Mystery Donor Gives $1.5 Million For Shelter – In Memory Of “Ace”

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.

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Photo: Detroit Dog Rescue


W. C
W. Cabout a month ago

Thanks for caring.

William C
William Cabout a month ago

Thank you for the article.

Lee Witton
5 years ago

There are so many animals the world over who really are in desperate need of our help. Thank goodness for all the organizations fighting to change laws FOR animals. Thank goodness for all the human angels who give from the purse, or go around by foot or car to rescue these precious beings. I cannot even bare to watch the videos but I force myself because we simply cannot become apathetic. We have to do whatever we can to help. And it is very sad that the woman who gave the 1.5 million was dying, but if more people would make charitable donations from a trust or will, more animals could be saved. Thank you to all who make those huge anonymous donations, thanks to all of us who can't make huge contributions but will continue giving and rescuing.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright5 years ago

We live in the Detroit area and this donation has been a god send for us.

This story has been particularly hard for those who live in Detroit especially with Ace's tragic death. This was big, big news in November and we are still living with this story every day. Yes, there are dogs and cats, kittens and puppies dying needlessly everyday and I don't know exactly why Ace's story catapulted our dire situation into international news and why other deaths did not.

What is most important for us now is to prevent more needless deaths and this donation is going to help DDR do just that. I wish more than anything that Ace was still here with us but I have a feeling he is with us in spirit, looking down on us from The Rainbow Bridge.

I hope the world will keep watching Detroit and DDR.......the shelter will hopefully be up and fully functional by the end of this year. DDR WILL stay true to their beliefs of that I am most certain. They are a wonderful, compassionate group of people who are dedicated to helping the animals of Detroit. We will do this.

s. ryan
p. q5 years ago

BOMB. nice!

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S5 years ago

Thanks good people of Detroit for bringing this problem to public awareness.

Heather H.
Heather H6 years ago

Thank God there is a DDR out there to help the animals because apparently the SPCA is no friend to them. Thank you California Anonymous Angel for being there and caring about complete strangers and animals alike..

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe6 years ago

It is so sad that Ace was euthanized. Now that the Detroit Dog Rescue will be getting the money for a No Kill shelter, maybe they can name a room or wing for Ace since the lady wants to remain anonymous.

Lorna W.
Lorna W6 years ago

Aww, I teared up. Bless this woman who is unfortunately suffering atm. May she find peace in her afterlife.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

A very sweet ending to the story of Ace.