Hi, my name is Kelly Gage and I am from Oak Park, IL. As a child, I had the usual pets in my home: hamsters, a bunny rabbit, dogs but my childhood favorite was Schultzy, the Dachshund. He was my companion until I was 16 years old and I learned a valuable lesson of having to put Human’s suffering aside versus our faithful companion. That little dog always knew when an emotional teenager needed a hug, a lean in and he was always there lending a bark to protect.
I experienced my 1st rescue by seeing a dog being dumped on the Eisenhower Expressway. My best friend and I were coming home and saw it happen. I stopped as fast as I could to get the dog to safety and fortunately, there were not many cars and we were able to get this little boy. We called him Ike. Being that I was living in an apartment and my friend’s parents were not fans of dogs we had to find a place for Ike. We found a place for him but I vowed then I would always, always help a dog in need. It didn’t matter where, what I am doing – I need to stop.
When I moved to Florida I really got exposed to the irresponsibility of animal owners. I was always finding dogs in rural areas. I’d bring them home and either find their original owners (if they had tags/collars) or find new homes for them.
I knew in the back of my mind “kill shelter” but never went into one until I was taking a Speech Presentation class. I had to write a persuasion speech and my topic was the “Importance on Spay/Neuter” your pet. I went to the Lee County Animal Shelter to gather information. Before I went into a kill shelter I was just a visitor but on that day I got to go “behind the scenes”. The visual impact I saw was a hospital gurney of dogs laying down but they were not sick. They were going in to be euthanized. It was like I was punched in my stomach. A group of young, innocent dogs being put down and asked I why?
I still ask the why as I work endlessly to get dogs out of the kill shelters. But this time I am working as part of a Rescue group; a Team. That is what Rescue is about. Of course, it’s about helping, saving animals but it is also about the people. People who share the same drive, compassion and empathy for the animals and with them we work very hard to save the animals. But it is just not the Rescuers but our Supporters and lastly, our Adopters.
So, thank you for visiting Treasured Animal Rescue’s website and I hope we can “hunt” for your Treasure. We hope you see their inward beauty like we do; see their “Diamond Soul”.
Hello, my name is Greg. I grew up surrounded by pets, 2 parakeets, 1 parrot, countless chickens, fish, rabbits and dogs. Growing up we had 2 German Shepherds, a black lab mix, a Dalmatian mix, and a Poodle. I remember living in a little apartment, (my mom was a saint), and finding this little puppy on the streets. I brought it home but my mom wouldn’t let me keep him. She had reached her limit in our little apartment but she reassured me that the puppy would be safe.
I was 10 years old and I guess that was my first attempt at rescuing a dog. Soon after that we moved to a house and I got my first dog, a beautiful German Shepherd, I named Snooky! Then came Prince, Nicholas, Sparky and Rambo. When we lost our beloved Wheaten Terrier, Daisy, in 2016, we decided to foster homeless dogs instead of getting another one. We fostered 5 dogs in 6 months and I wanted to adopt every single one of them. It was a heart breaking experience to see and hear what these dogs had been through. Neglect was the least of all evils, but the cruelty and abuse inflicted on these creatures were incomprehensible to me. The role of a foster parent took a totally different meaning, the sacrifices were much larger than I anticipated but the rewards were endless. To see an abused, sick, and homeless creature, and to take the first steps to help them trust humans, be healthy, and be loved again is an indescribable experience.
Currently we have 2 dogs, Oscar and Max. They have brought much fun and happiness to our home. Like that bumper sticker reads: “who rescued who?” That is always debatable.
I am a newcomer to the rescue world and I am constantly amazed and in awe at all the volunteers, and their level of passion and commitment to saving lives. I am grateful for people like you, willing to open your homes and your hearts to these “diamond souls”. Thank you!
I grew up with a Miniature Schnauzer named Skippy as a kid. Way before having a dog in our family, I had a goldfish named Yankee Doodle. I have raised several bunnies and cats throughout my years. My first cat, Nozey, was a Polydactyl Torti. She came to me as a temporary home situation. Her owner was displaced and my sister asked if I would do the owner a favor and take care of Nozey for a little bit. Nozey was rescued from Chicago Animal Control by her owner. She came to me at about 6 months old. As a college student I knew little about rescue or animal shelters at this time. I was in college and trying to figure out life and now raising a little life that I’ve never had to care for on my own.
Months had gone by and the owner never stepped forward or made any contact to get Nozey back. Indirectly, I ended up adopting her. Being a naive college student, I did not completely understand the consequences of having a pet in a rental unit where no pets were allowed. I had to ask a family member to care for her while I finished out the term of my contract with this unit and started searching for new apartment that would allow for a cat.
During my time with Nozey, I decided to get her a friend. Reezes was a calico kitty. Her and Nozey were best of friends. I knew nothing about socializing cats or yet introducing new pets to each other. They played, slept, and chased insects around my apartment. Remember I was only a college student so each year I had to renew a lease or look for a new place that allowed for a cat so that she didn’t get displaced again.
Both cats lived to be almost 18 years old. In the meantime, I have kids of my own and own my house so I no longer need to worry about whether I can have animals or not. While Reezes was around, we took on my cousin’s wonderful Black Lab, Sterling. My cousin serves our country in the USAF and was being transferred overseas for 4 years. We agreed to take Sterling temporarily while he was overseas. Yet again comes the story of having Sterling the rest of his life as my cousin was reassigned another overseas assignment. Sterling was good with Reezes, but would turn his head to not look at her when she walked in the room. While we had Sterling and after Reezes had passed, we came across another cat that needed to be rehomed. Ginger came to us and she had been rehomed several times before coming to us.
I guess you could say I was involved in rescue almost my whole life, but did not realize it until I joined the TAR Team. Since April 2020, I have had over 80 cats and kittens through my home. I have had them as young as 3-4 weeks old up to a few years old. I have had to nurse some to health and have had 1 pass in my arms due to unknown causes. Rescue is very rewarding but hard work. I am glad to say out of the 80+ cats, my family has only foster-failed 3 of them. Both of my daughters have each adopted a kitten and so did my husband.