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Emily Dyson and Michaele Mele: Founder and Director of Operations of Waldo’s Rescue

Emily founded Waldo’s Rescue in the midst of the pandemic to give abandoned, abused, and homeless dogs a forever home. Waldo’s places dogs with foster families or individuals until they are able to be adopted. Whether you’re looking for a puppy, senior dog, small breed, or large, Waldo’s is sure to have the perfect dog for you. If you’re in the New York area and are interested in fostering or adopting an adorable pup, Waldo’s is always looking for people to get involved and you can apply here.

How do the rescue dogs end up in your care?

The majority of Waldo's Rescue Pen (WRP) dogs are shelter transfers. WRP works with kill shelters in the southern states, as well as with our local shelters in New York. Our shelter partners in the south are in rural areas where public funding and community support is minimal. Due to the minimal availability of resources great dogs and puppies are euthanized on the daily for no reason other than lack of space. We also take in owner surrenders on a case by case.

What do you wish people knew about rescue dogs?

I wish that everyone would believe in the 3x3x3 rule for rescue pups. 3 days for your new dog to know where they are, 3 weeks for them to start to understand that it’s home and 3 months for them to open up and show real love. Patience is the best gift you can give to any dog, but mostly an adult rescue. Bad news for us is that they can not tell us what happened to them in the past; which sometimes is a blessing in disguise due to the condition these animals come to us in. We have saved dogs from breeders that have lived in chicken coops for years with no interaction, moms and newborn pups living outside in filth on a chain, many have come from hoarding cases. Just like how it takes people a while to trust someone after they’ve betrayed us, dogs are no different— they need to regain their confidence. I promise you though, once your dog opens up to you, whether it takes 3 days or 5 months, you will have the most loyal companion as long as they live.

How can individuals help support your work?

Spread the word. If you are unable to foster a dog, share that rescues have transports coming, and fosters are needed. Promote adopting a dog rather than purchasing one. You never know who may be looking to foster, and who that person may know. Rescue dogs are becoming more common in the tri-state area, but there is still a lot of work to do. If a person is unable to foster, they can donate their time at events, help with applications, contribute from a wish list, and monetary donations. We too often hear, I thought someone else would do it. Please always check in, we are grateful for it. It is not uncommon for us to get an answer to a plea post at the 19th hour, it is never too late to reach out.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love our fosters and our adopters. But, my most favorite moment is always meeting a foster for the first time on a transport day when dogs arrive. These people are amazing, and are the stepping stone for any animal to have the best life. Yes, we coordinate with shelters behind the scenes to help get these dogs out and safe from euthanasia, but we can not do that if they don't have a place to sleep outside of the shelter. Waldo's has been very lucky to have a community full of amazing volunteers that want to make a positive impact in our world. Seeing everything come together, and when an animal opens up to that foster, and we work together to find them a family, and see it all come full circle, it is pure joy!


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