Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Born To Rescue

Published on February 9, 2010 by   ·   22 Comments Pin It

Some folks are born to shop, others are born with a will and desire to fight injustices and protect those without a voice.   Kathryn Hostettler is one of those people.   Check out her inspiring story;

I think I was born with an innate desire to protect helpless creatures, evidenced by the menagerie of animals I would bring home over the years. One of my first rescues was in second grade. Some friends down the street got a puppy for Christmas. She was a tiny black poodle and they called her Black Magic. Typically, evil breeders will dock poodle tails but for some reason, hers wasn’t. It curled back onto itself like an apostrophe. On a chilly day during winter break, I went down to visit her and much to my horror, she was laying in the middle of the road. The kids brought her outside with them and the warmest place was on the asphalt road that had been soaking up the rays of the afternoon sun. One good thing about growing up in no-man’s-land was that there wasn’t a whole lot of traffic on the road. Still, I decided this was not an adequate home for this or any puppy.



I scooped her up in my arms and promised her I would find a way to keep her safe. I convened an emergency meeting with my friend and her five year old brother and negotiated the terms of the puppy’s adoption. I wrapped her in my scarf and began the quarter mile trek home. During my journey, I rehearsed my best argument for keeping her, pausing only to wonder aloud what her new name would be once she was ours.

I walked into the kitchen and put her on the floor. I told my mother we simply had to save her. While my mother’s initial response was an unequivocal “No!”, before long, she was on her hands and knees, and the puppy was charming her with kisses. I am unaware of the terms of the adult negotiation but the end result was the addition of Lady Gabrielle Nicole, or Nikki, to our clan.

Nikki was the first in a long line of rescues for my family and me which included more stray cats than I can count, an abandoned litter of puppies, the schoolroom guinea pig, and even a horse. The last of my rescues to date was Ray, a seven month old pure bred blond Labrador that had been severely neglected. While I initially intended to foster him and look for a forever home, it took all of two minutes for me to become completely attached. And the innate rescuer in me wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Because of the neglect, including lack of proper nutrition, exercise, and socialization, and possibly some physical abuse as well, it took nearly a year for him to bond with me, but bond he did. I had Ray for thirteen years. We were together through some of the most difficult and horrible, and lovely and exciting times of my life. We lived on both coasts and made the cross country trek twice. He was an irreplaceable constant in my life. He protected me, kept me company, and entertained me endlessly.

Ray passed away peacefully on November 6, 2008, just after 7:30 PM. I cradled him in my arms as he took his last breath and I thanked him for every moment I had spent with him, how he enriched my life and those around me. I told him that while technically I had saved him, in the end, he had saved me.

To honor Ray, I became a volunteer at Rogers’  Rescues. I was introduced to the organization by Marianne, a board member, volunteer, and foster mom, who understands the sorrow of losing a pet. She suggested I get involved with dogs in need to help ease the pain of my loss.   And how right she was!

Rogers’ Rescues is a colorful bunch! We are a group of dedicated dog rescue volunteers spread from New Jersey to Southeastern Pennsylvania who commit their free time to helping place homeless dogs into loving adoptive homes. The majority of our foster dogs originally come from shelters in the South that are in desperate need of help due to low rates of spaying and neutering as well as lack of homes for the vast number of dogs in need. {EDITORS NOTE: Most shelters in the South still euthanize dogs in shelters at an alarming rate – most with the archaic “heart stick” or “gas chamber” method.   Before you consider buying a dog, remember that a rescued pup would love you just as much.. and you will actually be saving a life!}

Check out this documentary from one of our shelter trips;

While we visit the shelters in the South a few times per year, once each month, we set off in two cargo vans filled with empty crates and head to a centrally located meeting spot in Maryland. We greet, walk, and water the dogs and then load them in the vans, stopping along the way to drop them at foster homes, breed-specific rescues, and private adopters. Some dogs travel from West Virginia all the way to Massachusetts in one day as part of a cooperative network of rescues and individual volunteers, organized and monitored by a dedicated and knowledgeable member of Rogers’ Rescues. Since 2002, Rogers’ has saved more than 1,200 dogs and counting!

