A Day in the Life of a Pet Rescuer

dog-wheelchair-donation

Tina Roe was carjacked in St. Louis while doing volunteer work to help lost pets; her own dog’s wheelchair was in the stolen car. Did this dampen Tina’s spirit? Heck, no! This powerhouse of an animal lover was out the next day, helping animals once again. Here’s the story:

Just an Ordinary Day

Tina, who works full-time for Wells Fargo Advisors, was out hanging up flyers for a found dog on that fateful day. She volunteers with Missouri Lost & Found Paws, an all-volunteer nonprofit. Tina is one of a team of volunteers who hang flyers to reunite lost pets with their families, trap stray pets who are clearly lost, and research microchips found on lost pets.

Tina had run out of flyers but still had one more pole she wanted to hang one on, so she walked back to the passenger side of her car to retrieve a flyer from the passenger seat. Suddenly Tina felt a gun pressed into her back. She spun around and here’s the interchange that followed:

“You almost scared me to death!” Tina said.

“I’m not going to hurt you. Just give me your money,” said the robber.

“I don’t have money! I live in the same neighborhood as you!”

“Get in the car!”

Tina reported that she climbed over to the driver’s seat, and the robber got into the passenger seat and went through her purse.

“Hey, you don’t have any money in here!” he said.

“I told you I didn’t have money!” Tina replied.

It was at that point that the robber pulled out two knives, which he eventually used to cut the wires in Tina’s car, telling her that he planned to steal the vehicle. He asked her to get out and walk across a nearby bridge that led to a park. At first Tina resisted.

“Look, why do you want to start out in life like this?” Tina asked. “How about we get out of the car and you help me finish putting up flyers?”

“Get out of the car!” he yelled.

What Was Lost

Tina headed to the park, eventually running down a hill to a main street, where she hopped onto a bus and told the driver what had happened. It was only after she had met with the police that she began thinking of what else had been in the car when it was stolen: her dog Prince’s wheelchair.

Tina had adopted Prince a year earlier from Stray Rescue of St. Louis. He had come with a wheelchair. Tina didn’t know where the wheels had come from, so when she realized they were stolen along with the car, she turned to the internet. Prince had been doing very well in his wheels, so Tina wanted to get the same model.

Fortunately, Prince’s wheelchair had been a camo Walkin’ Wheels rear wheelchair, which she recognized online as soon as she saw it. When Tina emailed Walkin’ Pets by HandicappedPets.com inquiring about sizing for a replacement set of wheels for Prince, the Walkin’ Pets Care Squad responded with a donation of new Walkin’ Wheels. This time around, Prince got a blue Walkin’ Wheels, and Tina emailed,

“I can’t thank you all enough for giving Prince his wheels. I never thought about just how much was in my car, but when I realized his wheels were still in there from the weekend trip, my heart was crushed. You all were a blessing in the midst of all the chaos.”

“Prince does really well,” says Tina. “He loves that chair!”

All in a Day’s Work

Not only does Tina care for sweet Prince and volunteer many, many hours for Missouri Lost & Found Paws, but she is also the Vice President of the MO Min Pin Rescue. Tina frequently fosters one or more dogs from the Min Pin Rescue who are looking for permanent homes. Not including the fosters, she has eight other dogs besides Prince. Yes, 8!

Here is a rundown of the canine family:

  1. Cooper, 14 years old. Cooper is Tina’s retired obedience dog and still works hard visiting nursing homes as a therapy dog.
  2. Alex, 14 years old. Alex was Tina’s grandmother’s dog; she took him in when her grandmother moved into a nursing home.
    papillon-rescue      rescue-dog
    Cooper                                                                                                    Alex
  3. Red, a Min Pin rescue who Tina fostered and then couldn’t resist keeping forever!

    rescued-min-pin
    Red
  4. Skye, a blue-eyed Chihuahua rescue adopted from Needy Paws Rescue.
  5. Prince, one-year-old rescue with permanent back injuries who uses Walkin’ Wheels.
  6. Fen, adopted with Prince since they were a bonded pair (Chihuahua mixes). Fen had FHO surgery.

    chihuahua-rescues
    Skye, Fen, and Prince
  7. Jay, a Min Pin surrendered for biting, but Tina has had no problems with him at all.
  8. Orc, a 16-year-old found wandering the streets as a stray. Tina kept him when he was unclaimed.
    rescue-dog-min-pin     senior-dog-rescue
    Jay                                                                     Orc
     
  9. rescue-dog-chihuahua
    Chase

    Chase, the most recently adopted Chihuahua rescue. Tina says,

“Chase is so sweet and cuddly and loving, but crazy! I’ve lost five pairs of shoes between him and my foster!”

Pet Rescuer Work Never Ends

Tina’s work as an avid animal lover doesn’t ever end. Besides all her volunteer work for the Min Pin Rescue, which saves many dogs from high-kill states such as Texas, her work at Missouri Lost & Found Paws is relentless. Tina estimates that the organization has 10-50 pets it works with per day throughout the state of Missouri, with a large percentage in St. Louis.

Tina finds it especially gratifying to help pet owners put up flyers who may be homebound, like many elderly folks. Likewise, making flyers for poor families who might not be able to afford the cost of printing them for their lost pets. Tina has been volunteering with this organization since 2011. That’s a lot of commitment! That’s a lot of pets and families that have been reunited, and a whole lot of love.

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One thought on “A Day in the Life of a Pet Rescuer”

  1. Remarkable story! To have remained so collected under such stress and danger, it is truly phenomenal that her best reaction was to revert to what she loved and clearly believes gives so much meaning to her life, to the point of proposing her would-be abductor to step out with her and start his own life anew seeking to help needy dogs too. Truly a remarkable story! Thank you!

    There is no better way to give a dog joy in life than to be its walking companion in the great outdoors! Thank you for giving disabled dogs that opportunity.

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