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  • Mamaroneck Observer

Pet Rescue: Brightening Lives and Saving Pets

By Marina Kiriakou -

Pet Rescue is a beacon of hope in a world filled with challenges and uncertainties. With a team of forty dedicated and compassionate volunteers, this non-profit organization is committed to making a difference in the lives of both animals and humans. If you've ever seen dogs and their caregivers leaving the shelter on Harrison Avenue at 10 am on weekdays, you've witnessed the profound significance of their volunteer-driven mission.

Founded in 1982 as a grassroots movement, Pet Rescue provides shelter, care, and love to animals in need. While they initially operated solely through foster care, they established their brick-and-mortar facility seven years ago. At this sanctuary, the devoted team ensures that each furry companion receives the necessary medical care and is prepared for a new and loving home.

Pet Rescue has transformed the lives of thousands of animals, bringing joy and companionship to families who are eager to open their hearts to a four-legged friend. With 23 kennels and a Kitty Cottage that accommodates an average of 18 residents, Pet Rescue goes above and beyond to prioritize the emotional well-being of every animal. The multi-room facility enables volunteers to match cats with companions of similar temperaments, increasing the chances of successful adoptions.

A Troubling Trend

However, Pet Rescue reports an increasing rise in local pet surrenders and a decline in adoptions. "This trend is pervasive across the nation," says Maria Stark, kennel manager and intake coordinator. "Factors such as the pandemic, overwhelming responsibilities, inadequate training and socialization, and financial difficulties have contributed to this surge in pet relinquishments.” Society's broader issues reverberate within the confines of Pet Rescue, underscoring the imperative for empathy and awareness regarding these pressing concerns.

Another challenge Pet Rescue faces is the irresponsible breeding of certain dog breeds for quick profits. Breeds like pit bulls and shepherds are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Responsible pet ownership and legislative measures are crucial in curbing these practices.

Despite these challenges, Pet Rescue remains a symbol of hope and resilience. Fueled by their deep love for animals, volunteers go above and beyond to help pets in jeopardy. From socializing and nurturing animals to responding to distress calls and ensuring their well-being, they are available 24/7. According to Paula Krenkel, intake and applications coordinator and 18-year veteran of the rescue, “No task is too big or too small for our team, whether it's a midnight run to retrieve a dog from an airport or rescuing a stray in the streets – our volunteers are tireless.”

The Wider Network

Much of Pet Rescue's work revolves around collaboration with shelter partners. "Everyone is short-staffed these days," Krenkel acknowledges. "We work closely with veterinarians from Scarsdale Animal Hospital, as well as Veterinary Emergency Group (VEG), Petchester, and Guardian in Brewster. We function as a united community, extending assistance wherever possible. "Shelter partners include animal transport personnel, independent rescues, and Good Samaritans who vigilantly oversee animal safety within the community.

Currently, in-house TNR (trap-neuter-return) services are not provided by Pet Rescue. "We hope to reintroduce that service," Krenkel remarks. "Previously, we had a veterinarian four times a week, but it proved unsustainable. Perhaps in the future, as the need is certainly there.”

Donations, volunteer contributions, and foster families are all welcomed and greatly appreciated. Every donation dollar goes directly towards animal care. For more information and to get involved, visit Pet Rescue's facility is located at 7 Harrison Avenue, Harrison, NY.


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