Having volunteered for PAWS (Pets are Wonderful Support) and adopting two stray dogs of my own, you might say I am a lover of dogs. I love the cuddling, the nuzzling, and most of all the unconditional love I don't always give myself. Ooh – that went a little too deep. From my first one as a small child, a mutt named Rufus, to my two beautiful children I have today, I can't imagine my life not including a dog as a companion.


But seeing how there are those dogs that are neglected and abused, necessity proved once again to be the mother of invention and Stray Rescue was born. I have always known about Stray Rescue – heard about them through friends - and sectioned them away in my brain where I didn't have to think about the dogs they rescued. Why? Because I knew I would want to adopt all of them – and I mean all of them.


When I got the opportunity to talk to the founder of Stray Rescue, Randy Grim I guess you could say I “jumped” at the chance. Randy and Stray Rescue are hosting their 10th “Spring for Strays.” The event will be held at the Atomic Cowboy – in the heart of he Grove – on May 17th from 2 to 6 p.m.


First, lets get a little background on Stray Rescue. When and why was it formed?springforstrays


That is a loaded question. I've been rescuing since I was a little child as a way to escape an abusive childhood. I was the worlds worst flight attendant and wanted to help animals so I opened a grooming shop. I would see stray animals suffering on the street and quickly realized there were no resources to help them. So I took them in and eventually it became Stray Rescue. We have two shelters now and on any given day we have 300-500 dogs and cats rescued off the streets. Most if not all have been abused or injured.


Is it just dogs or do you rescue other types of animals? What is the oddest rescue story you have?


We rescue dogs and cats. I have plenty of sad stories from dogs being shot and burned but let me think about my oddest rescue. I was working on busting a dog fighting ring with the FBI. When we showed up we were able to rescue all the dogs and there was also an alligator that I couldn't leave behind. I'm no Crocodile Dundee and had no idea what I was doing. But we got it back to the shelter and put it in the warehouse in a swimming pool and named him Fluffy. Fluffy now lives in an alligator sanctuary...yes who knew there was such a place.


I have been told I should go on a rescue ride with you. I don't know if I have the emotional capacity to actually do that. Every time I hear Sarah McLachlan's voice I immediately tense up. How do you deal with the emotional investment in each of your rescues?


Every time I hear her voice I change the channel and I guess it's because I live it. It's not a matter of how I deal with it but how can I not do something about it. I see the worst in mankind but also see the best from the staff and volunteers. We are like a family so we support each other. If all else fails there's always a bottle of Grey Goose with my name on it. You're welcome to ride along with me any time. I promise to make it fun!


How many strays do you have in residence on a daily basis?


300-500 on any given day. We also have 200-300 foster parents and to me they are the unsung heroes.


How do you operate Stray Rescue? Is it out of your own pocket or do you solely rely on donations?


We are a nonprofit and rely solely on donations and grants. And yes. I also donate to Stray Rescue every month.


Let's say I wanted to donate something to help you. Would you prefer monetary donations or can we donate other things like dog toys and dog food?


Because we are the underdog charity in an urban shelter we are never wealthy. And always need monetary donations first because we spend $2.4 million in emergency medical care alone. If I were shot in the leg, by the way more than half of the dogs rescued have been shot, I would want someone to help me and not just put me down. But we also appreciate supplies and are very grateful for any and all donations. I always say if you can't adopt, foster. If you can't foster, donate! Be a hero...not a zero!!


What is the most rewarding thing about your job? The most stressful?
stray-rescue


Another loaded question. Every time I save a dog I feel like I'm saving a piece of me. It brings out the very best in me and the person I want to be all the time. To see these dogs recover from horrific beginnings and watch hen go full circle to healthy, loved and adopted....there's no better high than that. The most stressful? People. If we could all be more like our dogs, life wouldn't be stressful at all. Us humans sometimes make it rough for each other.


Spring for Strays is a fundraiser for Stray Rescue. How did it come into existence?


A group of gay and gay friendly supporters got together and came up with the concept and made it a reality. We're now in our tenth year!


What are some of the activities at the event?


It's so much fun! There are food and drink specials, an amazing drag show, silent and live auctions, Stray Rescue gear and adoptable dogs....and of course dancing!


What kind of people do you get at the event?


Anyone and everyone who loves a good time and loves the dogs! There are people from all walks of life that attend. My favorite are the old women from Ladue who come specifically for the drag show. It cracks me up every year!


I heard there are going to be some drag queens performing at the event. Who will be there? Names, names, names, darling!

 
Khrystal Leight, Melissa Marnier, Trixie LaRue and Michelle McCausland.


Do you have any other fundraising events that #Boom readers might be inclined to attend?


Our annual art show, Urban Wanderers is coming up in July and runs through the beginning of August. The exhibit showcases our amazing rescue animals through the eyes of about 60 local and national artists. The show includes paintings, sculpture and photography and it's all available for purchase by an online auction through Black Tie. Our other big events are the golf tournament in September and the year end Holiday Gala. The golf tournament has hot men and the Gala has celebrities!


If someone would want more information on how do donate time or money what is the best way for them to contact Stray Rescue?


Through our website at www.strayrescue.org and through social media Stray Rescue and Randy Grim FB and Twitter pages. And by the way...I'm single. So maybe #Boom can help me out? Must love dogs!! WOOF!!!


Spring for Strays is May 17th from 2-6pm at the Atomic Cowboy. Admission is $10 per person with all the proceeds benefiting Stray Rescue. For more information please visit strayrescue.org.

 

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