KA’A’AWA K-9 Rescue is a non-profit organization incorporated in 2016 that seeks to rescue, rehabilitate, & rehome dogs in need on the island of Oahu, specifically focusing on the Windward side of the island. Their commitment to reducing the rate of canine overpopulation is a major goal for the long-term welfare of their closest animal companions. They believe and live by the motto, ‘People Saving Dogs Saving People’.
Welcome to the ARPA Animal Rescue of the week podcast, featuring outstanding organizations around the country that are helping animals & the people who rescue them. This podcast is proudly sponsored by Doobert.com. Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues & shelters, and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal rescue.
KA’A’AWA K9 Rescue officially opened its doors in 2016 but their journey started long before then. The founder, Michelle, realized her passion for saving dogs when she, herself rescued two special pups back in 2015, Rockstar and Honiboi. They had such an impact on her that she dedicated herself to making a difference and in doing so they have rescued and re-homed over 300 dogs in just 3 years.
Hey, Michelle and Eva, how are you? Hi, we’re good. Good. Yeah, I’m excited. So welcome to the show. You guys are from, let me see if I get this right. It’s KA’A’AWA K9 Rescue in Hawaii. Hopefully I didn’t butcher it too bad, so I want to get started and dive right in. Why don’t you guys tell me a little bit about the rescue and how it came to be? Okay. So our organization started when I was given Honiboi and Rockstar in 2015. But it was really in the making, years before that when I got my first pit bull puppy, Easy. We camped a lot. And, you know, I lived in a tent and stuff and I didn’t, his job was basically to you know, look out for strangers around us and stuff like that. And I didn’t know, really, the importance of being a pack leader, he was a—he grew into being a dominant dog that was became human aggressive. Okay.
And so because he was always having to protect me, right? So going through all that with him and, rehabilitating him later so I could have the know how once I got, Honiboi and Rockstar. Yes, so I love that you were inspired to start this rescue based on your past experiences. And so what was it about Rockstar and Honiboi, that made you want to start this rescue? You know, after I rehabilitated Easy and my other Pit bull, then I lost them. I you know, I didn’t really wanna have a dog, but I needed a dog. I needed that unconditional love that I was used to having. But I was sad because I missed Easy. You know, that I didn’t want to just I wasn’t ready to have my own dog yet. I wanted to help some dogs that I would find homes for, right? Okay. Because all this know-how and so with easy, you know, he was one of the one of the one of the 1 in 100 dogs that could be like your lead sled dog, Very ‘akamai’, which is smart in Hawaiian. And he was also dominant. And he was a pack leader, you know, when he was protecting me from, say, somebody coming by my tent or whatever on the beach and so. But then learning to rehabilitate him, I learned how to that he just needed direction, you know? And that stopped him from being human aggressive. Sure. I, you know, had all this knowledge of what to do. What not to do kind of by just, you know, watching season videos and teaching and learning myself. So sure. So Rockstar and Honiboi are huge American pit bulls. And so there are over 100 pounds each. Yeah, and so if they got to be the leader, they mean that’s a really dangerous situation.
Yeah, absolutely. So I love the beginning story of this right, and everybody gets into rescue for different reasons, and they have different goals in mind. And so what is your overall goal with the canine rescue? What are you trying to do for the animals and not just the animals, but your community? We want to like, of course, rescue the ones that you know everybody else gave up on. Yeah, it’s the most neglected ones. The ones that you know with, like Monica one of our recent rescues, you know, the emergency veterinarian that I was going to was saying, “oh, we should put him down” and I think that happens a lot. There’s a lot of misconceptions with the culture here as far as spaying and neutering dogs, and you know, they don’t they don’t really understand that. It’s not cruel to the dogs to spay and neuter them, you know. So, we’re slowly changing that, you know. Okay.
There’s another challenge we are facing here. Is that just until recently, medical care here is way too expensive. And I will tell you too expensive because I came from New York, and it’s more expensive than New York. So this is all changing in the past eight or nine months or so with Dr. Kelly and a local vet and a couple of other, like, literally few veterinarian here has started to listen to us of the importance to volunteer. And provide a little bit more affordable care for animals to reduce the numbers of stray dogs or abandoned dogs or, you know, yeah, dogs that are that are in care, but they’re simply neglected in the medical sense. Literally, when I started, I started with Dr. Jill. She would meet me on her Harley and I’d have a van full of dogs. She would do the vaccination and that kind of stuff. And you know what? She would give me her costs. We just meet on the side of the road. There was there was no one else? Yeah, that even close to affordable. I mean $160, just for an exam, is the standard over there.
Tell me a little bit about what that picture looks like as far as the overpopulation on the spaying and neutering. What are you guys doing about that? Your average that we’ll target anywhere from $400 to, you know, I’ve seen $800 quotes. Wow. Just for a spay and neuter at a regular clinic. Up until about three years ago, the state did offer a—what they do is a spay and neuter program, where low cost family that has a card can purchase the $20 certificate. Okay. Now, that certificate up until there was a mobile bus that came that do spay and neuters and honored the only the $20 certificate, the every vet on the list that accepted that certificate would require vaccination. You came to like, $300 worth of extra things that they require just for you to be able to use your $20 certificate and as low income people. It wasn’t even feasible. Right, So now, over the last three years with some other organizations put out them Pit bull. And you they on some other shelter veterinarians honor the $20 certificate that you can get. Because a state program gone through the Humane Society.
Part of what you’re doing is you’re trying to educate and build relationships? So you’re trying to educate the public, right? You’re trying to help them understand this, the importance of spaying and neutering. But it also sounds like you’re reaching out and you’re talking to vets and you’re building relationships, and you guys are trying to come up with a plan and how to kind of stop the overpopulation. Is that accurate? There are—us and the other rescue organizations that have vets and stuff have kind of band together to, you know, provide that care. So there is now some multiple different spay and neuter clinics that are affordable our main vet that worked with now Dr. Kelly, she has just opened her own affordable vet clinic. So we’re trying to really, you know, just support her as she supports us. She does outreach all over. And you know, spread the message.
I’m curious what challenges your scene in general from either just your community or the island? The way that community sees dogs, we’re like a two sides here on the island, people who have the access, pets and treats and that such and then there is another community off pretty large community of homeless people who have dogs, mostly for protection and companionship. Their pets needs help as well. There is another pretty big local hunting communities here that we are working very closely with, thanks to Michelle. She’s doing amazing outreach programs with them because they are basically using dogs for hunting, ans so when we say hunting, we mean wild boar hunting with packs of dogs. Like when I first moved here, I didn’t realize what hunting dog meant. I came from Minnesota, where we got, you know, some duck hunting golden retrievers, you know? Sure, it’s this is not that this is a pit bull hound mixes with ridge back, and you know some other mix. It breeds and stuff. They have packs of dogs and a wild boar hunt.
The rescue community, a lot of them are very against the hunters. Because we get these dogs in that are, you know, in horrible conditions that at times, you know, from you know, either being lost in the mountain, for a long time being stabbed by pigs, neglect because the hunters have too many dogs that they don’t spay and neuter. But then so we get, you know, the rescuers that are against it. But then it’s like, you can’t be against them if you’re gonna try and help, you gotta kind of integrate that. I also my dogs. He’s still hunts. My first dog before I rescued then and they loved hunting and I was scared for them hunting, you know, because a couple times they did come back and, like, you know, they had stab wounds in them, you know, from the pigs. And it’s scary. I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” We’re crying and everything. And I had to bring it to a local hunter. Get him sewed up because I couldn’t afford to bring it to the vet and I didn’t know what to do. But they do love doing. My staff went on. It is if you take care of your dogs and you have in the good hunting, then you know that’s good. But if you having just 20 dogs that are all neglected and not, you know, cared for properly, that’s when it’s out of line.
So we’re trying to prove that make a standard for the hunting community. Yeah, I definitely think there’s, I mean, this isn’t that’s an interesting challenge right within the community and that there are different views on that, you know? How do you address it? I think you’re its entry. It’s interesting your view on that, meaning we’re all human, right? And so you have to find a common ground, even if you might not agree with what they’re doing. If you want to help them and educate them and get them to understand and be on your side to help you with the greater cause, you can’t talk down to them. Right. There has to be a relationship that’s built there, and so I think it’s really intriguing the approach that you’re taking in.
