On December 12, a Christmas party was held at 68 Silver Springs Drive in Key Largo. The Keys have been full of similar celebrations in recent days: guests were wearing Santa hats, the smell of chocolate chip cookies was emanating from the oven, several tables were loaded with even more goodies, gifts were handed out , children played in the yard, and red and green decorations abounded.

But this gathering had a special purpose: MarrVelous Pet rescue personnel were showing their brand new digs to the community and the guest of honor was a gentle and shy pit bull named Snow White, who is deaf and blind and has cancer, and wore a leash that said “Adopt me”.

Suzi Youngberg is the new Rescue Director and Coordinator of MarrVelous Pet Rescues. She said the nonprofit has been placing animals in homes for 14 years, in foster or permanent families. But the operations had always been carried out from the office of Joy Martin American Caribbean Real Estate in Key Largo. But not more.

Martin is Chairman of the Board and Founder of MarrVelous Pet Rescues, and she discovered the property on Silver Springs Drive. The association bought the property, which has been a long-standing goal.

“It’s always been the dream of having more space,” Youngberg said.

“It allows us to have meetings when someone is going to host or adopt, to make sure it’s a good fit. Before, we had to do this in a park. Here we have a fenced yard.

Youngberg said clients are now signing adoption papers in the office’s inviting kitchen, giving the transaction a warm, family feel.

However, Youngberg stressed that although the organization has more space, it will never house animals, as a shelter does.

“We are not a place to bring stray dogs. We are staying with a foster family, ”she said. “And we can’t keep the host families overnight because we don’t have 24-hour staff.”

She recommends that residents who find a stray animal first make sure that the little one does not belong to someone in the neighborhood. If not, your best bet is to call the animal shelter.

“But if you find a parasite, we ask if you are available to keep it for a few days until we can find someone to bring it home,” she said. “We need foster families. Many people see it as a service that they can enjoy without a lifetime commitment. “

The crown jewel of the association’s new building is the operating theater, which will be used to sterilize and sterilize animals.

Margie Schwartz has been rescuing cats for 20 years and helping to control feral cat populations in the Upper Keys by catching them and taking them to a cheap vet to be spayed or neutered. His non-profit organization is called Whiskers & Paws Forever of Monroe County and the surgical supplies for MarrVelous were provided by the non-profit organization in Schwartz.

She’s thrilled to finally have a place to get the feral cats to mend.

“The problem is that there has been no help from the county and the villages for the sterilization,” Schwartz said. “We are going to focus on the colonies of feral cats that have been fed but not spayed or neutered. We can take 30 or 40 at a time.

Schwartz’s current targets are the settlements of Key Largo’s Publix and Yellow Bait House.

Youngberg said that while the operating room will focus on these feral cats and the inputs of MarrVelous, it hopes to open spay and neuter clinics to the general public soon.

Back at the party, the guests and their dogs explored the property. The owners chatted as the dogs all checked each other out wagging their tails. Some posed for photos with the furry mascots Santa Paws and Skippy the Elf.

“Hello, I’m a host failure,” one (human) guest said to another.

“Aren’t we all? she replied with a laugh.

“Foster Care Failure” is the term used by many to describe when a foster pet parent intends to care for a pet until it is. adopted, but then falls in love and adopts the four-legged baby himself.

“The staff at MarrVelous are the most hard-working volunteers I have ever dealt with,” said Mary Griffin, guest at the party. She also devotes time to organization. “They work so hard to find foster homes. Every year they give out awards for the failure of foster families. I admire them – they love something and can’t let them go. »MarrVelous Pet Rescues is always looking for foster parents. To complete an application to become one, to donate to the new clinic, or for more information about the nonprofit, go to mprescues.org or call 305-453-1315. To learn more about Monroe County’s Whiskers & Paws Forever and its wishlist (like kitten food and towels, etc.), visit their Facebook page or call 305-393-1268.


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