Toys & Training

GEPDA rescues canines, giving them a spot of refuge within the course of – Gilroy Dispatch


The Group Schooling to Defend and Defend Animals (GEPDA) has prevented numerous canines from being euthanized since its inception in 2004.

However as a result of a wide range of components, the South Valley rescue group is wobbling on its final legs—no pun meant. Run out of Director MaryAnn Lima’s San Martin house, GEPDA rescues and finds properties for large-breed canines, primarily rottweilers. 

“We pull in all of the breeds, however our rescue focus is on rottweilers as a result of they don’t make it out of the shelters,” mentioned Caroline Higgins, who’s GEPDA’s adoption coordinator. “They get confused within the kennel after which they’re labeled aggressive. However all they should do is get out they usually’re nice household canines.”

Whereas the operation is tiny—it’s principally Higgins, Lima and Higgins’ husband, Ward, on workers—the work they do is extremely impactful. GEPDA saves canines from the native shelters who’re deemed too massive or whose medical wants are too exorbitant to undertake out. 

Their aim: save as many canines from dying as potential.

“Once they (kennels/shelters) name us and we go consider the canines, we go in there figuring out we both take them or they’re going to die that day,” Lima mentioned. “We go in strong-minded that we will prepare the canine (so it could actually ultimately be put up for adoption). However typically we simply get a canine they usually don’t go up for adoption, they usually’re going to remain right here with us. I’m not going to euthanize them.”

Whereas GEPDA continues its mission to avoid wasting canines’ lives, there are a confluence of things that threaten their operation. Higgins mentioned adoption charges have been gradual within the final 12 months and even then, puppies—not large-sized canines—are the popular selection. 

GEPDA has been at full capability for years and in that point have been paying all of the service charges from their very own pockets. 

“Sadly, we get emails on a regular basis about canines on the euthanasia checklist, however till we will place addtional canines or get extra foster households, we will’t save them,” mentioned the 51-year-old Higgins, who additionally owns K9 Funds Bathing, a pet grooming service. “We’re at a degree the place we will’t proceed the way in which we’ve been going.”

The numbers are expensive as a result of when GEPDA picks up a canine from a shelter, typically they have to be transferred instantly to a hospital which ends up in hundreds of {dollars} on their very own dime. 

“We’ll take these canines in for $4,000-$6,000, after which undertake them out for $400-$500, which actually doesn’t assist our rescue from a backside line perspective but it surely does save a life,” Higgins mentioned. 

Rising medical charges, meals and transportation prices have all turned GEPDA’s capacity to proceed working in dire straits. 

“That is my ardour, I don’t wish to give it up and I don’t need to shut it down,” Lima mentioned. “For these animals, we’re their voice and we preserve them alive and joyful.”

Higgins mentioned what separates GEPDA aside is that they’ll take the laborious instances, or canines that will by no means be in line for adoption. Additionally they be certain to completely vet foster households and prepare the canines to make sure an optimum success fee of discovering a canine and a possible proprietor a match that can final. 

“We get the canines the vetting they want and coaching they could have to get them prepared for brand spanking new properties,” Higgins mentioned. 

Higgins and Lima have a rolodex of testimonials to show their level, together with San Jose couple Sam Sankaran and Raja Sabra, who’ve fostered three to 4 canines via GEPDA. Most just lately, Sankaran and Sabra took care of Bella, a German Shepherd who wanted to endure hip surgical procedure or in all probability would’ve been put down. 

Not solely did Sankaran and Sabra pay for Bella’s surgical procedure, they stored Bella at their house for over two months, permitting her to relaxation and rehab till she was at 100% well being. Now, she’s up for adoption and can seemingly discover a loving house to spend the remainder of her life. 

“Bella resides due to Sam,” Higgins mentioned. “She’s been very supportive of our rescue and we tremendously admire her.”

To get a way of Higgins and Lima’s ardour and love for all issues canine, one solely has to have a look at Caroline and Ward’s Might 2018 wedding ceremony, which occurred to be at GEPDA. 

“There have been extra canines than folks at our wedding ceremony,” Caroline mentioned. “Our woman Nellie (who has since handed) was within the ceremony. The love has all the time been in our household—we’re animal folks. I believe animals are extra enjoyable to work with than folks.”

Lima was raised round animals as her dad and mom labored on farms. 

“I instructed my father earlier than he retired, I used to be going to personal my very own ranch,” she mentioned. “As an alternative, I circled and began saving canines. I didn’t count on to be the place I’m at now.” 

NOTE: Financial donations to GEPDA might be made by way of Paypal [email protected] and [email protected] The funds will assist cowl veterinary payments, meals, transportation and on a regular basis price operations. Additional information might be discovered on the GEPDA and K9 Funds Bathing Fb pages.

Jazzy, a 4-year-old long-hair rottweiler, has been below the care at GEPDA rescue group. Photograph by Stan Szeto.
GEPDA pulled Gizmo from a shelter so he wouldn’t die there. He bought to spend his closing months with a foster household.

Reporter/sports activities editor Emanuel Lee might be reached at [email protected]



Supply hyperlink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *