It is often said of those who rescue animals, ‘You can’t save them all,’ which, unfortunately, is true, but for Eve Johnson Roser, a native of High Point, NC, that comment has never defeated her efforts to save as many animals as possible. Eve’s rescue mission began in March 1995, but her love of animals started as a little girl with parents who took in strays and instilled in her compassion for all living things.
“When I was five years old, a family friend found a nearly frozen and starved terrier mix pup behind his business during a snowstorm. He called my dad, and we adopted the pup, who I named Fido, and he was my constant and loyal companion until I went to NCSU my freshman year; I was heartbroken to lose him later that year,” recalled Eve. It wasn’t until March 1995, when during a regular vet visit with her dog, Tara, that the cold, hard truth of what happens to abandoned animals came to light for Eve.
“I pulled up at the vet’s office with Tara and saw the animal control truck was there. I asked my vet tech why the ‘dog catcher,’ as I had called it since childhood, was at their office. She explained that my vet had been contacted by the county to euthanize all puppies and kittens under 16 weeks. She described to me the shelter used a carbon monoxide chamber to kill animals and that the younger unwanted animals, wouldn’t succumb to that method, so they brought them there for a lethal injection. I honestly couldn’t believe what she was saying. Tears filled my eyes as she detailed the number of animals euthanized annually in Davidson County, where I live, and the overcrowding of the shelter,” Eve said. After taking her dog home, Eve drove straight to the Davidson County Animal Shelter with her 18-month-old son in tow and walked in, seeing first-hand the awful conditions at the shelter and the many abandoned animals who were failed by humans. Eve found the most frightened and sickly puppy, covered in fleas and mange mites, adopted the puppy, named her Twiggy, nursed her back to health and found her a forever home. That was the beginning of Eve’s mission of helping the abandoned and neglected animals in our community.
“I returned to the shelter almost daily for the next six years. On one occasion, I adopted 28 kittens; I literally took every single kitten. I got them the care they needed and was warned by my veterinarian, who was concerned for my financial and emotional wellbeing, that ‘Rescuing animals is like trying to catch raindrops; the rain keeps coming.’ I understood his practical advice, but I am so glad I didn’t let his words deter me,” commented Eve. Along with helping the animals who continued to come into the shelter, Eve played an integral role in raising money for the building of the new Davidson County Animal Shelter which opened in 1999. Eve and her husband, John, donated to the building fund and have a room at the shelter named in their honor. John, a furniture designer, was able to get all the furniture donated to the shelter. Eve hasn’t worked all the years on behalf of animals alone, her husband and son, Dillon, have been supportive in her efforts as well.
In 24 years of working on behalf of animals, Eve has personally rescued, fostered or found homes for over 8,000 abandoned and unwanted companion animals. Eve and her family, who live on 60 acres, a true animal sanctuary, have continued to care for animals in their own home over the years, including the 19 dogs that are currently in their care, along with 22 rescued cats. “I am extremely fortunate to have unconditional love and support from my husband, John, and son, Dillon. They have lived this crazy rescue life with me; John feeds our 19 dogs every morning, and Dillon has been my right hand since he was a year old. They provide the foundation, strength, patience, and love to make my rescue efforts possible. I am often asked if John loves animals as much as I do, and I say that ‘I know John sure loves me!’” Eve said. The Rosers also foster animals as they await forever homes. As the owner of Fur Babies Boarding and Grooming, in High Point, NC, Eve is able to give the fosters a new look, as well as discounts to other nonprofit animal rescues on boarding and grooming. “We are physically, financially and emotionally invested in the rescues’ wellbeing. I can’t save every animal, and I can’t ‘un-see’ the faces of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. What I do can be overwhelming with moments of despair and hopelessness, but my faith in God always sees me through the darkest of times,” commented Eve. Besides her work with her business, Eve is also the VP of Susie’s Hope Non-Profit, which houses rescued animals until homes can be found. With all the pain that Eve has seen, you might think it would be too much, yet she presses on.
“There’s no greater joy or reward than when a rescued animal that was abandoned, abused or neglected gets adopted into a loving home. I dream of a world where every companion animal has a home and violence is replaced by compassion and love,” Eve stated.
For information on adopting an animal, visit Susie’s Hope on Facebook.