Brevardian of the Week: Evelyn Bridges!

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Evelyn & sweet Rottie at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah (largest no-kill sanctuary in U.S.)... Evelyn has been there 4 times to volunteer with helping to care for the animals ;-)

Evelyn & sweet Rottie at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah (largest no-kill sanctuary in U.S.)… Evelyn has been there 4 times to volunteer with helping to care for the animals ;-)

Place of employment (what do you do & where?): Steve Owen and Associates as a real estate broker for 17 1/2 yrs. Was alcohol/drug abuse counselor prior to that.

Any volunteer work? Help with any kind of animal rescue work where ever and whenever I can.

Evelyn, with husband, Marion

Evelyn, with husband, Marion

Where/how did you develop your passion for rescuing animals?
When I was 10 years old and walking home from school, I saw a small dog running around a card box box and crying. It was a mother dog and her 4 puppies had been put in the box. She was obviously abandoned by someone. I left all my school books and lunch box on side of road, picked up box of puppies and mama dog followed me home. My Daddy just laughed and asked what we were going to do with them. Well, we had mama dog spayed and got all puppies healthy and found homes for all of them. I grew up with beagles, treeing fiests, German Shepherds, cats and a couple of mixed breed dogs. Both parents and my grandmother were all big animal lovers and I just followed suit.

Click here to read Evelyn’s complete profile… 
Do you have some favorite animals that you’ve rescued?
I absolutely have rescued so many (over 2,000) that it is hard to pick favorites. Of course, most of these were adopted or transported to reputable rescue groups in the northeast, but all of my pets have all been rescues. The ones that stand out the most are the ones that were so horribly abused, neglected, starved, so very sick and still all of them (with a little time and love and food and medical attention) gave back so much more to me than I gave to them. One little female found by security guard at Connestee Falls was so sick with the mange that we could not even begin to guess what breed she was and just skin and bones, open wounds, infections, no hair. I named her Precious and promised her that she would never go hungry or hurt again. After months of treatments and loving care with one of our wonderful foster families, she was well enough to be spayed and was sent to Lucky Dogs in Washington DC and adopted by a wonderful family who adores her. They even rented a car to drive to California one Christmas because they would not let her travel in the hold of the plane.

Any special stories to share?
Violet was a Husky taken to our shelter by an owner due to being so cut up by barbed wire that he could not afford to treat her. Well, we did and she had to have surgery and long term care but got well and was adopted by a local couple at College Walk. We named her Violet because owner did the best he could when she was injured and literally covered her with purple violet medicine. The purple finally worn off.

Have you rescued any animals lately?
I have two foster dogs at my house right now. I got Casey on Nov. 3rd and Brenda on Nov. 26th. Casey is a senior cocker who was so matted she could barely walk. We had to have the vet completely shave her. She was also heart worm positive and is almost finished with the medical treatment. The other dog, Brenda is about 3 years old and underweight. She looks to have had multiple litters. She was spayed today. She was running in the middle of a road the day after Thanksgiving.

Sweet cocker spaniel, Casey, rescued first week in November... all matted and dirty ;-(

Sweet cocker spaniel, Casey, rescued first week in November… all matted and dirty ;-(

Sweet Casey today (about 8 years old)... was heartworm positive when Evelyn rescued her, but she finishes her last treatment this week, and then is ready for her forever home! (she's fully vetted with all vaccinations, dewormer, flea/tick meds)... such a sweetheart!

Sweet Casey today (about 8 years old)… was heartworm positive when Evelyn rescued her, but she finishes her last treatment this week, and then is ready for her forever home! (she’s fully vetted with all vaccinations, dewormer, flea/tick meds)… such a sweetheart!

Brenda (brendle pit about 3 years old, only 26 pounds)... being spayed this week and then she will be ready for her forever home! (also fully vetted with all vaccinations, dewormer, flea/tick meds, etc.)

Brenda (brendle pit about 3 years old, only 26 pounds)… being spayed this week and then she will be ready for her forever home! (also fully vetted with all vaccinations, dewormer, flea/tick meds, etc.)

How can people help with animal rescue, even if they cannot adopt an animal?
So many ways to help. Donations, (food, money, supplies, etc.), volunteer at shelters or with rescue groups, cross posting emails to spread the word about needy animals, help with transports to other rescues or to spay/neuter clinics, to vet offices.

Some people say animals don’t have feelings… what do you think (do they)?
Of course they have feelings. Just look in their eyes and see the love there. What is so heartbreaking is to see the fear and sadness in their eyes at the beginning of the rescue process.

What’s the nicest thing that has happened to you in the past 3 months? My husband became cancer free.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
That I also have a soft spot in my heart for our very senior members of society. I love to hear their stories and learn from them.

What’s one item on your bucket list?
To go to Africa to see the wild animals in their natural habitat.

What are your hobbies? Reading.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten? Be true to myself.

Ever had a brush with a celebrity? Saw Mohammed Ali in airport in Bahamas years ago.

What are you most proud of in your life? Saving our animals.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Brevard?
The friendliness of the residents and slow pace and natural beauty.

If you had $100 free money right now to spend in Brevard, how would you spend it? Buy doggie treats!

Your biggest pet peeve: People who do not respond to emails or phone messages in a timely manner.

Your favorite way to spend free time: Reading and being with my pets.

Have you ever left home wearing your pajamas? Almost every day. I walk my foster dogs around my neighborhood in my pj’s.

Who had the most influence (or had the biggest impact) on you while growing up?
My Daddy. He was the perfect father for me. Taught me to be responsible for myself, that it was my privilege, honor and duty to care for all animals, to treat others with courtesy and respect.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My daughter

How are you doing on your 2014 New Year’s resolutions? I didn’t make any.

If you won the lottery, what would you splurge on? animal care and trip to Africa

What were summers like for you, as a child?
Wonderful.. playing with friends outdoors, riding bikes, swimming, boating, going to camp..

What’s one piece of advice you wish you had listened to when you were younger? To save my money.

What’s your favorite “de-stress” technique? Crawl in bed and pull covers over my head and pray

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