Be the Change: Victoria Stewart – Saving Animals Without A Voice

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From as early as she can remember, Victoria Stewart has fostered a deep love for animals. Today, she rescues German shepherds and huskies who might otherwise be euthanized and houses them at Goliath Mountain Rescue, a non-profit organization she founded in Siskiyou County.

“I am a small rescue, so I have a limited impact, but I’ve saved hundreds of dogs and successfully placed them in homes in California and Oregon,” Stewart says.

Brad and Nancy Newton of Medford, Oregon, adopted their German shepherd, Angie, from Victoria in 2013. “Angie was sick, timid, afraid, and nearing death when Victoria rescued her. Victoria’s love, care and dedication helped restore Angie,” says Nancy. “Angie’s now 4 years old and is a vibrant, outgoing dog. She loves running, playing with our 5-year-old son, Jaxton, and making new doggy friends.”

Victoria’s work is difficult physically, emotionally and financially, though the rewards are tremendous. She’s spent thousands of her own dollars to help the dogs in her care. Her ultimate goal, she says, is to see a day “when no animals are unnecessarily killed … when they have a chance to live and thrive.”

art-0601-btc2We talked to Victoria about her passion to help animals, as well as the heartaches and joys of her job, and this is what she had to say:

What motivates you to help dogs? What draws you to these specific breeds?

Humans domesticated these animals and now they rely on us for everything. We have over-bred them for money and not the care or welfare of the animal, and they are literally killed daily for no reason other than no one wants them. There are approximately 10,000 animals killed in America every single day. If I can make even a small impact, it may not solve the problem, but it will matter to the ones I saved.  As for why I help German shepherds and huskies, it’s because so many are misunderstood.

What is your life philosophy?

“If you are the lone voice in the wilderness, it doesn’t make you wrong.”

What is the most important piece of wisdom to share with youth today?

We all have passions and strengths, and I encourage you to follow your heart on who you are and what you’re meant to do. It comes more natural when doing something you are passionate about.

What are the rewards of your job, and what are the struggles?

I feel rewarded when I know I’ve saved a life; the animal knows it was saved also. Once it’s ready to be adopted, it’s a big reward to see a dog who was frightened and neglected at intake confidently walk away with its new family.  

A challenging aspect of this business is the basic day-to-day care, such as feeding, cleaning kennels, treating medical needs, and working on behavioral issues. I have two full time jobs: one is my regular paying job, and the other is running the rescue. We operate through funding from myself, the founder. Eventually we will seek grants and other forms of support to continue our mission. The costs associated with running a rescue are massive. Many dogs arrive sick, unaltered, and requiring behavioral help. Some will remain a sanctuary dog due to behavioral issues that cannot be overcome. We are a no-kill organization, and therefore when a dog arrives, we take what we get and fix what we can.

What inspires you to “be the change?”

Thousands of animals are killed daily in American shelters. I want to be a part of the change. I want to see better solutions. I want fewer dogs dying and more being placed in loving homes. The changes start with awareness of the truth, and a desire to help in any way, even if it’s a small way.

Anything else you’d like to add?

If you’d like to help the rescue in any way, email goliathmountainrescue@gmail.com. We are always in need of foster homes, supplies, and monetary donations to help with the building of a new kennel and fencing project, as well as day-to-day things, such as food and vet care.

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Skye Kinkade
About Skye Kinkade

Skye Kinkade is a fourth generation Siskiyou County resident and mother of four lively children. She enjoys being part of a close-knit community that is so generous and kind in difficult times.

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