Check out our happy endings video for 2009;

The rewards of being a part of this wonderfully dedicated organization have far surpassed anything I could have imagined. If you are looking for a way to make a difference in a dog’s life, meet new and inspiring people, or perhaps heal some pain of your own, I suggest getting involved in rescue. You won’t regret it. And the dogs will thank you!

For more information on Rogers’   Rescues, please visit our web site, or go to PetfinderTM and search for an organization in your area, or check out GirlieGirlArmy’s weekly list of adoptable pets in urgent need of rescue.

Kathryn Hostettler is a full time social work graduate student, part time pet nanny, volunteer with Rogers Rescues, and vegan home cook. She won an honorable mention in the November2009 Vegetarian Times for her Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Candied Cranberries recipe.

Vegan Darling, Kathryn.

Vegan Darling, Kathryn.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Readers Comments (22)

  1. Jackie Cullari says:

    What a wonderful blog! As a fellow RR volunteer I can proudly say that rescuing dogs has become a passion of mine that will never go away. I love them, I groom them, I save them! Remember DON’T SHOP, ADOPT!!!!!

  2. Robyn Mikaelian says:

    As a new member of Rogers’ Rescue, and having been a part of my first rescue transport just over a week ago, the rewards that you get from helping these in need pooches simply cannot be measured. What a feeling to see their hopeful eyes, waggly tails and to whisper in each upturned ear, you are on a journey fueled by love-to make it, finally, to your forever home.

    “To err is human, to forgive, canine.”

  3. Sean Malroy says:

    what a great blog. congrats Kathryn!!

  4. Janet Pepsin says:

    Great job, Kathryn! The more exposure you give this issue, the better! Keep ’em coming!

  5. eric durrschmidt says:

    I am so touched by your story. there need to be more people in this world like you! Keep up the good work. Who’s that adorable yorkie that you’re cradling in that picture??

  6. Thanks for reminding the world how important it is to rescue those already here — instead of breeding. This is a very important topic.

    You rock, Kathryn!

  7. Laura Herm says:

    I adopted 2 beautiful rescue dogs after the premature death of my “pure bred” pet store labbie, Sam. He was the classic victim of irresponsible, backyard breeding. It broke our hearts to lose him at the tender age of 5, but with his death came the rescue of my current 2 dogs and a few others via fostering. Adopt, don’t buy or breed!!! Go RR!

  8. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » Born To Rescue – view page – cached Some folks are born to shop, others are born with a will and desire to fight injustices and protect those without a voice. Kathryn Hostettler is one of those people. Check out her inspiring story; […]

  9. Beautiful post! I was/am the same way with rescuing animals… have always been that way all my life. :)


  10. Emmy says:

    Personally, I have 2 “technical” rescue dogs, 1 being a kelpie who was going to be put down due to their owner being forced out of their house into a flat, he’s just such a boof I simply couldn’t let him have his life taken away so easily. We’ve now had Brownie for just over 13 years now.

    Pepsi, another kelpie was technically not a rescue as a friend of a friend had stupidly bred a litter of dogs “by accident” and being kelpies, the friend called us. The dogs were in such poor condition, living under a house flea ridden, we’ve had Pepsi for about 5 years.

    Spodee is the worst case of the lot, she’s suppose to be a full size kelpie but is very small and skinny even after 2 years of being with us, like an underfed child. We saw an ad in the vet and the look on her face was so tragic, she was in a cage with at least 10 full size dogs running around, starved and petrified, she was beyond neurotic when we got her.

    She is afraid of everything and by what she’s afraid of, it seems the man who once owned her killed her Mother and siblings in front of her, he said they were “gone” and the only reason she was still there was he couldn’t catch her and didn’t shoot her like the others as he feared his other prized dogs would be hurt.

