs, especially dogs that are coming out a kill shelter. So it wasn’t enough. Just tow pull him out of, ah, kill shelter taken from one cage and clap him in another cage. Because if you have four dogs in the shelter that air healthy and then you now bring two dogs that are not and have kennel cough, guess what’s gonna happen. All the dogs are not gonna have kennel cough, so that became a challenge. Um, Thea other challenge we had was you know, this is not like a store where you have a product that isn’t living. You know, this is we have live animals in a shelter, and so we you need to have somebody there a volunteer there 24 hours a day, and that became a challenge. Um, you can’t just you know. Okay, it’s five o’clock. We’re going home, turned the lights off and lead, you know, right right and finding someone to kind of take those shifts and cover those those times if it became a challenge and what we eventually learned was that a better model was actually foster homes. And we evolved into what we are now, which is a foster based rescue. And we we thought, Well, you know it’s going to solve the disease issue. It’s going to solve the human resource issue of having a volunteer to always be there to feed the dogs, walk the dogs, take care of the dog and administer medication to cause a lot of the dogs we rescue either or coming out of surgery or need medication. So it’s a lot of work. It also allowed us to take our rent $600 a month and use that towards vetting another dog. So there were It was like a win win win, and we eventually got rid of the shelter. And now we are a full time foster based rescue. So one of the one of the questions when I heard you, you know, as you were talking about that is that was your immediate go to was you need a place for the animals So what made you What made you go? That route versus versus the foster home scenario? To be completely honest, we just didn’t know any better, you know? Like it was one of these things where we had no idea anything about rescuing a dog. And I think it’s kind of what most people default to, which is I’m gonna buy a big piece of property, put a bunch of dog houses on the property and just start pulling dogs, right? Yeah, And it was kind of that same mentality. You know, We’re gonna buy a big place, and we’re just gonna pull a bunch of dogs and get him off death row. You know, having foster homes was not something we naturally would just default to. Also, we didn’t know anybody and nobody knew us. So that’s another thing, too. It’s a little difficult to start off as a foster based rescue if you don’t know anyone and they don’t know shit. Yeah, area. And, um, we also we had done a little bit of volunteering at other organizations, so we kind of like, Well, then they have shelters. And it was some of the problems and those other rescue and shelters that way. So I think we’re good procedures. We could set up a shelter that that you know I can solve. Some of those problems may be handled some things a little bit better, So everything was just pointing toward that. So please turn in. That’s what we gravitated toward. A lot of times, what I hear is they’re rescuing all these these animals, and that’s great. But I can do it better, right? If I just do this if I just do that and for you guys, it was the same thing, right? You knew that that’s what everybody else was doing. You knew that with your corporate background, right? If you created processes and procedures that you could somehow connect those dots right and save more animals and doom or but through that learning process, I think it’s really cool that you guys had to make those mistakes right. You re adjusted and you found a different a better way to support your mission, which led you down. This foster based rescue, which you know now is what everybody’s going Thio, How long did it take you guys down the shelter path versus when you change Thio, a foster based rescue. How long did that take you to transition? I would say it took us about three years. I think we had the shoulder for about three years, Okay. And then as we grew our network, it was a slow transition away from the shelter because that is a model that a person who wants to start their own organization, they can’t do that. And there are effective shelters that do function well. It’s just that there’s more things that consider, like the disease control issue. The you know, you’re gonna have thio. Probably pay volunteers like work, 100% volunteer organization. Nobody in our volunteer network gets paid. It was very difficult for us to find someone who was willing to put that many hours into a shelter for free. Right, Because not a lot of people have that time. Yeah, so you’re a person would have to consider that if they wanna kind of go with that type of a model. What we saw early on in our rescue were a couple challenges one. We saw a lot of people in rescue abandoning dogs at boarding facilities and before we became an official rescue organization. We actually got involved in being financial sponsors for a bunch of dogs that were pulled by rescue people, plopped into a boarding facility down in Miami and then completely just left. Peter and I got word of this, and that’s kind of how we got started. As