Best Charity - 2006
Abandoned Pet Rescue
Once upon a time, there was a lovely kingdom that flowed with coconut milk and sugar-cane juice. It was a warm, sunny place, and its citizens reveled in happiness and shared their joy and homes with every manner of beast: dogs, cats, ferrets, hamsters, birds, bunnies. But the subjects of the kingdom acted unwisely with their pets, which milled about the kingdom pell-mell. Cat begat cat and dog begat dog at a furious rate. They howled in the alleys and yelped in the streets and hopped in the neighbors' yards. So the queen, a just and beloved leader, commanded that each wandering or unwanted pet be brought to her court, where her jesters would feed them and pooper-scooper after them all their live-long lives. And the land rejoiced. Unfortunately, South Florida isn't a fairytale land, and there's no magic bullet for handling unwanted and discarded pets. But Abandoned Pet Rescue, with its no-kill policy, is probably the closest thing we have to it. Founded in 1996, the shelter takes in abused and neglected pets, then rehabilitates them and finds them good homes. It's all done with a troupe of volunteers who run the shelter day to day, but it takes cash to keep all those animals fed and cared for. The shelter is currently trying to raise money to buy a used recreational vehicle or bus to use as a mobile adoption unit, which will be outfitted with cages, to help more animals find adoptive owners.