For most kids, their 13th birthday means blowing out candles, having a party, and becoming a teenager. For Sabrina of Bethesda, and other Jewish teens, their 13th birthday is marked with a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, which signifies their entry into adulthood and ability to lead their communities. Sabrina studied with a religious teacher for the better part of a year, delivered a speech in front of her whole congregation at Temple Sinai in DC, and completed a charitable project benefitting City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue that related to her Torah portion.
From interacting with street cats in Jerusalem to playing with her family dog Rizzo, Sabrina really connects with animals. With her Bat Mitzvah Torah portion focused on 2nd chances and Moses smashing the 10 Commandments, choosing a project that gives animals a second chance connected everything.
Sabrina’s family friend runs an organization that teachers kids how to be philanthropists. That was how Sabrina started researching the different ways to help animals. CDCK’s mission resonated with her the most – and we couldn’t be more grateful that it did.
When she learned that CDCK's biggest need was money, she sprung into action. With some help from family and friends, Sabrina spread the word far and wide asking for donations. (She also got creative and used cat food wrapped in pink tissue paper as decorations at her Bat Mitzvah!) Folks who she knew – and some she didn’t – donated so generously because they knew how much Sabrina cared. And they really wanted to commemorate her Bat Mitzvah.
When all was said and done, Sabrina raised over $5,000 to help fund CDCK’s new Intake and Operations Center!
It is clear that Sabrina’s amazing accomplishment isn’t by accident. In Sabrina’s family, community service is a legacy. Her great-grandfather helped get the Smithsonian institution off the ground (he even has a brick in the castle on Washington, DC’s National Mall!). And her parents are so happy that Sabrina found something she’s passionate about and an area where she can make a huge difference.
Sabrina is such a remarkable teen. She isn’t the kid who you’ll find up in front of a group of people, and she may never be the loudest person in the room. But when it comes to animals, it’s clear that it’s her passion and something she’ll be involved in for the rest of her life.
To commemorate Sabrina’s hard work, CDCK will dedicate a transport of animals to the DC area in her honor. She’ll also be a Guardian Level donor in the CDCK fundraising campaign.
Sabrina shows that any animal lover can make a difference at any age. Thank you so much to Sabrina and her family!
Described by her parents as a “kidapreneur,” Isabella closed a library book this past May knowing her next chapter. There on the pages, she saw the joy a lemonade stand brought and decided to make it her reality. She also knew she wanted to serve someone beyond herself.
“We asked her if she wanted to help children, animals or people and she decided right away – it would be animals,” her mother Jennifer says. The furry love runs in the family, with Isabella watching as Jennifer walks and helps board neighborhood pups. “After speaking with members of our community, one organization’s name came up over and over – City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue. So that’s where we decided to donate the proceeds.”
The family whipped up fresh cups of lemonade and set them out for sale at $2 a pop near their local metro station in Kensington, Maryland. Fifteen percent of the sale price would go to the Rescue, and one hundred percent of anything additional would be donated as well. Once the table was ready, Isabella stood proudly behind it and waited for customers.
Then, the magic rolled in.
First in the form of a $10 bill. And then $5, $20, and on, and on, and on.
“What struck me was how generous everyone passing by was,” says her father Mark. “This entire thing was spurred by her, and we simply helped. She loves it, can’t stop talking about it.”
Isabella loves helping animals so much that she has gone on to hold several more lemonade stands over the summer raising more than $170 for CDCK! And every time, people are struck by the pure, raw enthusiasm she embodies.
The young helper has even been invited several times to participate at a local food truck night. During the first event, a bakery owner purchased a glass and let Isabella in on a secret: running lemonade stands was the catalyst for her own love of operating a business that brings people joy. As a special token, she gifted Isabella a cupcake in her honor.
This is the power of the ripple effect.
On the family computer, Isabella helped choose toys and medical equipment off CDCK’s Amazon Wishlist to help us care for the dogs and cats the rescue saves from shelters.
When asked how she hopes her startup will inspire others, Isabella’s young wisdom shines through: “I hope this helps people do what they love to do!” she beams.
Looking to spark joy while helping dogs and cats in need? Join Isabella for her upcoming lemonade stand on September 15th in Kensington, Maryland. Proceeds will benefit City Dogs & City Kitties Rescue.
Isabella chooses items to gift rescue dogs
and cats off CDCK’s Amazon Wishlist.
Full of adventure, Joey leaps and bounds across the leaf-riddled forest floor. His
feline senses are in full effect as his paws propel him at a tremendous speed.
Sun-strewn and quiet, the forest sets the stage as the perfect proving ground for
Joey and his chase for mischief.
Suddenly, Joey’s carefree adventure came to a halt--a bone-crushing one.
