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About

Viktoria is a passionate dog lover, mother, foster mother + rescue advocate living in Manhattan, New York. She speaks to me about dogs and her i… Read More
Viktoria is a passionate dog lover, mother, foster mother + rescue advocate living in Manhattan, New York. She speaks to me about dogs and her involvement with the dog rescue community, while I gain two new friends in Golyo, her Bolognese of 11 years, and Chihuahua foster Peanut. Read Less
Published:
Viktoria, Golyo + Peanut: For the love of dogs
Talking dogs and rescue in NYC
"I fall in love with about 25 dogs a day. Pretty much every dog that I meet, I fall in love with."

Viktoria is a passionate dog lover, mother, foster mother + rescue advocate living in Manhattan, New York.

She speaks to me about dogs and her involvement with the dog rescue community, while I gain two new friends in Golyo, her Bolognese of 11 years, and Chihuahua foster Peanut. 

New York, NY
September 2011
"We have 800 unwanted animals put down at so-called shelters all over the country in the United States every hour, and their only fault is that they're homeless." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"Since I moved here, I've fostered-- Well, I had Jason pulled for me. He only had 24 hours to live. Then I had Truffles, the min-pin mama. Then I had Pebbles, who had 6 days to live. And now I have Peanut. This has all happened since the end of June.

When I moved here, obviously, I had no idea about the rescue community or how to get involved, so it took me a little time to find the right people. I've been doing it ever since." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"Peanut was my first smile in almost exactly 24 hours... Before the rescue got out of the cab in front of my building with her, I was at the vet's office saying goodbye to Pebbles. And literally that was 24 hours before that. My previous foster, who was also a Chihuahua, was 14 years old with several mammary tumours [and] had 6 days [to live] despite the best veterinary care.

The rescue got out of the cab in front of my building with this little thing, all four pounds of her, and I smiled for the first time in 24 hours. I couldn't believe how cute she was." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"A lot of people are simply ignorant, and they don't know that they're bringing their dog to a death camp [when they're sent to Animal Care & Control]. And a lot of people don't care.

A lot of people don't seek out alternatives. They probably ask a few family members if they would be willing to take the dog and if they say no, then they just dump them.

Rescue teaches you how easy it is to hate people. It really does." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"Golyo is reluctantly putting up with me fostering dogs... He's a complicated soul.

He's the top dog. And that's what he should be, not only because he's the top personality, but also because he was here first. I also have to make sure each time that he doesn't feel neglected in any way, that a lot of those things that are important to him are still the same so that he'll not be jealous." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"[I got Golyo] in 2000. He was a sick puppy at a puppy mill. He had seizures... And his seizures are perfectly kept under control on Phenobarbital, which is seizure medication.

Also, one of his back knees, the knee cap, is facing to the side instead of forward, so nothing actually protects the joints, which is another typical problem with small overbred dogs. He has stage 4 dental disease, which means that all of his teeth are pretty much rotting, breaking down, falling out.

But... he's the love of my life." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"There is no lack of passion, trust me. What there's a lack of is funds, money, and foster homes...

There is apparently a thing called Compassion Fatigue, which is a psychological condition, and it is similar to PTSD in a way where it wears you out, it makes you sort of unable to function normally because of the traumatic events that you witness.

And in dog rescue, what happens is that each and every day, you see these dogs die. You don't have to be there at the steel table at Animal Care & Control or gas chambers in the south. You know about these dogs... So each and every day, there is one traumatic experience after the other, and it wears you out. That's why a lot of rescues don't exist for more than a few years, because they emotionally cannot take it." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"I fall in love with about 25 dogs a day. Pretty much every dog that I meet, I fall in love with." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"When you see a dog who has only three legs, when you see a dog who has only one eye, you feel pity for them.

Dogs never feel pity for themselves. They adjust. They don't care that they have three legs or one eye. They will do the best that they can with that, and they will not see it as a tragic event like we do when we look at them, because they live in the now.

So even if you only have 24 hours with them, the last thing that they will know when they pass is that they are loved. That's all that matters. And it's worth all the heartbreak, it's worth all the pain that you feel, because you have to let the little guy or little girl go. But you know that you gave them the best that you could at that point." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"f you take care of a dog for, you know, 3-4 days, and they're adopted, you're like, 'YAY! That's so good! Going to their forever home.' But you get attached to them. They get attached to you, and then first you come up with all of these crazy requirements for what the adopter needs to be, you know, and then, you're, like, 'Well, that person is me... The only person who will actually meet those requirements is me.'" - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"I help out at adoption events for different rescues. I went to a couple of protests against animal control.

What I do on a daily basis is I actually stalk people who walk their dogs and start talking to them, because I have the dogs with me. That's always a good excuse. I tell them about what's going on at Animal Care & Control. I tell them about the option of fostering, because a lot of people don't know about fostering." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"Philadelphia [has] a new law where pet stores can only sell dogs that are spayed or neutered, which is a first step [in reducing the number of unwanted animals], but it's a really important step.

We have one pet store here in Manhattan on 9th Avenue, which actually converted into a humane pet store, which means they only sell rescue dogs. So basically, there's an adoption fee, and part of it goes to the pet store, and part of it goes to rescue, which is actually really amazing." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"I don't have a lot of pictures from my childhood, but I have pictures of me as a little girl, probably like, I don't know, 2 1/2 feet tall just riding a dog that's larger than I am. Whether that is the answer to the question why I'm so obsessed with dogs or not, I'm not sure." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"I like the special cases. I like the ones that no one else wants - older dogs and those dogs who are sick. I think that is why the survivor rate at this point, with my foster dogs, is only 50%, because some of them just don't survive. They are just too far gone.

But I can't have them killed there, because they never did anything wrong, you know? And I'd rather be there with them, and I'd rather make sure that they just peacefully fall asleep knowing that they are loved." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate
"Dogs are like babies. We domesticated them, and we are not taking care of them. They are completely dependent on us. And they will love us, whatever we do.

I mean, no one - no human - can ever love you the way that your dog loves you. That sort of devotion will not come from any other creature. Only your dog will be as obsessed with you and as devoted to you as a dog." - Viktoria, dog lover + NYC animal rescue advocate