we went down to this boarding facility, we spoke to the owner and we said, Tell us every single dog that’s here that has been abandoned by rescue people And there were probably what, like 10 of all right there play about 10 dogs, that we’re just sitting at a boarding facility with no owner, no rescue. And this poor guy who was the boarding facility owner could not get in touch with the people who drop these dogs off. And we said to him, We’re gonna pay your bill and we’re gonna help you get these dogs homes and that’s what we did. That’s when Peter and I said, You know, this is horrible. We definitely need to put policies in place where we don’t become a rescue organization that pulls dogs and then just leave them there. So do we know that the animals in the boarding facility came from a let’s say, Kill shelter or were they somebody’s personal pets? We know the stories on the dogs that we worked on at that boarding facility because the guy told us that the he’s like these dogs came from Miami Dade. Animal Service is and it was a combination of rescue quote organizations and rescue individuals. So there was a mixture of, you know, a person making a decision with their heart and their emotions and nothing else. What we found at that time were abandoned dogs. So instead of them being on death row, they were just in a different horrible situation where they were abandoned at a boarding facility, right? That was one thing. And then the other thing we found when we were looking to adopt a dog, we made calls to many. We were new to Florida at the time. We had just moved from New Jersey down here, and we were looking to rescue a dog in Florida, and so we contacted a bunch of no kill rescue organizations, and one of the things we did not like was that when we called, we rarely ever got a callback. Number one, number two in order for us to meet the dog, they required that we complete. Ah, huge long application. So now I have to invest an hour of my time completing this huge application for a dog I may not even be interested in adopting. And the third thing that we saw was that I would print photos and information off Petfinder. Peter and I would go to the organizations and we would say, Can we meet this dog? I can’t tell you how many times we heard We don’t know where that dog is. I was like, Let me understand. You have a dog on Petfinder, but you don’t know where it is. No, No one. No one here knows where that dog is. I looked at Peter. I said, we have a problem here. Those are the three things that we like to adhere to. Is happy tails dog rescue number one. We return every phone call that we get number two. We get people the option that if you want to go meet the dog before you fill out our four page application, please do so. We do allow people to do that, and three we are current are When every person looks at our website and looks at the dogs that are there, they are available. We know where they are, and we do not keep dogs that have been adopted for six months on Adopt a Pet, its current. So those are the three things we tried Thio really adhere to as happy till dog rescue. Repeat. Yeah, I definitely like that. So I want to talk a little bit about your foster home program. Tell me how big it is and maybe what that process is. If somebody wants to, you join your team and in foster an animal. Sure. So, um, we have about 60. Foster’s within our foster network, and we divide our foster’s into two categories. We have what are called quarantine fosters, and that basically is a foster that doesn’t have dogs. And the reason we need quarantine. Foster’s sometimes is because kennel Cough is airborne. It’s like the flu. It’s not fatal. It goes away with antibiotics and 7 to 14 days. But it is airborne, which means if we pull a dog from one of the kill shelters and that dog has Kendall cock, and then I put that or we put that dog in a foster home and that foster home has dogs. Those dogs could get kennel cough. So to prevent that we have Foster’s that don’t have dogs that we use is a quarantine foster. And then we have the fosters that have dogs that we can place dogs that don’t have kennel cough with them. And in terms of the process, we have a volunteer information form that’s online on our website. Under get involved, it says, volunteer, they would just click on that. It’s a very easy to fill out simple volunteer contact form. A person would just submit their information to us. Say yes, I want to be a foster, a dog foster and then it asks, You know, Do you currently have any pets? They would list those pads and then they’d submit that form. It would come to us. Once we receive it, I will do it introductory call to then I would do a phone interview with them. A lot of this for me at this point comes from experience. I can get a sense of whether this person has experienced or not and um, you know, oftentimes they’ll let us know. Hey, you know, I live in a condo. It hasn’t each away my age away on Lee allows us to foster dogs 20 pounds and under. They let us know any limitations that they have on. And we make a note of that and we have a database. And when we get ready to rescue a dog from a kill shelter, we will reach out to the fosters that we think would be the right