RDR in the News
Rocket Dog Rescue has been given a wonderful amount of attention from local and national journalists and television networks who are fascinated by our founder and compassionate about our cause. Here are some of the places we’ve been mentioned.
Northside, San Francisco
Jasmine Blue’s Tails of the Dog Park
- Chapter 29: Saving Petey
- Chapter 21: The haunting eyes of throwaway dogs | PDF Version
- Chapter 22: One flew over the Cooper’s nest
- Chapter 23: Cooper Undercover
- Chapter 24: Why did Cooper fall through the cracks?
- Cover Story: How the San Francisco SPCA Let Us Down
The Woofer Times – January, 2006
Read the article: For the Love of a Dog (pdf)
Best of the Bay 2005: Best Place to Take Your Licks – Rocket Dog Rescue
As all dog lovers can attest, there’s nothing quite like a faithful canine companion. Of course, giving that faithful friend the good life means lots of time, money, patience, and years of scooping poop. Sadly, some pups end up down on their luck, kicked out of homes or abandoned, with no master’s shoes on which to chew or cans of kibble at which to longingly stare. Lucky dogs end up at no-kill shelters and with rescuers who help them find homes. But for many dogs, finding placement can be (pardon the pun) a total bitch. Rocket Dog Rescue brings pooches to the people with its twice-monthly, Sunday-afternoon adoption fairs in Noe Valley and the Castro District. Even if you’re not ready to take the plunge into dog ownership, the chance to muss a few furballs’ hair is reason enough to stroll by.
In Defense of Animals Guardian of the Month – Pali Boucher, June 2005
IDA’s June Guardian of the Month, Pali Boucher, knows what it’s like to be without a home, so she has a special place in her heart for the pooches waiting in animal shelters for loving guardians. As a young girl, Boucher was placed in a foster home, then later lived on the streets of San Francisco. Always an animal lover, Boucher visited the dogs at the SPCA constantly, hoping they would get adopted before being euthanized. One hound dog stole her heart and turned her life around. After adopting Leadbelly, Boucher made a home for herself and started fostering other dogs. After Leadbelly’s death, she founded the non-profit Rocket Dog Rescue in 2001 as a tribute to his courageous spirit. Rocket Dog has been going strong ever since. The organization specializes in rescuing dogs from Bay Area shelters that are in danger of being euthanized, then socializing them until they are adoptable. With decades of experience between them, Boucher and her network of foster parents bring out the best in every dog. Their collective dedication saved the lives of about 180 dogs last year, and that number will continue to grow as the organization gains allies and raises more funds. Rocket Dog’s success has even attracted the attention of TV’s Animal Planet, which plans to produce a one-hour special featuring their exceptional work.
The Noe Valley Voice – April 2005
TOP DOGS: A benefit for Rocket Dog Rescue at Lovejoy’s Tea Room on Church Street raised over $5,000 towards the $25,000 Rocket Dog founder Pali Boucher needs to open a canine “urban sanctuary.” On hand were Supervisor Bevan Dufty and KCBS reporter Barbara Taylor, who took the opportunity to present Boucher with a Certificate of Honor for all her efforts at saving abused and neglected dogs.
Special thanks should also go to Lovejoy’s Gillian Briley, who donated her service staff, tea, and food to host the 50-plus guests. Boucher’s Rocket Dog Rescue will be featured in a one-hour special on cable TV’s Animal Planet later this year.
The Bernal Journal – November, 2004
It’s clear that Pali adores them all as she glowingly introduces them and holds the smaller ones up for a nuzzle or a scratch behind the ears. She claims a great affinity with the plight of unwanted dogs, having spent several years living homeless on the streets of San Francisco with her beloved dog Leadbelly. After turning her life around, she says, “The minute I had anything to offer, I started to give it away.” And so Rocket Dog Rescue came into being. It became an official nonprofit org in late 2001, and Pali estimates it has saved around five hundred dogs since then.
Pali is helped in her mission by a dedicated band of volunteers, from retirees to preteens (yes, minors can help if they get permission from their parents), who take part in “slumber parties” to help the dogs socialize, or just stop by to take them for walks and give them some attention. They even answer her cell phone, which rings constantly with enquiries.
