Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Randy Grimm and the Homeless Dogs of St Louis Missouri
IAt one time Randy Grim was a one man dog rescue operation with a mission of saving the homeless pets roaming the streets of St Louis MO. After spending years prevailing on his family and friends to place dogs he'd saved, in 1998 he founded Stray Rescue of St Louis. Since then thousands of animals have been saved from abuse and starvation. Since starting in 1991, Grim has been credited with saving 5,000 feral dogs, all of which - through months of gentle, loving care - have been turned into house pets and adopted by new families. Some have even gone on to become therapy animals, bringing joy to people in hospitals and nursing homes.
Obviously, Randy Grim loves dogs, especially the dogs he saves. Called the Dog Man, or as a homeless man calls him, Coyote Man, he founded Stray Rescue so fewer homeless dogs suffer and die. His passionate crusade has evolved into two no-kill shelters with a legion of 200 volunteers.
The sole purpose of Stray Rescue is to rescue stray animals, get them the veterinary attention they need, then place them in loving adoptive homes. Virtually all of the animals they have saved were abused and neglected. Dumped on highways or remote country roads; abandoned in public parks, empty houses and alleyways. They've even rescued dogs left chained behind buildings after their owners had moved away.
Stray Rescue has received numerous accolades from the American Red Cross and also has received national media attention from Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel and Forbes Magazine.
In the National Geographic feature, Mary Ann Mott wrote: "In St. Louis, Randy Grim, founder of Stray Rescue, is out on the streets every day feeding 50 or more mutts. If these wild dogs don't die of sheer starvation, he said, diseases such as parvovirus, heartworm, or intestinal parasites usually kill them. Their average life span is one to two years. Many of the animals he sees were once "bait dogs" - smaller, passive animals used to train fighting dogs. Great Dane puppies are commonly used, he said, and wire is twisted around their legs to hold them down, so they can't run while being mauled during training sessions. "If they live, they are just discarded onto the streets," said Grim. The animals are recognizable by their missing limbs, and scars from the brutal attacks.
Grim's humor comes out in his book, Don't Dump the Dog, which tells all the reasons why an animal is turned into a shelter. He offers his own practical solutions, as well as that of an animal behaviorist, for reasons commonly offered by people including: not having time for the dogs, having a baby, too big, too old, destructive, too playful, going on vacation, the holiday season, doesn't like my boy/girl friend, barking, unable to be housebroken, sheds too much, eats poop, digs holes, doesn't like the kitty and more. Not one to give up on a dog, Grim tells everyone why they shouldn't either.