Dogtime salutes Arizona’s Robin Hood Animal Rescue.
How did your organization get started?
We started this non-profit animal rescue (501(c)(3)) in March of 2004. After working with several rescue/adoption groups over the last few years and being told that he could not pick up dogs off the street or that there were certain dogs that he could not rescue from the Animal Care and Control Center because of their breed, Bob (the director) decided that he had to start his own rescue: too many good dogs were going to end up dead with the popular notion held by many local groups that only “highly marketable” dogs should be rescued.
What is your mission?
In the director’s words: “If an animal is on the street, it needs help now! Furthermore, I believe that all animals deserve a life and a good home regardless of breed. I have been told I’m everything from angry to undiplomatic. ANGRY? You’re damn right I’m angry!! On an average, there is approximately two thousand animals euthanized (murdered) EVERY WEEK in Maricopa County alone.
“If this were 1942, the world would react. Yet, we can’t even get the state to address this. This atrocity is nothing less than genocide. Undiplomatic? Diplomacy does not seem to be working. Oddly enough that’s why Robin Hood as the name for our animal rescue group was chosen. And that’s why our motto is, “We don’t have a friar, but we give a tuck about everyone.”
We here at Robin Hood Animal Rescue believe that dogs and cats are to be loved as you would a child. They are so much like children. And the unconditional love they have for us is beyond comparison. They are so much more than a watch dog, mouse catcher, or a family pet to keep outside. They deserve to be loved as the great blessing they are for each of us.
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
We have followed, chased and trapped dogs. Sometimes it takes only minutes for us to get them into the truck. Other times it has taken hour or even days to get them. We have been known to chase after a dog up and down streets for hours until we are able to get them into the truck. We have been known to go to the same spot time and time again until we have been able to trap a dog. Other times, we get calls from people who have been able to get a stray dog or cat but now need to give it to someone else. We have also taken in dogs and cats from people who for various reasons could no longer keep it.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
We make a promise to each one that we will care for them until they are adopted by loving families, who must promise to take care of them and love them for the rest of their lives. Before they are adopted, we have them spayed/neutered, microchipped, FIV/leukemia tested (cats) and current on shots.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
Tipper has been a foster of ours since 2004. At that time, we wanted to concentrate on rescuing strays; not dogs already living with a family. But along came Tipper. His then mom would bring him up to Petsmart and sit with him during adoptions.
She only had a couple of weeks or so to find him a new home. She was going through a divorce and had to find a new place to live. And since Tipper is a black Lab/Pit Bull mix, there weren’t many apts. where he would be welcomed. She had adopted Tipper from the Maricopa County Animal Control, and if she returned him there, he would be euthanized. And she didn’t want that.
In a short time, Tipper was officially turned over to us. He would go up to adoptions every weekend for quite some time. One year turned into two, two into three … We heard from other groups that they refused to take big dogs because big dogs tend to not do well in a crated situation over time. And to add to that, Tipper had Pit Bull in him.
Over the years, Tipper has gone out (activity time) with a number of different dogs. He has done well with most of them. He tried to hump Katy (an older chow girl) who did not like him doing that, and she let him know. Other than that incident, all the others have put up with his humping. We can’t figure why he does it. But when he does, we tell him to stop, and he does.
Tipper has gone through bouts of depression as some of the other fosters have. When this happens, Bob and I do what we can to change things so that it is not the same routine. This last bout ended with him “moving down” to my property in Buckeye on one and a half acres.
He loves to run around with his new buds. And yes, they tolerate him humping them. What a joy it has been to see him so happy.
When we found out that I was going to be evicted (10/20/09) we asked one of the foster moms if Tipper could stay with her. At the time, we thought that if both of us lost our homes, Tipper would be safe at Lela’s. After all he has been through (the long wait for his loving home) he shouldn’t have to be euthanized. (Since that time, we have had people offering to take the dogs and cats so that they don’t have to be euthanized. As a note: Bob and I are looking into the offers.)
Tipper is one of the lucky ones. He now has the chance to be placed in a loving home where he will be loved and taken care of in the manner that he deserves. He has waited so long for this. And now, he is almost there. We all are working on the details to get him to his new home.
On a personal note, I think of the local groups that would not have taken him in the first place because of his breed mixture and/or his size. I think of the blessing they would not have had knowing him because of their fear that he would have gone stir crazy if he was with them for any length of time. (We know of one group that consider over four months too long.)
Tipper shows them to be wrong. Whenever I have felt that things were getting too much for me (and that has been many times), I look into Tipper’s eyes and feel a strength to not give up. On more than one occasion, Tipper has given me hope to continue with what we do.
And now with Kurt, he is almost home. I will cry tears of happiness for him on that day that we load him up and say good-bye. He is a symbol of hope and love. Tipper, to me, is a hero.