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Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Love Story about Dogs—How it all Began

Posted by Harriet Steinberg on Jul 23, 2005, 17:11

In 1987 the most intense love of Randi Berger’s life left this planet—her pet dog, Skippy. Skippy was a scruffy, tan terrier mix who came to Randi as a puppy when Randi was seven years old. Berger stated that she had such a great love for her pet that she preferred his company to that of her own peers.

When Skippy was 14-years-old, he almost died as the result of an automobile accident. Berger, who was so tremendously devoted to this pet, was able to nurse him back to good health. As Berger explained, “Three years later when he died, life as I knew it came to a halt.”

After Skippy passed away, Berger had to do something to help relieve the pain of not having her dog any more. She traveled throughout the United States in search of some answers. Finally, she began to frequent the animal shelters and adoption facilities near where she lived. When she learned that 75 percent of the animals placed in the shelters were euthanized, she decided she had a mission in life.

Her mission was to rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for dogs who have been abandoned, abused or suffer the bad luck of having an owner can no longer take care of their pets. She does all this through her dog rescue agency, Recycled Pets.

Initially her agency began by rescuing dogs from Southern California shelters. Now that she is better known, most of the dogs come to her agency from their owners, so they do not end up in over-crowded shelters. Berger also plans dog adoption events, which take place at various high-visibility locations, such as pet shops, parks and coffeehouse patios, where she matches people with their new canine counterparts. Berger says that she has met many of her life-long friends at these events.

All of the dogs are temperament-tested, spayed or neutered, given their shots, veterinary care when needed, and groomed before adoption. Special care is also given to make sure that they are properly matched to their new owners. Due to the fact that Berger has seen many behavior problems among these animals, she has learned by experience how best to rehabilitate and teach these dogs positive socialization.

Berger has just published her first book, “My Recycled Pets: Diary of a Dog Addict.” It is based on her diary, where she captured the rewarding experiences and remarkable “tales” about her rehabilitated favorite pets.

To date, Berger has rescued and rehabilitated over 5,000 dogs. When asked about her efforts, she said, “I have given these abandoned animals a second chance to become who they were meant to be—safe from abuse and neglect.”


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