Rescue helps dogs on list to be euthanized find homes

"We love these animals like we love our own families, so when we lose them, it genuinely shatters our heart."


Every day, Orange County Animal Services in Florida takes in around 50 animals, many of them dogs, some with health issues and all in need of a home.

With space limited at the shelter, euthanizing the dogs is sometimes its only option.

That is where Rescue Me Orlando steps in.

"If we're not successful, if we don't have fosters, if we don't have committed adopters, they don't make it out of the shelter," said Brittany Johnston, Rescue Me Orlando's co-president.

The mission of Rescue Me Orlando is saving as many animals as possible, with some dogs saved just days before being euthanized.

"We love these animals like we love our own families, so when we lose them, it genuinely shatters our heart," Johnston said.

"Shelter doesn't mean broken. It just means that the dog has fallen on a hard time, and they need somewhere to have a soft place to fall," said Kimberly Doyle, Rescue Me Orlando's co-president.

Rescue Me Orlando works to find that soft place, either a rescue or foster placement, and ultimately, a "furever" home.

The group's three presidents work full-time jobs, so the hours they spend at Orange County Animal Services are all their own.

"We find it so important to come out here to meet these dogs, to give them the voice that they don't have," Johnston said.

They interact with the dogs; they then network on their Facebook page by sharing photos and videos with their thousands of followers.

"To have over 30,000 people support what we do, it not only means everything to us, but it means everything to these dogs and to the 500 that are alive because of the community," Johnston said.

When WESH 2 News visited, a dog named Snoop was on the weekly euthanasia list. Thanks to the women of Rescue Me Orlando, a rescuer took him in.

Now Snoop is being fostered, and soon, he'll be ready for adoption.

Desiree Pizio joined the team, already made up of founders Johnston and Doyle, after she discovered her own dog on their page.

"It's amazing for me, you know, that she's now in my life because of Rescue Me Orlando," Pizio said.

But for every dog rescued, more still need help.

"It can't just be the three of us. We need everybody, every animal lover, and we just, you know, we hope that we can reach more people and save more dogs," Johnston said.