An Inspiring New Nonprofit: Global Strays

Photo Jill Golden

It was a heartening sight to see. New York animal lovers, young and old, clad in every genre from sleek chignons and sparkling Oscar de La Renta, to summer seersucker and red stripes, to a chic take on a rapper tee and braids filled the downtown Rumpus Room until it overflowed onto the street. They all came together on the evening of June 21st to support a wonderful new organization founded to help animals throughout the world – Global Strays.

Elizabeth Shafiroff & Lindsey Spielfogel
Photo: Patrick McMullan

The idea for Global Strays all began when Elizabeth “Liz” Shafiroff, daughter of luminary philanthropist Jean Shafiroff and Liz’ friend Lindsey Spielfogel went on vacation together in Nicaragua. Together, they were horrified by the suffering of animals they saw. Ticks, fleas and open sores were rampant. Lindsey told the story of a pup Handel who they rescued from the streets of Nicaragua. He was not only starving, but he had been hit by a motor bike and had a hurt leg with a little tarp on it. Liz scooped him up and they took him to a vet. He healed nicely and on their next trip they were able to bring him back to a loving family in the US where he is now flourishing as virtually unrecognizable, vibrant dog. He is one of 28 dogs these women have brought back with them from their travels, who all have found homes through Global Strays partner organization in the US: Social Tees Animal Rescue Foundation.

It was a crowded scene
Photo: Jill Golden

Liz explained that Global Strays, now an official 501(c)3 nonprofit is currently concentrating its work in Nicaragua, and that the goal is to ultimately provide grants to animal welfare organizations throughout the developing world. The most immediate next targets include the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Saint Lucia. Liz and Lindsey have made several self-funded trips to Nicaragua, to see the work funded by Global Strays first hand. They strongly believe it is important for them to be able to personally vouch for the organizations that are awarded grants for food, medications and spay and neutering efforts. An upcoming project is Nicaragua’s first Dog Ambulance.

Ultimately, they hope to influence cultures throughout the world and establish spaying, neutering, knowledgeable veterinary care and “pet parenting” as universal norms. One lovely part of the evening was all of the shared memories of pets past and present and the extraordinary joy they bring to our lives…

Michele Herbert’s cocker spaniel thought she was a person and loved walking down the street with Michele as a fellow “blonde”.

Coco is President’s twelve-year-old Shih Tzu, who reminds him everyday to stop and enjoy the simple things, as that is what makes life worth living!

Kennedy Hines recently moved to NYC and loves her rescue Nugget who was left behind a dumpster as a puppy. Nugget has ears as big as her head that pick right up when she’s alert.

Social Tees brought David Rein together with Brewster, a corgi/golden retriever mix who was worth waiting for since David has always wanted a dog since he was a little kid.

After much warm and friendly mingling, the attendees of of the Kick-off Global Strays Fundraising Event got an introduction to the organization from Liz and Lindsey, watched a film and then wrapped up the party with dancing.

Jean Shafiroff
Photo: Patrick McMullan

Jean Shafiroff summed up the super-successful evening by talking about how proud she is of both Liz and Lindsey for turning their heartfelt passion into effective action.  Many abused and abandoned dogs are already living happy, healthy lives due to their efforts. Individual donations for the evening ranged from $35 to at least one $5,000 pledge.

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– Jill Golden



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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