German Shepherds Find Refuge With Florida Woman
Sounds like a Dogster to me! This upbeat story comes from The Villages Daily Sun.
Wildwood woman needs help to save dogs
By THERESA CAMPBELL, DAILY SUN
WILDWOOD When Raye Guardado crawls onto the floor of her Wildwood home, German shepherds of all sizes know its time to play.
They smother her with kisses.
Guardado giggles, buries her face in the carpet, and the pooches become even more playful, pawing through her blond hair.
The simple interaction is a shining moment for Guardado. She loves seeing the dogs socialize and have fun.
Star didn’t act like this at first,” said Guardado, who along with her husband, Joe, is the founder of the German Shepherd Rescue of Central Florida. They’ve rehabilitated and placed hundreds of dogs in good homes for 30 years, the past 10 in Florida after starting the practice in Ohio.
Now, they are working with Orange County Animal Control to find homes for full- and mixed-breed German shepherds that were among 26 dogs recently rescued by Orange County during investigation of an animal cruelty case in another county.
Nine of the dogs have been placed in foster homes. Some were infested with ticks and fleas. Others had lost their hair.
Yet those nine, Raye happily noted, are receiving the care and attention they need.
There are 13 remaining that need to be rescued immediately,” Raye said. We are begging for the public to please help.”
The 13 dogs, she said, have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated and implanted with microchip identification. They need socialization, she said. None is aggressive.
If people are interested and they are willing to help, we pay for the veterinarian, we pay for the flea and heartworm protection, and we will work with the people one-on-one to help the dogs socialize,” Raye said.
Raye strives to do all she can to find homes for the dogs.
Otherwise, she said, they are at risk of being euthanized by Orange County because of overcrowded shelter conditions.
Orange County does not want to euthanize any of these animals,” she said. The officers and their staff have spent their own private time working with the dogs, socializing, and helping them with their issues. We know animal control gets a bad rap sometimes, but the fact is that they went the extra mile for these guys.”
Raye said the rescue of the 26 dogs was not supposed to end this way.
(German Shepherd Rescue) started out very slowly, one dog at a time, and then two dogs at a time,” Raye said. As foster homes started to grow, the organization started to grow. I took on a business partner who said we can do this in mass numbers, that we could save more dogs.”
The partner had the ideal arrangement 15 acres of fenced-in land in Summerfield. All of the 26 dogs rescued by Orange County were to be placed on the sanctuary grounds.
Unfortunately, my business partner suffered a neurological episode, leaving her unable to continue her involvement in the rescue,” Raye said.
Yet, Raye didn’t want to back out of her commitment to help Orange County Animal Control. One of her foster-dog parents, Joyce Copp, has six German shepherds that she has taken in, along with four small dogs of her own.
All they need is a little care,” Copp said, a little love.
I thank God for people like Raye, who go to the extra effort to care for the animals that nobody else would care about.”