Operation ResCUTE helps local animal shelters in aiding their adoption efforts, so every animal can find a loving home, just like the founder's beloved rescued canine.
Laurie Brown-Nagin was pulling into a parking spot on the Upper West Side when she saw an animal control officer carrying a small puppy, who was tucked into a red blanket with only her little head poking out, into a vet clinic. That day, almost seven years ago, the mother and marketing executive became an activist.
Laurie and her muse, named Jingles, almost didn’t meet. Laurie was in the city to buy a cake for her daughter’s birthday--at a bakery she hadn’t been to in more than a decade--when she spotted the officer with the 4-month-old puppy. Jingles had been found starving in a garbage can in the Bronx and had spent the previous night at a shelter. The puppy had a broken jaw and was headed to the vet to receive medical attention.
“When I saw her I fell in love with her,” says Laurie, who stepped in to take care of the homeless puppy’s medical expenses.
Laurie already had two dogs at home and was not prepared for a third, but she could not get the ailing little pup out of her mind. As soon as Jingles recovered, Laurie took the puppy home--a decision that would transform both of their lives.
“Once I knew Jingles, it changed everything that I wanted to do. The moment I looked at her I knew there should not be another dog like her that is not loved,” says Laurie. In September, she launched a non-profit called Operation ResCUTE whose mission is to aid animal shelters in adoption efforts.
Even though she had been a life-long supporter of animal rights, Laurie says adoption wasn’t really on her radar. She believes part of the problem is a lack of education and a distorted perception about shelter dogs.
Through Operation ResCUTE, Laurie made it her mission to change the conversation about adopting a rescued pet. She decided to develop a series of children’s books written from the dogs’ point of view in order to encourage young readers to empathize with less fortunate animals. All of the profits from the book, which is sold as a set with a plushy Jingles toy and Operation ResCUTE stickers, will go to selected animal shelters nationwide.
Operation ResCUTE runs an ongoing contest to choose the shelters which will receive donations. Recipients are chosen based on stories of the courageous efforts submitted by families of rescued dogs around the country.
Another important aspect of the project, says Laurie, is that becoming a resCUTER empowers kids to feel like they’re making a difference.
“Kids know that they have actually helped to save a dog somewhere, and help the dog find a family. I think it’s very empowering.”
The second story in the series will focus on a resCUTE named Tanner and will be released this summer. A third story is already in the works.
The limited-edition Jingles set is available for purchase on amazon or on operationrescute.com.
As for Jingles, she is happy, healthy, and thriving with her family in New York City, where she is always by Laurie’s side.