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But the real story of Stray from the Heart began several years ago when Beth and Toni first met at a crowed veterinary office in Manhattan. Both had heard of five wonderful Stray dogs that were going to be sent to the notorious city pound. As we all are well aware, those neglected and abandoned dogs taken to most city shelters are destroyed within 48 hours to make way for the next batch of Strays that will soon arrive to be placed on death row, and this place was no exception.
The five dog's original rescuer was unable to find homes for the dogs, nor were they able to pay for boarding. That's when Beth and Toni leapt into action and began placing flyers around Central Park and the Upper West Side of New York City. They also spent their money on ads in the city newspapers, and in less than a week, managed to place three of the five dogs in loving homes. Beth took the remaining two dogs on a "foster care" basis, and in no time, they also were adopted into permanent, loving homes.
Beth and Toni continued their partnership, rescuing homeless dogs until they finally were completely overwhelmed with the cost of boarding, vet bills, dog walkers, and the many other unforseen costs of trying to care for, and place the great many dogs that can be found lost and alone around the streets of New York.
Beth obtained her B.A. in Special Education from the New School in New York City. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and a licensed Active Isolated Teacher. In 1982, Beth founded Body Heat, Inc., a company specializing in the creation of personal training programs tailored to individual needs, specifically individuals with neuromuscular conditions. Beth's devotion to the rescue and rehabilitation of homeless dogs has led to her full time involvement with Stray from the Heart.
Beth fosters up to eight dogs at a time, and when you see her with each rescued Stray, you will know why we have such happy rescues. Beth has that wonderful ability we all admire, to cherish and love each dog equally. Her time and attention to each rescue is invaluable in the process of matching each dog's temperament and qualities with just the right human companion. Beth is truly the heart and soul of Stray from the Heart. Every dog that arrives on her doorstep will stay in her loving care as long as necessary, until the perfect home is found.
Toni Bodon - Executive Director
Toni graduated cum laude from the State University of New York, School of Law at Buffalo. She also holds an MSW in Social Policy, Planning and Administration from Fordham University and a BA in Education. Toni was the National Hispanic Scholar for 3 consecutive years while in law school. She has been a practicing attorney for over 10 years with extensive experience in complex tax litigation, employment and human rights law.
Eight years ago Toni rescued an emaciated and badly abused pitbull puppy from the streets of Brooklyn. This puppy, named Misty, motivated Toni to rescue other dogs. She learned how to screen potential homes, recruit parents and volunteers, negotiate below market prices for veterinary services, find the right dog trainer and boarding facility and how to develop a standard for enforceable adoption agreements.
It took almost a year to find the perfect home for Misty, but during that period, the mission of Stray from the Heart was born. Today Toni volunteers long and difficult hours rescuing homeless & abused dogs, and making certain that everyone is placed in a safe and loving home.
The organization was incorporated as a charity in September of 2000, and received 501c3 tax-exempt status by the IRS in October 2000.
We are proud to say that Stray from the Heart has rescued over 1500 dogs.
And we are not done yet! Join us in keeping the rescues going strong. Please Donate Now! All donations are tax-deductible.