Ashley Kraska with her newest foster pup.
Sat, March 5, 2022 7:00 AM
Story and photos by Alice Gerard
On February 26, visitors to the Grand Island Memorial Library had the opportunity to meet a pup raised by a Diamonds in the Ruff animal rescue volunteer, as well as support the organization by purchasing shirts, hats and d other goods.
According to Stacy Rainey, community outreach coordinator for the rescue, Diamonds in the Ruff is a Niagara County pet shelter that was established in 2011.
“Diamonds in the Ruff is an animal rescue that primarily deals with dogs and cats, and it’s a foster rescue, which means they don’t have a facility where people can go see the dogs and the cats, so we’re relying a lot on the community for foster families and things of that nature,” she said.
Rainey first became involved with Diamonds in the Ruff in 2014 when she fostered and then adopted a pit mix named Bianca. Since then, she started working as a volunteer with the rescue. “The way I repay them is to give them my time. Bianca is such an amazing dog. As much as we helped her, she helped us.
“We were looking for a companion for our other dog, Moose, who we got from the SPCA. They got along well. They’re pretty inseparable, which is great. As long as these two get along, it was easy for us because we love animals. When we met her, she needed two ACL surgeries. We took her in, did a fundraiser for her for the rescue to pay for it. She’s a super sweet dog. All love. All white with a small black spot. She loves giving you kisses. She has the cutest little prance. At that time I was not working, so we spent a lot of time together and I fell super in love.
At 10, Bianca “is slowing down. She has cancer, so her time is pretty limited with us here, so I try to enjoy everything I can with her.
Rainey said she encourages people to foster cats and dogs: “Fostering is something that is absolutely necessary. The rescue pays for everything. They pay for medical supplies and vet visits. Foster homes are checked to ensure that the foster home is suitable for the animal. It’s kind of the responsibility of foster families to put their pet on social media for events like this, to help show them off. We have a website, but it’s difficult to get an animal adopted just through it. We have the presentations we do.
Stacy Rainey poses with merchandise sold to raise funds for Diamonds in the Ruff, as well as Ashley Kraska’s foster pup. This pup had generated so much interest from potential adoptive homes that the rescue removed his photo from its website.
Volunteers from Diamonds in the Ruff, which is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization, travel around Western New York and visit places such as the Grand Island Memorial Library, bringing animals to meet, merchandise for sale and information on how to adopt a new pet.
Rainey said that, for people considering adopting, “Do your research. People need to understand exactly what they’re going to get, especially with dogs. There are a lot of mixed breed dogs, but there are other breeds. Make sure you know the breed and what you’re getting into. Also, home checks are done and reference checks are done. Adopting it is going to take someone who has a lot of patience and be an animal lover The most important thing I can say to a potential adopter is to do your research and be willing to commit because owning a pet is a commitment. life long, however long that life may be.
To those interested in adopting a senior pet, Rainey suggested, “It’s quite an undertaking because you know you’re with the animal through its golden years, however long they may be. It could be another year. It could be less than that. I think if someone is taking care of a senior animal, we obviously congratulate them because it’s probably the best thing to do, not only for the animal but also for them. When they reach a certain age, they begin to realize how lucky they are. Then they hopefully offer lots of love. I think that if you take on a senior, you also have to be prepared to take responsibility for the medical expenses. »
Ashley Kraska and her husband, Matthew, have been raising puppies with Diamonds in the Ruff for a year. In the past, the couple have fostered dogs with a Rochester-based rescue called Big Dogs, Big Hearts. She described the first dog they bred, a dog named Pebbles, as a “foster failure”.
“My dogs are peculiar,” Kraska said. “One has medical needs so I’ve only taken puppies so far. My first foster family, I failed. I kept it. I tried not to, but I succeeded. We got her in April, and it was in November that we decided to keep her. She just fits in.
Since raising Pebbles, she has raised other puppies. “Of the six foster homes, I only kept one,” Kraska said.
“I had three fosters and three failures,” Rainey said.
For more information on Diamonds in the Ruff and the 68 dogs and cats currently available for adoption, see the organization’s website at https://diamondsintheruffanimalrescue.rescuegroups.org/index.php.