Give Them Shelter, and They Will Rock Your World.

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Our rescue, Agrippina, a.k.a. Aggie, running wild.

Almost everyone loves animals. And animals return that love in spades. Rescue animals, and the organizations that save and rescue them, are under pressure these days, just like most everything and everyone else. Maybe you have thought of getting a rescue; maybe you haven’t. But there are so many fur people looking for a forever home, or even a temporary one. Even if you are not a candidate to take a rescue, please give a shout-out or think about donating to the people who work tirelessly with animals in need.

We are so lucky to have found Agrippina, a.k.a. Aggie. She was found wandering the streets of Bowie, Maryland, and taken to the local animal shelter. Unfortunately, it was one where strays are sometimes killed. We later found out how she ended up on the street, as she had a chip. Not a nice story.

The first photo of Aggie we saw.

Luckily The Humane Society scooped her up and took care of her, and then she was taken in by Maryland Westie Rescue. This is the photo that Maryland Westie Rescue sent to me. Poor Aggie, then known as MacTammy, was found in September 2015, and adopted by a family in nearby Virginia. She became violently ill at Christmas that year, and when the family was told that she had Addison’s Disease, they returned her to the Westie Rescue. She had been completely shaved while she was in the hospital, and all you could see were her big beautiful eyes.

Our first Westie had Addison’s, so I knew we could take care of her. Once we had her back in New York, she thrived and as you can see above, loves running wild. The only thing I regret about Aggie is that I missed the first four years of her life.

There are so many wonderful animal lovers all over this country. They run the many animal shelters and rescues that do not put animals down. Some are large organizations, and some are smaller. But each one is special and is usually staffed by volunteers who love animals.

How do animals end up as rescues? Their owners die or get too old or sick to care for them, they are found abandoned, their owners don’t have the money to take care of them, landlords insist they go, or they belong to cruel and nasty people who abuse them. Some are rescued from breeders who do terrible things to them. None of them chose to live that way.

If you are thinking in these lonely days of shutdown that it might be nice to have a furry companion, please think very carefully before you adopt. Animals do require a lot of time and love, they need to go to the vet, they may need meds, and food, treats and toys. If you think you can let them share your life and home, look into all the eyes below. If you don’t think you are able to adopt or foster, then please think about making a donation to the rescues below, as they have so many expenses to cover; vet care, food, rent, and many other things. And your donations will let these organizations keep rescuing animals.

Fluffy at Bideawee.

Bideawee has been running a no-kill pet welfare organization since 1903. It was a novel idea back then, and while other shelters do put a percentage of animals down, Bideawee and all the other rescues here do not. Bideawee is a large organization with many fur people.  Fluffy, an 8-year-old cocker, came to Bidawee because her owner came down with Covid-19. She is probably confused as to why she had to leave her home. The staff and volunteers will comfort and feed her.

Some of Bideawee’s animals are on 38th St. in  New York, some in the Long Island facility, and some are in foster care waiting for their forever homes. According to a Bideawee spokesperson, “Sometimes they do move animals between shelters but not so much these days given the safety protocols we have in place and because many of our animals are in foster homes where they can be brought to the shelter to meet prospective adopters when needed. We have been doing meet and greets via zoom so potential adopters can virtually interact with, see, and learn about the animal they are interested in before making an appointment to meet them in person/process the adoption.”

Amelia at Bideawee.

Amelia is three years old. She loves to cuddle, and take calm walks. All adoptions these days are done through the Bideawee website. If any of these dogs speak to you, go online and fill out an adoption application. A matchmaker will get back to you.

Luke at Bideawee.

Luke is a wonderful five-year-old dog, and loves to run on the beaches of Long Island even though he is missing a leg. You can be sure that he is getting the best health care possible. That costs money, but Bideawee is there for him.

Sherlock at Bideawee.

Sherlock came to Bideawee from Florida after being rescued after Hurricane Dorian. He’ll happily lounge on the couch with you and take a nap, and he loves other dogs as well. He is almost two years old.

JP at Bideawee.

JP is six years old, with floppy ears, and the most heart-melting eyes. He loves walking in the woods, playing in the park, and snacking. A cuddly cutie.

Gabriel at Bideawee.

Gabriel is a five-year-old who was found abandoned on someone’s doorstep, all dirty and matted. He was cleaned up, groomed and looked after by the vets. Lovable and cuddly, maybe he’s the pup for you.

