SHEILA LEE AND ERIC CHANG-GROMM

SHEILA LEE AND ERIC CHANG-GROMM

We have a special story for our highlight this month that captures the true essence of what it is to be an animal advocate and dog lover. Autumn, a 5-year-old cocker spaniel, had an extremely rough beginning. Sheila and Eric discovered poor Autumn living in a yard of a neighbor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without shelter, proper dog food or normal human contact. Autumn was eating human food scraps and appeared extremely unhealthy. Sheila and Eric knew they couldn’t witness this treatment without doing something about it. After they noticed a growth from Autumn’s ear, they convinced the owners they needed to seek medical advice. A TECA surgery was needed (total ear canal ablation, where the entire diseased ear canal is removed) due to chronic untreated ear infections. Sheila and Eric convinced the owners to allow them to take her in as their foster, help her recover and find her a better home. Unfortunately for Autumn, her road to health was quite bumpy. After surgery, part of her outer ear was not receiving blood flow and was terribly painful and necrotic, requiring a second surgery a couple weeks later. Shortly after her second surgery, Sheila and Eric noticed Autumn was lethargic and rushed her to the ER to find she was in an emergent state of diabetic ketoacidosis. Autumn was stabilized and now needed daily diabetic care with blood sugar checks and insulin. On top of that, this poor girl had some masses discovered that ended up being internal burns acquired during surgery from the electrocautery instruments. Many treatments and dressing changes later, her skin has healed. Throw in her arthritis and this girl has had one long road! Sheila says you wouldn’t even know it though, as she’s happy as can be, follows her around, wags her tail non-stop and plays with their dog.

It was during this medical spiral, with massive vet bills that Sheila and Eric were assuming responsibility for, that she reached out to several rescues for help. TRD was the only one to respond to her and we knew after everything Sheila and Eric were doing for Autumn we had to help them. We offered to make Autumn a TRD dog, taking on her medical responsibility and finding her a forever home, while they continued to foster her in their loving home. Many months later, Autumn’s old life is far behind her and she is getting her forever home this week!

Sheila and Eric are from San Jose and have lived here in San Diego for the last 11 years. They are bonafide dog lovers with a black lab/pit bull mix of their own named Pepper. Sheila has animal caretaking in her blood; her grandmother still raises strays from the streets of Taiwan. Autumn is not the first dog Eric has taken responsibility for in an unfortunate circumstance—he assumed care of a corgi for a couple years during college when someone left him in his apartment! These two are true animal advocates. We are so thankful they helped get Autumn out of a terrible situation, provided so much medical care and gave her such a loving place to heal from all her wounds. Thank you, Sheila and Eric!

*Photography by www.vacayphoto.com

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KIM – SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

I got my start in dog rescue by using Facebook to help network dogs who were in high kill shelters in San Bernardino, CA.  While that was fulfilling, I really wanted to be more hands-on and interact with the dogs who were being saved.  I wanted to personally see the transformation from a scared shelter dog to a happy and adoptable dog.  So far I have fostered four wonderful dogs for The Rescued Dog and hope to foster many more!  I also love volunteering at the adoption events and watching when a match is made between a dog and their new owners.

RAH – MARKETING MANAGER

My design thesis in my senior year of college revolved around re-designing the animal sheltering system. I spent hours and hours a day volunteering at a handful of shelters. I saw someone bring in a terrified dog as he screamed at shelter staff: “I just don’t want the damn thing anymore..” That was the tipping point for me… Also, this is my favorite quote…ever: “All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”

DIANA – DONATIONS MANAGER

Life has so much to offer if we remember to look beyond ourselves. I volunteer because it continuously teaches me something new about people, about cooperation, about compassion, and about myself. I have a great passion for animals. We have three rescue dogs that came to us in 2008.  Since then I’ve wanted to work with an origination that helps save dogs and put them in forever, loving homes so when I came across this opportunity with The Rescued Dog to help I jumped at the chance.  I am passionate about their mission to save dogs from high kill shelters and I truly believe that help comes in many forms, volunteering is one way to accomplish what we are supposed to accomplish in this lifetime.

CAROLINA – EVENTS COORDINATOR

I started volunteering with TRD in 2015. Volunteering has been great. I love dogs, I mean who doesn’t right?! However, I do not own a dog…not yet. I live vicariously through the rescue. If you can’t afford to adopt a dog or don’t have the ideal living situation to have a dog, like me, you can still “scratch your itch,” that’s a great thing about volunteering with us. So, the irony is I have been telling you about how great it would be to adopt a rescued dog and save them from their unfortunate circumstance and put them in a happy and caring home, and in my case, I didn’t know it then, however, the rescue saved me. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be a part of and for filling my need to be around so many furry friends.