Sympathetic shelter employees will alert Pali if they see potential in a dog who might not otherwise get a chance at being homed — if an older dog has a medical condition, or a small dog is too bitey, for example. Rocket Dog takes them all. Little dogs that don’t pass a temperament test at a city shelter will soon blossom into loving pups under Pali’s care, and those with behavioral issues get solid attention from a trainer with forty years’ experience on regular trips to Fort Funston. Some dogs’ previous owners may have been allergic to them: these hounds get another chance. No dog is unhomeable in Rocket Dog’s eyes.
Rocket Dog Rescuers can be found at their biweekly mobile adoption days in Noe Valley. You’ll find them there the first Sunday of the month outside Zephyr Realty at 24 th St. between Noe and Castro; third Sunday of the month outside the Bank of America at 18 th and Castro streets. Stop by to pet some of the potential canine adoptees (and maybe take one home – Pali is charmingly persistent!), or talk to a volunteer or two to find out how you can help. Ask sisters Szerena and Ibolya Mandoki of Cortland Avenue, who have helped Pali for years, even taking in a dog and a chicken. “We pretty much live at her house!” Szerena says. “So we need more foster homes all the time.” Even folks who are happy to wash blankets and bedding will be welcomed with open arms.
Rocket Dog’s next big task is the Urban Sanctuary Project, founding a space for a permanent kennel for the dogs. In February, there will be two fund-raising benefits for RDR’s Urban Sanctuary Project, featuring yummy food and drink as well as auctions of items including autographed uniforms from Barry Bonds and Willie Mays. Pali also hopes to set up an Annual Dog Wash to raise funds, possibly in Bernal: If you have enough open space available to soap and rinse a day’s worth of mucky mutts, please let her know.
A camera crew from the Animal Planet TV channel came out recently to film a two-hour special on the Rocket Dog volunteers; the show may yet turn into a series on the work of the nonprofit. (Check TV listings for more details.)
This time of year often sees an increase in the number of animals dropped off at shelters. Their owners can’t afford to pay for boarding, or the dogs have health or temperament problems that are exacerbated by the holiday season.
Rocket Dog is run entirely on donations and the efforts of its volunteers — and anything you can help with will be greatly appreciated. If a kindly Bernal neighbor can take in a foster dog for a while, that will be another life saved. And, as Pali says, “it will help a little bit of your soul’ to rescue a dog that might otherwise not get a chance.
Rumors Behind the News – September, 2003
HATS OFF to Pali Boucher, who is the founder and head pilot for Rocket Dog Rescue. She travels to animal shelter all over Northern California, picking up canines about to be euthanized. With the help of 20 to 60 volunteers, Boucher gives about 180 dogs a year a new leash on life.
On the first Sunday of the month she brings a bunch of these rescued dogs to 24th Street and sets up adoption central in front of Zephyr Realty. Boucher says that Zephyr has been very supportive of her efforts, even though the crowds get so big that it sometimes blocks the entrance to the real estate emporium.
“Noe Valley is one of our most successful locations,” says Boucher, “where a lot of dogs are adopted by the neighbors and we have a lot of people, especially kids, who come out and just hang out with our dogs and give them love and affection.”
Boucher says she often gets calls from animal shelters on the day that the dirty deed is scheduled, and has to race to the shelter to rescue a particular dog. “We also take disabled dogs (three legged, one eyed etc.) and try to find them a home.”
If you miss her on the first Sunday of the month you can go over the hill to Eureka Valley on the third Sunday of the month, where Rocket Dog sets up its doggy adoption center at 18th and Castro.
Pali Boucher is San Francisco’s canine champion par excellence. The Ellsworth Street resident and founder of Rocket Dog Rescue visits shelters across the Bay Area and brings home older dogs or those with health or behavioral problems, and places them with a network of volunteer foster carers until she can find them permanent, loving homes. “We don’t shy away from any dog,” she says proudly. A recent visit to meet some of Rocket Dog’s recent rescues showed a happy bunch of hounds, from a chocolate chihuahua to a Doberman and just about all sizes in between.