match for that dog. And we review the dogs with the Fosters before we pull the dog. So, for example, I may, um you know, contact of Foster and say, Hey, look, we have a Chihuahua, and that Chihuahua, you know, is gonna need surgery. Are you interested in fostering a dog that would need post surgical care? Let’s say the person says Yes, I offer them. I say, Look, would you like to go meet that dog at the shelter before you make a commitment? Sometimes they’ll say, Yes, we schedule an appointment. They go, they meet the dog. If they say, yeah, this is great, I can do this. Then at that point, we would place a hold on the dog with the kill shelter. And once we place a hole, that dog is state. That dog will not be euthanized at that point, and then we and then we move forward. In the process, we pulled the dog. We get a transport volunteer to go transport the dog from the shelter to the Foster’s house. From there, we schedule that appointment. We get the dog vetted, groomed and then once the dog decompress, is and heals from whatever it may need to heal from, we go ahead and get some pictures done and get a profile up on Adopt a pet, and we start the marketing process again. As we’ve gone through the process. You know, we’ve built a network and, you know, our partners air are ism as key to the success here is anybody, and there’s a few context. Would Stephanie just said, I’d like to mention because tennis way, doctor will you has been with us stuff since the beginning. I mean, she has. We met her right around 2009 10 and she’s been vetting our dogs ever since, and really, she’s a fantastic bed and she’s, you know, she’s she’s able to sort of get these. These dogs started on the right path as soon as we pull him in. You know, once she sort of clear them and not contagious. The pet spot here in Boynton Beach. Breaded ones, the places he grooms, all the dogs, all the rescues for free, right off the bat. And so what happens in this process is the dogs. When you pull out of a kill shelter, especially if they’re on death row, they tend to be physically challenged. They need a vet. They tend to look pretty ready. And, you know, we get him sort of fixed up from a medical perspective. We getting groomed. And, boy, I tell you the difference. Of course, Now they’re in a foster home. So they’re not in the cage. And literally days later, weeks later that the all of a sudden these dogs air, they’re calm, they’re happy they’re getting healthy. They look a lot better. Is this? It’s That’s one of the fun parts of this we see. We see that happen and we see these dollars converting all of a sudden the dog that nobody wanted. People are lining up to adopt. So that’s kind of where the pay office. I definitely agree, and it definitely is the happy side of rescue. So one of the other things, um, I wanna I wanna ask about is the donations. How do you guys support your mission? You know, stuff. And I don’t need to our own our own rescue group to a significant degree. But we have, uh we will have events periodically. We’ll collect some money, but we have the ability to donate right on the website. We have marketing around that periodically, you know, So sort of the standard things to raise money. One of them or one of the other programs we have, which really has proven too be a big help, is what we call our sponsor program. Stephanie started this a few years ago, and basically there are a lot of people who really do love animals, and I want to help. They have money, they don’t have time, they can’t go to a shelter. But they really want to get involved. And it’s not really all that personal. Just goto a button on site and give some money. And so the sponsor program of somebody can tune into a dog of ours or a dog. We’re going to pull and say I would like to get closer to that pet and I will basically sponsor that pet. So whatever costs are involved that care, boarding and through the temporary boarding we have to do Maybe, you know, there might be in a big Sometimes there’s even a behavioral issue, little being a trainer or something. But they’ll say, you know I can’t foster. I can’t come down and help out. But you know what? Let me Let me be the sponsor for that dog. And that’s been a big avenue for donations and a big help and a very kind of interesting program for us here on the sponsor side. Yeah, that’s definitely one I don’t I don’t hear a very often, but very clever, and I agree it’s It’s always It always comes down to time or money, right? So if you don’t have the time than donations are, are a great way to contribute and vice versa. If you don’t have the money, then volunteering and giving your time is a great option as well. So I love that you guys found something that works for you based on your community that people can can feel connected. And that’s what that’s about it. If I could have one of the things one thing we don’t do, which I think is rare, we don’t require adoption fees. You know when somebody is going to adopt a dog. A lot of the groups use that as a, but I don’t use it in a negative way. But there, that’s the way they raise the money to continue to do what they do. But they will have no, depending on the dog. If it’s a cute little puppy, though, charge $500. If