If you've ever walked past Emelinda's mobile miracle on wheels in the heart of New York's Union Square, it's hard not to get teary-eyed when you see the happy, somber, nervous faces and wagging tails of the dogs in cages, anxiously waiting to be adopted.
Emelinda Narvaez, believes dogs are the "Angels of This Earth." But to the more than 10,000 dogs she's rescued in New York, Emelinda is the angel. She does her miracle work through her nonprofit, Earth Angels, a no-kill canine rescue and adoption organization established to rescue homeless and abandoned dogs.
For the past 41 years, every single day, rain, shine or sleet, Emelinda has been saving dogs on the streets and taking canines from overcrowded shelters (that otherwise would've been euthanized). She then nurses the dogs back to health and finds happy, healthy homes for her four-legged friends.
On average she gets about 8-10 rescue calls a day. Her blue van is crammed full of cages, rags and dog toys. She's really a one-woman show -- many times, driving into the most dangerous parts of the city to rescue dogs.
Emelinda's passion to save dogs is deeply rooted. As a little girl, she recalls witnessing animals in her community being abused. She would rescue dogs, cats, and other animals by placing them in homes around her local community. These experiences inspired her to start her own organization when she got older.
Go Inspire Go's New York volunteer, Stephanie Lin, produced a video of Emelinda's amazing efforts and shares her story of selflessness and heroism:
Emelinda relies on donations but pays for the bulk of her operation on her own: microchipping, shots and treatment for the dogs.
"Even if it's one I can save a day, it's one that is out of problems," She says in a matter of fact New York accent.
With an unconditional love for dogs, Emelinda puts the pooch's problems before her own.
Emelinda is a cancer survivor. She though, still suffers from numerous health problems. But instead of using the money to care for her own personal health, she spends her money to care for dogs.
With the downturn of the economy, donations have fallen by 25% -- she needs your help now more than ever. In May, the New York housing authority banned large dogs from the public housing projects. This led to a spike in the number of large dogs being abandoned and many were even reported to Animal Control. This has increased pressure on Emelinda -- she now has less funding and more dogs to save.
Meanwhile, Emelinda says that she strongly believes, "If you want to raise your children to be good citizens, you should teach them to be kind to animals." If you ever witness her compassion in action, you will see her explaining to children the importance of loving and respecting animals.
Please check out her website, share the video and make a donation.
Inspiration in Action:
You can find out more about Toan Lam at http://www.goinspirego.com. Click on the YouTube link and check out the stories his team created, and videos created by viewers. Contact Toan at: email@example.com