Joci at Bideawee.

As you can see Joci loves her toys. She is 11 years old, and loves to play and snuggle. Everyone at Bideawee works to make sure all their charges are healthy and happy.

Toby Lancelot at Bideawee.

Toby Lancelot is a nine-year-old who was rescued from from a cat colony after someone realized he was not an outdoor cat. He is on the large side, and loves his hiding places, but he does come out and explore.

Ollie at Bideawee.

Ollie is a real cutie. He is 3 years old and will always great you with a wagging tail. He is great around other dogs, and he is loving and playful.

Princess Leia at Bideawee.

Princess Leia is a 10-year-old Shepard mix. She was rescued from Florida after Hurricane Irma. She is gentle and friendly, and charms everyone she meets.

Missy at Bideawee.

Missy is almost 4 years old. She is always up to something funny. She likes people and other cats. She likes to watch and process things, and is a cat with a mind of her own.

Empress at Bideawee. Photos courtesy of Bideawee.

Empress is a two-year-old, who almost always has a toy in her mouth. She is friendly and cuddly, and spends time lying in a staff members office. Empress and all of her mates above can be found on the Bideawee website. Bideawee is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit public charity. They rely on donations to keep on doing what they do. Because of the virus, they have had to cancel the Bideawee Ball this year, an event that brings in a lot of money to keep them helping save dogs and cats. Your donations would go a long way to helping Bideawee save and nuture dogs lives.

Bidawee. Please contact them through the website:

Peanut at Ready for Rescue.

Ready for Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to saving cats and dogs from the streets and shelters of New York City. Run by Doug Halsey, they have a special commitment to the underdogs (and undercats) that end up in local kill shelters. It is an all-volunteer organization that saves animals lives. Because the Rescue is small, the animals are taken in by fosters, who care for them. Peanut is one of the cats available for adoption. She is a stunning 14-year-old with soft tabby fur and beautiful golden eyes, who loves to lie next to her human housemate.

REscue cat
Timmy at Ready for Rescue.

Volunteers are the mainstay at Ready for Rescue.  They to lend a hand at adoption events and fundraisers, pick up animals from shelters and deliver them to their foster homes, vets and adoption events. Volunteers also foster animals and allows Ready for Rescue to take an animal right from the shelter into a loving, stable environment. Ready for Rescue assumes all medical and dog-training costs.  Think about Timmy, he is a nine-year-old looking for a home. He loves to play, climb his cat tree and chase toys. He’s a people lover, who was taken to a shelter after his elderly caretaker became ill.

Sally at Ready for Rescue.

Sally is a 12-year-old who will purr for head scratches. She lost her long time home when allergies developed. It must be hard for an animal to lose a long time home when they have no clear understanding as to why they had to leave. Perhaps she’s the one for you?

Rambo at Ready for Rescue.

Rambo is a large 12-year-old who loves to play and is an independent cat.

Rah at Ready for Rescue.

Little Rah is a playful two-year-old rescued from a NYC shelter. He is very playful and energetic. He is always up for a game of strings.

Mango at Ready for Rescue. Photos courtesy of Ready For Rescue

Mango is a sweet, curious, gentle and timid tabby. He is one year old, and good with other cats. Ready for Rescue is a 100% volunteer organization and every dollar goes to the care and well-being of their animals. Visit the website to see how to adopt. The rescue needs to spend thousands of dollars every year for medical and other bills. If you cannot adopt or foster, please visit their website to see the many ways you can donate to them, and help them keep saving lives. Ready for Rescue also has dogs for adoption.

Ready For Rescue:

Henry at Bunnies and Beyond.

Bunnies and Beyond is an adoption and educational non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, proper care, and ultimately, the adoption of rabbits commonly kept as pets. They provide medical care and a foster home as needed prior to adoption. They also provide life long support to adopters. One of their bunnies, Henry, is a middle age rabbit. He could be a rare Black New Zealand weighing in a little over 8 lbs. If you have never considered adopting a rabbit, they do make great pets.

Willow at Bunnies and Beyond.

Rabbits live indoors, but some do go outside. I had one friend who had several of them and they were welcoming every time I went to visit her. Willow is a lionhead mix, who could bring some joy into your life.

Noah at Bunnies and Beyond. Photos courtesy of Bunnies and Beyond

Noah loves to explore. He is also athletic and loves to run. I met several people in Washington Square Park who used to take their rabbits out on leashes. The bunnies loved being outside. Normally Bunnies and Beyond care for their rabbits at the Flatiron Petsmart. Because of the virus, the animals are all with fosters. Please visit their website to see how to adopt, foster or volunteer. Since they are an all volunteer organization your donations are also very welcome.

Bunnies and

Monty at Animal Haven.

Monty is a cutey who was rescued by Animal Haven. Founded in 1967, they operate a shelter in downtown Manhattan. They are nonprofit organization that finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs throughout the Tri-State area and provides behavior intervention when needed to improve chances of adoption. Monte is a one-year-old lab-retriever mix. He is a gleeful playful puppy who is toy motivated. He does have a special problem, but that is under control. My Aggie has medical issues, and it is doable to live with a dog or cat and take care of their issues. They might even love you more for it.

Fudge at Animal Haven.

Animal Haven takes care of dogs and cats, and uses volunteers to take care of the animals. Another one of their dogs, Fudge is a two-year-old mush of a dog who loves people and kids. Being with people is a big part of his life.

Diana at Animal Haven.

Diana was rescued from a filthy pen in North Carolina with five other dogs. She is a one-year-old who is getting adjusted to being loved and cared.  She is a retriever mix who can make the right person or family very happy.

Brandy at Animal Haven.

Brandy is a four-year-old girl who was rescued from a Bahamian shelter after hurricane Dorian. She has come a long way from home, but is getting to love New York and enjoys chasing pigeons around.

Ava at Animal Haven. Photos courtesy of Animal Haven.

Ava is an amazingly intelligent and attentive six-year-old girl who has been dealing with anxiety. She is a Vizsla mix, and loves playing with toys, puzzles and games. Currently, she is going through her training routine. Please visit the Animal Haven website should you want to adopt or volunteer. They rely heavily on volunteers. Again, if you are not able to do either, donations will help this wonderful organization keep on doing their great work.

Animal Haven:

Pierre and Lana at Godspeed Horse Hostel.

Godspeed Horse Hostel is in Amenia, New York. It is a 501(c)3 founded in 2004 by Mia Genovese. It’s a rescue that provides food, medical treatment, placement and care free of charge to large domestic animals, farm animals, and others. The pictures here are predominately pictures of animals that have been rescued and placed. Godspeed takes many animals that are seized in cruelty cases, as well as other animals. The cast is ever changing. Pierre and Lana are PMU foals. The beautiful by products of a cruel business. PMU means pregnant mare’s urine, and that is used to make a drug called Premarin. There are large farms in this country and Canada that keep the mares continually pregnant, and discard the foals. Most are sent to slaughter. Godspeed rescued these two horses as well as many others.

Pumpkin and Ollie at Godspeed Horse Hostel.

Godspeed also takes horse that are “past their use by date,” meaning that they are a too old to keep earning their keep, and their owners cannot afford or do not want to pay for their upkeep. The big horse is Ollie. He lived to a very old 31 years. He had raced, was a hunter/jumper, and then a trail and pleasure horse. The small horse is Pumpkin, who had worked as a therapy horse.

Pumpkin and Ollie with Nigel and Mia at Godspeed Horse Hostel.

Pumpkin and Ollie, joined by Nigel, who was a driving pony, are with Mia, the founder, getting treats. Many animals come to Godspeed because their owners can’t afford to feed them any more. Godspeed started a hay bank with donations from the community. The bank offers bales of hay to horse and farm owners facing financial difficulty. This feeds the animals and lets them stay with their owners, freeing up space at rescues for other needy animals. This one is the only one in the North East. It’s a great idea.

Acorn at Godspeed Horse Hostel.

Acorn is a little Shetland. He was an abused horse who came to live at Godspeed. Sir Winston Churchill, allegedly said: “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Just look at all their faces.

Okalani at Godspeed Horse Hostel.

Okalani is a pot bellied pig, who was also rescued. His name means From Heaven. He is a round ball of fur who loves to eat. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish his front from his back.

A litter of kittens at Godspeed Horse Hostel.

Feral cats are another of Godspeed‘s projects. Feral cats are found and medically taken care of. Mia is an Animal Control Officer in Dutchess County. Older feral cats are hard to adopt out, even after the team has worked at socializing them. Kittens are much easier to place, and these four are adorable.

