Straying From The Pack
If dogs are man's best friend than you could say Joe Mora is a dog's best friend.
While most involved in animal rescue go after dogs after being notified of a dog in need, Mora doesn't wait for a call, he sets out to find those in need. He's a volunteer who works over 40 hours a week to help needy animals.
It's a bit before 10 a.m., and Joaquin (Joe) Mora has started making his rounds.
Wearing a smartly creased city Animal Care & Control uniform, Mora and his assistant/trainee/friend Jonathan Bornemann, 14, pile into Mora's white subcompact with the Animal Control sticker on the bumper and begin to prowl their Long Island City, Queens, neighborhood.
"I'm a different kind of animal rescue officer," said Mora, who turns 54 on Friday.
"Other people wait to be called to rescue an animal. I go out and find the animals that need to be rescued."
He's known to animal rescue groups across the five boroughs, and his phone rings day and night. People call to ask him to save snakes, birds, dogs, cats - and just about any other kind of animal.
Mora's dedication prompted President Obama to award him the Presidential Call to Service Award last month. He also received a certificate and personal letter from the President.
Receiving the presidential award "was a great honor. I really like this President," Mora said.
But this day, Mora's aim was to show this reporter the legions of dogs, cats and chickens living wild among the rutted roads and hustling auto repair shops of Willetts Point, Queens, across from the new Citi Field.
The city is relocating the businesses there, and Mora fears that when they leave, the animals will be abandoned.
"If we start drawing attention to this now, before they close down, maybe we can save them," Mora said.
One of the groups that help Mora provide food to strays is Worthy Pause, they run a thrift and gift shop and the money from the store goes to fund causes that benefit animals. If you're in the Bayside, Queens area go check out all their bargains.
We give Joe Mora four big paws up, what an amazing man. Congrats on the Presidential Call To Service Award, it couldn't have gone to a more deserving individual.
Thank you to Dogster member Annabelle for bringing this story to my attention. She recently joined Dogster and could use some pup pals, go check out her profile.