The Arizona Small Dog Rescue (AZSDR) is a nonprofit organization on a mission to save as many lives as possible. They rescue small dogs who are on the list to be euthanized in other shelters by bringing them to their facility. While caring for the dogs they bring in they make it a point to provide any medical care needed as well as socializing them to better help their chances of getting adopted. AZSDR believes that they are the middle ground from being homeless to finding a forever home, they are the stepping stone to find that loving, forever family.
“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 relay transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal rescue. The Arizona Small Dog Rescue is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of small dogs who have been abused, abandoned, neglected or have no home. This rescue was started by one person who really wanted to make a difference by saving dogs. One dog turned into two, then 10 and soon there were too many toe hold in a single household. Ese S. T. R provides a safe place for these dogs, along with medical care and socialization training if needed to ensure they are ready to go to good loving homes. Hi, Rachel. Welcome to the show. Hi. Thanks for having me. Of course. Were looking very much into talking to you today about your organization. So you’re the operations manager at the Arizona Small Dog Rescue? Is that correct. That is absolutely correct. Perfect. So can you share with me a little bit about your organization and what a normal day in your shoes looks like? Airs on a small dog Rescue is a nonprofit 501 C three were a no kill animal shelter. We began originally in 2006. Have a foster based rescue ran solely out of volunteer homes. We ran operated that way until about 2009 when we moved into the facility that we’re at now. We are currently in a 4000 square but shelter equipped with a grooming area. Large indoor life brooms, outdoor dog rounds play are even have those needing area in the facility specifically for us to work with shy, fearful dogs. They need to learn how to establish a trusting relationship with humans. We are actually coming up on our 10th year of the nonprofit. Okay, so that’s exciting. Yeah, I personally have been with Arizona small dogs since April, but most of our staff and volunteers have been with us since the beginning in 2006. Being operations manager, I kind of do literally anything that it Tate stay by Dae often rescue doesn’t have a norm. And you know we have to take things on the fly and handle situations accordingly. So it’s pretty exciting. I absolutely love my job. I’ve been an animal welfare for about 13 years now, and I want to do anything else. I absolutely love it. I’m very passionate about my role in the community and helping homeless pets, firing better situations by loving forever homes. Wow, that is awesome. So you had mentioned that you guys like a shelter now, So would you consider yourself more of a rescue or more of, Ah, shelter? A little bit of bowls? It’s absolutely bull. So we do have a shelter location where we can house a number of animals. But we also have a fantastic foster bees who allows us you said more because then we’re not solely counting on the candle space available at our shelter. We have the pleasure of actually having homes for these animals. Thio kind of learned how to be a dog again, have that home life. So if there is an animal that needs to recover from an upper respiratory infection, just for example, they could do so in a whole type environment, so they are able to republic quicker when an animal’s in a shelter environment, no matter how well we take care of them, it’s stressful. It’s a sterile environment, so being in a home allows them to relax and build immunities and recover quicker. I find that great, and I find it very you need that. You guys were able to kind of run as a rescue and a shelter because you know how rescues air, usually nonprofit and shelters. Usually they’re funded. So you guys as a whole are a non profit organization. Correct? That is correct. We run Soul Leo for donations and our adoption perfect. So see, I’m learning something, and I hope our listeners are too. So in your title. Obviously, it’s small dog rescue. Do you guys take in any type of other breeds or animals that always adjust strictly small dogs? It is not really small dogs. We’re in this for arrest, so if any particular animal he’s to be rescued, we will step up. Our shelter itself does not allow us to take in a ton of large paradox, basically, just because of space alone, however, we are doing our darkness to get into a larger facility where we can accommodate more larger bleeds right now. Currently, we have large life rooms, and so we could place one to chew, depending if their dog friendly large breed dogs in one of those life forms comfortably, or we can put five or six small breed dogs in that room. So we just have to be mindful of space in regards to who we rescue. Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s great that you pointed out you guys are in it to rescue, not be breed specific. Everybody knows you do have toa kind of accommodate. So the space that you have that that’s awesome. I was one of the things that I had wondered when I saw your title and that you guys were rescued, but that you guys have a location. So I’m curious as to what your community is like. Do you guys get a lot of animals that come in? Or how is it over there? Miracle. The county has a serious homes pet problem. We believe that it simply thanks toe black better word. Ignorant pet owners not getting their pets sterilize, sterilize. I mean spayed and neutered they tend to get out and run around town, which eventually creates even more pets on the on the streets, repeating a never ending vicious cycle. So we do our bus to contribute to spaying and Neutering pets in the community. In 2018 we spent over $52,000 on spin and neuter surgery along, and this year we are going to surpass up probably about $10,000 more. So obviously, monetary donations are helpful supporting us by participating in our many events, adopting one of our dogs urinating, food cleaning supplies, anything to help alleviate our medical costs or a shelter costs for all these that you can help us help them. Absolutely. That’s a large number. Congrats to you guys for being able to provide those awesome service is to your community to try to help alleviate that issues. So while we’re on the path of that, you obviously have Spain, you know, program. Can you share with me a little bit about that? And if you guys have any other programs that you guys offer to your community way, span it or any dog that comes through us obviously before adoption, we want them. Thio have that surgery. So again, we’re not supporting backyard breeding and contributing to the homeless pet population. We do not personally have a span neuter program for the public. However, we would gladly anybody reached out to us provide them more information on where to go for low cost surgeries. We do offer microchip implant service is too public for $25. It comes with a free lifetime registration. Microchipping is incredibly important because if your animal is to ever get lost, I know we all think that would never happen to me. But it does, you know, blows open. Or like I mentioned, when a dog is night spayed or neutered, they’re more inclined to get out and find a friend if you will. So, Microchipping Service is is something that we provided on a walking visas. This allows you to be reunited with your pet. This is additional step in regards Thio, a caller and a tag in a way of identity by your pets. You can actually get them home to you so they don’t end up in a county open into a kill shelter. Potentially, it could be life saving. Yeah, you said the type of things that I feel like our community as a whole from state to state. These are things that people need to be kind of reminded of because I feel like microchipping. It’s been around for a while, but it seems like more organizations nowadays are really pushing for that. So that way, like you said, everybody always thinks, well, this isn’t gonna happen. My pets not gonna get out. I have a yard and that’s not always the case. Anything can happen. Your dog can dig out. People don’t think about stuff like that. So how do you guys go about not really advertising your service is. But how do you guys get your the people of your community to know about these service is that you guys offer Well, we are small breath. You. So we’re trying to expand and get our name out there is possible. We do have a rather large social media folly. For example, we have about 42,000 followers on Facebook, so we do advertiser service since there as well as on our website. Our website is a the small bog, or you can find all of the services that we offer, you can connect with us. If you have any questions. It’s just a matter of word of mouth. People who you know, relate this information to their friends, and so they know we can have more exposure. Participating in this podcast is you know, a fantastic opportunity for us to be able to do that. And I like that you pointed out word about because sometimes that literally can be the quickest way to get things out there and as well as you know, social media. And when I was looking at your Facebook, I did see that you guys do have a large follow base, which is amazing because that’s so beneficial in a lot of organizations. And just businesses in general are searching for ways to connect with people on social media. Seems to be the top answer to help with that program wise, you share with me with the spay, neuter and the microchip. Do you guys offer any type of educational programs or anything of that nature? We do have a volunteer program where you can come in and actually physically see what we do day today and assist us side by side like I mentioned you could give us a call. What’s just a question that you have regarding a particular behavior you’re struggling with with your animals? We pride ourselves on a post of your service. We believe that educating the public is one of the most important things that you can do in your room or rescue, because I mentioned earlier with spaying and Neutering a lot of the time. Simple. Just ignorance because they’re unaware of what they can do to help the situation. Nowadays. The cost of spinach or so minimal there’s so many free clinics where it’s absolutely no charge, it’ll and quick drop up. You leave them for their surgery from picking up a few hours later. A little. It takes Yeah, in. Like you said, there’s a lot of clinics. Other. They’re willing to do that for free, which it can’t get better than that, you know? Absolutely, absolutely. So, aside from the homeless pets inner area, what is the biggest challenges you guys faces an organization? One of the biggest challenges the US in particular we have right now, is our shelter. Facility itself is older. We are constantly getting thrown off by having to deal with costly repairs. We are trying to get better and get bigger and be able to financially support moving into a newer, larger ability. We would like to be in a better side of town. Even so, the shelter itself, like I mentioned, just because of the size we can’t necessarily accommodate as many medium to large breed dogs as we would like to. So I would say that’s a big challenge that we have currently. How many fosters do guys usually have on a regular basis? We actually have, at any given time, approximately 75 different foster homes with our animals in them. Some postures could take one bag. Some fosters take, you know, a litter of 10 