Young philanthropists Lindsey Spielfogel and Elizabeth Shafiroff launched Global Strays — the charity they founded to help fund and support animal rescue organizations in underdeveloped countries — with a fundraising bash at Lower East Side hotspot, The Rumpus Room. And we noticed a broader smile than usual on board member and mom, Jean Shafiroff, as she invited friends and supporters to be photographed. An animal lover and advocate as well, Jean’s been joining daughter Elizabeth and Lindsey on their rescue missions.
It started, Elizabeth told us on their many trips around the world. “Traveling through Asia and such South American countries as Colombia, Panama and Nicaragua, we were horrified to see dogs in deplorable conditions, abused and neglected. We saw dogs suffering in the streets. We saw dogs with broken bones from motorcycle accidents, dogs being eaten alive by fleas and ticks all over their bodies, and in 100 degree weather chained to a pole 24 hours a day,” she explained. “When we came back to the United States, it was a striking comparison to see how happy the dogs are in New York City. So, we decided to start a charity to give grants to rescue organizations in developing counties Global Strays pays for spay and neuter initiatives, veterinarian care and food for animal rescue groups — working in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Saint Lucia, the Dominican Republic. Here in New York City, we work with Social Tees Animal Rescue Foundation, to get the dogs we bring back adopted.”
They leave with full hearts and return with lighter wallets — and as many dogs as they can carry on the plane. “We bring back certain dogs that we feel do not have good chances of being adopted in those countries,” Elizabeth said. “Maybe they’re sick or they need special training because they just came off the streets. Through Social Tees, we get them a foster home within 24 hours and then, adopted.”
Rita Cosby emceed. Ollie Pet Foods gifted attendees with samples of their delicious dog food, human-grade and specially formulated for dogs. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to partner organizations in Central America, as well as Social Tees Animal Rescue Foundation, an organization that rescues animals from high kill shelters across the United States. A short documentary about Global Strays’ work in Central America was screened for guests.
For more information, visit www.globalstrays.org.