Tough economic times have caused many to give up their homes and abandon their pets. Frightened dogs are flooding the local shelters and animal control with uncertain futures. Many adoptable dogs are being destroyed simply because there is no one who wants them.

But then hope walks through the door when Barbara Oates who vigilantly checks the cages at Santa Cruz Animal Control rescues many from certain death. Barbara has been rescuing dogs for more than a decade and countless people have adopted beloved pets from her nonprofit, ASAP Rescue.

Her love and dedication to the animals is boundless, as she has rescued mother dogs with pups, dogs with only one eye and stayed up entire evenings nurturing parvo pups back to health. She works tirelessly to find them loving homes and is often seen at PetSmart on weekends interviewing prospective adopters or at local events with the help of volunteers and her husband, Bill. She has saved thousands of dogs over the years and relieved the loneliness of many who found a special companion.

It has been stated that the goodness of a civilization can be determined to the degree that it cares for the helpless. Barbara Oates’ sacrifice and tireless commitment to these discarded animals is a blessing to all of us.

Cheryl Rennie