it’s a it’s an older, larger, mixed bree that needs some work. Maybe they’ll charge $100 but they they had these adoption fees. So we did early on say that the what we really need is people toe want the dog. So we’re not gonna make the donation the hurdle. And so we say, you know, there is no acquired adoption fee. We’d love you to make a donation of however much you think is appropriate to the to the organization. But that’s up to you. You know, we love the fact that you’re rescuing the dog and you know, some people give $20. Some people give more. But in the context of that, and there are some really fun stories as part of the organization I’ll never forget. Early on we had a couple of dogs that had had surgery, so we had spent something on the order of $1500 to get the two dogs, their surgeries, someone a couple of came down to visit one of the dogs and ended up taking the 22 of the dogs for a walk around the area, came back and said, We want both dogs was like, Well, great. And then they said, Well, how much is the donation for? Yumi said, Well, there isn’t one, she goes, Well, wait a minute. Well, how much have you guys spent on these dogs? I remember the conversation going, and then it doesn’t matter. Just whatever. They don’t know. How much have you spent? So I pulled up the two receipts. It was $1536 Lady wrote a check for that amount right there. Wow. Yeah. And then if I can add another story on the opposite end of the spectrum because some of these dogs that we pull our seniors. We have adopted some of our senior dogs to senior people. And I do recall a senior woman who was a widow and she didn’t have a lot of money and she adopted a senior shits Sue from us. You know, she made, I think, a $25 donation, because that’s all she could afford. And we were fine with that because she absolutely loved this dog. The dog absolutely loved her. She had a beautiful home but just didn’t have the income, you know, So tow us. It’s about matching the dog with the rate person. Can I just tell you I I got shivers when you said that because you’re so right in that the adoption fees are key for a lot of rescues. I thought I was gonna say all of them, but you’ve proven me wrong in that it’s not all rescues, and I don’t know how you guys came to that decision, but I love that it is about the animals and the people. And as much as we need money to run rescues, I love that. That’s coming Second dairy to you and it really is it really is about the people and what they’re able to provide ironic thing in it. I don’t think we weren’t on the analysis stuff, but I have to believe that in total, we’re probably at least that the same level of, Ah, a rescue that requires a fee just because some some people do more. Some people do. Yeah, but obviously what you’re doing to you in that they don’t have a lot of money for an adoption. People guess what? They’re giving the dog a good home. Yeah, that frees up a spot for us to rescue another dog. Right? So it all worked out. Yeah, I think that’s I think that’s pretty incredible. What a great couple of stories. And and I love the the thought behind that. So I know the other one that you guys are are doing as well as you guys are helping people re home. They’re animals as well. Do you want to spend just a few minutes and talk to us about what that looks like? Sure. So over the years, we began to get an increase of phone calls of people asking for help, re homing their dog. It could be situations like a family parent passed on. They have what’s a Yorkie and the family and take that dog and they don’t want to bring it to a kill shelter. So we get a call. Hey, can you help us? It can sometimes be People lose their job and they can’t afford to take care of the dog anymore or they get sick. We’ve had people who are disabled, you know, they get a back injury and they can’t walk anymore. And I can’t take care of my dog anymore. Can you help me? And so we created a re homing process where we help people find loving homes for dogs that they can no longer take care of. And we do charge a $50 be so that we are engaging people who are serious because unfortunately, we’ve had some people who, um, have engaged us. And then we found great people and they never called back. So as a way to prevent that, we now require a $50 engagement, the and then we will proactively market their dogs to our network. So we’re giving people access to our infrastructure and network, and we will help them through the process, and we let the family make the final decision on who they want to adopt. Their dog, too. That’s another kind of preventing the dog from going to a shelter is just as important as pulling a dog from a shelter. Yeah, and Rachel, I would say that is one thing one area that makes happy tails unique from other rescues. Because I don’t I think a lot of other rescues in this area offer that, because so I would say that probably makes us unique in that in that way. Right, Peter? Yeah. You know what else I’ve noticed in that process? And this is against leaning a little bit of some of the concerns or bad things that you see on the on the rescue world. I mean, people seemed it. There are some people who just like I don’t want this dog anymore. And it’s like it just