When I was a kid, people would sometimes abandon their pets in the everglades, not that far from where we lived. To this day I can’t understand how anybody would leave their pet to be prey to apex predators – alligators, pythons, and Florida panthers. Even if they somehow managed to escape the predators, the extreme conditions and lack of food would mean certain death within days.
I remember my Dad would donate to a group that found and cared for these abandoned animals – dog food, money, whatever he could do to help. One day I went along with him when he was dropping off supplies, and they showed us a dog they had just found. She had formerly been mistreated and abandoned in the Everglades, but she was full of love.
We had an instant connection, and I asked my Dad if we could take her home. He said yes and when I looked at her, the first thing that came to my mind was that she was an Angel and that’s what I named her. Angel became part of our family, she joined Licorice, our other dog, who was also a rescue dog.. They’re both 12 years old now.
My Mom has had a lot to deal with over the past seven years, including life-threatening health issues. Angel has always been there by her side, and together, she and Licorice keep my mom company when I’m not able to. They are both real angels.
It’s been a real blessing how things worked out. But I sometimes wonder how many dogs don’t make it out of the wilderness, and who never get to bring the joy and love to a family like we’ve experienced. Without the group who found Angel and nursed her back to health, it just wouldn’t have been possible.
Sometimes, the difference between a pet enjoying a good life or experiencing a horrible death is just a few people that care enough to make an effort.
The Other Border Crisis
Recently, we’ve been hearing stories about an epidemic of dogs being abandoned at the US-Mexico border.
Some are abandoned by cartels and traffickers who use them as guard dogs and then skip town after the harvest season/when the Feds show up. Many migrants simply can’t provide for them having to choose between feeding their family or their dog.
The result is that a lot of dogs – estimated at 50,000 this year – end up wandering along the border, with no home, owner, or carer, looking for food. A lot of them are sick, or infested with fleas, ticks and parasites.
Shelters are overcrowded as it is and according to some estimates, nearly 10 million pets are euthanized in county shelters every year, and this year that number could be much higher.
A Home For Angels
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Although border staff don’t have the resources to take care of dogs, individual border patrol agents have made efforts to find homes for some of them but most are on their own. We know the adopt or kill shelters have proven not be the answer for pets abandoned in the wild, there is a place that offers these angels a chance at the life they deserve.
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue specializes in providing a lifetime of dedication and everlasting love to animals that are rescued after being abandoned in the wild. I had the incredible experience to visit D.E.L.T.A. the largest No Kill, Care for Life sanctuary for animals who have been abandoned or born in the wilderness.
I met Leo Grillo, the founder of D.E.L.T.A. Rescue and he gave me a tour of a small part of his incredible 115 acre sanctuary for these angels that have been abandoned in the wild. D.E.L.T.A. has over 1,500 dogs, cats, pigs, horses and cows. I couldn’t have been more impressed by the genuine love that Leo and his team had for each one of them.
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue is saving animals every day. These organizations don’t normally get government support similar to the adopt or kill shelters but especially at this time they need our help. I just signed up at Deltarescue.org to make a monthly donation to help D.E.L.T.A. help those vulnerable angels.
Join me in donating if you can, every donation counts.