Although we may never actually know the events leading up to Joey’s traumatic
event, when he was found caught in an animal trap, we do know this
extraordinary kitten would have a journey ahead of him that would test his nine
With his front right leg severed, and his front left crushed, Joey found himself at
the mercy of nearly everything. He was found and rushed to a nearby
veterinarian clinic. As a stray, Joey received what services he could–his front
right leg area patched up enough that he would recover with his crushed left arm
largely untouched. Now, bouncing around on his two hind legs, Joey quickly
gained a reputation for himself and became well-known at the shelter he was
It wasn’t long until this peculiar and sweet kitten found himself a home. Over the
course of a little more than a year, Joey had a roof over his head, a full bowl of
kibble, and a loving family member. Shortly thereafter, Joey’s luck ran out--again.
By no fault of his own, Joey was abandoned back where it all started, the clinic
that treated his injury from the trap. When he was dropped off at the clinic it was
closed and he was left outside without a crate or any form of shelter. Defenseless
and still grappling with his disability, Joey was able to find refuge under a nearby
shed to stave off predators and the elements until he was found.
With the first chapter of his journey now coming full circle, the shelter reached out
to their rescue partner, City Dog City Kitties Rescue (CDCK). With a network of
more than 600 volunteers, the rescue services at CDCK provide newfound
freedom and a second chance at life by transferring pets from under-resourced,
at-risk rural shelters to loving families living in the nation’s capital. For the last 10
years, CDCK has provided forever homes for nearly 9,000 pets, as well as,
established a strong foster network that acts as interim caretakers for more than
200 dogs and cats at any given time.
When Joey first arrived in Washington, D.C., he was placed with his interim
caretaker, CDCK foster Patricia. It was immediately apparent that Joey was still
full of spirit despite having to be an absolute survivor. Instantly Patricia noticed a
terrible laceration on his front left wrist. With the crushed leg relatively untouched
by medical care, Joey utilized the soft underside of his arm almost as though it
was a walking stick--and without the naturally-provided protection of the pads of
his paws, suffered a further injury on his front leg.
While Patricia and CDCK rescue determined what best next steps in Joey’s
care were needed, Joey quickly adapted to his new foster home and lived
completely oblivious to his disability. Hopping along for so long, the strength of his back two legs now enabled him to propel up onto nearly anything. With Patricia’s keen and loving attention she could easily begin to determine which out-of-sight “meows” were playful or signaled a need for help to get back down from a newly conquered height.
With a care plan being developed for Joey, Patricia would take him to a local
D.C. veterinarian’s office to bandage up his remaining left front leg and try to
provide temporary relief. Clearly, this kangaroo-kitty needed more treatment than
just bandages (which often fell off with his exploring)--it was determined that
despite his front left leg being completely crushed, keeping the leg with an
installed medical rod would regain Joey’s ability to use his paws as a crutch,
versus his sensitive wrist.
Five thousand dollars. That was the price tag for Joey to get back to his
normal. In a world where orthopedic surgery on cats is extremely rare, the
community behind CDCK understood and recognized the amazing journey
Joey had survived and the years ahead he would have filled with tenacity and
love for his family. CDCK’s community of alumni adopters, volunteers,
employees, and friends raised the full amount necessary for Joey’s
Patricia shared, “Joey has had a lot of angels in his life. You wouldn’t be able to tell him that he was any different than any other animal...he can be such a sweet rascal. He is pleased to befriend both cats and dogs and his mobility hasn’t been slowed despite his differences. As time went on it occurred to me that Joey and I grew to a point where we just really knew one another and became a duo. I can tell when Joey needs my help from the next room and I can simply tap my shoulder to get him down into my arms and then safely on the ground...then he’s off to the next adventure. I knew then I was completely foster-failing this kitty and wanted to be his forever family.”
Patricia, now Joey’s full-time forever Mom, expressed her gratitude to CDCK for being a compassionate, volunteer-driven organization. She continues to volunteer her time as an intake coordinator for the rescue, when she isn’t busy trying to keep up with her kangaroo-kitty, Joey.
To learn more about how you can support the City Dogs City Kitties Rescue organization by adopting, fostering, donating, or sharing your talents by volunteering, please contact The Administrative Staff at email@example.com or (202) 567-7364. For more information on the rescue itself, please visit https://www.citydogsrescuedc.org.
Bella, Sue, and Bill are back from their trek and sharing their adventure with us. They learned a lot about camping, running, and carriage riding with a dog...
We have the most exciting news!! Gracie is safely back with the rescue!! Dedicated volunteers, lost dog lead Carlyn K., Gracie's foster Leah W., and Jessica and Mark M. NEVER gave up on a happy homecoming.
Saturday night, October 20, Leah answered a promising call about a sighting in Rosslyn along the Mt Vernon trail. Leah and animal control responded, but it was too dark outside to thoroughly search. The next morning, Leah and Carlyn returned to the spot along the trail, set and baited a trap, and placed a camera (the Kuder Cam) that would alert Carlyn whenever there was activity. As Carlyn said, "Kind of a shot in the dark as far as location goes but it’s worth a try."
