Strong Bond

The love between dogs and humans is a phenomenon that transcends space and time — even more so when the furry companion in question is a rescue. Herewith: Inspirational stories of rescues and the heroes who saved them.
Words by Jorge Arauz | Photos by Wioletta Bublik | Creative Isa Zapata | February 23, 2023 | People

A Happy Life

When Edan Dekel & Franklin Duke saw a photo of Khaleesi pop up on their screen one evening, they called off of work the next day and went to rescue her at the Atlanta Humane Society. Little did they know how much joy their new furry friend would bring them. “Just a few weeks after adopting her, we were getting ready for bed when she got the hiccups,” they say. “She was so confused as to what was going on and ran to us for help to save her from the hiccups — we laughed and laughed and knew right then and there that we had made the right choice in adopting her.” Today, the Brickell residents could not imagine life without their precious Khaleesi. “Pets will always be there for you in the brightest and darkest days with unconditional love,” they say. “Sometimes we get so lost in the hustle and bustle of life that having a pet to remind you that the world is meant to be a place of wonder can really help manage your perspective and bring a smile to your face.”

Against All Odds

The victim of a hit & run, Declan and another dog (who also survived) was left on the side of the road for hours while a good samaritan called rescue after rescue. Each and every one of them turned down the request until Paw Patrol received the plea. “He was in horrible shape,” says Shanna Proudfit, who eventually rescued him after coming across his photo on social media. “He was emaciated, completely matted and infested with fleas.” The pup’s recovery took a long time — one of his eyes needed to be removed immediately, and after months of rehabilitation, his front right leg needed amputation. “He was a super sweet and strong boy who was fighting for a better life and hadn’t given up hope despite everything he had been through,” she says. Both Declan’s big brother Roscoe and younger sister Roxy were also rescues from Paw Patrol. “If you’re looking for a specific breed, please look to your local rescues first,” she says. “If they don’t have the type of animal you are looking for, more than likely they will be able to point you in the right direction to help you find your perfect companion.”

Best Life Ever

Avid Paw Patrol volunteer and supporter Cynthia Benavides was on a pet sabbatical after the death of her 16.5-year-old hurricane rescue pup from Puerto Rico. Fast-forward to the day she received a picture of a cute little apricot-colored Yorkie Mix up for adoption. After filling out the application, she welcomed her home on Christmas Day 2017. Today, she enjoys her new life with Cynthia and her husband, Bryce Quinn, in Brickell. “Cherry Pie has been a Brickellite from Day 1 and has experienced all the bright lights and big-city thrills of living in the center of it all,” they say. “She’s frequented iconic Miami establishments such as Tobacco Road, Better Days and Lost Boy; has partied at Ultra, been toted about for 5Ks, attended Cinco De Mayo celebrations and has even come to spinning classes at RedBike!”   

To The Rescue

W hen the Humane Society saved more than 4,000 Beagles from an Envigo research laboratory in a record animal welfare seizure, Rika Enomoto and her husband, David Lopez, were one of the first to receive a call for adoption. After making sure that the 13-week-old puppy they chose got along with their other rescue, Miya, the couple officially welcomed Piper to the family. “I used to be very ignorant about adoption when I rescued my first Beagle, Chloé, back in 2004 — I thought only old, unwanted dogs were available for adoption,” says Rika. “Thankfully, my friends who are very active in rescuing helped me realize firsthand how these rescued animals not only bring happiness to their new owners, but they are eternally grateful to you for saving them. It’s pure love.”

Unconditional love

A fter considering rescuing a dog for a long time, Emma Fitzpatrick finally found Bailey through a Rescue Rocks post on “I kept going back to his posting day after day and I just knew that I had to try to meet him,” she says. “He seemed perfect!” After going through the rescue and adoption process, she understands how important it is to give dogs a forever home. “These innocent animals have all been through so much, but yet they have so much unconditional love to give,” she says. “Everyone that I’ve spoken to about rescue animals has had an extremely positive experience working with local shelters. With the right training and schedule, a rescue can be the perfect companion for any family!”