An animal rescue group in Detroit received the kind of news that every nonprofit organization longs to hear. An anonymous donor is giving them $1.5 million so they can build the city’s first no-kill animal shelter, in honor of a dog they tried to save.
Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR) was founded only nine months ago by TV producer Monica Martino and hip-hop artist Daniel (Hush) Carlisle, but the group gained national attention for trying to stop Detroit Animal Control from euthanizing an emaciated Pit bull dog that wandered into an Ace Hardware store in early November.
When DDR heard about the dog, aptly named Ace, they raced to the hardware store trying to beat Animal Control to the scene. They knew Animal Control had the authority to euthanize 100 percent of the stray Pit bull dogs seized in the city. Unfortunately officials had already arrived.
DDR tried to have Ace released from the pound and even got a temporary restraining order to keep him alive during a five day holding period, so his owners could be located. Thousands of supporters, including those from Care2 rallied for Ace to be freed.
Ultimately DDR was unsuccessful in its efforts and Ace was euthanized on November 10, but the group found a friend in their mystery donor.
Carlisle said news of the gift started with a phone call from a California woman. She explained that she is a “fellow dog rescuer” who is suffering from a life-threatening illness. Then she said she was turning over $1.5 million in stock options to the non-profit rescue group.
“She just kind of nonchalantly, very humbly, just rambled off very quickly, ‘I just want you to know that we’re going to do this very fast and it’s just going to be a quick transfer of stocks to you guys. You should have the million dollars overnight,’” Carlisle said. “And I was like, ‘Excuse me? Did you just say a million dollars?’”
Carlisle said the woman wished to remain anonymous.
”This donation is just the beginning,” Martino said in a statement. “While Hush and I were working on the streets of Detroit, we saw firsthand the true scope and scale of the stray dog situation. This problem in Detroit is an epidemic and the system that is in place to control it is broken. The first step is to build a no-kill shelter.”
Detroit Dog Rescue estimates there are 50,000 homeless dogs in Detroit.
Photo: Detroit Dog Rescue