So my uncle was a veterinarian, Dr. Tom Cooley, and he was actually the veterinarian that created the statistics for the heart rates for every checkpoint in the eye. There wasn’t any kind of standards or heart rate’s anything like that. And I did a run. They lost many dogs every year during that race. My approach to the whole hunting community, was that I think that in their hunting tournaments that they hold that if we can get a veterinarian there to check in the dogs and then we have a veterinarian station. So if any dogs get injured during the tournament, you know, one of the guys can just bring their dog over. Our vets and vet techs can sew him up, you know, stabilize the dog and hold it there while they still continue to hunt, you know, and just kind of raise the standard for all of the hunting community. That way, we know dogs with prior wounds or anything aren’t going in to hunt, and then it just kind of raises the bar, and then it allows us to connect and be better. I love that you’re taking a pretty difficult topic, something that’s not easily solvable. And I like that that has become a focus for you guys to better the industry overall, right on the on the island.
So tell me a little bit. I wanna learn a little bit more about the programs that you have. I know the community outreach is a big one for you. And so tell me a little bit about that and maybe the other programs that you guys have. So we just did a free clinic. Collaborating with our that general clinic. And Dr Kelly, they came out to our shelter location and, offered free vaccinations, heartworm tests, preventions, heartworm prevention and all that exams, that kind of thing. That was at the end of a precursor to the 31st of July. And then we’re planning hopefully having them come out at least once every month, too ,just dogs in our area for the, you know, local community and hunting community.
So one of the one of the things that I’m a big fan of is building relationships and talking with other organizations. And I love that you guys have an open door policy and you’re trying to reach out to other organizations and other rescues, and you’re trying to build the relationship with the shelters on the island. How has that been going for you? And what challenges have you encountered? Basically all of the rescues on the island. We all really know each other. And we all mostly worked with, you know, Dr. Kelly and Oahu SPCA. They have each other. That’s we all pretty much are working together pretty well. There’s the no kill shelters of the Humane Society does help us a lot off the shelf develop it. We’re working to try. All of the shelters are banding together to work with the humane society, too. Be more workable with them as far as their policies go. You know, we’re in process of trying to change. That is far as they go, but they’re the largest here, so and I think we have a small rescue and organizations that we all kind of worked together.
So, yeah, out of everything that you guys are doing, What’s the one thing that your most proud of? We just signed a five year lease on our shelter property. You know, we were a foster network then and you’ve been in multiple different locations that people wanted to, you know, help us being to have some kennels. And, you know, it’s just There’s many, many challenges when it goes to housing dogs on a property many and especially with the island beings getting more and more overpopulated with humans. Bark complaints are, is the biggest problem when you go to try and have kennels anywhere. And so you know, we tried to have kennels that are quite a few different locations and you know it had to go back, foster network, and then kennels again, and foster network.
And so now I’m really proud to say, you know, we signed a long term lease and. Great. You know, landlords in the country that, you know, love what we’re doing and we love them. And I really appreciate that. So we even have our office. Yeah. And against what we’re working towards now, it’s really as you can imagine, we are rather small shelter when I say rather small, we have 14 kennels, and we are in the process of always trying to find the best home for the dogs that we get and, you know, being able to help more. So you know, part of our efforts is rescue and rehabilitate and re home, and part of our efforts is just prevention and education is part of creating network of affordable medical care and so on.So in order to be able to to rescue more and save more, we are really in need of a larger facility.
So now this is our one of the biggest projects that we actually are needing help with is to build facility to a larger capacity so pouring concrete having to become more stable. As I mentioned we are in the jungle. So in the next six days, I gotta move all of our kennels to the top lot try and force a policy and, yeah, yeah, it’s is that we got people helping, you know. But I think we’re really proud of us growing, we are growing exponentially and people are understanding what we’re doing. We’re just not yet another shelter that takes dogs and adopts dogs. This is not our primary thing that we do. I would say that 60% of our time, or 50, 60, 70% of our time, is literally reaching out. And we want to be out of business. We want to be in a point where, you know, there is no strays on the island and we don’t get calls. We can just help people train dogs. We don’t wan to get 50-60 calls of neglected animals hit by a car and lost in the woods hurt, you know. And so our main goal is to be out of the business as a rescue and a shelter and to be in the business off training and helping people understand their dogs.
