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Be a Guardian Angel: Adopt Don’t Shop

By Elma Beganovic

Posted over 2 years ago

As many of you probably already know, I have had the privilege of working with an amazing non-profit, Rescue Dogs Rock NYC for the past 5 months. Rescue Dogs Rock NYC saves abandoned dogs from high-kill shelters, provides them with vet care, and finds these furry angels forever homes. What struck me the most about the organization, other than their courageous and admirable efforts, was Joe Serpico, a 16 year old teenager, who runs their social media and helps to coordinate many of the rescues. His dedication and commitment humbled and taught me so much about kindness and courage.

I want to take this opportunity to raise awareness about the huge problem of supporting puppy mills each time one purchases a dog from online or a puppy shop. Ever since my beloved Medo, a miniature black poodle, passed away about 3 years ago, I have repeatedly been thinking of having another dog. Recently, I have made a conscious decision not to buy a dog from pet shops in NYC knowing fully well where these dogs come from: puppy mills. In fact, here is the list of Humane Society’s: “Horrible 100 Puppy Mills Exposed.”

Through my work with Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, I became more acquainted with adoptions and just how much in a dire need of a home these furry angels are. Most of them have been through hell and back; the typical story was that the dog was found somewhere in a roadside ditch, tied-up, hurt and starved. (Indeed, the extent of human cruelty never ceases to amaze me; although I must admit, I can sleep more soundly at night knowing how many selfless and courageous people, like the volunteers of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC there are.) Despite their tough life, these dogs were sweet, and I found even more loyal than the ordinary puppies one purchases from a breeder or pet shop since their owners are their guardian angels, who had saved them from death row. Yes, most of these dogs were listed to be euthanized.

One particular breed that took me by surprise are pit bulls. I recall my first photo session with them, and I must admit I was somewhat intimidated due to their reputation. However, as I continued working with pit bulls, I quickly learned that while the breed was a powerful one (certainly more muscle packed than my 14 lbs miniature poodle), these dogs were just as sweet and loyal as all of the other dogs. They too wanted to be loved, to please their human parents, and to cuddle. With that said, like with any breed, one should do thorough research and become informed before making a decision to adopt to ensure that that breed suits one’s own lifestyle. Having a dog is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly.

Before I conclude, I wanted to let those of you, who are thinking of sharing your home with a furry angel, know that Rescue Dogs Rock NYC is having one upcoming adoption event:

Adoptapalooza: Sunday, April 10, 12-5pm  at Union Square (more details here).

Below are photos of a few rescues, which were all wonderful, cuddly and a lot of fun to shoot with. Until next time, remember that all of our decisions impact the world and can make it just a little better or worse off than before we decide to stand idle in the face of cruelty and injustice. With love from New York!




This here is Chesnut, a pit bull who was used by humans as a bait dog in pit bull fights. He is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. 

We became fast friends. :)



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