    We reported him to the vet and many other places but nothing was ever done, purely disgusting but Spodee is the most amazing and soulful little dog, she is hilarious and sweet, I couldn’t wish for a better dog.

    We also have a Toy Poodle, from a breeder due to I having issues with allergies at the time (mind you, this was before Brownie the dog that leaves piles of fur wherever he goes) she is the most snobby little thing I’ve ever met and only loves my Dad, I’m thankfully now in input as to how we get dogs and my parents have learnt from experience with Poppy (the poodle) that rescues are the only way to go.

  11. Nicole says:

    Hi five sister! We are kindred spirits…I will be at your Edison event and can’t wait to meet you and share ideas!

  12. Jen says:

    This was beautiful, as much as for the dogs and what you do for them as for your acknowledgment of and comfort with who you are and what moves you. That’s what I wish for everyone I love – and some whom I don’t so much–that kind of acceptance of ourselves, even if we have to admit that we’re not as giving or open or as kind as we could be. I think that’s okay, because if who you are now isn’t whom you want to be, well, there’s time, isn’t there? I don’t aspire to be like you, but you inspire me to be a better me. That kicks ass.

  13. […] here (you will rescue a dog, cat, ferret or whatever tomorrow. Believe […]

  14. Amy says:

    Thank you for the wonderful post. I am always amazed by the number of people who still purchase pets when there are so many great ones at shelters just waiting for a home. I would be rescuing more animals if I didn’t already have 6 of them at home!

  15. jeanie watters says:

    I became a volunteer with RR after my mom adopted two loving beagle girls 5 years ago…Wendy ( rip May 08) and Peyton Panning ! My sister then adopted Sammy Boy a great Pyr and now after loosing our beloved Timber we have Gus, a Greater Kentucy Moutain Squirrel dog ! ALL ROGERS RESCUES DOGS . Wonderful loving dogs that were all pulled from uncertain futures by this incredible rescue group.
    don’t buy while others die…adopt dont’ shop !
    Thanks Kathryn for being an important part of the solution that RR supports !

  16. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by marykaymanfeed: Born To Rescue: Some folks are born to shop, others are born with a will and desire to fight injustices and protec…

  17. Natalia says:

    This is so beautiful!

    I am right there with you – promoting adoption, volunteering, and veganism.

    What was that quote? Dogs don’t need us – we need them :)

  18. […] Don’t buy dogs from pet stores or breeders. In addition to forcing animals to endure the cramped, squalid conditions in puppy mills, where dogs are forced to breed year after year until their bodies give out, pet stores and breeders are irresponsibly contributing to the overpopulation crisis by bringing more dogs into a world that is already bursting at the seams with homeless dogs. Six to 8 million lonely dogs are sitting in shelters across the country desperately awaiting a loving home. And because people are buying from other sources, more half of these dogs must be euthanized due to a lack of available homes. Learn more about this here. […]

  19. Ani55 says:

    We are up for boxer puppies for sale. They are available in a variety of shades and colors. We assure you the best quality and health condition of the puppies. Bring home a family member that will be a part of your life forever as they are the soul of honesty and loyalty, and are never false or treacherous even in old age. For more information, please visit

  20. Ani55 says:

    Chihuahua puppies for sale near me and dogs for adoption.perfect teacup chihuahua puppies for sale at

  21. Ani55 says:

    Beagles are popular and well-loved as family dogs all over the country.most trusted source of Beagle puppies for sale. Search Beagle Puppies Call or Text @ +1(804) 665-0688 and

  22. Ani55 says:

    Best nearby jack Russell Puppies for sale little puppies and pups available to be purchased and rehoming in newdreamjackrussell. Rehome purchase and offer, and give a creature an eternity home with Jack Russell puppies for sale in USA.

Shop GGA

  • Contributors
  • Press
  • Cheapskates
  • Sign Up
  • About
  • Advertisers
  • Contact Us
  • Style & Beauty
  • Lifestyle
  • Mamazon
  • Nosh
  • Wellness
  • Exclusive
  • Default
  • Get This
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008