National Puppy Day Feature: Coach Owen Shares her Passion for Rescuing Dogs
By Gaby Maldonado
March 23, 2023
WHITE PLAINS--Today we observe National Puppy Day, a day that celebrates the unconditional love and affection puppies bring to our lives. There is no one in our school that has more love for puppies than Coach Laura Owen.
Growing up, Ms. Owen was an avid animal lover. Having been raised in a house full of animals and having a mother who bred poodles, Ms. Owen could not imagine life without dogs. She has always had an animal since she moved out on her own, and she plans to always have one. With her passion for animals, she has become a board member at a brick-and-mortar shelter and a volunteer at a pet rescue in Harrison.
The day Ms. Owen lost her 18-year-old poodle, she vowed to never get another. But when she grew lonely, her friend suggested that she go walk dogs at the Mount Vernon Animal Shelter. For two years, Ms. Owen volunteered to walk dogs at this shelter before getting asked to foster a giant pit bull.
When she was informed that the dog was difficult in the shelter, she was worried about what the situation would be like at her home. She decided to take the dog, anyway, hoping that the comfort of a loving home would help her adjust to a calmer environment. To her surprise, the pit bull became the best thing that ever happened to her.
Because the pit bull weighed 60 pounds, she wasn't allowed to keep the dog in her building. So, what did Ms. Owen do? “I wound up selling my apartment and buying a house because I didn’t want to get rid of her,” she stated with a smile.
During a first checkup, her pit bull was found to have cancer in her uterus and was only expected to live a few months. Ms. Owen said that she was willing to keep her and give her the best three months of her life. Veterinary doctors put her dog on Chinese herbs, and she lived for about three years. “From that point on, I promised myself that I would never wait to rescue another animal,” she said.
Ms. Owen has continued volunteering for rescues and has fostered eleven dogs in the last 2 years. One of the rescues is called “Best Bullies.” This is a rescue organization that focuses their energy on working with long-term shelter dogs who need help finding a home. By providing training, medical help, and a foster program that gets dogs out of stressful environments, Best Bullies has saved more dogs than can be named. The second organization that Ms. Owen works with is “petRescue” in Harrison, NY. This rescue is a volunteer-based organization whose mission is to care for dogs and cats until they are adopted.
“I am able to save so many dogs because we pull them from kill shelters before they're put down, and we get them ready for their forever home. When people foster dogs, it is difficult. But when you see them get such a loving home, it’s so awesome because you make not only the dog happy, but you also make a family happy”, explained Ms. Owen.
To learn more about these rescues, visit https://www.bestbullies.org/ and https://ny- petrescue.org/