It’s no secret that purchasing dogs from breeders has long been the norm for many families nationwide. Adopting a dog with an unknown history might be daunting for some, it might even be a deal breaker, but for the Pezzoli family, it is a gift. Sandy and Bob Pezzoli began taking in dogs and cats (despite Bob’s allergies) when their children, Pam and Lisa, were little. Rescuing and fostering dogs is deeply embedded in the Pezzoli family’s culture and identity—it is second nature to all of them.
“We think about it like a house,” said Lisa, “you wouldn't only buy new homes every time you moved…there’s nothing wrong with the used house [being] two years old...there may be more features available in the older home…What is important is how you live in the house and what you add to it. The same is true for animals. Rescue animals that have a prior story and background, to us, are exciting and preferable.”
Lisa and Andy Katz, daughter and son in-law of Sandy and Bob Pezzoli have devoted the past 15 years of their lives to rescuing dogs. Some time after losing their beloved dog Farley, they adopted Fly, and more recently fostered Darla (now named Desi) who they see regularly. They have taught both of their children that adding onto a rescue’s story by creating a nurturing and loving environment is the most important part of fostering and adopting. Lisa remarked that rescuing is “a gift you are giving yourself and the animal!”
Actively helping others is a wonderful quality to possess, but where does it come from in this family? “It comes from my parents and who they are and what they value; and wanting to help people and animals as much as possible” said Pam. “It was Lisa,” she continued, “who introduced the whole family to the value of rescuing dogs…We’re used to multiple dogs in the house so what’s one more?”
Pam wanted to adopt a canine companion for some time, but wasn’t ready until she moved into a pet-friendly apartment. She viewed fostering as a way to help dogs on her own journey towards find a dog that would be right for her. It was Laura Adams, CDR Medical Director, who introduced Pam (her friend and former colleague) to CDR. “I love dogs” said Pam “and I thought it was a great way to participate in saving these sweet animals.”
Pam’s first foster was Murphy. During their four months together she realized that a city environment would not be the best long-term solution for him and that he would need more attention than most other dogs that she had encountered. “We watched Pam's loving care of Murphy,” recalled her mother, Sandy, “and knew we just had to pitch in too. Murphy was so withdrawn and little by little responded to Pam's approach to him. We figured that it is so easy to feed and love another dog!” (Sandy already has three dogs: Chewy, Ella, and Sadie.) Because Murphy would need a special family, a home with a yard, and other considerations, Sandy took him in as her fourth CDR foster. (Prior to Murphy, Sandy and Bob fostered: Frosty, Libby, and Scrappy.) An added bonus to this arrangement was that Pam was able to see Murphy often.
“It [was] great to see my niece and nephew [Lisa and Andy’s children] enjoying the fosters as well. My nephew was as eager to see Murphy again as I was. He also has a big heart and soft spot for animals like his parents and grandparents. I guess you could say it’s just in the DNA.”
Murphy has now been placed in a foster-to-adopt home. Sandy and Bob are currently awaiting the arrival of their 5th CDR foster, Rosebud.
Pam continued to foster throughout her search for her perfect match because she wanted to help dogs in need along the way, “They just want to be loved and they will all make such great companions…these dogs give us so much more than we give them.” She credits this realization to Murphy and the other CDR dogs she met during the process. In September, it finally happened—Pam met Mika.
When they met, Pam was already committed to another foster dog. She immediately thought that Mika was a beautiful and sweet dog. However, shortly after they met, Mika was adopted. Unfortunately, Mika and her new family were not the best fit for one another, but fortunately for Pam, Mika was available again. “I reached out to CDR right away to express my interest in adopting her. Her fosters were wonderful in helping me assess if this was the right fit for me, and I became convinced she was my girl.” These two are the perfect match for one another, and Pam stated that she is looking “forward to many years with Kyra [formerly Mika]”. Pam also said that she is also looking forward to fostering again.
“The Pezzoli family has been an amazing asset to the rescue,” said Meredith Raimondi, CDR Director. “They're a model family who will instill great values in the next generation. The Pezzoli’s are active and engaged fosters who provide helpful updates, photos, and descriptions that improve the foster dogs' profiles. We are so grateful to them in our program. Their dedication is admirable.”
City Dogs Rescue & City Kitties volunteers.