Header Photo by NYC Pet Photographer Stacey Axelrod
Pupstarz Rescue are an all-volunteer 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, based in the U.S. They are a foster-based rescue and have saved over 1,875 dogs and cats since 2015. We were lucky enough to work with some of the fantastic dogs from Pupstarz Rescue on our trip to New York so you may spot some of them on our website. We recently got to chat with Pupstarz volunteer, Danielle, to find out more about this amazing rescue.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your role at Pupstarz?
Do you know how many pets Pupstarz has helped to date and how many are currently in your care?
Why is Pupstarz and animal rescue in general so important to you?
Pupstarz is important to me because we are mostly based on the complete kindness of volunteers - no volunteer gets an ounce. I love Pupstarz because the same 3 women are still the head of it and they run things very well, they're very organised and they're responsible individuals. We have a great set of fosters (we could always use more!) but I love the fosters, we're all in it together. I also love Pupstarz because we're all friends, we all bring something different to the table, we listen to each others opinions. We're not a rescue that's trying to grow, grow, grow. Yes, we want to make more people aware of rescue but we never take on more animals than we can manage, which a lot of other rescues may do. I love that Pupstarz rescues a lot of pregnant moms. We have a specific couple that foster for us that will always take the mamas that have just given birth or are about to give birth.
We know Pupstarz is a foster-based rescue, is there a reason for that?
What is the best thing about your work?
The thing I enjoy the most about volunteering is that I get to do the social media, I get to stay connected to the people that have adopted a dog from us which is really, really important to me. I go out of my way to connect puppies to the litter a year later or something like that. I think it is so important to keep the alumni involved, still spreading the word, possibly fostering and still feeling like they're part of the Pupstarz pack. They are the reasons that we are still a non-profit and they're the people that can speak from personal experience and recommend us. The fact that I can post an animals picture on social media and raise money for the rescue and the animals themselves. We recently had an animal that was blind in one eye, and that was causing the dog a lot of pain so I thought we should fundraise for the surgery as it was really expensive. The rescue didn't ask me to raise money, but we raised our target and went over it and it's just word of mouth, 25 dollars here, 25 dollars there that helps. It's incredible how people you don't even know have donated to a cause and you get to thank them publicly.
Is there a particular animal whose story has stayed with you?
What do you think is the best part about adopting a pet?
What advice would you give to someone looking to adopt a dog or a cat?
When people ask us how to prepare to adopt, to see if they want to adopt, what breed to adopt or so-forth - they need to do their research. Sometimes certain breeds we put up, people will say certain things like "beagles are always going to howl" but every animal is different. I think people need to do their research but take it with a grain of salt. Definitely ask friends for advice if they have dogs. Just googling is going to take you down a rabbit hole that goes on forever and ever and might not even be useful. We have particular things that we tell people if they were to contact us for advice. People also need to think about the amount of time that they have. If they're going to adopt a 15 year old, lazy dog then it's alright if you're out of the house and so forth, but if you adopt a very energetic dog so that it can go running with you, you better make sure that you have that time to do that. A lot of people will return their animals to us complaining about behaviour problems, when really those behaviour problems exist because the person is not exercising their dog enough. Another great piece of advice is that instead of going on Pet Finder and going down a rabbit hole of searching. Instead look up local rescue organisations, look at reviews, follow the rescues on social media or look at their website. Email them and see what their responses are like and so forth is the best way to get information and one-on-one advice when looking for an animal. We do not care who they rescue from. If someone is looking to rescue, I will suggest other rescues if need be, we just want them to rescue period.
How can people best support the work you do?
Sum up Pupstarz in 5 words!
Compassion, Balance, Support, Loyalty, Community.