So it’s just building that capacity and growing into organization that can can have a larger impact for us. That would be amazing. Yeah, I think you have to dream big, and you have to be able to shoot for the moon and create those steps leading to that. Right. So you have the stories, and I think that’s so important it keeps us moving forward. But I love that, you know, signing a five year lease is one of those small steps to get to that big dream. And I really appreciate the approach that you ladies are taking to this fight. You want to hear a big picture? Sure. I like your big picture.
Okay, so we were just talking about being a rescue. We, you know, rescue and bring in the dogs. Adopt them out. Right now. That’s what we’re doing and trying to build an infrastructure. The second part of this picture in that the state of Hawaii has what’s called animal warranty dogs. The quarantine process to bring a dog to Hawaii as far as Rabies. Both has changed over the years. They have a facility over the mountain in Hlava that has over 1800 kennels. Because this process has changed the majority of that whole area. Land and property is a pendant like there’s these beautiful corrugated iron kennels with concrete with water hose hooked up 10 foot chain link runs, you know, corrugated iron shelter. On every single count, there’s rolls off like rows and rows and rows of abandoned kennels not even being used. Ironically, the state of Hawaii wants to knock that all down and build a prison there.
So my proposal is that I think that we should do a prison dog program with multiple levels of job training with the $595 million they want spend on doing that building. We could have the prison dog programs on the mainland and have them come and show us how to make a prison dog program here the largest one ever, because we’re the only state that has that many kennels on public property, you know, that are just being run down and on another point to Michelle. This island is not richest, for most of the local people are, unfortunately, are in a very bad social status. There you leave in a multiple generation homes. Income is low. There is no rehabilitation program for people who end up in jail, and the only thing they want to do is build another jail. 5,200 inmates total in Hawaii, and about 2,400 of them are being housed in for profit prisons on the mainland. So for us, it’s really, it was really a no-brainer that whole facility out there, you know, this is something that we would like to make it happen.
If just we as an organization strive to grow and make that impact and just have that acknowledgement of needs of rehabilitation program when it comes to people and dogs. So then it’s easy to pair those two because there are so many benefits of programs like that. And that’s what I’ve spoken this people saving dogs, dogs saving people. Yes, yes, it’s clever. I like it. I like again, I like the dream big vision. I mean, I have no idea how to run a prison program, a prison dog program with by $195 million that our state is gonna put towards a building. We could take a little bit of that money, you know, the presidents of the ones on the mainland collaborate and have hold meetings to create together the largest prison dog program there is, because statistics that I have read is that you know, they’re on the mainland. It’s all really small programs, and they have yet to do any cities on a larger group.
And so, with 1,800 kennels that are in really good condition, we could bring 1,800 of our of our Hawaiians back to Hawaii. You know, the ones that qualify for the program, you know, have multiple levels of dog training, you know, and create more jobs. It would give them, easier transition back into society as well, because right now what happens is they get out of prison and they go to a halfway house. You know, nobody wants to hire them. They have to work, you know, a job that’s really maybe a dishwasher or something that that’s, you know, it’s it’s a job, and they do it, but they end up usually finding themselves back in prison, like what I’m thinking is that we had could hire one employee for every five inmates and dogs, and then that would create, like, 360 jobs.
Then, when the the inmates go to get out, they could apply to be left of those counselors into the position, which would, you know, create easier transition out of prison to the community because now they have a job. We just need to find a help. But as well we’ll be helping changing just mentality and towards dogs and literally, like reaching out to low income. Unfortunately, low income families in many cases, they simply do not have knowledge to to handle the dog they have, and you know they don’t have help from anyone. So just helping them understand their dogs and teaching them how to be responsible owners. So they become better. So they don’t end up being as a backyard breeder themselves, you know, like in many cases we have here so, or or in a worst case scenario, being involved in a dog fighting.
So those programs educate people and change their perception of dogs and water dogs about. We are really, really passionate about possibly creating that program on the island. So basically the whole big picture is like Kabuki, and rescue the dogs, take him in and assess them for placement in the Dogs for Underdogs program, which is the prison program of vision, of reform or Hawaii’s inmates and Husky Dog. You know, from that magical multiple levels of different types of trainee, even basic training for adoptable families. And then, you know, then they go get adopted or no, the dogs get jobs, how whatever areas they train for, you can see that we are very passionate. We are in the business off finding multiple ways to help dogs and people here on Hawaii.
