Twenty thousand animals saved.


By: Kayla Knudsen

Twenty thousand animals saved. What an incredible milestone.

Looking back, we’ve seen a lot in the 4,557 days it took to accomplish that feat. Done a lot. Felt a lot. Much of it was good; some of it was sad. All of it is so necessary and so worth it.

It’s hard to believe it’s been 4,557 days since Azure Davis took a giant leap and created a small but mighty rescue that led to all of this. 

Our story started on a whim, really. While studying business at a local university in January 2010, Azure stumbled upon a dog living in a shelter in Ohio. The dog, Hope, was a pitbull mix who was heartworm positive, extremely emaciated, and nearly out of time. Azure took one look at Hope and knew it was her personal responsibility to save her. So she did.

That one moment created Ruff Start. One split-second decision led to all of this. It brought together a community of animal lovers devoted to saving lives and furthering the animal welfare community for years to come. It built an organization known for connecting people and pets, firm on acknowledging, protecting, and doing good in times of immense difficulty and sadness. It saved the lives of over twenty thousand animals.

Do you know what else that one moment did? It led us to you. Because of you and your contributions, our organization can help thousands of animals each year. Whether you donate to our animal care fund, spend multiple hours a week volunteering, bring a few foster animals into your home, or buy a t-shirt, you’ve significantly made a difference in the lives of animals throughout Minnesota and beyond.

So now, we celebrate Ruff Start as an organization, but we also celebrate you. Because without you, this incredible achievement wouldn’t be possible. 

Thank you for giving twenty thousand animals a chance. We truly couldn’t do it without you.