In Memory Of Diesel
May 27, 2020
When Rolette and Josh Warren’s dog, Diesel, needed an expensive operation several years ago, the Binghamton couple couldn’t find any financial help.
They dialed animal rescue organizations as far away as New York City and California, but were turned down by every organization.
“We ran into a lot of roadblocks,” Rolette Warren said.
They handed over their life savings to pay for Diesel’s medical treatment and ultimately lost their home. Diesel could not be saved. Since then, the couple has recovered financially and now run a non-profit organization in Diesel’s memory that helps pet owners with food and other services.
“Our goal is to help be the bridge between the rescues and everybody else that’s trying to do something different within the pet community,” Warren said.
In Memory of Diesel, which received its nonprofit status in 2017, runs a pet food pantry for dog and cat owners in need, as well as help for cremating pets and providing support for their grieving owners. They also donate pet food to local pet rescue organizations, including Every Dogs Dream, Harpers Haven and Pibbles & More.
Future goals of the organization include providing help for emergency veterinary services, pairing people with disabilities and military veterans with service dogs, and rescuing and rehoming dogs from high-kill shelters.
The pet food pantry recently expanded its pet food services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which shut down schools and businesses, and left many people unemployed.
“During this pandemic, we decided to pass out pet food every week rather than twice a month because of the influx of need in the area,” she said.
Since March, when the pandemic started, the organization has given away 1,400 pounds of pet food, Warren said. The goal is to help pet owners make it through tough financial times without having to give up their pets to shelters.
“We believe that you don’t need to surrender them during that time when you’re just down and out for a short period of time,” she said. “We believe everyone should have the opportunity to give their pet a fighting chance to stay with their family.”
Warren knows firsthand how strong the bond can be between pet and human.
“He was a great dog and an escape artist,” she said of Diesel, who was a Siberian Husky. “He was a character. He was the protector of our kids.”
Diesel was an active dog who never slowed down until the day he started getting sick.
“We knew something was wrong because he never acted like a 12-year-old dog. He acted like a puppy,” she said of Diesel.
Diesel was eventually diagnosed with a fungal infection which infected his lungs. He died in November 2014 but he’s not forgotten.
“That’s why we do it,” Warren said. “This is a way to honor his memory.”