YCRAA - The Beginning

By Corinne Joly
(Corinne is one of YCR's original founders

When I moved to New Ipswich, NH at the end of 1998, I contacted CRT (Chihuahua Rescue and Transport) about volunteering. There were so few CRT New England volunteers that a member of Northeast Rottweiler Rescue did my home visit. In retrospect, I think that the person who does home visits should have experience with the breed that they are qualifying the applicant to adopt/foster. There are myriad differences between the needs of a Chihuahua and a Rottweiler.

However, we were approved and I soon had my first "foster." She was an ancient little girl, with a huge hernia and a severe heart murmur, who had obviously been bred for years and then dumped in downtown Springfield, MA. CRT approved her medical needs and she spent the rest of her life as a much loved member of our family.

This was not what I had expected when I volunteered; but I soon found that I was doing a lot of transports, pulling dogs from shelters, fostering, home visits, and placements. I was in constant contact with another New England volunteer, and since she didn't drive much, she was primarily the "paperwork" person, while I was more hands on.

Soon we started talking about going "on our own" since CRT seemed to be focused primarily on the Southern US. I would be the New England Coordinator and we chose the name Yankee Chihuahua Rescue and Adoption. Soon however, I was a Co-President with Terri Wakefield of Maine.

It was always about the dogs for me. We applied for our non-profit status, kept track of donations and expenses, and worked hard at placing dogs in the right homes. I took care of medical expenses for the dogs I fostered, and considered it a donation. I usually did the home visits for my foster dogs, or at least had the final say on who adopted them. As the group got larger, we experienced the usual growing pains. Occasional members left because of divergent philosophies. Some volunteers became attached to, and kept, their first fosters and then were no longer available to foster for the group. I often took multiple fosters, but still there were some worthy little ones that we just couldn't save. I had to step down as a YCRAA board member because of serious medical issues, but remained a member. When I could, I still did Home Visits, and occasionally fostered and placed dogs. I stayed in touch over the years and was saddened when it looked as though YCRAA might cease to exist early in 2008. I am happy to know that it is being reborn, and that the group will continue to help many more little Chihuahuas to have a bright future.