pet news

DECEMBER 31, 2014

Sherry Petta, a devoted volunteer for Arizona Small Dog Rescue

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Scottsdale resident Sherry Petta has always had a soft spot for helping critters in need, but her passion for dog rescue has blossomed into a round-the-clock endeavor.

devoraSherry, a devoted volunteer to dog rescues, stumbled upon the Arizona Small Dog Rescue (AZSDR) in 2012 when they rescued nine dogs in very serious condition from a puppy mill.  “All of the dogs were blanketed in ticks, ticks larger than I even knew existed, covering their entire bodies and even invading their eyes and ears, and in abundance under their tails – it was horrific.  Two of the dogs had tick fever, and another had a tumor on her belly the size of a cantaloupe.”  When she saw the pictures of these dogs on AZSDR’s Facebook page, she sat and cried … called a friend, showed her the pictures and she said we must do something – she agreed – yes we must.

The next day, Sherry and her friend headed to the shelter with an SUV full of dog food and a supply of tick dip and tick shampoo.  “I walked in the door and there was a pen with about ten sweet little faces looking up at me – it took my breath away – and I was drawn to go back to the shelter again and again.  I couldn’t stay away.”

Now, Saturdays for Sherry are spent volunteering at adoption events for the Arizona Small Dog Rescue and she spends holidays and days off volunteering at the shelter.  She also bathes and grooms dogs and fosters them to get them ready for their new homes; she extends efforts to network and promote the dogs and the shelter to help bring awareness which helps get them placed into homes.  Petta, who is a local jazz artist, also donates her time as a musician for fundraisers she organizes for the rescue.

Outside of Sherry’s time volunteering at AZSDR, she sifts through Craigslist ads and various Lost & Found pet pages on Facebook to try to match up lost pets with their owners, even placing Craigslist ads for dogs who are sadly in line to be euthanized, with hopes that just maybe their owners might see the ad and get to their pup in time.  Petta also has been known to organize search teams to help pet owners find their missing dogs, or set a necessary humane trap when there’s a stray who just won’t be caught. 

“I’m so absorbed in what I do – and I don’t do it just for the people who are suffering the loss and want so badly to get their dog back, but I know how scared and confused the dogs are when they’re out there.  I’m in it for the dogs.”

pepperThe majority of dogs rescued by AZSDR are from Maricopa County Animal Control where hundreds of dogs are scheduled to be euthanized at 5:30 a.m. daily, but AZSDR also takes in stray dogs as room permits and has a tremendous lost and found team in addition to Sherry, who strives to reunite lost pets with their owners.  If no owners surface, those “found” dogs, along with all other rescues at the shelter, are vet checked, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered before being made available for adoption.

Every Saturday, Sherry hosts a dog adoption event at a local pet store but she has decided to take some dogs out to Scottsdale Ranch in February so they can enjoy an outdoor adoption event near beautiful Lake Serena.  The event will be at the Scottsdale Ranch Community Association clubhouse on Sunday, February 15 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Dogs from the Arizona Small Dog Rescue who are waiting for homes will be on site and available for adoption.

AZSDR is known for coming to the aid of dogs who may have been hit by a car, found thrown in a dumpster, suffering at a puppy mill, or whose owners never took care of getting a tumor removed – whatever the medical needs are, AZSDR provides the necessary care for dogs so they have a chance at a normal, safe, and love-filled life that they may never have had before.  In 2013, this group came to the rescue of approximately 4,000 dogs.

“If everyone would microchip their pets and put collars with ID tags on their pets, it would save volunteers an awful lot of time, and would spare pet owners a lot of heartache should their pets happen to get out, not to mention the pets would be happy to get home!”

Please join Sherry and the AZSDR event team on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 10585 N. 100th Street in Scottsdale at the Scottsdale Ranch Community Association clubhouse.  Enjoy some refreshments and meet your new best friend!

Visit the AZSDR website at Email

AZSDR is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and no-kill rescue shelter.  All donations are tax deductible.