Yes, one person can make a difference.

Golden Angel Gabe

I received a very special email today from Liz Shames. She has been a supporter of our Land of PureGold for some time. We initially came to know Liz through her son, Christopher’s Golden Retriever Gabe, a CCI Service Dog.

Tragically, Gabe succumbed to bone sarcoma in January 2009 at only 7 years of age.

In Gabe’s memory, Liz went on to start a small dog rescue in North White Plains, NY named Angels Wings Rescue. Amazingly, she runs it on her own, calling it the “little rescue that could”.

I love how Liz came up with the name for her rescue. It was spurred by a photo she had taken of her precious guy Gabe for the family’s 2008 Christmas card. Of course, we know he was always an angel, even without wearing those huge angel wings.

Well, today we learned that Liz’s rescue was involved in a wonderful transport mission.

As of last month I had saved and placed 47 dogs from death row in kill shelters in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Ohio. I had been asked last month to help save a pit bull named Buttons at the Mt. Vernon Animal Shelter. He’d spent his whole life of two years at the shelter. No one adopted him because he was deaf, NOT because of his personality as he was just the sweetest friendliest goof ball.

The policy at the shelter changed and dogs only have 45 days before being destroyed, with Buttons first on the list to be killed this week. He was too great a dog to let that happen. We were at our wit’s end and HAD to find a way to save him. A whole group of people from across the country networked. A rescue in California named Angel Dogs Foundation accepted him into their deaf dog program.

Buttons, deaf 3-year-old pit bull, mugs for camera at City of Mt. Vernon Cntr for Animal Care July 4, 2010. Ricky Flores/The Journal News

I took Buttons (now named Indie because I thought it was better as he was freed on Independence day) home to foster. He was great and got along with my handful of dogs in this house. Yesterday, I took him to JFK where he flew out to California. The local paper was at the shelter when I went to pick him up (check out the article here).

Angels Wings Rescue is ALWAYS in DESPERATE need of foster parents, crates and most of all, donations, no matter how big or small. Rescue is a money losing deal but the love and pride I get for saving a wonderful life is priceless. These dogs are loving sweet dogs who have found themselves dumped at kill shelters through no fault of their own. Rescue/shelter dogs are as good if not better than any other dog you can find. They are so motivated to learn and you can find ANY kind of dog you want, purebreds included. I can almost always find a dog someone is looking for waiting in a horrible kill shelter just waiting for death to come, which in the case of many southern shelters, is in unspeakable ways.

If you want to help Liz Shames with her wonderful mission, please contact her at (and tell her that Golden Mom Rochelle sent you).