kills us when you see that. But when they call up Hey, I, uh I need to get rid of my need to get rid of my dog more than oh, can you re home my dog that my my, uh, aging parents just died and then we can take it. But it been that processes like it, we’d we d’oh! And it’s almost like we get into the dialogue with Hold on. Um, tell us about the dog. Why do you need to get rid of it? What’s going on? And I got as a puppy. I don’t like it any more, Uh, stations where we go? Well, then maybe you shouldn’t have a dog. Yeah, Uncle, get another puppy. That’s not right. You know, it helps the little kind of dialogue and education and em and again that they don’t. But they really don’t want the dog. And we still do help find it a new home. So it ends up being good for the dog. Right? But you get into that that discussion a little bit if you don’t. Yeah, No, definitely. And there are those situations, right? A lot of it does come down to the education, but, you know, sometimes you can’t change the mindset of people who really only want that cute puppy, right? So they keep him for 34345 years, and then they get rid of them. And I hate that term, but that’s how they see it right there. Just get rid of them and get another one. Um, And then they go out and get another pub because they like that phase. It is an educational piece. But I also think that you can’t really change the minds of people like that either. Which is really unfortunate. Um, yeah, but that. But that is definitely a problem. You guys actually pull animals from to kill shelters, Walk us through what that process looks like for you. What does that turn around? How did they get in touch with you? Tell us how you come to receive these dogs that you guys are helping. And the way we learn about urgent dogs, they’re called urgent dogs. And that term means that these dogs air on the euthanasia list. And our turnaround time for response as rescues when we get an alert is very short. We have a very small window. For example, Palm Beach Animal Control. I’m because Happy Tails is an approved rescue with both of these organizations. And let me just make a quick note. There is an application process. So a rescue organization would have to be a registered 501 C three, and they would have to complete a pretty extensive application process with both of these kill shelters on DSO. Because Happy Toes is on the approval approved rescue list, I will receive e mails daily. You know, this dog needs urgent rescue, and usually the turnaround times are either a day or 2 to 3 days. There’s a very small window I can get you an example. Yesterday we received an email about a Chihuahua at Palm Beach that has been there for a long time, and he was scheduled for euthanasia six o’clock yesterday. It looked like Happy tails was the only rescue that was responding to this dog. And I had put the announcement out to my foster network and did not receive any responses from my Fosters. So we were kind of in a bind because we were the only rescue responding, and I had no Foster’s to put this dog in foster homes. Put this dog in. So my husband, you know, had a great idea. He’s that stuff, you know, we could pull the dogs I would save from being euthanized and put it in boarding for a few days, and that’ll buy us some time to make more phone calls to our Fosters, and so that’s what we decided to do. So he’s actually getting out of there today. And, um, he’s going into boarding for a few days, and that’s going to give us time to start making more calls to her Foster. So I’m just thio emphasize the point into caution. I mean, that definitely doesn’t fall into the category of with said before about rescues like we’re pulling too many dogs and putting them in boarding. And then that Mrs Well thought out we have broken North Animal Hospital that Dr White works at the charge, lower amount for us. They’ve been very helpful. We calm in advance. They let the dog for us and, you know, they keep very close tabs with us until we move it along. It’s an occasional kind of thing. Yeah, it’s not. It’s not our normal protocol. It’s It was just one of these rare, you know, situations where this dog is going to get euthanized if we if we don’t do something. And so we said, Well, it’s gonna drain our rescue funds, but let’s just take the risk and you know about. That’s one thing Peter and I do a lot. Sometimes we make risky decisions on the fly, and sometimes they’re great decisions, and sometimes we learn a hard lesson. But rescue is that it’s about learning to make the best decisions and very little time, and you roll the dice. We roll the dice a lot of times, and sometimes we It’s a great roll, the dice and some touch. We pay the consequences. You know, over time and again, it’s were usually correct. But the Rachel back to your original question has to be quick. The process is one where we get the notification, and if we have our systems in place, is a foster ready. We’ll place a hold on either of these kill shelters for the dog. They’ll approve it all. Just the email we get. Yes, that get your hold is secure. We rally our volunteers so we get a transport volunteer to go pick up the dog. We schedule out with the shelter, they pick up the dog. They usually bring