by Denise Carey-Costa
Anyone who has ever worked with, volunteered with or assisted an animal rescue group knows the work is hard, often heartbreaking and definitely not glamorous and you definitely will not get rich from it. But the personal reward is beyond the material and it takes a special kind of person to devote their life to rescuing the abandoned, abused and forgotten.
Cheryl Szary is that special kind of person and has been involved in the rescue field for over 40 years. She started as a court-appointed cruelty officer for Broward County, Florida and was tasked with investigating abuse claims.
In 2007 the founder of Allen Babcock Rescue in Plantation, Florida became ill with Pancreatic Cancer and passed away. Cheryl was determined that this rescue be able to keep on with their important work. She took over as president and her daughter Nicole Damico filled in as vice president to help her mom out. Between the two of them they have successfully rescued thousands of dogs since 2007. They have also been instrumental in helping other rescues nationwide by pulling dogs from high kills shelters and arranging for transport to other states.
Her generosity does not stop here; she raised money for the Chipley shelter also in Florida, by conducting a fundraiser for them. The funds were used to buy dog igloo houses used to keep mother dogs and their puppies stay warm. One night when a cold front hit, Cheryl went out and bought a bunch of sweaters which were then altered and used to keep the dogs at Broward County Animal Shelter warm.
Cheryl’s home has always been a sanctuary for dogs with “issues.” She cared for dogs that were misunderstood, had neurological conditions or were too shy to find themselves a home. Cheryl has never given up even on the most difficult dogs. She once rescued a dog that was hit by a car in Miami. It took two years to find him a home but Cheryl never gave up on him until he found his forever home.
Cheryl Szary is one of those people who have devoted their entire life to helping animals and in the service of others. Now she has fallen on hard times and is reaching out for someone to help her. On November 22, 2013 Cheryl was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that metastasized to her brain. At this stage the cancer is not curable. She has been given a few months to live but Nicole and Cheryl are not giving up and remain positive and willing to keep on fighting. The illness has left Cheryl crippled and Nicole has had to take over all responsibilities handling the rescue.
Nicole is sending out a plea to all other rescues to adopt, foster, or take in their dogs. Some dogs need special extra care due to a rough beginning but all are wonderful dogs.
Nicole is asking for help from other rescues and the community. She also needs help from sanctuaries for special needs dogs. If each rescue can take one to two dogs it would help Nicole and Cheryl tremendously. They currently have 22 dogs in private boarding and the outrageous cost of $1200.00 per week. Donations are also desperately needed.
Allen Babcock Rescue does have a network of volunteers who will help by driving dogs wherever they need to go. All rescue dogs are up to date on vaccines and spayed and neutered.
Cheryl and Nicole refuse to turn their dogs over to a place that will have them put to sleep. They have come too far and worked to hard to let their beloved dogs end that way.
If you can help please contact .
To view a list of their adoptable dogs visit http://babcockrescue.com/adoptables.html.
In that well known Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” a guardian angel tell us how “Each life touches so many lives….” Cheryl Szary has touched the lives of dogs and humans for over 40 years. Her Christmas wish list is very simple this year. She just wants to save her precious dogs and continue the legacy of faith, hope and rescue.
o view adoptable dogs please visit
Please help her this Christmas.