So any idea that can help us, you know, make a difference. We are on it because we really want to make a difference, not just rescue and adopt the dog. That’s just a part of the story, but our hearts are so deep in it that we really are aspiring to make great greater impact on this island. No, I definitely appreciate that. You know what you guys are doing with the rescue. And not only that in helping the animals, but it is about the community and making a bigger impact.
So one of the things I wanna I wanna learn a little bit more about is your volunteer programs. Right. I mean, you guys can’t do this alone. So tell me, tell me the roles that volunteers play with your organization. Eva’s been doing an awesome job at coordinating our volunteers because she’s really good with that. She included all types of different groups of people to come and help us. So Michelle has a syndrome of being a super woman. Yeah, she wants to do everything. So basically, I started a volunteer program was first, just a basic volunteer help. So come the rescue. How would you know, cleaning the kennels, feeding the dogs and walking them. That’s that’s the basics. So I brought her employees from work. Yes, I did. So I wanted to see how we are, ypu know how we are gonna do this and more organized away.
So, you know, to set up station and set up some routines and then dates and everything. So then build the structure around it and then have a more defined role. So now we’re at the point when we have volunteers who, let’s say, want to do just be a caretaker. This is something we call a caretaker, like they basically come to clean to feed animals and they get paid in public access, you know, puppy slobbery kisses and scratching their butts. And, you know, at the time I said, this is the the best feeling. If we’re joking in the shelter, we said, “okay, your hotel room is ready.” You know, like you clean the floor, you clean everything, you reset. You give them new blanket and said, “oh, your hotel room is ready, go ahead.” And then you know when you’re done with everything, you feel so fulfilled. And I said to copy of your choosing, go go ahead into the kennel and then cuddle away. So that’s one.
So as well is we’re partnering with another community college and the person who is as well training dogs to bring people who want to be involved in training. So this is basic obedience training. We strive to have dogs there, are rehabilitated and adoptable in a sense that they don’t pull on a leash. They sit when they’re asked, gently take treats and so on. So basic obedience and commands gets dogs adopted. People have very romantic ideas when they adopt a dog for the shelter. And then sometimes they ask me, Oh, is it housed trained? This is a stray dog. You can expectation is a little bit high. And there is a lot of pressure, even on the dogs like you’re thinking about. You show that you’re thinking, “Oh my God, are they gonna like this dog?” So we are really aspiring to get dogs to the point when they basic obedience commands are in place. So we have people who just come for that just to train the dogs and a lot of them working the show. Michelle is absolutely amazing with training program.
So then we have a group of people who are helping with donation. So Michelle didn’t didn’t mention we are 100% volunteer and donation based. We do not have any financial or otherwise support from anywhere. So I’m gonna grant right? You’re not yet so getting donations. It’s a big part, and basically we have people who, literally, I’m teaching to scout all the groups on the island. It’s a little bit different community because we have a lot of military that comes for 23 years and they move. So basically you know meet, meaning our volunteers who cannot come to the shelter. Yeah, they don’t have time or they’re just counting and securing on a social media or with their community with their neighbors, you know, talking to their neighbors, if they can donate a cleaning supplies or blankets or anything that we can use actually in a shelter, and then we go and pick up.
So that is one of the programs that we do, like another way people help us, and we have our volunteers. It’s a talented people who are very good in social media or with taking photos during like videos. They come for special photo shoots. We’re the future, our dog to be adopted because in nowadays people go by the photo. It’s not the most presentable one. Another way just transporting dogs. Now just go to the vet, and back from the vet, transporting dogs from foster, you know, to our shelter or to pick up a dog. There is in need here. It’s a small island, but with all traffic and the weight spread out, it takes multiple hours just to go pick up a dog and bring into a vet and take it back. So we are trying to use all the talent that volunteers have, even if it’s a simple thing. Is a drive to have them, you know, to do somehow contribute to the shelter.
