In 1993, when Huntington, VT, resident and professional wrestler Lisa The Adjuster Haynes noticed a stray dog while driving her car along a backroad in Addison County, she and husband Roy Haynes coaxed the mangy dog into their vehicle. They made a beeline to the local vet, who recommended euthanizing the pooch.
Not willing to accept the outcome, the Haynes called every humane society and animal-welfare group in Addison County and beyond, yet none offered assistance, according to Lisa.
Determined to give the stray dog a fighting chance, the husband-and-wife team brought it home, fed it nutritious meals and eventually nursed it back to health. The dog now has a loving home: It joined the three other Haynes dogs also rescued from bad situations.
In 1995 Lisa compiled a collection of several dozen recipes for dog food using easily found ingredients. She wrote a cookbook titled Treasured Recipes for Your Treasured Pets. She had the book professionally printed and illustrated. A national pet magazine, Dog Fancy, published a favorable review of the book and, to her astonishment, dog lovers from all over the country bought it.
Using proceeds from book sales for start-up money, Lisa founded SOSshort for Save Our Straysa 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
While their focus is on helping local stray animals, the Haynes also assist pets from overcrowded out-of-state shelters and help coordinate the volunteer transport.
To date, nearly two thousand cats and dogs have been rehabilitated and "rehomed" thanks to the efforts of SOS.
Lisa and Roy Haynes pay most of SOSs veterinary expenses out their own pockets, supplemented by donations and adoption fees.
All the critters are kept at our modest home in Huntington and kept socialized with their own family pets, as opposed to just being warehoused as at some shelters, said Lisa.
Lisa appears frequently with SOS available-for-adoption pets on WCAX-TV in Burlington. Last year she was awarded the United Ways Hometown Hero Award for her efforts.
The Haynes like to quote Mark Twains words of wisdom on the subject: If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite youthat is the principal difference between a dog and a man.