Dogs Grooming

GEPDA rescues canines, giving them a spot of refuge within the course of – Morgan Hill Instances


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

However resulting from quite a lot 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 residence, 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,” stated Caroline Higgins, who’s GEPDA’s adoption coordinator. “They get harassed within the kennel after which they’re labeled aggressive. However all they should do is get out and so they’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 objective: save as many canines from dying as attainable.

“After 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 stated. “We go in strong-minded that we are able to practice the canine (so it might probably finally be put up for adoption). However generally we simply get a canine and so they don’t go up for adoption, and so they’re going to remain right here with us. I’m not going to euthanize them.”

Whereas GEPDA continues its mission to save lots of canines’ lives, there are a confluence of things that threaten their operation. Higgins stated adoption charges have been sluggish within the final yr and even then, puppies—not large-sized canines—are the popular alternative. 

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 record, however till we are able to place addtional canines or get extra foster households, we are able to’t save them,” stated the 51-year-old Higgins, who additionally owns K9 Price range Bathing, a pet grooming service. “We’re at some extent the place we are able to’t proceed the best way we’ve been going.”

The numbers are expensive as a result of when GEPDA picks up a canine from a shelter, generally they must be transferred instantly to a hospital which leads to 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 stated. 

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 stated. “For these animals, we’re their voice and we maintain them alive and completely happy.”

Higgins stated what separates GEPDA aside is that they’ll take the exhausting instances, or canines which will by no means be in line for adoption. In addition they be sure to totally vet foster households and practice 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 stated. 

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 by GEPDA. Most not too long ago, Sankaran and Sabra took care of Bella, a German Shepherd who wanted to endure hip surgical procedure or most likely would’ve been put down. 

Not solely did Sankaran and Sabra pay for Bella’s surgical procedure, they stored Bella at their residence 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 residence to spend the remainder of her life. 

“Bella resides due to Sam,” Higgins stated. “She’s been very supportive of our rescue and we significantly respect 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 Could 2018 wedding ceremony, which occurred to be at GEPDA. 

“There have been extra canines than folks at our wedding ceremony,” Caroline stated. “Our lady Nellie (who has since handed) was within the ceremony. The love has at all times 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 advised my father earlier than he retired, I used to be going to personal my very own ranch,” she stated. “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 may be made through Paypal [email protected] and [email protected] The funds will assist cowl veterinary payments, meals, transportation and on a regular basis price operations. More information may be discovered on the GEPDA and K9 Price range Bathing Fb pages.

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

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



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