SARAH – FOSTER COORDINATOR

I was introduced to rescue as a child when I met a greyhound rescue organization one night at Balboa Park and convinced my parents to adopt one.  Our family greyhound Bookie and I were best buds for the ten years we had him.  Since then I have been a sucker for rescue dogs.  I am so glad I was introduced to TRD by a friend and fellow foster, and have had a chance to work with some great people and dogs, and found my little buddy, Madison!

RAMEY – FOSTER TEAM MANAGER

I was introduced to The Rescued Dog while working at a local shelter.  I was excited about their mission to save dogs from high-kill shelters & wanted to participate with this mission.  I love working with the TRD team and fosters to get these pups out of the shelter, into a great foster home and finally on to their furr-ever homes!

JORDAN – ADOPTION COORDINATOR

I have always been a firm believer that doggie cuddles could save the world. So, when my mom said she wanted to start fostering dogs I was very excited. In the short period of time I have been volunteering with The Rescued Dog I realized I want to be an advocate for change. I took on this role not only to push myself but to also be a bigger voice for all of the shelter animals, since they can’t do that on their own.

BRITTNEY – ADOPTION COORDINATOR

The bond I have with my dog, Otis who I rescued about 2 years ago,  is that of a family member, a best friend, and a companion. Saving dogs from high kill shelters is a rewarding task, but adding a new member to someone’s family is life changing. Rescued is truly the best breed.

ALANA – VOLUNTEER TEAM MANAGER

I got involved with rescuing dogs when my own dogs and animal loving kids got a touch older and realized I had a tiny amount of free time to fill! My kids begged for Chihuahuas, Daschunds, Huskys etc….so naturally I thought fostering would be great!  Once I got in, I was hooked and wanted to do more to help shelter dogs find the forever love my own dogs had. In regard to volunteering, I believe that if we all give a little we can accomplish a lot!

KATHY – CO-FOUNDER

10 years ago I took a road trip from Philadelphia to San Diego with my beloved English Bulldog.  As a travel nurse, I was given the opportunity to move across the country, and with working only three days a week, I had time to volunteer with my first passion, rescue dogs.  Through volunteering, I met an amazing group of women who shared my same vision, so we collaborated The Rescue Dog!  I am so proud of our accomplishments and I look forward to continuing to educate and save lives!

DANI – BOARD MEMBER & ADOPTION MANAGER

I was fostering for the SD Humane Society but was looking for a rescue I could become more involved in. A friend foster failed with TRD so I filled out an application. I feel like I’ve found my calling! There is nothing like getting a dog right out of the shelter and making him feel safe. Now as an adoption coordinator I get to see the rescue through to the end, a great family and a forever home!!

STEPH – SECRETARY & DIRECTOR OF IT INNOVATIONS

I rescued my first dog in 2010 and started volunteering with a rescue a year later and loved it! After meeting a few amazing friends, it became evident rescue work was more than just a fun hobby. I truly believe the best dogs are rescued dogs and have come to find my true passion in life is in dog rescue. Fostering is one of the most rewarding experiences one can have and I highly recommend it to everyone! I can’t imagine my life without dogs, and thankfully I’ll never have to. I’m so excited to be working with such a fantastic group of people and I can’t wait to see what The Rescued Dog accomplishes!

ASHLEY – VICE PRESIDENT & RESCUE DIRECTOR

JESSICA – TREASURER & DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION

It is easy to buy a dog from pet stores, online ads, or from dog breeders, but rescuing a shelter dog is definitely more rewarding.  How can you not admire that once sad dog, now all waggy and happy because they’ve been given a second, sometimes third chance at finding their forever home?  The ability of these pups to recognize and embrace their new life never ceases to amaze me.  The Rescued Dog saves dogs from high kill shelters and prepares them to meet and be adopted by a loving family.  TRD fills the corners of my life and it makes me happy to know I’m doing something worthwhile for these sweet pups.  Having rescued – and been rescued – by my own dogs proves that rescued really is the best breed.

KATIE – PRESIDENT

My passion for rescuing dogs comes from my great experiences with rescue dogs in my life. I personally have had my life brightened by many great rescue dogs, and I have seen how having pets, and dogs particularly, has improved the lives of my friends and family. For me, the best part of dog rescue is seeing the connection that dogs and people make, and knowing that when we connect the right dogs with the right people, we are improving the lives of everyone involved, both human and canine.