Guest Blogger: Becky Carter, Weatherby
Eleven years ago, I received a message from a good friend of mine, who happens to be a Veterinary Technician, that he was delivering a litter of puppies to a recently rescued momma dog who had just been taken in by Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Through my friend, who helped to bring these sweet angels into this world, I was introduced to BDR and asked to foster three of these puppies.
In time, those puppies were adopted – one to a close family friend, the other to a great loving family, and the remaining puppy is my now eleven-year-old little boy, Jaco. He is my best friend and is truly a miracle. He completes my family and is the best boy ever. There is something about dogs that have been rescued –you can just tell that they are grateful. They know that we saved them, and they do their best every day to save the humanity in all of us.
Big Dog Ranch, located in Palm Beach, is the largest cage-free, no-kill dog rescue in the country. Established in 2009, they live by their mission to save 5,000 dogs a year and to give them a place to heal, as well as find them loving families. BDR also educates people on how to properly care for dogs and the importance of spaying and neutering. To date, they have saved over 40,000 dogs.
When I visit the Ranch, it’s almost like volunteering at a summer camp. I spend my time walking and playing with the dogs outdoors near their lake, taking pictures to keep the adoption site current, and manning the gate house for incoming visitors. I have helped with conducting follow up phone calls for new and potential adopters and assist in keeping the grounds clean and maintained. When volunteering they really allow as much or as little interaction with the dogs as you want.
The work that is done at Big Dog Ranch impacts more than just the local community and the dogs that are adopted through the rescue. Lauree Simmons, the Founder and President of Big Dog Ranch Rescue, participated in a Presidential signing of the first U.S. law that makes animal abuse a federal crime, a topic I feel so passionate about. I believe that we must help those without a voice to help themselves.
The support offered from Big Dog Ranch extends beyond the animals they help in the community. They help the community’s senior citizens by visiting nursing homes and helping them take care of their pets when they are unable to. The Veteran Service Dog Program helps pair up working dogs with our brave men and women that fought for our country. Big Dog Ranch saves countless dogs from kill shelters up and down the east coast. Their services reach outside of the country through organized rescue trips to Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and China. Highlighting global animal abuse is one of the biggest aids they offer to helpless animals, as well as deployment of rescue teams to disaster areas. This is such a great cause to be a part of and there are so many ways to make an impact. If you are ever looking to adopt and/or looking for a great place to volunteer, this is the place for you!