the dog directly to the Foster’s home, at which time Tanis wait will either visit the Foster’s home to do the original vetting of the dog. Or we might bring it down to Boca North, where she is, and either, either way, it very quickly, you know, the vetting is done and get it all set to be marketed. Pictures taken put up on the website and Stephanie Start stealing her marketing, and we all start working hard at finding a permanent home. So that’s that’s the general process. Yeah, and another thing I want to also say We also have volunteers who I like to call animal advocates who comb the social media networks. Instagram Facebook in particular. We work very closely with Kate DeHaven, and she will oftentimes alert us two dogs. Let’s say at Miami that are on death row. I do have volunteers that will alert us as well. I wantto circle back for just a second because you mentioned the Chihuahua. But are there specific breeds that you guys are seen that you’re rescuing more of? Is it the small little dogs? Is that the large dogs that are, you know, on the euthanasia list, Like talk to me about the breeds that you guys were seen down there? Is it Is there a common theme? Yes, the dogs that most often end up on the euthanasia list are the pit bulls and bulldog mixes. So pit mixes in. Bulldog mixes those air the majority of dogs we will see on the euthanasia list. We will also see a lot of two hours. I will say that, and a lot of seniors end upon the euthanasia list and dogs that need expensive veterinary care. For example, we rescued the cute assed little toy poodle, which very, really will little beautiful white toy poodle ever end up on the euthanasia list. But he was there because he had an anal hernia where he was not able to go to the bathroom, so it required immediate surgery. We pulled him and Palm Beach veterinary specialists, which they’re fantastic, by the way. But they’re they’re a group of specialists, and so we would. We took him there, had the surgery done there, we will get a mix of dogs that may be desirable, like the cute small toy breed, but they’re usually in need of serious surgery just to clarify, like in that mix, you know, based on our location, smaller dogs, arm or prevalent as faras. What we can find homes for so a lot of words that you just described as senior shit. Soon, mix, 13 years old, dropped at the shelter CA that people didn’t want to deal with any more. But it was too old. You know, we’ll jump on something like that, and we have people that love to give that dog a good last couple of years of its life. Where or the small dog stuff he mentioned. It needs a surgery that’s very much our sweet spot way. Will we have gotten involved with some pits and pit mixes? Yes, there are a lot harder for us. We don’t have a lot of Foster’s that can take those dogs and their locations when we get them. We certainly try to help market or get the word out and try to do some work there. But those are definitely more challenge. Recently, we’ve made some connections with volunteers that do have access to people that can foster those types of breeds. So we’re starting to build that part out a little bit more and and starting to make relationships with those individuals and Foster’s butt to Peter’s point, because a lot of people here on the coves wth east coast of Florida. They have a jaw ways, and they’re limited to weight requirements. And so 20 pounds and under is usually what are fosters are able to take. Yeah, that had to be a little bit of a learning curve, Right for you guys, is you got into this. So you know, again, I think listening to the to the people into the volunteers into your community, I think is really key and obviously helps with the success of, you know, your organization. One of the one of the other questions I I was thinking about as you were talking to me about, you know, your urgent dogs, you know, with the e mails that you get is how do you choose? That’s got to be really hard to choose which animals you can or cannot help. How do you guys make those decisions? Great question. There’s one motto that we keep in mind. It’s better to rescue one than none. So I’ve had people say, because when we first started, happy tells Peter and I would literally go to the shelters and we would walk in the back and we would go face to face with the dogs that were about to be euthanized, and that was very difficult. We used to get that question from people. How do you do it? How do you guys walk in the back and see Ward and see these dogs? Who? You know, if you don’t say yes to all of them, they’re gonna be euthanized. And I said, I know it’s hard, but Peter and I would say You know what? Someone’s got to do it. If everybody is too afraid to go in the back and say no to some of the dogs that no one’s gonna be going back there saying yes to them. We just said It’s better to say yes to one or two than to say no to all of them. That was hard. And now we’re doing that same decision process. But we’re doing it more Elektronik Lee. Now I make way make the decision. But a lot of times like the decision will fall on me because I think I have a better handle on the network. And so I decide this is the dog we should go with. Based on what I know, my Fosters are