It takes a special kind of personality to work in the rescue community. It takes an even more stout constitution to actually found and run your own rescue. From an outsider’s perspective, it probably seems like it’ll be relatively easy to rescue adorable little Pug puppies and dole them out to waiting adoptees. After over a decade as a volunteer, I know the realities are much different.
You have to deal with nasty and uncaring surrendering owners, egos from competing rescues and hundreds – if not thousands – of people who question your motives. Members of personality cults who try to sabotage your efforts or savage your rep, crushing you under the wheels of their devotion to their leader. When it comes to the dogs themselves, rarely do you see happy little puppies waiting for homes; you have to face the harsh realities of the results being raised in puppy mills, dogs who have dealt with years of abuse and neglect simply so they can feed consumer demand and stock Pet Stores with young product. Then there are the owners who suddenly have children and “can’t handle” the responsibility of a dog, or who discard their one time faithfull best friends simply because they’re old. So when someone decides to start a brand new rescue, especially just before a major coordinated initiative like Saving the China Pugs, it deserves mention.
Jessica Aliff, the President and founder of Cinderella’s Pug Rescue, has been a Pug mom for many years. She says, “I first went into rescue because my first pug showed me how amazing it was to have the love of a pug. I wanted everyone to know that kind of love. I wanted every pug to find the best forever family.”
Cinderella is based out of Southington, CT and covers a wide area, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, they wouldn’t rule out adopting in other areas depending on the circumstances.
Cinderella Pug Rescue’s focus is on the senior and special needs Pugs. “Although we want to help any pug in need,” Jessica says, “senior and/or special needs pugs […]have so much love left to give and we want to be a part of their journey in finding the perfect place to enjoy their golden years.”
It can take a while for the average rescue to ramp up to full steam and just a few months in, but for Cinderella Pug Rescue, it was a case of “right place, right time.”
As anyone who follows this blog or Pug Rescue in general knows, a cooperation of rescue groups have been formed to bring over the Pugs rescued from the China Meat Trade, see that they get medical attention and then eventually made available for adoption. Cinderella’s Pug Rescue has taken four of the Cina Pugs and for an organization so small and new, this is a huge undertaking. It’s also a great start toward their goal to help twenty Pugs in their first year.
Jessica says, “If we beat that goal, even better! Being asked to join the mission to rescue pugs from China as our very first intake dogs has been quite a success story! What a way to kick things off for us! While we couldn’t take as many pugs as the other rescues, we are proud to have done our small part. The four dogs we saved will live the rest of their lives being loved and spoiled- as they should be.”
As with any rescue, the biggest challenge to face is fundraising. Medical needs, especially for the seniors, are always unpredictable. Pugs are well known to have eye problems, hip dysplasia, and respiratory issues. Not to mention the typical problems associated with age and neglect that come with cast off Pugs. As we all know, medical costs are a heavy burden and as a rescue, Cinderella’s Pug Rescue needs to make sure dogs are treated and as healthy as possible before going to their forever homes
As for dealing with those personality issues mentioned at the top of this blog, Jessica wants to remind people that everyone in rescue is a volunteer.
“Most of us have full time jobs and families- don’t be so hard on us if we can’t respond immediately. Also, each rescue truly wants what’s best for each dog in their care. If your application isn’t chosen to adopt a certain dog- know that it’s not anything you did or didn’t say or do. It just means another applicant fit the dog’s needs and behaviors better at this time.”
“What I love most, though, is the amazing people I have met through rescue. Many of these people have become the most important people to me. They have shown me what pure goodness and selflessness looks like. They inspire me every day to keep working hard to save as many pugs as possible.”
The best way you can help them in that nission is by “donating or participating in fundraisers; volunteering for transports, home visits, or other roles within the rescue so that all of the responsibilities do not fall on one person’s shoulders. Also, even if you aren’t interested in a particular fundraiser, or you can’t help with a party transport, be willing to share it with others who might be interested.”
To help out or if you want more information, feel free to reach out to Jessica. Those of us at Pug Squad have known Jess for years and wish her great success!
Cinderella’s Pug Rescue
Jessica Aliff, President
360-B Queen Street #191
Southington, CT 06489