puppies so it does very depending on what their household can accommodate. But we absolutely cannot do it. At least it was much without them. That’s a great number, tohave. I mean 75. Foster’s is amazing. So it seems like you guys have that foundation bill between that many fosters and a physical location. So how did you guys manage all of the animals that are pleased than all of those fosters? I mean, it takes a village definitely does. We have a huge support system of staff and volunteers. We have a foster coordinator in particular that tends to our fox. You’re home. Make sure that they have everything they need. For example, if you take a puppy, we’ll make sure that you’re supplied with puppy pads, puppy food and chew toys for the duration of their stay. Well, actually provide you everything it takes to care for these animals while they’re with you. We only ask that you provide them a good, loving home. In the meantime. Wow, that’s so great that you guys were able to do something like that. And I feel like fosters are important for any organization because it’s awesome to see the amount of people that actually are willing to bring pets into their home. And if that’s the way that they can help, it helps tremendously. So I love hearing that you guys have such a large number of Foster’s within your organization. So how do you guys go about getting some of the animals adopted? You guys go to events. Do you guys put on any type of fund raiser that kind of shines light to these animals? I’m curious as to how you guys get some of these animals adopted. We do share them on our website and other websites and lead posted on social media again, word of mouth. We like to provide great customer service to our clients, so when they come in and they adopt a dog, we have a great experience that you share that with their loved ones, and then they come in a swell. We do also have adoption events, so aren’t physical shelter. Location is open Tuesday through Sunday, really closed on Mondays. Robin from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anybody can come in at any time. There’s no appointment necessary, and you can view the adoptable pets that we have here. In addition, we can arrange for meet and greets with our pets that are in foster care as well. On the weekends on Saturdays, we have adoption events there, often adoption events, and this is every single Saturday we have one adoption event inside of the Petco, off of Tatum in Bell Road, and then another inside of a PetSmart Locational potato Shape boulevard from 11 a.m. To three. Pam, like I mentioned every Soliday on Sundays. We have another even actually, that on the west side of town. It’s looking it off. So many Food avenue on Bell Road, also inside of a PetSmart location. That way, if you can’t make it thio our physical location, you have a East Valley option s being central and then West Valley options. Well, you said that you’re not open on Mondays, but it seems like you guys are super busy and you know, you guys are putting forth at for to meet your community’s needs. You know, you’re on one side of town one day and the other side the next, and a lot of organizations don’t do that. So I find that great to hear. So that’s awesome. Do you guys sometimes bree some of the animals from your foster homes out to these adoption inventors of just the animals that you keep within the shelter? The adoption in advance in particular, is where most of our foster animals go. Obviously we can, according the day, either it’s were convenient for them to come to the shelter. But it’s actually part of the foster agreement. If you take in one of our long timer adoptable dogs you would be Ricky wired to attend at least two events a month for that animal to get exposure. I haven’t really had anybody. Sure, that little bit of insight. So that’s cool to hear that you guys are making sure that, as well as them fostering these animals that they are committing to helping get this animal adopted. Yes, it’s great. It’s a good time. We’re, ah, really close knit family. We enjoy there, Foster and bringing in their foster. That’s for the event. You know, they can show it for a couple hours during the event. We do, obviously network these animals that are in foster homes a little more heavily because you’re not here to get the foot traffic from the shelter. So we would do that on our Web site on social media. Yeah, and you know, that’s important because you guys don’t just have to worry about the animals that are in foster homes. You also have to worry about the ones that are in your physical location. So I’m assuming that you guys have volunteers because you said that you guys have the volunteer program. What is this, some enrichment programs or enrichment things for the pest at your facility that you guys offer. We actually have a full enrichment program where they get new enrichment tedious every single day. It’s something that I care very deeply about him, extremely passionate about because, like I mentioned before, no matter how well we take care of these animals, they’re still in a sterile environment. There’s still lots of sights and sounds and heavy foot traffic, and it becomes stressful, so to be able to provide them enrichment is very special. Hey, good to go out of our facility. They goto the parts for wants. They’ll go to Starbucks to get a cappuccino. We will do like frozen treats in the summer to help them cool off. We’ll let them play in play. Polls will blow bubbles. They really love the bubbles. So he’s a watch. We like to play classical music for them. We d’oh nose work where we’ll do scented different sense on their toy. Or they’re betting or will hide like a cinnamon spice in their sheets so that when they get into their panel, it’s noon. Exciting. Oh, what is this? Something to explore? Wow, that is