looking for in terms of this is the type of dog that are Foster’s would be most apt to foster, and it also comes down to money. You know, we have to make decisions based on. Do we have the funding to take on a dog that just got hit by a car and needs hip surgery that’s gonna cost $3000? I don’t think people outside of rescue have an appreciation for how much money is required. And, yes, we do get rescue discounts from the veterinary facilities that we work with. But still, it’s a lot of money. You know, we rescued a dog named Bailey a few months ago. He had got hit by a car, required hip surgery, leg surgery, and it costs probably about three grand, about $3000. That was a really interesting story because the surgeon actually ended up adopting the dog, which was gonna interesting. Yes, So the decision on should we A Should we rescue that dog is based on? Do we have the funds, or do we have a sponsor? Is there someone who’s willing to come alongside that dog and sponsor that dog fart or part of it? And do we have a foster who’s willing to foster that dog? And if the answer is yes and yes, then that’s how we make the decision. And we say, OK, we can do this. I don’t envy your position. I myself, I’m not cut out for that. I would be emotionally drained before I got a week into it. And so I think what you guys are doing in the decisions you’re making are incredibly difficult. And I think you know, the thought that you’re putting behind them is pretty unique. You know, I’ve said it before in this conversation with you guys is it’s an emotionally charged industry and I love that you guys are bringing that corporate America background with you. Um, and you’re trying to approach things a little differently than most other rescues on, and it seems to be serving you extremely well. You know, 10 years in this industry is huge. They applaud you guys for that, and it seems like you’re always willing to look outside the box and be innovative and come up with new ways based on the problems that your scene, and quite honestly, that’s that’s not an easy thing to D’oh! So I just love your I love your overall approach in this thing. They hear what you guys are doing? Yeah. Is there one story that you want to share? That kind of stands out? I’m sorry, Rachel. You’re just moving me to tears because it’s just making me think of this one. You know which one you want. Oh, I try and tell the story. If I know banking. I mean it just there is this two hour at, um it’s like a chew of Mick. He was at Miami Dade and he had gotten hit by a car and a lot of dogs. We see her hit by cars, but this one Chihuahua and his leg was all casted up and he needed more surgery. And I just remember this was the time when we had her shelter and we rescue down. And Peter and I brought him to the shelter, and I just remember like like he was so grateful and he was in so much pain. You know, this dog was in so much pain, and he was just licking my face, and he wouldn’t stop looking my face. And you could just feel like He was just like, Thank you. Thank you, Thank you, thank you. Thank you. And Charlie, it was Charlie. Yeah, and that’s just And we had a We had a volunteer that was doing some work with us, and she ended up taking taking Charlie and mean And it was interesting because, you know, when he said it was hit by a car, I mean, it was a bad break. The bone was exposed. Dollars kind of stuff. But, you know, these dogs are resilient and the, you know, the vet did what they needed to do. He had a cast on for a while, but and he was a Cubist things. He’s running around with his casted leg, licking his new owner. It was It was Yeah, it was fun. And what about you? What? We gotta is one of those things. It was a 13 year old little weight dog. I forget if it was a Maltese and blind running Lucy, Lucy, Lucy Anyway, blind and someone again. It just We got a notice because, you know, it was one of those. It was an owner. Surrender is like the stocks too old. I don’t want to take care of it anymore. So sad you think about it. You rescue a 13 year old blind dog. You know no one’s gonna want you, but people do. And we found this young man and it’s a few years ago, so I forget his name. But he was a nurse. The dog was so skinny, he had two other dogs. He took this dog, he syringe fed it. You know, God is wait back up, put little dresses on her, and it was her. And then, you know, two months later we’re getting pictures in the dog. It was like hanging out in them with these other dogs and just went from like, this poor thing that was abandoned and it was going to die horribly and lived out another year and 1/2 in a nice environment in a loving home. The other side of rescue that I think we should also mention is that these dogs also help transform the lives of the people that adopt them. And I can share a couple stories on that. Into there was a woman that had really bad agora phobia. Really bad anxiety never left the home long story short. She adopted one of the dogs from that we had from happy tails. And because of that dog, that dog helped her overcome her Gora phobia because she would have to go take the dog outside, take the dog to dog parks and she started taking the dog to the beach and she would text us