Passionate doesn’t even begin to describe the feelings Diamond In The Ruff Rescue (DITR) founders Bev Espenscheid and Lisa Tichy have for their organization. “We do this on our breaks, in the evenings, on the weekends, in the middle of the night when we get the 911 calls,” explains Bev. They both joke by saying, “We often wish we didn’t have day jobs, so we could do this all the time.”
Founded from an overwhelming gap in the community for an animal rescue service, DITR’s foster-based program aims to help animals find their forever home. This passion project is just that, a passion of Bev and Lisa’s. They rely solely on volunteers, donations and fundraisers, as there is no paid staff or brick and mortar facility. Their network of volunteers aid in rescues and foster animals as they transition to a permanent home.
One of their foster volunteers, Austin Gillis, recalls his journey to DITR, “I was in the Air Force for seven years active duty, and was medically discharged. I started doing a lot of different things, but was kind of struggling to find my sense of purpose,” he explains. “One very cold day, my wife and I looked out our window and saw two German Shepherds running in our yard. We started calling around to see if there was a rescue, and that is when we found DITR.” He continues by saying, “They were able to post it to their website, and a short time after, the owners contacted us with much gratitude. After that experience, I contacted DITR and asked if I could get involved.”
Along with the rescue portion of the organization, another great service provided is pet solutions for the elderly in the community. DITR aids in the rehoming transition of pets owned by elderly who are moving into a care facility. The organization also maintains an excellent relationship with the Animal Rescue League, helping them problem-solve difficult animals or facilitate foster animals.
“At the end of the day, the animals are getting a fair chance at a good life,” explains Bev. “They can’t speak for themselves, so we have to speak for them.”