awesome. I’m totally with you. I love to see how excited pets get. I mean, it’s kind of like watching a kid. They really get excited in the bubbles. I think that’s so sweet. You guys offer some really meet things for the dogs that come into your care. I mean, some of these things I have never even heard of. I’ve never heard of other organizations doing that. So that is extremely awesome and so special. And it truly makes you guys stand out as an organization that you guys actually take that extra initiative to find out the different fun things that you could do for these animals while they’re in your care. Because, like you said, they are in a environment where they’re probably scared. They’re nervous. They don’t have that loving one on one time with people like if they were in a home. So I find it amazing that you guys offer them so many different enrichment programs. Biggest. I might actually have a staff member in particular that that is her job title. She is the shelter coordinator, so she takes that very seriously. In addition to that, the rest of herself in Oliver volunteers participated as well. Children instrument. It’s so easy. Sometimes you can just walk around with a spray bottle that has, like vanilla scent, for example, and just spray the room. The dog have very sensitive noses, so they find that intriguing and it’s new. It doesn’t smell like all the other dog. Yeah, head tilt what we get when they’re so curious to see a bubble for the first time. I mean, it’s just heartwarming. It isn’t. I mean, if you could see me right now have, like, the biggest smile on my face because I love to hear about how a pet is just truly enjoying their time, especially in that shelter environment, because, like I said, nine times out of 10 they’re scared and you don’t really get that curious, fun, sweet personality out of them. And so that’s the way we definitely have. A great time here is also great for our staff volunteers to participate like they enjoy it. I enjoy it so much fun. Also, enrichment really helps with keeping animals in their new forever homes. For example, if the dog house issues with separation anxiety, if you play calming music on and give him honest to toy, that’s like a Kong. For example, it’s polka peanut butter. You can even freeze that and get a couple extra hours of chili and keeping them busy on something productive that they’re allowed to chew on versus getting themselves into trouble. So that is also a benefit. So, Rachel, you had mentioned that you have been in the animal wolf fur industry for quite some time now, and a sign from the enrichment programs that you shared. Can you share with me any memorable stories that you have or one that stands out in particular? That kind of got started down this path? Would you mind sharing something like that with us? There is so many and again that’s absolutely why I do this. To be able to change the animal’s life. There’s something like it, one in particular that I’ll share with you. Her knee is journey, and as we’ve discussed previously, we don’t typically take in large breed dogs because of space constraints. But we were alerted that there was a pregnant straight people are local county shelter and we felt compelled to say, for we did not want her to give birth at a local kill shelter in a stressful environment. It’s just absolutely not ideal. So we rushed over, We picked her up. We brought her into our facility. We did then happ er check out by one of our veterinarians. And it turned out that she was not even pregnant after all. Oh, she was actually fighting a deadly case of cryo mitre. Cry O meter has an infection of uterus. That closet annulled today and most of all, gravely ill. It is absolutely life threatening. If treated, had journey been speed, none of this would have ever happened to her. So again, please pander to your past. Anybody listening and it’s so very, very important. She was then rushed to Emergency Veterinary Center for emergency Space surgery. He’s getting the infected uterus out, was treatment and that she was able to make a full recovery. And she is not considered what we call a foster failure because one of our false tears failed to bring her back. She know forever. Remember of her foster home was actually an Arizona small dog rescue staff member. So we get lots of updates, photos, visits regularly. Oh, that is so sweet. This is probably one of my favorite parts of the podcast because you hear about these stories and they just touch your heart and to hear the outcome and how they’re making that recovery. And I find it crazy that she wasn’t even pregnant, and it was definitely a surprise. Just put her into a foster home for a few weeks for a quiet place to have her puppies, and then we quickly figuring it out. She had elevated temperature. Her bloodwork was off the charts, showing that she was fighting a gnarly infection. So we didn’t ultra Salem, which is how we discovered the pie. Oh, Mitre. And it was just awful. The whole situation could have been avoided if shoes Hey, yeah, it’s always going to go back to that. You know, certain issues if they were state a neuter. It’s so crazy to me how it’s such an easy thing to fix. But people in the world they don’t have that mentality. I find a great that you guys were able to take her in and give her a good life, and I always find it ironic that they’re considered foster failures. But it’s such a great success exactly because it’s like she found her loving home. She’s meant to be there. She still got that great life, so that’s awesome. Thank you for sharing that with me. So what does the future look like for your organization? I know that you guys want to move to a newer location, but you guys have any other plans for maybe some new programs or events or any type of thing for your future every single day. We’re always welcome