First there was a squirrel. Then a fox who very much enjoyed the daily feeding. And... lots of nail-biting and lost sleep.
Midnight Monday, two weeks later, we got our big break. Gracie made an appearance on the Kuder Cam! We were elated! Carlyn and Leah returned each night to stake out the area and keep the trap baited. All they could do at this point was wait until Gracie captured herself. Any other move would most likely scare her. Gracie was lost between two major thruways (I-66 and the GW Pkwy) and they couldn't risk her running away and into danger.
Big thanks to the many volunteers and the public who handed out flyers, got the word out on social media, and reported sightings. Thanks to your efforts we were able to narrow down her location.
And a BIG round of applause for Carlyn, Leah, Jessica, and Mark for their unwavering faith and dedication to bringing Gracie home. We're lucky to know you!
5:00 AM Thursday, Oct 25. Gracie, Carlyn, and Leah at VCA SouthPaws ER making sure she unscathed from her adventure.
By Yasmina Ahdab
Are you interested in fostering but are worried it doesn’t fit your schedule? Hear what City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties (CDR&CK) fosters have to say. Cat foster Trudy R. says, “fostering is not too different from any other normal day, except it is extra fun! There is just more cuteness and adorableness in your life.” Amelia F. adds, “it is basically a typical day for me, but with the awesomeness of having a cat!”
Most of CDR&CK’s fosters have full-time jobs. Like other dog owners, they organize a midday break through dog walkers, enroll in daycare, or come home during lunch. “After a long-day at work, I am delighted to come home to my foster dog and my own dog, Pablo,” says Paroma C. who spends her evenings “hanging out, snuggling, and playing games with the two pups!”
With a minimum two-week commitment, fostering is the perfect way to discover how a dog or cat might fit into your normal life! “These fosters become a part of your routine. Even if I am late from work or very busy one day, then that’s not an issue since dogs are the most forgiving animals. They will always love you,” says Patricia B.
Are you interested in fostering a cat but are worried about leaving him or her alone all day? No need to worry! City Kitties often fosters out two cats at once, so they can entertain one another while you are busy. If you’re not up for two fosters, we can assure you that your foster cat will enjoy their lazy day of napping.
Enrich your life while saving theirs. “Fostering is the best way to start your mornings. My foster kitties have given me nothing but endless love and cuddles. Their faces light up with excitement each day,” says Caeul L.
Are you someone who likes to exercise and be outdoors? Some people choose to foster younger more active dogs who enjoy spending time outside. Foster, Jess H., always makes sure to include her foster dog in her own workouts. Sometimes she even takes them on adventures to lakes or parks. It’s awesome always having a travel buddy!
Want a break from the same old, same old? “These animals have fun and cool personalities. Everyday is new,” says cat foster Jess P. “I really get to see these animals evolve and grow on a daily basis.” Dog foster Patricia B. asks, “Who can resist so many extra moments of joy and happiness?”
Fostering is also a wonderful way to meet more people. Tracy W. makes sure to put CDR’s “Adopt me” vest or bandanna on his foster dog for their daily walks. “I am continuously stopped by people passing by and have even gotten a couple dogs adopted that way.”
Fosters who provide a temporary home give these dogs and cats the opportunity to escape high-kill and overcrowded shelters. You are giving them the chance to live while building unforgettable memories and warm fuzzies knowing you saved a life. To learn more about fostering, and to apply, visit: www.citydogsrescuedc.org/foster.html.
By Yasmina Ahdab
Interested in fostering but not quite sure what to expect?
Hear what City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties (“CDR&CK”) fosters have to say.
“It is a lot harder to never say hello,” says Patricia B., because without fosters we simply can’t rescue dogs and they remain at the shelter at risk of euthanasia. Many of the dogs and cats that need fosters are just days, if not hours away from being euthanized. Fosters provide a lifeline to these animals. “You can give them the opportunity to enjoy and experience the beauty of life. This also opens up space for even another dog or cat to be saved!” says Laura, a CDR&CK foster.
All the rewards.
In addition to being their lifesaver, longtime foster Leah W. has been “blown away by how incredibly open and sweet these adorable creatures are. They are merely looking to be loved and cared for!” By providing a dog or cat with a temporary home, you are giving them the chance to experience happiness in everyday life. Leah feels that “nothing compares to seeing your foster settle in, soak in love, grow, and just flourish. In the process, your heart will melt and open.” Patricia B. loves that her fosters “express their gratitude through kisses and cuddles.” and says “Fostering requires you to give up a little space in your home and in return gain endless space in your heart.” She finds fostering to be remarkably rewarding and that it pays back in countless ways (particularly through the endless love and cuddles these fosters shower you with!).
Have a busy schedule?
Many of our fosters work a full work-week, and like other dog owners, arrange a midday break via dog walker, or plan on using daycare for their foster dog. With a minimum two-week commitment, it's a great way to see how a dog might fit into your normal life. Are you someone who likes to exercise and be outdoors? City Dogs Rescue always has young active dogs who would love to spend time outside with you. If you're interested in fostering a cat but are worried about them being alone during the day, City Kitties often fosters two cats out at once, so they can entertain each other while you are at the office.
If you are unsure if you can manage a long-term pet, then fostering “is a fabulous way to dip your toe in and to learn about the process of having a dog or cat,” says Tracy W, who has fostered many dogs with us.
Jillian M. fostered as a way to dive into having a dog of her own. “I grew up with dogs but realistically, my parents were the true caretakers. Being responsible for an animal who is so completely dependent on you was a whole new experience for me and as my fosters learned to “dog” I learned how to be a good dog guardian each step of the way,” says Jillian M.
Concerned about costs?
No need to worry! CDR&CK covers approved vet visits, medications, or training sessions you may need. “Ultimately, you only need to provide food, shelter, and immeasurable love!” says Laura.
Join a Supportive Community!
Laura and Tracy both feel that “every dog they have fostered has been wonderful, and just a pure delight. However, if you happen to come across a foster that has any behavioral or health issues, then no problem - CDR&CK is more than supportive.” CDR&CK provides a free foster training, taught by professional dog trainers and has an active online community where any foster or alumni can seek out answers to their questions. There's also a group of volunteers dedicated to helping each foster help their foster pet adjust to their new environment, so you are always supported. Leah states “CDR&CK is a true community, where people are open to helping and learning from one another.”
Fosters who provide a temporary home give dogs and cats the chance to escape high-kill shelters. You are giving them the opportunity to live and creating beautiful friendships in the process. To learn more about fostering, and to apply, visit: www.citydogsrescuedc.org/foster.html
by guest blogger and volunteer Jillian Molina
CDR&CK is a foster-based all breed rescue in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Due to the nature of our rescue, CDR&CK is focused on rescuing dogs and cats that are in jeopardy of being euthanized due to overpopulation.
A variety of dogs and cats in shapes, sizes, pedigrees and temperaments find themselves in overcrowded high-kill shelters, where resources are severely limited. City Dogs Rescue partners with specific shelters and commits to saving several dogs each month per shelter.
Strays, hoarding seizures and owner surrenders typically describe the background of our dogs and cats. When an owner surrenders their dog to a shelter, there is typically no hold time for that dog, as opposed to a stray who's owner is given time to come claim their lost dog. If the shelter is overcrowded, owner surrendered dogs are typically the first dogs to be euthanized to make room.
Rescues like CDR&CK step in at this point, offering to cover the adoption fee, medical expenses, boarding costs and transportation of a dog until arrangements can be made to bring the dog to the Washington, D.C. area and placed into a foster home. Since CDR&CK doesn't have it's own shelter, we rely on foster parents to care for our animals until they are adopted. Foster parents help us learn more about a cat or dog's behavior, training level, and personality so that we can match them with the right forever home.
It's Puppy Power!City Dogs Rescue and City Kitties Will Be Represented in Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl XIV Airing Sunday, February 4th!
90 Adoptable Puppies Compete for Most Valuable Puppy (MVP) Title
City Dogs Rescue &City Kitties is pawsitively thrilled to announce we have a puppy player in this year’s PUPPY BOWL XIV.The cutest competition in sports history airs Sunday, February 4th at 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT on Animal Planet.
Sally storms the GEICO gridiron and makes the cutest ear pulls and tail tugs as part of Team Fluff as they compete to win the CHEWY.COM Lombarky Trophy.
Sally is one of ten Plott hound mix puppies born to mom Tamara in rural West Virginia. Sally charms everyone she meets and is described by her foster mom as "good for the soul." She's sensitive, quiet, and (don't tell the others) the sweetest one in the bunch. Sally was adopted by Daniel and Charles and is now living a happy life in Dupont Circle. Sally, along with 90 adoptable puppies from 48 shelters and rescues across the country, go paw to paw and nose to nose for the in the ultimate match up between “Team Ruff” vs. “Team Fluff.”
For the last 13 years, Animal Planet’s PUPPY BOWL has owned the world’s cutest sporting event on television. Every Super Bowl Sunday, two teams of the fluffiest and cuddliest line barkers and wide retrievers take to the gridiron for a playful game of terrier touchdown, puppy penalties and furry fumbles. Representing rescues and shelters from across the country, these adoptable four-legged players that make up #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff are serious when it comes to winning the Most Valuable Puppy title and more importantly...their furever homes.
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.