Why one woman decided to open up her home — and her car — to help homeless dogs.
True
Hum by Verizon

When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, thousands of pets were displaced by the storm.

Local shelters and rescues, as well as nonprofits like the ASPCA and Humane Society, sprang into action to assist with search-and-rescue operations and to create temporary emergency shelters for pets found lost in the storm.

Some of these pets were happily reclaimed by their owners after the storm had passed, but others were still homeless, even months later.


When Nina Roadeler learned about the sheer number of dogs affected by the storm, she decided to become a foster for dogs from local dog rescues.

Nina and her dog, Toby. All photos via Nina Roadeler, used with permission.

It didn’t take long before volunteering with dog rescues became a huge part of her life.

In fact, after Nina took a job outside the city and bought a car, she became an adoption coordinator for Friends With Four Paws, a small foster-based rescue run entirely by volunteers in New York and Oklahoma.

All of the dogs rescued by Friends With Four Paws are pulled directly from high-kill shelters in Oklahoma. They spend some time with Oklahoma foster families while they are vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed/neutered. Then they go up for adoption and are driven by a volunteer over two days to New York and placed with new fosters while they await their forever homes.

That’s where Nina comes in.

Not only does she coordinate the transport of dogs from Oklahoma and interview potential adopters before they bring a dog home, but as one of only two volunteers with a car, she spends her weekends driving around New York’s five boroughs — and sometimes beyond — picking up and dropping off food, crates, and toy donations with foster families.

When she's not driving stuff, she's driving dogs to their new homes. In other words, she spends a lot of time as a "dog chauffeur."

Of course, no two dog passengers are alike.

The first one she ever drove, Peggy, was a scruffy 40-pound terrier with tons of energy.

“She was adorable, but she was all over my car,” says Nina, laughing. “She was bouncing around in that car like nobody’s business.”

Peggy, the first dog Nina ever drove in her car.

Some like to sit on a passenger's lap, while others prefer to curl up in a dog bed.

Some like to ride in style and look out the window.

And some can get a little car-sick.

Of course, all this driving also means a lot of time in bad traffic, especially when the drive is into Manhattan or New Jersey.

But for Nina, the minor inconveniences like bad traffic or messy dogs are worth it because giving back is so rewarding.

“When you drop off a dog at an adopter or you are there when the adopter meets the dog, you feel like you are Santa Claus because you bring them a gift — such a huge gift for the many years to come,” says Nina. “I know how I felt when I got my dog. ... He just makes me smile. And knowing that you are a part of really bringing life and love to a family is amazing.”

In fact, she says, she will never forget the experience she had of placing a dog with a woman whose fiance and her previous dog had passed away. “We found her the perfect dog,” Nina says. “And when you do this, [it’s] one of those cry moments.”

Moments like these remind Nina why she is so glad she started volunteering with Friends With Four Paws in the first place.

A group of fosters, volunteers, and adopters at a Friends With Four Paws "Transport Day,"greeting some of the dogs that have just arrived from Oklahoma.

“I do love the people that I am [volunteering] with” she says. “We’re a very small rescue, and so it’s like [being] part of a family that tries to do the right thing and tries to do what they can to really make this world a better place.”

She adds: “So, you do this for dogs, you do this for humans. Rescue is my happy place.”

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

Sir David Attenborough has one of the most recognized and beloved voices in the world. The British broadcaster and nature historian has spent most of his 94 years on Earth educating humanity about the wonders of the natural world, inspiring multiple generations to care about the planet we all call home.

And now, Attenborough has made a new name for himself. Not only has he joined the cool kids on Instagram, he's broken the record for reaching a million followers in the shortest period. It only took four hours and 44 minutes, which is less time than it took Jennifer Aniston, who held the title before him at 5 hours and 16 minutes.

A day later, Attenborough is sitting at a whopping 3.4 million followers. And he only has two Instagram posts so far, both of them videos. But just watch his first one and you'll see why he's attracted so many fans.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


There are very few people who have had quite as memorable a life as Arnold Schwarzenegger. His adult life has played out in four acts, with each one arguably more consequential than the last.

And now Schwarzenegger wants to play a role in helping America, his adopted home, ensure that our 2020 election is safe, secure and available to everyone willing and able to vote.

Shortly after immigrating to America, Schwarzenegger rose up to become the most famous bodybuilder in history, turning what was largely a sideshow attraction into a legitimate sport. He then pivoted to an acting career, becoming Hollywood's highest paid star in a run that spanned three decades.


Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less