Some lucky dogs are in progressive shelters with staff, resources, and community support that enable them to find homes for all of their adoptable dogs through local adoptions and outside rescues.
Some not-so-lucky dogs are in open intake, high-kill shelters that are routinely forced to ‘euthanize for space.’ Many of the people who work in these shelters work desperately to save every dog they can but are understaffed, underfunded, undersupported, and overwhelmed.
And then there are the dogs left behind at tiny municipal pounds in rural communities on back roads people rarely travel.
These dogs live in sparse conditions with few resources and no extras. They are held in chain-link kennels behind police stations, at the city dump, or in squat concrete buildings with no heat/AC until their owners come for them or they are destroyed to make room for new dogs that arrive. Their pictures are not on a shelter website or Petfinder. Rarely is there anyone working to address their physical, emotional or behavioral needs, let alone search for an adopter. Their only chance beyond being claimed by their owners is for a rescue worker to visit the pound and ‘pull’ them, transporting them to rescues sometimes several states away.
We believe that change cannot happen without awareness. That’s why we start Who Will Let the Dogs Out and that’s why we travel to find and tell the stories.
Here are a few opportunities to hear more about us:
Nancy is a photographer who can shoot just about anything, but truly shines when she tackles subjects having to do with the saving of dogs (or her amazing rescue dog, Edith Wharton). Edith and Nancy are a registered therapy dog team who visit Preschool classes where Nancy formerly taught. They enjoy seeking out the best pizza in NYC and finding country roads to cruise in their vintage Alfa Romeo. Nancy and her husband Matt love to find events to provide excuses to visit their 4 adult children.
Originally from Iowa, Patty worked in international development for 15 years and was fortunate to work in more than 15 countries, mainly in Africa. (She was a volunteer in Haiti for 2 years.) Since then, she’s worked in immigration and refugee assistance in Montgomery County, MD where she’s lived for 20+ years. Patty grew up with an English bulldog and two collies and now has three rescue dogs of her own. Patty and her husband, Jerry, started fostering dogs after being inspired by Cara’s book, Another Good Dog. She brings skills and experience in grant research and writing, organizational development, community outreach, strategic planning and evaluation to assist organizations helping dogs in need. Patty loves biking, hiking, traveling and learning about other cultures & spending time with dogs of all kinds.
A lifelong volunteer and dog lover, Karen began her venture into dog rescue when her children were both in college. The family dog had been gone a year and while not quite ready for another dog, their very first foster, Jessie, found her forever home immediately. Karen’s professional career and volunteer experience make her an excellent addition to the Waldo team. She brings not just her organizational and leadership skills, but her passion for dog rescue. As a board member and volunteer director, Karen’s warm personality and can-do attitude are a perfect fit (plus she appreciates that she can volunteer from her home in northern Virginia or any beach). Karen and her husband love to spend time with their adult children, family, and traveling.
Ian Achterberg (honorary board member)
You may be curious about Ian’s hairstyle – rest assured it’s not cancer. Ian has alopecia areata universalis, a non-contagious auto-immune disorder that causes his white blood cells to attack his body’s hair follicles. Other than having no hair, Ian is very healthy and in addition to lifting weights, he competes in Varsity Swimming and Track & Field, in addition to playing soccer. If you’d like to know more about alopecia, visit National Alopecia Areata Foundation.