We have multiple volunteers that some people come for one day. Some people, you know, come on a regular basis. Some people are better in, you know, collecting donations. Some people are better in, you know, using social media. Some people are better in just they just want to be hands on and be with us. So we are definitely trying to bring this perspective to them when it’s not all just one thing. It’s based on your talent, but you feel comfortable with. So it’s just to encourage involvement with the shelter. And then, you know, once we get them here, then we talk about our goals, and when they see the work we do, they usually stay with us, you know, and simply appreciate all the effort. So we depend on a community off course. So this is why we are our main efforts to build the biggest network of that we can, because community needs to step up when it’s when is the hardest thing is the toughest when we have those cases.
When, like this mama with six puppies that was dumped. It was dumped in a sugar mill area, which is our next area to clean. It’s our big projects. If there was not four volunteers and for this wonderful people in community to step up and help collecting donations and transport and do all the stuff, we will not be able to to do it. So we’re very grateful for even the smallest you know. The smallest contribution someone can make for us is a lot to share our posts on their page. You know, I kind of went like a little bit of a broader from volunteer program, but to engaging community on a multiple levels. This is how we build our volunteer community like that. There’s one road that goes through our whole area from Kahlua. You do while you’re basically that’s the one stretch that goes along the shore. There’s only that one road and so were spread out. So we gotta have late multiple rescuers that we’re gonna know everybody you know. So if I get one dog up north shore side hit by a car, I can call my rescuers up people there. Tell him “hey, get down there,” you know. Yeah. I call the BYU student, you know, they run over to the scene, you know, and so it is very important to have not just, like, volunteers at our shelter location, but all down that stretch of people that I can call in every single area that multiples because that one person I call is busy and there’s a dog hit by a car I’ll call the next one. Excellent. You know, if I can write. Then you don’t get there fast enough. It definitely sounds like you have. a great network. And the community is really rallying around you guys. And it sounds like you’re doing everything humanly possible to build that network.
So we are getting close to wrapping this up. So I do want to ask for memorable stories. This is my favorite part in the hole conversation. And so, you know, everybody has always been everybody’s been impacted by an animal or a situation, right? And so I’m looking for that one special story from each of you that really stands out. One that you think about often. There’s this placing Kuku where all the farms are. I go. It’s cool road. I go down there and I bring Biggs a doctor because most of the farmer there were they’re feeding their dogs. And so whenever I get a large enough donation, I go and drop dogs into these farms. I rolled up on this dog. She had been hit by a car. It was scorching hot sun on a gravel farm road, and she was so skinny. But She also would just be dragging her back legs.
Someone had actually left a bowl of food on the side of the road and a bowl of water out there for her and just left her there at that point when I saw her, it was like, worse than just putting a bullet in it, you know, because she had been there when I got her to the surgeon. They said her injuries were two weeks old, so she had been drinking herself around on that gravel road. You know, they’re delectable food and water out there. But she was literally on the side of this gravel road, and there’s huge farm trucks like dump trucks driving right by her. I don’t know how they didn’t run her over completely, but when I saw her, I stopped and I grabbed her through in the back of my truck and brought her home and got her right over to our specialty surgeon. Dr. Lam found her spine place that her spinal, our spine, was fractured, her leg needed to be amputated.
One of my protocols now with really emaciated dogs is that we always got to do a stomach X ray because I found in all of the ones that are really starving. They all have metal in your stomach. There’s two veterinarians on this island that can perform a scope. And they’re at the specialty center. You know, she had a zipper in her stomach and some pennies and, like a button or something. They, amputated her leg. That was the first dog that I even tried to fundraise for. Because when I get these critical situation, I mean, I don’t have a bank account with a bunch of money. I don’t know how exactly or what I’m gonna do. I just go and I get the dog. And I put it out there on social media and I asked for help. That was the first time I was able to find ways, something that large and we raised $5500 in four days for Bella’s surgery. She got her leg amputated got all the metal out of her stomach and got adopted shortly after that. I mean, she was a tall hound dog mix. You know, she was just running on her long legs. You know her three long legs.
So that’s a great story of Michelle. Eva, do you have one that you want to share? Yeah, well, recently, this is one of the heartbreaking story we had a lady that, um, actually sent us a message through our Facebook and saying that she tried multiple. She asked multiple people for help. She lives in Washington state. She said that she left the Islands about a year ago. And she could not take her dog with her because the house she was actually moving into will not allow dogs. And so she asked, you know, friends for help. And there was one friend said, No problem. I will take your dog. Take care of it. And you know, when you’re ready, we’ll ship the dog to you for first month. She was getting, you know, messages. Dog is okay. And that person stopped communicating completely. He lost all contact. We’re talking about one year, somehow to multiple connections. And she find out that basically the person who took her dog got into drugs and started using her dog as in a dog fighting.
