Kelly Starbuck’s friends call her the Doggy Lama.
The Mercer Island resident connects with canines anywhere she roams. She could be cuddling with her individual animals at house, massively strengthening dogs’ life via her perform as a rescuer or attracting a 4-legged pal even though having breakfast at a cafe.
It is normally been that way for Starbuck, and she reported the attraction is reciprocal concerning her and the animals.
“The other working day we ended up having at Pancake Corral outside and there was a doggy throughout the other aspect and it just stored pulling its leash to get to me,” mentioned Starbuck, introducing that the dog’s proprietor apologized, but Starbuck noted that she’s used to that taking place. “They normally look to look for me out. And I believe they often like my energy. They just feel ease and comfort.”
Starbuck — who tends to dogs who are wounded, have unique needs or have to have homes — wishes canines to take pleasure in their life, she explained, and which is what has retained her flourishing as a rescuer and vice president at the nonprofit MEOW (Mercer Island Eastside Orphans and Waifs) Cat Rescue in Kirkland considering the fact that 1997.
Following thirty day period, Starbuck will be honored for her critical perform for the fourth time by the Chinese Shar-Pei Club of The united states at a countrywide awards banquet in Chicago.
Starbuck mentioned she gets goose bumps when discussing the big honor, which is a reminder that she’s making a change in the globe and will maintain her on the rescuing route.
“I enjoy animals, definitely, and I’m a hard-doing the job individual and quite purpose oriented, so it’s just become my life’s passion,” she mentioned.
In all, Starbuck estimates she’s rescued about 25,000 canine around the last 25 many years.
She mostly rescued Shar-Pei for a very long time, but now she also focuses on Good Danes, hairless breeds and canine with unique wants. The animals are introduced to them from all more than the globe, together with close to 40 from South Korea. Hence the nonprofit’s acronym, MEOW also rescues all breeds of cats.
“We’re huge on distinctive requires. We’re known for fairly considerably never ever saying ‘no’ when it arrives to anything that requirements to be performed surgically or emotionally. We’ll make positive it receives taken treatment of,” claimed Starbuck, introducing that MEOW gets the animals from shelters 90% per cent of the time, and in all cases, they’ll arrange for professionals to support the animals. As soon as they are healed, the animals are returned to the entrepreneurs or are positioned up for adoption on Petfinder.com.
As famous on its web page, MEOW’s mission is: “With respect and compassion for all animal lifetime, MEOW promotes lifelong associations among persons and companion animals, providing shelter and treatment for every precious lifetime until finally adopted into a for good house.”
Sharon Pian Chan sings Starbuck’s praises in the rescuing realm and has also developed a friendship with the doggy-lover.
“I have adopted 3 pet dogs that Kelly rescued. She is a patron saint of puppies,” Pian Chan mentioned. “I not too long ago moved from Seattle to New York and have now been in contact with dog rescuers in numerous mid-Atlantic states, and I now know that Kelly is a national hero, not just a community one.”
Starbuck, who commenced her experienced rescuing function at the Mercer Island Pet Grocery, operates the canine division at MEOW and delivers the only Shar-Pei rescue for Washington, Idaho and Oregon.
Her attraction to and treatment for animals truly started when she was a boy or girl.
“I brought everything house when I was tiny, no matter whether it was a caterpillar or a rabbit or a duck or regardless of what. My mom was just constantly like, ‘Oh, now what is she bringing property?’” Starbuck reported with a chuckle.
Formerly the homeowners of Starbucks Towing, Kelly and her spouse John — a indigenous Islander who can help out at MEOW — marketed their business on Feb. 14, 2020, several weeks right before the pandemic strike.
“I just always say the canine up earlier mentioned were searching down on us and they aided us by that one particular for the reason that, whew, that was by the skin of our teeth,” Kelly claimed.
For extra information and facts on MEOW, pay a visit to https://meowcatrescue.org/