Every winter, ODND volunteer Dawn heads south to Florida. While there, she volunteers at shelters and rescues in the area. Dawn has built a connection with these organization and, through her, ODND has become involved in helping some of these deserving dogs as well. Two organizations ODND has worked with are Ayla’s Acres and Furever Friendz.
Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue “is a St. Augustine-based nonprofit supporting adoption, spay and neuter, and responsible care of animals. Along with education, outreach, and adoption and fostering programs, Ayla’s Acres maintains a 45-acre sanctuary where “unadoptable” animals may live out their lives with peace, love, and dignity.”
Furever Friendz of Spring Hill, Florida is a 501c3, non profit, foster based animal rescue organization helping unwanted and abused dogs find loving FurEver homes. Their “goal is to raise enough funds to open a senior center to take in senior dogs to live out their years with love and care.”
One of the first dogs we tried to help was Blanche, a sweet old dog that came to Furever Friendz as a stray. She had been with them for many months with no interest and had just been taken off their “adoptables” website so the rescue could regroup on a plan for her. This is when they learned that Dawn was in Florida and of her connection with ODND. They asked for help. Dawn took Blanche into foster and ODND board member Tammy fell in love. Tammy applied to adopt Blanche and was working to organize a transport north when she got the sad news that Blanche had unexpectedly passed away. Blanche had curled up on her bed one evening and, when Dawn checked on her, she found that Blanche had passed away peacefully in her sleep. While this was a sad outcome, we are thankful Blanche was in a loving foster home for her final days.
Titi & Booboo are two more senior dogs from Furever Friendz who found themselves in rescue after their owner passed away. They made their way into foster with Dawn as well, but were considered unadoptable due to their age, medical needs, and because in the area they are in there is a large number of homeless animals. Dawn talked to the rescue about her connection with ODND and shared that we might be able to help: first with their expenses and then, if they were still not adopted when Dawn headed north, with helping find them homes in Maine. ODND worked with Furever Friendz and paid for Titi and Booboo the get the medical attention and dental work they badly needed. Both dogs found their “happy endings” in Florida with adopters who were thrilled with these senior sweeties! While we have not been able to help a specific dog from Ayla’s Acres, we had been working on a connection with a shelter in Maine who could possibly transport some of these Florida dogs north to find their forever homes. This came to a halt in March with the appearance of COVID. Since then, we have been crossposting when needed and are hopeful to rekindle this possibility in the future.
If you travel to Florida, or have connections there, and would like to learn more about the dogs available from these two organizations, see their websites: https://aylasacres.org and https://fureverfriendz.org.