PHOTOS: Animal lover self-funds rescue initiative
GIVING the word 'selfless' a new meaning, a Rosedale woman has made it her mission in life to provide for those that cannot provide for themselves.
I arrived at Sandy Brett's self-funded animal foster home expecting to find a few cats and bowls of food. But what met me at the gate instead was a team of chickens, ponies and dogs.
As if that wasn't surprise enough, I turned a corner on the far side of the rural property to find a big outdoor enclosure stocked with toys, food, beds and a dozen cats.
Sandy said Adopt Me Please was founded after she "got sick and tired of picking up dead bodies off the road.
"So many of these animals were on death row, and now they've at least had a chance," she said.
"I get such satisfaction knowing they're safe, happy and loved."
After exchanging our hellos, Sandy showed me around her property and pointed out some of the animals she'd rescued from extreme conditions.
One of the cats, Trojan, had had his limbs tied together with a rubber band, she told me.
Another was once a feral that resorted to using her teeth and claws at every opportunity.
The youngest of the lot was a three-week-old kitten who had been imprisoned inside a box, taped-shut on the side of the road.
But as I greeted each of the furry felines, I couldn't help but point out how docile and playful each of them was.
"I don't know what it is but animals just relax and go dopey and happy around me," she explained.
Sandy used to be a jockey and has always had a knack with animals.
"My animals always come before me," she said.
"People at the supermarket laugh at me because I'll have a trolley full of pet food and then some soup for myself," she laughed.
Sandy's good friend David Taylor said it was that genuineness and sincerity that made her so successful at re-homing the animals.
Though Sandy adopts-out all her animals for $80, David said desexing, micro-chipping and vaccinating each rescue costed her about $250.
"She rescues anything that needs a home ... She's losing money with each adoption but to her it's 'well at least they've been homed'," David said.
Sandy's Pet Enclosures, a one-woman-run business, is what funds Adopt Me Please. The large enclosures she is trying to promote across the country are all designed and constructed by her.
"When people buy one of my enclosures, they're helping me help these animals," she said.
Sandy has been rescuing and re-homing animals for many years, and after seeing the level of passion she has for rescuing animals, I can't imagine she'd stop any time soon.
"I am their 24-hour back up," she said.
To donate or adopt an animal, visit Adopt Me Please on Facebook. To learn more about pet enclosures, go to Sandy's Pet Enclosures.