Written by a Melinda Roth, The Man Who Talks to Dogs, chronicles Randy Grim’s efforts to save the homeless street dogs in the St. Louis area. I’ll review the book here tomorrow. Save the date: January 16!
It takes a village. You may not be “hands on” but…. you spread the word. You encourage rescue. All of that IS what rescue IS. Don’t discount a bit of it just because you aren’t hanging out your shingle as a rescue organization…. we’re all in this together.
–Melinda Roth, Learning from Dogs
Raised in the Chicago area, Melinda Roth has worked as a state political correspondent and feature writer for the St. Louis Riverfront Times and as the education reporter for the Edwardsville Intelligencer. Roth’s most recent venture of moving to the country to write a novel resulted in her becoming the accidental owner of a menagerie of farm animals. Within a week of her move, her neighbor’s barn burned down, and she took in all of his farm animals. She also has three children and two rescued dogs. You can follow her posts at: Anyone Seen My Horse?
After years of rescuing dogs and finding them homes with every friend and relative possible, Randy Grim founded Stray Rescue of St. Louis in 1998. When talking about the History of Stray Rescue, Grim states that he has no idea how he did it, except that he had no choice. He never devised a game plan or had a vision. Stray Rescue was “born out of necessity”.
Once a flight attendant, Grim decided there had to be more to life than saying, “chicken or beef”. In 1990, Grim switched careers to become a dog groomer, because he thought it would at least point him in the direction of his dream of working with animals. In an effort to get dogs off the street, Grim would make the normal calls to local shelters and government agencies, only to find out that these dogs were out of luck. Grim then took matters into his own hands, finding ways to catch the dogs and enlisting friends to help save the dogs. Now Grim operates two no-kill shelters with a legion of 200 volunteers.
Grim downplays his role, describing himself in this way: “I suffer from social anxiety. I have some phobias. I am gay. I am a shy, private kind of guy – by no means a hero….” Yet his organization Stray Rescue has received numerous accolades from the American Red Cross, as well as national media attention from Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel and Forbes Magazine. Grim is obviously someone to admire. Stray Rescue’s foster network is considered the largest and most effective program of its kind in the St. Louis area.