The lucky cat and the horseshoe at Godspeed Horse Hostel. Photos courtesy of Daphne Engleke and Godspeed

This is one of the cats who lives in and around the farm. He comes and eats, and then might disappear into the woods for a while. Godspeed also works on relocation and rehabilitation of wildlife. If you have the means to take a horse or animals with hooves, or explore the other animals there you can contact Godspeed through their website. The organization is dependent on donations to care for and feed these animals. They are big and they eat a lot. Your donations are vital to keep this unique rescue running, and the animals warm and safe.

Godspeed Horse

Kay at Pupstarz Rescue.

Pupstarz Rescue is a local all-volunteer non-profit animal welfare group committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of dogs and cats in public shelters at high risk of euthanasia, as well as those in danger of abuse. It was founded in 2015. All their dogs and cats live with fosters while waiting for forever homes. Kay, above, is a seven-year-old housebroken and friendly dog. She responds well to commands, and a real people loving dog.

Raven at Pupstarz Rescue.

Raven is a five-year-old girl who is responsive to commands and is also housebroken. She loves humans and other dogs. She is playful and easy-going, as well as being super smart. Not much of a barker, she loves playing fetch.

Ryder at Pupstarz Rescue.

Ryder is a handsome 10-month-old short hair kitty. He loves to chase laser lights, balls, wheels, feathers and flies. He gets on well with other cats, and loves sitting on top of his cat tree. All of Pupstarz’s fosters are volunteers. Perhaps you can foster an animal, even if you can’t provide a forever home.

Tasha at Pupstarz Rescue.

Tasha is a two-year-old who is laid back and loves binge watching Netflix. She loves being with her humans, and is great with other dogs. She loves her walks and squeaky toys.

Claudia at Pupstarz Rescue.

Claudia is a four-year-old Redtick Coonhound who likes dogs, toys, games, and time with her people. Claudia plays and shares, and soaks up attention. Pupstarz also needs volunteers to help with social and transportation issues.

Leroy at Pupstarz Rescue.

Leroy is a two-year-old Mastiff mix. He is sweet and respectful, and is a great all-around dog. He loves playing outdoors, and can walk for miles. He also loves being with his humans.

Pinky at Pupstarz Rescue.

Pinky is a tiny petite gem of a cat. She is about a year old. She gets along with other cats and respectful dogs, and is great around kids. Pinky is aware of the world around her and will keep tabs on you. She is a true companion cat, and is fully litter boxed trained. She loves cuddling and purring.

Deacon at Pupstarz Rescue.

Deacon is a sweet six-year-old Aussie mix. He is friendly and sweet as well as very smart. Deacon is the perfect balance between chill and active. A good sharer, and a great listener, he is always eager to please.

Keesha at Pupstarz Rescue.

Keesha is a three-year-old who is easy-going and calm. She loves humans and other friendly fur people. She is bouncy and energetic, as well as relaxed and snuggly. She loves riding in cars and hanging out.

Chicory at Pupstarz Rescue. Photographs courtesy of

Chicory is a Beagle-Healer mix who is three years old. She too loves to ride in cars. She’ll hop right in, take a seat, and contentedly gaze out the window. She is intelligent, eager to please and treat motivated.  Chicory, like all the dogs and cats at Pupstarz, would love to have a forever home.

Pupstarz is arranging adoptions through their website. Since they are an all-volunteer organization, and they have to take care of all the medical, training, and other things that dogs in need require; anything that you can donate to help support their work is welcome. Volunteers are welcome, too.


Adopting an abandoned or mistreated animal into your home can make their lives so much better. And enrich yours. Please think carefully about doing this, or supporting these organizations. Also, please understand that some of the dogs and cats featured here might have been adopted into their forever homes while this was being written. That’s a good thing. And it is an ever changing landscape.

I also want to give a little shout-out to Kathy Boyle and Christine Biddle for all their help. Christine introduced me to Kathy, who introduced me to these amazing rescues. Kathy founded Chapin Hill Advisors and her passion is rescue and assisting folks in finding the right fur baby for their situation. Kathy is a rescue connector. She loves animals (she has over ten rescues in her own home) and helps people across the country find their rescue, working tirelessly for the love of animals. You can learn more about Kathy and Chapin Hill Advisors, here.

Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn

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