While Pedro Rosario’s love of animals was the impetus behind a successful 16-year career at New York City Animal Care and Control, the realities of the job meant he had to witness the euthanizing of many unadopted animals. Rosario believed he could do more to save animals on his own, leading him to create the nonprofit New Beginning Animal Rescue (NBAR) in the East Bronx in 2012.
“These animals need to have a voice,” said Rosario. “And I want to make sure they go to the right places.”
NBAR is dedicated to pet adoption and takes in unwanted, abandoned, abused, or stray pets and attempts to find suitable homes for them. The group is run by volunteers, who take care of animals at Rosario’s kennel in the Bronx and foster them in their own homes. Many volunteers are at-risk high school students who gain a sense of pride and purpose through caring for the animals.
Rosario learned to care for animals growing up on a farm in the Dominican Republic. Undoubtedly this influenced his decision to work with the city’s Animal Care and Control department, where he eventually rose to the position of shelter manager. One year after Rosario was named manager, adoption at his facility rose to its highest-ever level and euthanasia dropped to a record low. But he knew more could be done to help the city’s abandoned animals.
NBAR takes in all breeds of dogs and cats, but it also takes in non-traditional pets as well. The shelter receives between five and 20 surrenders (pets given up by people) per month, with most occurring during the spring and summer.
Rosario operates NBAR on a shoestring budget, caring for up to 80 dogs and 60 cats at any given time. His organization relies solely on donations and adoption fees, and it is almost impossible to cover all of the group’s costs.
But Rosario always shows up to work at the shelter with a smile on his face.
“Every day is rewarding,” said Rosario. “These animals have so much love in their hearts. It’s a beautiful thing when we match them up with a family who feels the same way.”
VIDEO: Yankees players visit Pedro Rosario at the New Beginning Animal Rescue shelter for HOPE Week.
About HOPE Week
Now in its fifth year, the New York Yankees HOPE Week recognizes individuals and organizations whose acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to the community. Honorees are visited in their communities by Yankee players and staff, and attend the night's game as guests of the team.
The Corporation for National and Community Service partners with the New York Yankees to present each HOPE Week honoree with the President's Volunteer Service Award. The Yankees and CNCS hope the honorees' stories send the message that everyone can serve to make their community a better place.