Nancy Pearlman-Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of Australian Shepherds Furever (ASF), began her mission to bring awareness around the Australian Shepherd breed in 2012 when Mrs. Gonzalez and her family fell in love with and adopted Asher, a Blue Merle Australian Shepherd, through a local city shelter. Upon hearing his story of how he entered the shelter Mrs. Gonzalez vowed to do whatever she could to make a difference and to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Mrs. Gonzalez took to Facebook to make a community of Australian Shepherd admirers. With a plan to share a post about an Australian Shepherd in need of a home each day she soon realized her online community was large and spanned all over the world. As her online community grew, she quickly found the needs of those in this community consisted of financial support for procedures such as spays and neuters, heartworm medications, impound fees, and more. With the desire to do whatever she could in 2013 Mrs. Gonzalez applied for 501c3 non-profit status and was approved one year later.
Since the beginning of her journey, Mrs. Gonzalez and her Aussie admirers crew have accomplished great feats. They created a strong, large online community, received non-profit status, and saved over 1,700 Australian Shepherds and Australian Shepherd mixes. Over 170 volunteers and fosters span the country, doing necessary hands-on work orchestrated by the 11 regional managers.
Like many rescues, the mission is to rescue dogs in need and help them find a loving home. It’s easy to pull animals that, on paper, look like they could easily be successful candidates. One thing that is unique to ASF is that they don’t overlook, but rather spotlight, those Aussies and Aussie mixes that are the most severely abused, neglected and ill, the ones that regularly get passed by and looked over.
In fact, in February of 2018, ASF rescued Lady who had so many different health issues including multiple autoimmune disorders that required blood transfusions, an enlarged pancreas and liver, belly fluid, blood clots in her lungs, a skin disorder, and much more. ASF saw a glimmer of hope in Lady’s eyes and didn’t hesitate even as vet costs quickly added up. As of today, the vet costs are over $4,600. Not many people or rescues would give a pup like this a chance, but ASF did, and they are happy to say she is doing well and may soon be scouting to find a new forever home. Credit is due to Lady, too. She didn’t give up because she had a loving foster family to return to, a family who loved her and encouraged her, versus leaving her behind.
While adopting, saving, and fostering Australian Shepherds is a major function of the rescue, a large role is also in educating people about the breed. This sounds simple enough, but many fall in love with the breed at first sight due to their beauty. Those eyes, the playful personality, the luxurious multicolor coat… swoon-worthy. As swoon-worthy as the breed is, it’s important to note the intelligence, drive and energy of the breed and to understand the needs of the breed before finalizing an adoption. The ASF crew does just that to ensure a successful human fur baby match.
While Mrs. Gonzalez has worked hard to get the rescue to where it’s at today, she would like to give a special shout out to two incredibly talented board members, Dale Sabatini, Chief Operations Officer and Adrian Palmer, Chief Medical Advisor. Ms. Sabatini oversees and coordinates all operations within the rescue such as rescue, transports, and applications. Ms. Palmer is the liaison between the different organizations and vets that the rescue works with nationwide on a daily basis. She is always available for the rescue’s fosters and adopters to contact her regarding medical questions. Mrs. Gonzalez doesn’t know what she’d do without the help of these two!
Want to meet the Aussies in their care? Check out the dogs available for adoption at their website here!
Welcome, Australian Shepherds Furever!