Bringing a pet into your family is the kind of event that changes your life forever. Cat or dog or anything in between, that pet will love you unconditionally and the joy that they can give is unmatched. Of course, it’s no easy thing and the transition can be difficult (the shredded pillows in my house will tell you that), but the reward more than offsets all the work.
Just ask the incredible group of volunteers at SAFE Pet Rescue. In September of 2009, Robin Nordan opened the doors of SAFE with a mission to rescue animals set to be euthanized in surrounding animal control centers.
Since that day nearly a decade ago, she and her team have saved, rehabilitated, and found new homes for almost 14,000 animals. In four locations across the county, the organization has 22 staff members and more than 70 volunteers that keep the work going seven days a week.
Since SAFE is run entirely on donations, they depend on the tireless efforts of these volunteers (“superheroes” as Robin calls them) to run the resale shop in St. Augustine Beach and handle the adoption events. A huge part of SAFE’s work requires the dedication of transport drivers who pick up the animals and take them to vet appointments. For the past five years, volunteers Chuck and Laurie start loading dogs at daybreak every Wednesday morning to drive them from St. Augustine to Jacksonville for surgeries and medical care. The passion and enthusiasm of them and others like them are what keep the rescue going every day.
As we enter into the summer months, the kids are out of school, and we have a little extra time, this is the perfect chance to invite a pet into your home. If you’re looking to gain a new member of the family, the reason to adopt a pet is easy – “They need you,” says Robin. “They are wonderful, loving, deserving beings whose eyes are begging for love. They need stability, kindness, a second chance. They will repay you with a special kind of love that comes from knowing you are the one who has saved them. You get to be a hero.”
This story is shared in partnership with Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine.