When we watch or hear about all kinds of bad news every day, I’m sure a little part of us dies at how humanity seems to have been lost. Then again a story of simple kindness may turn our beliefs into something beautiful.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy swept through New York City and a lot of pets were displaced and ended up in local shelters. Rescue centers, as well as nonprofit organizations like Humane Society and ASPCA, did what they could to assist with search and rescue operations. Providing temporary shelters and doing what they can with the little that they have.
Some pets found happy reunions with their owners while some were never claimed and remained in shelters.
One woman decided to step up and became a foster parent for the dogs. Little did she know, she will play an essential role in finding homes for the homeless dogs.
Nina Roadeler became an adoption coordinator for Friends With Four Paws, a humble foster-based rescue put up by volunteers in Oklahoma and New York. Dogs from high-kill shelters in Oklahoma are fostered by volunteers of Friends With Four Paws until they find their adoptive families.
Nina served as an important bridge between the dogs and their future families. She does all the coordinating, interviewing prospective adopters, running errands like picking up and dropping off crates, food, and toy donations, and tirelessly driving around where her help is needed.
Nina’s favorite task, however, is driving dogs to their new homes.
The first dog she ever drove for was Peggy, a tireless 40-pound terrier that never seems to run out of energy. Nina thoughtfully recalls, “She was adorable, but she was all over my car. She was bouncing around in that car like nobody’s business.”
Nina takes note that they all have different characters and each time, the ride to their forever home is a different experience. Some of the dogs like sitting on her lap while others simply curl up in their dog bed. Some enjoy looking out the window while some can even get car-sick.
Instead of getting tired, Nina finds the experience rewarding. “When you drop off a dog at an adopter or you are there when the adopter meets the dog, you feel like you are Santa Claus because you bring them a gift — such a huge gift for the many years to come,” Nina happily shares. “I know how I felt when I got my dog. He just makes me smile. And knowing that you are a part of really bringing life and love to a family is amazing.”
Nina’s efforts in finding new homes for the lost dogs and taking them to their new families are not to be considered little as it requires a great amount of dedication and patience. She happily adds: “So, you do this for dogs, you do this for humans. Rescue is my happy place.”