Nikki Carvey – Pet Rescue RockStars & TPM’s Own!
Welcome to Pet Rescue RockStars, TPM’s newest feature to celebrate people involved in pet rescue. We’re thrilled to have Nikki Carvey, of Road Dogs and Rescue as our first RockStar Rescuer. (And NOT just because she’s also our Features Editor and a regular contributor to TPM).
Every day, Nikki is busy doing the nitty-gritty work of rescuing and fostering homeless dogs. While she specializes in bully breeds, she makes room in her home and heart for any dog who needs it, if she can. Last year alone, she was instrumental in the rescue and foster of over 60 dogs!
TPM salutes Nikki Carvey and Road Dogs and Rescue as a Pet Rescue RockStar™!
TPM: Can you tell us about your very first pet rescue?
I honestly don’t remember the first. But I started off volunteering for Ace of Hearts Rescue and I’d go to the shelter to get dogs. I remember one 8 week-old Pit puppy who just had the cutest sticky-out ears so I had to rescue her. I called her Harriet and she was adopted by a fellow rescuer. She is now 13 years old! It’s pretty wild to see a dog you’ve rescued go from a puppy to a senior.
What’s the best part of working in pet rescue?
Taking an animal from a bad situation, getting it healthy and into a loving home. It makes me happy to see them – and the people who adopt them – happy. There is nothing like seeing an animal blossom under your care to realize that they too are sentient beings and deserve to be treated with love and kindness.
What are your biggest challenges?
Being judgmental about others. Not everyone who drops a dog off at the shelter is ‘dumping it’. Many do it because it’s their only option. That’s why shelter intervention programs like the The South LA Intervention Program are so important and should be at all shelters. They provide guidance and assistance to those who need it.
Getting overwhelmed. Sometimes it just seems as if we’re fighting a losing battle as unless something is done about the backyard breeders, there’ll always be too many dogs in the shelters.
Saying ‘No’. It’s hard accepting that you can’t save them all. But it’s important to remember that you can only do so much, and the focus has to be on the quality of care that you can give the animals you save. Plus maintaining your own sanity whilst doing it!
What are some of the misconceptions about the work you do in rescue?
That we’re all rolling in dough! I think that most people would be shocked at how much it can cost to rescue a dog and that adoption fees do not cover all your expenses.
When things get tough, what inspires you and keeps you going in pet rescue?
Looking at the face of a dog I’ve rescued and realizing that they are all individual little souls who can experience joy and pain – just like us. So if I can help them have a great life, why wouldn’t I do that?
Do you have any advice for people who want to get involved in pet rescue?
Keep perspective. Do it one animal at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed. Avoid the nutters.
Outside of pet rescue, what do you think are the most effective ways to help animals and to protect them from abuse?
Education. I think more should be done in schools and the community to teach compassion and awareness of what makes a good pet owner. When people know better, they do better.
How about your own pets. Can you tell us about them?
I have an amazing bulldog, Huxley. I call him my deaf door of perfect perception. He makes me laugh every day and cemented my love of bulldogs.
Who do you admire most in the world? Another animal advocate, or somebody else?
I admire people who stand against injustice. Whether it’s The Innocence Project fighting to free those in jail who are wrongfully accused – Jane Goodall, who still travels the world promoting understanding for all beings, or the makers of the documentary Blackfish – who showed ‘art’ can make a difference, and that when people learn of cruelty or injustice, many will choose not to support it.
What’s the best way people can help you and your efforts directly?
Fosters and donations. Without fosters we can’t save as many animals, and without money, the rescuing would come to a halt pretty quick.
You can find Nikki Carvey and Road Dogs and Rescue on Facebook.