Welcome! Happy Tails Dog Rescue is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, vetting, and rehoming dogs from kill shelters in Southern Florida.
Most of the dogs rescued to date have been saved from Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS), the largest kill shelter in Southern Florida. In 2011 the intake rate of dogs at MDAS more than doubled due in part to the failing economy, resulting in people not having the money to care for their dogs and therefore surrendering them. Once at MDAS, these dogs have a very short time frame, often just a few short weeks, before being euthanized. Each year MDAS impounds 36,000+ pets and that number is expected to be significantly higher in future years. See video clip below.
The unfortunate reality is that many of the dogs at kill shelters get overlooked because they often times need costly veterinary care and extensive grooming which make them less desirable to potential adopters. For this reason, it is our intention to give these dogs a second chance at life by rescuing them before they are euthanized and providing the necessary veterinary and grooming services they need to be ready for adoption.
The good news is that over the last 5 years MDAS has actively worked to lower their euthanasia rates, and what once was estimated to be 150 animals euthanized per day, is now down around 5-10 euthanized per day. There is still a tremendous need for support and rescue of these dogs at MDAS but it is important to acknowledge the effort and work that MDAS has put forth to successfully reduce this rate.
Video Clip: This is the shelter where Happy Tails rescues our dogs from, Miami Dade Animal Services. After watching, you will see why we focus our rescue efforts here.
Rescuing animals is everyone's responsibility.
Happy Tails Dog Rescue is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing, vetting, and re-homing dogs from kill shelters and other abandoned situations. Currently we are a husband and wife team, together with a network of volunteers and foster families, who rescue and rehome dogs from kill shelters and other abandoned situations. It is our goal to provide the necessary veterinary care, grooming, and attention they need to ultimately place them in forever homes.
At Happy Tails we believe every dog deserves a loving home regardless of age, condition, or situation. We have discovered over the last five years of rescue that it takes a team to successfully rescue a dog. If you love animals and want to get involved there are many ways you can contribute to saving the life of a dog. Learn more about how you can become a Volunteer, Donate, or Adopt a dog.
Help Us Help Them
Below are some of the happy homes our rescues have found:
Sophie's Story - The Inspiration for Happy Tails Dog Rescue
The inspiration for Happy Tails Dog Rescue came to us after rescuing our dog, Sophie, from MDAS where she was 24 hours away from being euthanized (see the before photo above). At the shelter she was considered "undesirable" and was overlooked due to the fact she was an older dog in desperate need of grooming, costly dental work, and lots of care to heal from the traumas of being left abandoned on the streets. In as short as one month later, after being groomed, vetted, and loved, she blossomed into the most loving dog we have ever met; we called her our "angel dog" (see the after photo above). Sophie's story is a reminder to us that you can't judge a book by its cover. Sophie later was the inspiration for Dog Sprinkles (visit www.dogslovesprinkles.com to learn more). Sophie recently crossed the rainbow bridge in 2015; our hearts have been blessed with joy having had the opportunity to care for her.
Volunteer Spotlight: How Our Volunteer Animal Advocate Helps Us Rescue Urgent Need Dogs
Volunteer Animal Advocates are an integral part of our rescue efforts. Animal Advocate, Yazel Garcia, lives in San Diego, California and helps Happy Tails Dog Rescue by alerting us of urgent need dogs who need immediate rescue. Yazel channels her passion for saving animals into proactive activism by scouring the internet and multiple social media channels daily looking for dogs in need. When she finds such dogs she immediately contacts us so we can take the necessary next steps.
It takes a team to rescue dogs, and even from the opposite coast, she is helping us here in South Florida. She recently helped us save the life of a dog named Mo who was on death row at MDAS and if it wasn't for her, we would not have intervened to save his life. If you are interested in becoming an Animal Advocate with Happy Tails, please complete a Volunteer Information Form.
High School Student Makes Candles to Raise Money for Happy Tails
Inspired by Lindsay's Story? If so, click here (and scroll down page) to see 20 other unique fundraisers you can run to bring donations in to our rescue organization. Turn your passion for saving dogs into positive action! Running your own fundraiser for Happy Tails is a great way to earn community service hours for school.
Lindsay Cruz, of Delray Beach, Florida, is an inspiration to other young high school students. She proactively channeled her love of animals into a way to raise funds for Happy Tails Dog Rescue. This is her story:
"I was so inspired to donate the money I raised to Happy Tails Dog Rescue because I have an extreme love for animals, especially dogs. I had a cockapoo ever since I was in the first grade, and I can’t imagine my life without her. My dog means the world to me, and when I found out that other helpless dogs get horribly mistreated, I realized that I had to do something about it. I really became interested in helping dogs my freshman year of high school. When I began this project, I knew I wanted to donate the money to a dog shelter but I wasn’t sure which one. After doing research I decided to go with Happy Tails Dog Rescue because I loved how it was a local foundation and was family built. I had a friend who often fostered dogs and I was always so interested in that as well. I think it’s so cool how there are so many people interested in finding families for these unfortunate dogs.
In order to raise the money, I decided to make candles and sell them for a profit. The customers of my candles loved how I was donating the money to Happy Tails and they adored that the rescue was locally run. From doing this project, I raised $120.00 in total and have donated all of it to Happy Tails Dog Rescue. Doing this project made me feel like I was really involved and helping the community. It is truly the best feeling in the world to know that the candles that I made helped save a dog’s life. I know dogs are really important to my family and I, and I hope everyone else can feel the same connection and inspire others to help save the dogs!"
Dr. Tanis Whyte Has Been Vetting Our Rescues for Past 6 Years
All of our rescued dogs are vetted by Dr. Tanis Whyte of Delray Beach, Florida. She now has her own private practice, Oceanside Veterinary Center, and is Happy Tail's dedicated vet. Dr. Whyte has over 26 years of veterinary experience, including an extensive emergency care background. We are extremely grateful to Tanis for her continued service and dedication.
We Need Fosters: Help Us Find Dog Fosters
If you, or someone you know, is interested in becoming a dog foster please let us know by completing the online volunteer information form. You can help us find fosters by forwarding the flyer below to your network and/or printing it out and hanging it up at work. As if you need any more convincing, read this article in the Huffington Post on "The 16 Reasons Why Fostering a Shelter Pet is Basically the Best Thing in the World"!!