periodically and say, You know, guys, this dog has really helped me overcome my fear of leaving the home. That was really amazing. Then this other little black Toto dog was adopted by a family where the family, prior to adopting this dog, they kind of lived separate lives. They told us where you know the sun was in the room. The husband and wife didn’t really socialize much and after adopting this dog, they contacted us and said that this dog has brought their family together and because of the dog, they were spending more time as a family. And that was really interesting. There’s two sides to this right there is how the how the animals impact us as humans and then also how people can impact the animals. And I love that you shared both sides of that and they move us right. It’s Stephanie. You You proved that. And I love this story about Charlie and and Lucy. And I’m just a big believer in the impact that we both make on each other. Right? Animals in people. Now, we are running out of time here, so I definitely want to talk about what the future looks like for you guys. Do you have any events, Anything that you’re working on? Yeah. Thank you, Rachel. Actually, we do. We have a shoe drive this month, the entire month of May. Where were asking people to donate any unwanted shoes to our organization? We happy tails is working together with funds to orbs dot com. If we can provide them with a certain amount of shoes, they will call us a check. And they will then in turn, take those shoes and give them to Third World countries that are underdeveloped communities so that they can resell the shoes to those in need of shoes. And then it allows them to earn money. So it’s kind of like a double benefit. We have a drop off location for those that live near Lakeworth. We have a box set up in L. A fitness in Lake Worth, and I can give the address. It’s Ellie Fitness that’s located at 8888 Lantana Road in Lake Worth right in the front. There’s a donation box if anyone wants to drop off some shoes there. Or you can schedule a pickup by calling our volunteer Maria at 5617135961135963 and all the information is on our website, that would be a big help. Anyone wants to donate some shoes ends? Uh, the end of this month, Um, or the person wasn’t just go online and make a small donation to our organization. That always hopes, um, and maybe to also help us get the word out about Foster’s. Yeah, the two big things we always need help with More foster. The more Foster’s we have, the process starts when there’s a place to both the dog, we can rescue more, and then it sounds simple, but it’s big, and, you know, we have dogs were that are are looking for homes. So we love when people check out the side of the list and recirculate the dogs, thio their own networks and say, Hey, does anyone know that you’re looking for a home for these dogs? Because they are. Dogs are all current. They’re all in need of a home. They’ve been vetted. They’ve been taking care of something way. Know that they’re everything. Their personality, their usually house trained. They’re good dogs we love love to get them home. We want people to help us with that. Yeah, we’ll definitely make sure toe link your website on your Facebook page to the podcast recording as well, so people can find you easily. So I definitely love the shoe drive. That’s one that I haven’t heard of. If I was closer, I would love to donate shoes. Um, I am super excited about what you guys were doing and what your future holds. Um, I know we kind of talked a little bit about everything today. Is there anything that we may have missed that you want to share before we close this out? We do believe it’s vital to the match. Has to be right. We don’t want we’re not just trying to, like, move a dog to a home. So we have something that were very important to us not to trial. So whenever somebody’s ready to adopt a dog is afford a seven day trial, so they don’t have to sign the form and completed until they brought it home. And we know it’s gonna work. We don’t want someone to take a dog and have a B a problem or the dog is uncomfortable there. So we that’s that’s a big part of what we do as well. Yeah, I think that that speaks volumes. Um, you know, and kind of for me works alongside of your non if I call it non adoption fee. So again, just love all the tie ins that you guys were doing and making it about the animals and the people. So thank you. I guess the one last thing is just to encourage everyone to like our Facebook page because we pose everything really time. So if anyone wants to stay up to date about what happy tails is doing, um, liking our Facebook page is the best way to do that. Well, thank you so much, guys. For joining me today. I really enjoyed my time chatting with you, and I learned so much about you as individuals and about your organization, which is wonderful. So thank you again for joining me. You’re welcome. Thank you. Rachel tried to really appreciate it. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. If you’re not already a member, joined the air p A. To take advantage of all the resource is we have to offer And don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.”

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