They had just found the dog in a horrible condition. I got some contact with people who could have surrendered the dog. That was the ex wife of the person. Basically it was Fourth of July. I received the call and it’s now or never. So me and one other person be just went there. It was raining. It was just a horrible, horrible day to our drive. Later we come and it’s just this abandoned house that three dogs, skinny, on a chain on a concrete, no shelter, no water. Just barking. The dog in question had a gun wound into his shoulder like I almost broke down and cried then so we were able to get that dog. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the right to take the other two dogs, but we took videos and pictures, and we carry that dog out. You know, almost like from the moment that we were just approaching, he almost ate us alive. But then, you know, as soon as we we got him into a car and just sit there with him and just kind of calm him down, he calmed down and started trusting us.
I took him to a care for this gun wound toward the for the bullet to be taken out. He was fixed and all the medical care that he needed he received. And about two weeks later I shipped him to the mainland, to his owners. And it’s just heartbreaking story. It’s the family that has now. And, you know, I received phone messages and pictures and videos every every week. You know what? This month’s a week we text and we see how the dogs doing. He’s doing absolutely amazing with his family where he belongs to. But for me, the story is very, very important for multiple reasons is about just being aware that you need to spay and neuter your dog because you know that dog is not spayed or neutered. There is more chance that you’ll end up in a dog fighting ring, that it’s really, really important to come in the good game plan when you’re not able to take your animal with you. Like even if you have a friend so called friends, it might turn out for something worse, like in this case, and the family is so sad to say “we can’t forgive ourselves. You know that what? Our dog has been through,” you know? And it’s just like very, very, very sad. Yeah.
We as well like, made a multiple reports against that person to save this and other dogs on the property. So it turns out to be a rescue story, not just for one dog but for other dogs there and kind of like unpacked whole story and behind it and what’s happening. So we were involved in, you know, being that divorce for them and rescuing them to the point when they are safe and they know that they have been taken care of. It is very sad, because for me it was one of those moments. It was if we missed a beat that dog would be dead the following day. Sometimes you have to make the snap decisions, but this is not the only dog that we rescued. But it’s an important story just to raise awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering, and just having a good game plan. No matter. You know, when you’re moving, how you’re moving and just always have something to as a backup to know that you know your dog is safe no matter what. So yeah, the feeling is priceless.
So I think those were two incredible stories. So thank you both for for sharing those, and and it does speak to the important work that you’re doing and the message that you’re trying to get across to not just those in your community, but but beyond. So I appreciate the time that you guys have has but have spent with me today and teaching me a little bit more about the island and some of the challenges that that you’re encountering and the big dreams that you guys have. So we’ll definitely be following you, and we’ll make sure the link to your website and your social media as well when we post the podcast. Is there anything else that we may have missed before we wrap things up?
You know, I just want to say thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to get our stories. Okay. This is the first time we really I mean, we’ve been on the news one other time, but, you know, we get to get out there talking. Yeah, we over here we are as a sad, like me a lot about being behind the scene and more more being involved in a community than being out there and, you know, recognizing by media. Or we love how should I say, our reputation. It’s built among the people that’s relieved. So we are, Yeah, we are building that connection with them. So we’re grateful for this opportunity, and we’re happy that other people can hear about what we do and maybe they can help, or is just changing the perception off what an animal shelter or a rescue group can be.
We really think that just rescuing and adopting is a great thing, but potential. It’s so, so, so much more. And if you can inspire one person to reach out to their community and do even more than that, then we’re doing a good job so we can inspire one more persons to volunteer and to get to their shelter in their community. Whatever they are or to help in many other ways, then we’re doing a good job, that’s just for us. That is the most important thing reaching out. And they’re changing the minds of people and having them realize what value this is to the community and two animals that we saved, you know. Nicely, nicely stated Eva, I again, I truly appreciated my time with you and all the things that I have learned. So thank you again for your time. Thank you so much.
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