I don’t remember if it was Michelle or Liz who told me, “You are the drop in the pond, and we are the ripples.”
It was maybe the biggest compliment I’ve ever gotten. I’ve never actually met Michelle or Liz, two women who have become rescue sisters to me. Michelle lives in New Jersey and Liz lives in Florida.
I met both women as a result of my work advocating for shelter dogs. Both read my books and reached out wanting to be involved somehow. I had hoped to meet them in our travels in 2020, but like so much else, those trips were canceled.
They, along with a dozen other amazing people, were on the launch team for 100 Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues. The title may say ‘one woman’ but there is nothing I’ve done in any of this that didn’t involve the help of incredible people like Liz and Michelle.
This past year, they stepped out and began doing even more, creating X-Port Paws, Inc., whose mission is to “endeavor to pull dogs off the kill list (indicated by an X) who are deemed too old, too sick, too Pittie, too black, or too much to handle and transport them to safety.”
They operate from Liz’s town in south Florida, networking dogs and coordinating transport, rescue, fosters, and vet work. In doing so, they are saving lives big time. I’m super proud of their work, which has only begun. They are doing serious rescue–hard rescue—the kind too many don’t have the stomach or the determination to do. It’s not just back-breaking work, it’s heart-breaking work. These women are superheroes in my rescue world.
Another rescue hero of mine, author and advocate, Aubrie Kavanaugh, is running a fundraiser for them. As anyone in rescue knows, it costs a lot to save lives. X-Port Paws needs all that they can get for medical treatment, training help, transport costs, and so much more. I know there are plenty of dog-hearted souls out there, as evidenced by the fact that we blew away our Kickstarter goal for the film, Amber’s Halfway Home, so if you’ve got a few bucks left in your bank, consider supporting their t-shirt fundraiser.
Click here to get your t-shirt and support the work of X-Port Paws. The fundraiser ends on Sunday, so don’t wait. Please share this link with your own networks and lets support the work of these incredible women. I hope you’ll also find X-Port Paws on Facebook and follow their outstanding work.
Until each one has a home,
Who Will Let the Dogs Out (we call it Waldo for short) is an initiative of Operation Paws for Homes. If you’d like to contribute to our work, we encourage you to click on the how to help link above and give directly to a shelter. You can also donate to our work via OPH’s donation page by designating Who Will Let the Dogs Out in your comments.
My book, One Hundred Dogs & Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and a Journey Into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues (Pegasus Books, 2020) tells the story of not only our foster experience but some of our shelter visits and how Who Will Let the Dogs Out began. It is available for anywhere books are sold. Proceeds of every book sold will go to help unwanted animals in the south.
We are also hard at work on a short documentary film made in partnership with Farnival Films. Amber’s Halfway Home tells the story of heroes in the dog pounds of western Tennessee. It is a beautiful, heartbreaking, inspiring story that will compel viewers to work for change.
For more information on any of our projects or to talk about rescue in your neck of the woods, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.