Another day, another heart-wrenching story for Julie Schirado to tell.
“These were found in a box at the vet clinic in New Town on a terrible rainy day,” she explains of a litter of puppies.
This building is full of stories like this: it’s the quarantine unit for Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue — a group that Julie co-founded about five years ago.
“Some people get really upset when they come into quarantine and see all the sick animals and the animals in cages, and I have to remind them — these animals get a lot of love down here!” she says. “Two to three times a day, walks, meds, great food, warm blankets, and then they go into homes.”
It’s that journey — from sickness to health and a home — that Julie and her volunteers replicate over and over. Already this year, close to 700 animals have been handled by Furry Friends. “There’s five, six, seven of us, our phones ring off the hook, Facebook blows up every day.”
As a result, Julie is constantly on the move, driving across the state to pick up more animals in need, walking dogs on her lunch break, cleaning, feeding, scooping… it’s a checklist that doesn’t end. And she does all of it as a volunteer.
“Sometimes at night, I think, ‘Would I be as passionate if it was my paycheck?’ I don’t know! It’s my volunteer work.”
Julie says she cries nearly every day for one reason or another. “Your heart breaks, and then it’s full, and then it breaks, and then it’s full.”
But thanks to the team at Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue, there’s an entire army of dogs and cats with a new lease on life.
“If I die tomorrow, I’m like, ‘Man! We’ve saved thousands of animals in the last five years!’ I can die with a really big heart on that,” she says.
If you want to donate, foster, volunteer, adopt, or just learn more about Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue, click here.