Best Friends

The joy of rescuing offers not only second chances but the ability to save lives and build bonds, transforming both human and canine destinies forever. Each rescue story echoes compassion and hope through wagging tails, grateful hearts and pure love.

Happy Together

After the passing of one of their dogs, Andres Baez & Joemy Blanco and their daughters, Nina & Celeste, felt that one way of honoring him was to welcome another dog in their family that needed a home. After visiting a lot of organizations, they found a picture of a 4-month puppy at the Humane Society of Broward County. Mavi was brought from Vieques, Puerto Rico, where there is a big problem sustaining dogs with no home. “She suffered a lot before coming into our family and is very shy,” they say. “It took time for her to feel comfortable in the house and with us. We have seen her evolve into being the perfect fit for our family.” The first time they took her to the beach, she ran and swam like she forgot all her fears. “She was truly in her own element,” they say. “You could tell she is an island girl!” The family believes there are so many reasons that adopting a dog is the right choice — from fighting overpopulation of stray dogs to rallying against puppy mills. “There are so many animals in need of a home that we can contribute by opening our heart to one of them. It’s a big responsibility but totally worth the experience,” they say. “Life will never be boring again with a rescued pet. Your heart will expand in many different ways and you will have the added bonus of getting a BFF for life!”

Global Citizens

While living in Lima, Peru, Zoila Castro’s friend told her about the peculiar story of a litter of abandoned puppies living inside a local cat rescue. A year later, after the final puppy remaining at the shelter was all grown up and recovered from a hip condition, Zoila went to meet her. And it was love at first sight. She named her Peppa Maria. “She didn’t bark for months because she grew up with about 30 rescue cats,” she says. “Even to this day, whenever she sees a cat, she wants to play, loves cat food, and rubs against you, just like cats do!” Adopting Peppa Maria was very personal for Zoila. “One of the motivations for me to rescue her was that she had the same condition in her hips that I had as a child,” she says. “Knowing that nobody wanted her for being an adult dog broke my heart, and I promised myself to always adopt older dogs.” When they moved to Miami, they discovered the city together and realized that it’s one of the most pet-friendly cities ever. “I brought Peppa Maria everywhere with me, and when I was dating my current husband, Michael Feldman, they fell in love immediately. It was not easy to get the papers to bring her here, but when your dog is a family member, you have to do whatever it takes to give them the life they deserve.” Today, Peppa Maria is a Miami doggy through and through, and even though she has a lot of fur, she loves the sun! 

Frenchie Connection

When Dali Hernandez signed up for alerts on in search of French Bulldogs, fate united her Frenchies Mila & Micco. “I’ve always owned dogs that I have purchased from breeders with AKC Certification,” she says. “Mila is my first rescue. I had been looking casually for a companion for Micco as he suffers from separation anxiety.” From the beginning, Mila stole everyone’s heart. “She is super loving, affectionate and wants to be by my side all the time,” she says. “At the end of the night, they both come and shower me with affection and tons of Frenchy kisses — I just start cracking up with laughter and it’s always such a stress release and moment of pure joy.” Both Frenchies are great with people and other dogs. “I’ve made great friends through having dogs in common and they have added a tremendous amount of happiness to my life, she says, emphasizing that raising Frenchies is a big responsibility. “I think many people bring them home because they are a currently a very trendy breed — shortly thereafter, they give them up because Frenchies can be a high-maintenance breed,” she says. “Be committed. Be loving. Be in it for the long run. There are so many animals that need another chance, and I encourage everyone to consider adding a rescue to their lives!”

Adoption Advocates

As regular donors to Animal Care & Control, Shelter Chic, Liberty Humane Society and Korean K9 Rescue, when Jackie Lee & Shaun Saylor moved to Miami, they became involved with True & Faithful Rescue Mission, Paw Patrol & Picolinis Animal Rescue. Henry was the first dog they rescued, followed quickly by Trina, who was 10 when they first adopted her. “She regularly barks at all the neighborhood dogs from her stroller, letting everyone know who’s who and will frequently launch herself at larger dogs that try to sniff her. It’s amazing to see larger dogs scared to death of our little tiny senior! She is truly the queen in our home!” The couple encourages anyone thinking about adopting to do it. “There are so many amazing dogs that need homes in shelters right now,” they say. “Many people don’t believe there are smaller, pure bred or designer dogs at shelters…but this is simply not the case. Trina is a purebred Imperial Shih Tzu and Henry is a Morkie, often considered a designer breed. I understand the hesitancy in adopting a senior dog…but let us tell you — seniors are where it’s at! Low maintenance and loving, most just want a warm bed and snuggles.” When it comes down to it, the couple believes there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. “Shelters are overrun right now and need all the help they can get,” they say. “If you are not able to adopt, please consider donating to the animals in need. Adopt, don’t shop — and save a life.”