When searching for a nyc dog rescue to find your new furry friend, it’s hard to really understand what the rescue does, how they pick the right fit adopter, what their foster program entails, and more!
That’s why we have begun a series of interviewing local Rescues in NYC. Please see below an interview with Lindsay Schwendner, a Board Member that wears many hats including but not limited to Social Media, Fundraising, and is a Foster Manager for S.N.O.R.T (Short Noses Only Rescue Team) rescue and Jamie Ruden, founder of Dog Spotted.
Thanks for joining us Lindsay, can you tell us a little bit about SNORT rescue and what your team does?
SNORT is an all-volunteer registered 501(c)3 non-profit rescue based in the Northeast. It’s mission is to rescue brachycephalic dogs (mostly French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs and Pugs) from shelters and owners who can no longer keep them, and place them into loving homes.
We believe all dogs should be given a chance and fair evaluation. Dogs sometimes are unable to communicate in ways which we would like, and we pride ourselves for taking the time to understand their needs.
Through education, training and matching dogs to the right homes, we hope to reduce the number of brachycephalic dogs that are euthanized unnecessarily.
What is something you didn’t know when you initially started volunteering at a Rescue that you wish potential adopters knew?
I didn’t realize how many different situations and conditions the dogs were in before coming to rescue. Many times, we only get partial, if any, information about the dogs that may or may not be true. Information like age, breed, temperament, and medical conditions can really help us help the dogs, and often, we have to figure that all out on our own. That is why a lot of our dogs spend some extra time in foster care. We want our adopters to really know what each dog is about- a luxury we don’t often get.
What does your rescue process look like? Where do you find the dogs that you bring to NYC?
Our dogs come to us from all over: shelters, surrendering owners, former breeders, and last year, we even got close to 20 dogs from China. When dogs are surrendered, they are placed in foster homes. Every dog is welcomed into someone’s home, family, and heart. The foster home addresses all medical and behavioral needs before the dog becomes available for adoption. When ready, a team sorts through every application and finds the home best suited to that particular dogs needs.
What is something that is frustrating when talking to potential adopters?
We take so much care in creating comprehensive bios for our dogs. Everything in the bio is there for a reason! Please please please read the bio.
If we say no dogs/cats/kids/stairs/etc, we don’t consider applications that have those things. If we have a 65 lbs English Bulldog with mobility issues who doesn’t like to be picked up, a third floor walk up is not the home for it, no matter how loving and attentive the family may be.
Why do you find fostering so important?
There are so many reasons. SO MANY. Foster homes are so so so special. They often get the dog at the dog’s lowest point. They take sick, depressed, scared, unruly dogs with medical issues that are oozing and that literally stink with infection; they take dogs that have never had anyone to trust or who have trusted only to be forgotten in the old age. And after meticulously caring for the dog, physically/mentally/emotionally, they send the dog on to a home that will love them forever.
Everyone always asks how we can let them go after investing our time and our hearts into their healing, and the only answer is, because there is another sad broken dog that needs us.
When fundraising for SNORT, how does the money get spent?
SNORT is an all volunteer organization, which means every single penny goes to our dogs. Our foster homes donate all of the food and the bulk of daily supplies.
When you donate to SNORT, your money is going to veterinary care. Our dogs get everything they need; surgeries can be really expensive. We do the standard spay/neuter, but we also have many dogs that require specialty surgeries, often due to lack of care or prior injury. This year we have done several TECA surgeries (ears), spine surgeries for IVDD, BOAS (airway/palate surgery), cleft palate surgeries, shunt surgeries for hydrocephalus, entropion/other eye surgeries, and many others. Some of those surgeries have had very expensive complications. Our breeds are at high risk for aspirating (getting fluid in the lungs) after surgery. Our vets are wonderful about donating what they can, often giving us discounts, some even just charge us for the cost of materials. Every penny of every donation literally goes to caring for/saving a foster dog.
If you could provide advice for those that are looking to adopt, what would you like them to know?
Be patient! Just because you haven’t been selected yet, doesn’t mean you won’t be selected for the dog that is meant for you. Due to COVID, we have had high demand for adoption. Many people adopted dogs. Now, we are starting to see more surrenders, as things try to go back to normal.
What has been the high point of working with SNORT?
This varies from volunteer to volunteer. It was very exciting to greet all the dogs from China at the airport. We’ve also had some fantastic events where our volunteers actually get to see each other- we do a lot virtually, so getting together is rare.
For me, my high point is seeing my son work with and give his time to foster dogs. He’s had foster dogs since he was a year old, spent hours in the vet’s office, and gone hundreds of miles on transports. He’s learning the value of putting a needy animal above all else and that sending dogs to their furever homes can be sad, but ultimately, is the happiest feeling. We have a lot of volunteers with kids and it is wonderful to see the next generation of rescuers.
Is there one thing that you would want Short nose dog parents to know?
Please keep up with your dog’s maintenance. You can save yourself a lot of time/money/heartache if you keep your dog’s ears and folds clean. If you see an infection, have it treated early by the vet. These dogs are so sensitive. Good food and routine care are a must.
Oh, and get insurance!!
Lastly, if you’re allowed to share: Any celebrities that have adopted from SNORT rescue?
We haven’t had any that I’m aware of. Our dogs are our celebrities. Their egos and diva statuses demand to be the center of their people’s world. You can find many of our alum on Instagram, with their own accounts, living lives more spoiled than any famous person!