DELRAY BEACH, FL (October 11, 2009) – The tragic sight of malnourished dogs and deplorable conditions of a North Florida puppy mill during a local newscast moved Arthur Benjamin to help provide for the care of the grossly abused pups scheduled to arrive in South Florida today.
The station reported more than three dozen dogs including beagles, boxers and Chihuahuas, were recently found starved, abused and left for dead at an abandoned puppy mill. A rescue group contacted the Tri-County Humane Society in Boca Raton and begged for desperate help with 14 canines including three that are expecting puppies.
“We had no choice but to provide shelter and care for these very needy dogs; they have nowhere else to go,” said Jeanette Christos, Executive Director of Tri-County Humane Society. When asked how they’d pay for it she said “someone will step forward from somewhere, there’s always a way; there’s no choice.”
Christos, who has been performing her rescue magic for 25 years now, couldn’t have known how prophetic her words would be. The news story prompted Benjamin, a dedicated animal rescue supporter and the founding president of the American Dog Rescue, to contact the Tri-County Humane Society yesterday to see how he could help. After spearheading numerous animal-benefit programs, Benjamin recently founded the American Dog Rescue to insure all healthy, adoptable dogs a loving home. ADR fulfills its mission by raising funds to educate the public, provide alternative plans to euthanasia for healthy dogs, and by funding worthy rescue groups.
He has long wanted to visit the Tri-County Humane Society near his home in Delray Beach but has been unable to find time in his schedule, which is filled with responsibilities of vice chairman and CEO of ATI Schools and Colleges, 24 career college campuses in five states, “changing people’s lifestyles through career education” (four of them in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area), along with board memberships on the Florida Association of Private Postsecondary Schools and Colleges, the Career College Association, American Institute (who also has two campuses in the Ft. Lauderdale area) and a number of other private companies and various philanthropic endeavors across the nation.
Fortunately, Benjamin was watching the WFLX-TV12 Fox News and saw Kara Kostanich’s report in which Christos highlighted the various skin, eye and ear problems plaguing the dogs as well as their malnourishment. Armed with this initial overview, Benjamin met yesterday with Christos and associate director, Sasha Muzzarelli, to obtain additional information on the intensive veterinary care for these animals and the estimated costs. At which point, he presented the organization with a check to cover the full care of these rescues courtesy of The Gail L. & Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation.
“It was an omen that I was at home to see this story on television so I could work with Tri-County Humane Society to rehabilitate and save these animals from a certain death,” said Benjamin. ”I hope that our funding of their care will allow Tri-County to continue their other much-needed local rescue work uninterrupted, using monies raised to that end. I am proud to be an active participant and supporter of numerous animal non-profits and am pleased to aid a terrific no-kill facility in my backyard.” He encouraged others in South Florida “to match this pledge, in whatever amount they can, and donate to Tri-County Humane today!”
“The dogs actually came from the Georgia side of the stateline, so we had to meet the rescue group on the Georgia-Florida line to affect the transfer. Nine beagles were so bad they had to stay with the rescue group there but we did get the other 17 dogs out that were scheduled to be euthanized minutes before they were rescued. All are severely under weight, with eye and ear infections as reported, a couple are special needs cases. I promise all will be treated, nursed back to health, and will go into forever homes,” said Santos early this morning, as she again expressed her overwhelming appreciation to Benjamin, who called to check on their safe arrival.
Staff estimates that the animals will be available for adoption in approximately four weeks. For more information, and to donate to the awesome work of Tri-County Humane visit http://www.tricountyhumane.org
The Gail L. and Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation is a 501(c)3, tax-exempt organization created to assist the building and growth of other foundations through leadership, management, marketing, and public relations. The Foundation’s core focus is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children and animals, support young adults through educational efforts, and aid women in breast cancer recovery.