to getting feedback on how we can help the community better. We’re always trying to participate, engaged with our community and network were definitely open minded on anything that can help us improve as we did this once. Previously, we are trying to get out of our current facility into a new, larger place where we can accommodate more intakes. We can accommodate larger breathes. We can do what we’re doing now, but on a grander scale. So that is the biggest goal. We do have a number of events coming up. We participate in lots of the events. Actually, you can count long at least 2 to 5 each month, For example, on Sunday, December 8th, we have a home for the Holidays art show it’s out a desert passion studio and gallery where they said there photographers into our shelter, and they took beautiful photos of some of our easy str rescue pups. Those photos will be displayed on their feature wall and available for purchase for a donation for that rescue. So that’s one example. On Saturday, December 14th we’re having our annual Santa positive that we hold these at the oh so location, which is pet friendly. You’re welcome to bring in your more like it for babies to the oh so brewery. This one in particular, is located in Paradise Valley, Arizona, and then you would have your photo taken with Santa by a professional photographer. It’s free event. We do request donations but is absolutely free to attend. It’s so much fun you do it every year with absolutely enjoy it so very much in the new year will be participating in a vent hole. The relay for Rescue. What’s happening January 25th. It is basically a fun scavenger hunt. It’s even a bit of a bar curl, where local animal advocates local animal rescues. There’s nine organizations that are participating. We all get together all entry fee registrations all of donations. All raffle ticket proceeds get pulled together and it split amongst the nine organization. So it’s just a fun way for us to get box with the community and have fun and provide education and enjoy ourselves while doing it. And again, it helps support our mission with donations. Thank is our livelihood, and we cannot do it without the help. Yeah, and I’m so happy that you share some of those events with us that you guys have coming up. If any of our listeners are near the Phoenix Arizona area, there’s there’s some great events coming out that they have. I kind of wish I was in Arizona right now and take my pets to one of the pictures. It is a great and so much fun that you can get all of our event particular information and off of our Facebook page, in particular under the events tab. That way, if you are in town, he would like to join us. You know where the addresses are and the dates and times we’d love to have anybody wanting to come join us. Absolutely. And I hope that this gets out there and you guys get some more people there and just help come out and support your guys is caused because the animal welfare industry is such an amazing cause, and I feel like it’s sometimes undermined a little bit. So I praise you guys, and I think it’s great that you guys have a passion for what you’re doing. So if anybody was interested in being a volunteer or a foster or just coming out to check out some of the animals you guys have, how can one go about getting in contact with your organization? We have the number of different avenues. Obviously, you guys are more than welcome come into the shelter itself. Like I mentioned, we’re open every day. Except for Monday’s. You can contact our shelter directly. Our shelter phone number is 6029442440 You can contact us via Facebook page. I personally managed that, and I have to respond to your message with any hour. Two max. I’m usually pretty good about that. You going for our website again? Not a Z small dog dot org’s or more information. Also, if you’re interested in fostering, in particular, you can email us. So the email pra posturing is foster at ese small dog dot org’s for volunteering. It’s volunteer at ese small dog that Lord, if you just want general information, we have info. I N f o r a z small dog, But work We have one for adoptions. Well, which is I bet you can guess it. A daisy small dog got ward. Well, glad we invite you to pull us or come into the shelter. We are almost always here, and we’re always willing to home. Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that with us. Is there anything in particular that you would like to share with us before we get things wrapped up today? I just want to extend our gratitude to you and say thank you for inviting us to participate. Today. I’m absolutely grateful to have an opportunity to highlight our organization and share some of Arizona’s small dog rescues information with your listeners. So thank you, of course. And like I said, I was so eager to learn about you guys. I came across your website. I loved it. It stood out to me. And those are the things that I look for is If I’m intrigued, I reach out. I love talking with you guys and I hope that some of the things that your organization is doing can be shared to another organization. Because at the end of the day, we’re all working towards the same goal. And absolutely, I love that you had pointed out that just because in your title you guys are a small dog rescue you guys. Still, you look at that rescue aspect and you guys are willing to help out whenever you guys can. So thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today, Rachel, and sharing with us a little bit about your organization. It truly was amazing. Thank you so much. I really sincerely appreciate it. If anybody has a question or wants to contact us for more information, please. D’oh again. The phone number 6029442440 Or, if you’re in town from visit. Awesome biggie Rachel Gigio. 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”