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CONTINUED - The Origins of Urgent Part 2… Part II
By Michaeal Mullins
Published May 26, 2012
In the past year alone, over $50,000 has been raised by DRD toward a medical fund for sick, injured and elderly animals in need. The nonprofit also works with a select eight or so area rescue groups, assisting with veterinary bills for rescued and abandoned animals. A testament to its reach in the community is the 38,500-plus “likes” the Facebook page Urgent Part 2 (UP2), has received thus far.

How it came about…

A Suffolk County native and life-long animal-lover, Pepp only recently became active in animal welfare advocacy, having, as she freely admits, been previously “naive” about NYC’s shelter system, unaware that the greatest city in the world euthanized thousands of adoptable shelter animals every year.

While administering websites and Facebook pages for several area rescue groups in 2010, Pepp, who previously dealt mostly with Long Island animal shelters, placed a call to ACC to inquire about an animal’s adoption status. During the call the ACC employee asked Pepp if she had seen last night’s list. Not knowing what the ACC employee was referring to, Pepp asked her “what list”? Pepp was shocked by what she saw next.

“I had it sent it to me, and I think I stared at it for what seemed an eternity, trying to wrap my mind around it,” recalled Pepp. “It was a list of 30 dogs, all being killed by NYC. I never thought that they killed dogs in NYC, but it was not a mistake and almost every dog on that list was dead. Dead over stupid reasons such as kennel cough or rawhide aggression.”

Pepp continued, “I became mad. I became angry. These dogs all died and no one knew they existed. No one knew they were on a stupid list. No one knew that they needed to care. They died unknown and rejected. The castaways of society, a society of individuals like me who just didn’t know. At that moment, I decided that I was going to save as many [shelter dogs] as possible, and I was going to do it by posting them on every forum I could think of.”

And with that, UP2 became a reality.

According to Pepp, her original Facebook page – Urgent Rescue Needed, was shut down by the social media site because it was reported for copyright infringement. Unable to find out who made the complaint, Pepp believes it was an ACC employee who
attempted to close the page, considering the photos she was posting were taken
at the facility, presumably by staff or volunteers.

The same day her initial page was taken down, Pepp launched Urgent Part 2 and continued posting shelter pictures without further issues from Facebook.

In the past two years, Pepp has built a network of dedicated volunteers that stretches across the country. Each of the ten or so core volunteers play an important role on a daily basis, from the stay at home mom who checks the status of shelter animals throughout the day, to the office worker who updates a certain section of the DRD’s website every night. Pepp has even drafted an active duty U.S. Marine to assist with day to day operations at DRD.

As a result of DRD’s dedicated volunteers and Pepp’s networking abilities, the nonprofit has expanded its operations to include shelter cats. Last fall, DRD acquired an existing Facebook page called Pets on Death Row (PODR). Without changing the page's name, Pepp converted the page to Urgent Death Row Cats, via its top banner, and began sharing photos of ACC cats scheduled for euthanasia the following morning.

At the time of this article, PODR had over 27,000 likes on Facebook.

“So many people, from all over the country, contribute behind the scenes. Aside from the handful of volunteers that help monitor both UP2 and PODR, we have dozens more
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