SNARR - Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation

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 SNARR - Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation

SNARR (Special Needs Animal Rescue Rehabilitation) was started by Robin Menard in St. Martinville, Louisiana. SNARR saves the toughest dogs to place; those with serious medical conditions, deaf and blind dogs, severely emaciated dogs, aggressive dogs … the animals that nobody else wants; the dogs that would otherwise be euthanized.

Robin is a busy mother of five, has an extreme passion for animals, a VERY gutsy attitude and a huge heart. She grew up in an area where Pitt Bull fighting was rampant. "I used to wait for all of the degenerates to fall asleep after a night of partying and fighting dogs, and then I would sneak into their backyards and steal the injured and petrified bait dogs to drop off at my Momma’s house."

After years of rescuing on her own, Robin worked at a shelter. "The euthanization rate was 85%. Only seven dogs a month, if that, were adopted out. I saw the possibility of networking these animals. I figured there has got to be someone out there who can help this dog, so I got on Facebook." Within three months, Robin’s efforts resulted in an average of 110 dogs being adopted out EACH month from the shelter.

SNARR was born. The 501c3 rescue is based out of Robin’s home, and she has worked very hard to build a state-of-the-art kennel and play yard for dogs in need. "I am a small rescue, and do my best to make each dog feel as though they are my pet. I do not believe in pulling a dog from a shelter, only to put it in another shelter environment." Not only does Robin give these dogs a place to live, but she works diligently with them, socializes them, trains them, rehabilitates them, and provides whatever medical care they need.  

"I try my best to let my Facebook followers get to know each dog that is in my care. I post pictures and updates constantly. I let them know the comical daily trials and tribulations of being a Mom of five and a rescuer." This personable, honest, and straightforward approach seems to be doing the job. Ninety percent of Robin’s rescue dogs already have wonderful homes lined up by the time they are ready to leave her care.  

6 Degrees of Separation …

Courtney Bellew, of Westchester County, NY, visited the Manhattan Animal Care & Control Shelter and came across a special dog named Frankie, a deaf Pit Bull. "There was just something about him, the look in his eyes, his calm nature … something that made me say: I need to help THIS dog!" With a full house of her own dogs, Courtney began posting on Facebook for a rescue group to step up and legally take responsibility of Frankie, while she and her husband fostered him. Meanwhile in Louisiana, Robin from SNARR was asking for help from someone in NY to pull Frankie from the shelter and assist with getting him to her rescue.

Facebook has an amazing network of animal rescuers and volunteers who post, share information and try to save as many animals as possible. One of these vigilant volunteers, by luck, happened to see both posts from Robin and Courtney and put the two in touch. Frankie was saved the very next morning and the women became fast friends.  

After realizing they shared the same passion for animals and a great ability to network, it has been decided that Courtney will be heading up a Northeast Chapter of SNARR, based in New York. "Robin and I share a lot of the same personality traits and the same beliefs when it comes to saving animals. We don’t care about politics, drama or what anybody else thinks, as long as a dog is safe; and we will do whatever it takes to save them! I swear we must talk on the phone 25 times a day and when we aren’t talking, we are texting! But what is most important, is that we share the same philosophies on rescuing. So it just works. We stay up until 3am emailing, posting, trying to figure out transport for animals, searching for foster homes, etc. I went to the shelter last week in my pajamas to pull a dog, minutes before he was due to be put to sleep!"

SNARR pulls dogs from high kill shelters all over the country. "It doesn’t matter where a dog is located. If we can help, we figure out transport … and it’s a done deal." Although the title speaks for itself as "Special Needs", SNARR also saves perfectly healthy dogs as well. The rescue is not picky, as long as they can figure out a safe, responsible home for an animal to be placed. Big, small, thin, fat, young, old, healthy or sick …. SNARR will do their best.

In the last month of 2011, the SNARR team has saved : a paralyzed dog named Moja; Chazz, who was hit by a car and had two broken legs; a severely emaciated older dog named Jett; a beautiful puppy named Rudy with a rare condition known as Cranio Mandibular Osteopathy; Elsie, a pregnant and very malnourished dog; Felicia, a gorgeous and super-friendly emaciated girl who is part of a legal neglect case; a litter of six hairless puppies with severe mange; Annie, a dog with a tumor (hopefully benign); an elderly bonded and neglected pair of little ones, named Joey and Cookie … oh, and not to mention, during this same time period Robin cleared out an entire rural shelter full of animals who had been neglected and starved. Sound like a lot? It is … but the two women love every minute of it. "The act of being a rescuer is both heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time. We love the high of getting a dog off of death row, knowing it will be in a loving home, but we know that it’s just not possible to save every one. It kills me when I go to the shelters and see rows and rows, rooms upon rooms of dogs that have no safe and loving place to call home. Then a day later, I see those same faces on the Euthanasia list. It feels like a never ending battle."

Robin and Courtney come from two very different areas, each with its own set of problems with regards to stray animals and people being uneducated about the homeless pet problem or how to properly care for their pets. Robin’s rural community in Louisiana is one where it is considered normal to let your dog roam the streets or live outside, and many people don’t believe in vetting, or spaying and neutering their animals. "I can’t drive into town for milk without coming across 3-5 homeless dogs roaming the streets. It just kills me. My kids and I bring blankets and food for as many dogs as we can. We even try to befriend the feral dogs, in hopes that one day, we can rescue them."

Courtney comes from an area just North of New York City. "I live in a very upscale area. For the most part, people around here treat their pets like they do their children. Although there are a ton of rescue organizations up here, and many people who do adopt, it kills me that so many others have NO clue what is taking place at the shelter just a few minutes away. People in my area like to turn a blind eye. If they don’t see it, then the cruelty, neglect and killing doesn’t exist. They get their dogs at pet stores. They seem to think that the only dogs in the shelters are pit bulls. Yes, there are many of the bully breeds (fabulous and loving dogs, by the way!); however, there are also countless purebreds and mixes sitting in the NYC shelters waiting to be euthanized. My goal is to try and spread the word. I post pictures of the dogs I see in the shelter to let my friends see the faces, read the dogs’ names. Maybe I can get it to hit home."

Both women, and the SNARR organization, are hoping that by getting the word out, we can make a change. A change that is bigger than just saving dogs. "Our network is growing like wildfire and we love it. More people knowing about us and knowing our name, leads to more volunteers, and more education, which leads to more foster homes and adoptions, which means more animals saved!"

SNARR is always looking for volunteers, adopters, foster homes, and kind people who can assist in any way possible.

Donations for SNARR animals’ care can also be made via PayPal at

Care packages and donations can also be mailed to:

PO Box 313
St. Martinville, LA  70582

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