It seems that more people are becoming aware of the need to incorporate animal rescuing in their lives. Whether this means volunteering at a local shelter, fostering an animal, or even adopting them outright – the tides are turning, and homeless animals everywhere are benefiting. What is even more encouraging, is that there are more rescue non-profit organizations popping up every day as well, with compassionate animal lovers taking it upon themselves to make it their personal mission to help animals in need. How can you beat that amount of dedication? Well, for one, you can be one of these people on this list, who have literally centered their entire LIVES around rescuing HUNDREDS of animals! Here are a few people who are definitely redefining what it means to be an animal rescuer:
- Lynea Lattanzio aka The Ultimate Cat Lady: This amazing woman is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the cat-loving community. Watch out, Cat Ladies, you have a new Queen! She has given up her entire 4,200 square foot home in California to over a THOUSAND rescue cats! You read that correctly, 1,000 CATS, all in one place! Of course, 4,200 square feet is a pretty large living area, as well as the surrounding acreage outside, in what is referred to as the “Pasture Project.” This area is complete with enough grass, trees, and other natural elements to provide an amazing refuge for these cats (many of which were feral) to live a happy indoor/outdoor life. In fact, Lynea has completely given the ENTIRE HOUSE to the cats, choosing to live in a 1,600 square foot mobile home instead (which is still a pretty big living space, tbh), and even has a staff of volunteers that feed the cats daily (in the giant cat kitchen), and look after their general well-being! The cat house has a whole room devoted to keeping the cats warm (with a wood stove), an indoor garden to acclimate ferals to inside life and inside cats to nature, and a “condo room” with beds, benches, and endless bowls of food and water.The best part is that Lynea has literally devoted her LIFE and her material possessions (including her HOUSE) in order to save these cats! She is not only saving ferals, strays, and other homeless felines from certain death at animal shelters (or at the hands of wildlife), but she is making sure that EVERY SINGLE CAT that she has in her sanctuary is spayed and neutered. This prevents thousands upon THOUSANDS of future cats being born and befalling the same fate as these homeless kitties. This woman is truly an inspiration, and definitely reigns supreme as far as #CATLADYGOALS are concerned! Read more about her story here!
- Sasa Pejcic aka The Serbian Dog Whisperer: Sasa was noticing a growing homeless pet population in his area, specifically stray dogs that were roaming around and scavenging for food. He watched as the poor, helpless dogs were foraging for their next meal unsuccessfully, sleeping in the cold, suffering untreated medical conditions, and overall having a poor quality of life. Unable to stand it much longer, he began feeding the dogs and showing them affection that they so desperately craved. Even still, he noticed that these dogs he was helping began disappearing, and he found out it was due to the local pound’s dogcatching and accompanying euthanasia practices in an effort to manage the homeless pet population.
What began as a few dogs being fed in 2008, snowballed into dozens that depended on Sasa by later that year, and his compassion for their health and well-being began to take on a life of its own. Soon, a whole avalanche of dogs began to be fed by Sasa, as he began to rescue them and take them in from the streets. After acquiring some abandoned horse stables for free in 2010, he began taking in dogs and housing them in his new makeshift sanctuary. From there, he slowly began to build his doggy rescue empire, and suddenly he had over 450 dogs who had become residents!Each dog is properly vaccinated and chipped, in addition to being fed, played with, and receiving endless pets/cuddles/kisses/hugs from volunteers, each other, and Sasa himself of course! All medical expenses, food, and other amenities are funded thanks to HarmonyFund and other donations. Sasa says that he doesn’t have time for a private life, but when you’re surrounded by hundreds of adorable, loving creatures, do you really need a private life? Sasa is an inspiration, a selfless animal advocate, and a true example of “all it takes is one person to change the world.” Read more about his story and find out how you can help his mission!
- Pratima Devi aka The Dog Lady of New Delhi: After leaving a troubled marriage behind, this amazing 65-year-old woman found herself caring for dogs on the streets who were homeless, starving, and infected with various medical issues. Having cared for three children of her own – who had grown up to be self-sufficient adults – she focused her attention onto these needy canines, making it her full-time job to care for them. After her home, which consists of a shed covered in tarp, was filled with over a hundred dogs, even more gathered to find solace among her small property.Now, she is responsible for over 400 dogs (120 of which live with her in her tiny shanty house), making sure they all get fed, treated, and loved as much as possible. The dogs have such a strong bond with her that they will not sleep unless she is there, and they follow her everywhere (as evidenced by the GIFs above). Her children have tried to get her to come live with them in their village, but she refuses due to her responsibility of caring for these lovable strays. She does have a sidekick, a young man named Vivek, who helps her with her doggy duties day by day. She pays for their food by running a tea stall, and collecting recyclables to sell for money. In her beginner days, she would scavenge the trash in order to find scraps of food for the dogs, but now she has just enough money to ensure that they have a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many of us radical animal lovers would feed our own pets before ourselves, and she is no different; she has gone four days straight before without food in order to have enough food for every member of her pack! If that isn’t dedication and selflessness, I don’t know what is. Pratima, who has referred to her mission of taking dogs as her religion, is truly a hero that everyone should strive to model themselves after. Click here for more pictures of Pratima and her pack of cute canines!