Dog Rescuer Gives Strays a Second Chance

An estimated eight to ten million dogs and cats end up in shelters each year because they were abandoned, abused or neglected by their owners. But there is a population of dogs that live on the streets that were never pets in the first place.

CBS resident veterinarian, Dr. Debbye Turner Bell appeared on The Early Show Wednesday to tell the story of one amazing man who is trying to save these wild canines.

His name? Randy Grim, a dog lover on a mission. He saves stray and wild dogs from the neglected inner city neighborhoods of St. Louis, Mo.

Grim routinely drives across the Mississippi River to search for stray and feral dogs in one of the poorest, most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, East St. Louis, Ill.

"I always say a bomb could go off and do less damage in these areas," Grim said.

The dogs seek shelter anywhere they can find it. Grim pointed out an abandoned hospital, saying packs of dogs live inside.

Grim took Bell inside for a closer look.

"This is a place to get out of the elements. St. Louis has hot summers and its nice and cool. So it's perfect," he said.

"My God, this is a scary version of perfect," Bell added.

None of the dog's he's seen at the hospital recently turned up the day he and Bell showed up. But their luck was about to change.

"This is a very tough neighborhood," Grim said while driving.

A tip from an area resident led Grim to an abandoned house so overgrown with weeds and brush it was barely visible from the road.

Randy and a volunteer searched the property for nearly 15 minutes. Finally, deep in the basement, he found a litter of puppies.

"This has got to feel like a win for you. Yes?" Bell asked Grim as he emerged from the woods with two puppies in his arms.

"It's a mini win. Not a biggie. Puppies are easy. People like puppies," Grim said.

In 15 years, Grim's efforts have helped more than 5,000 dogs beat the odds.

"There are dogs I rescue you wouldn't think would last another hour on this planet. They've been shot, stabbed, burned," he said.

It's hard to believe these creatures can be nursed back to health and become beautiful pets in loving homes.

Grim's success with saving a desperate pet population has led to three books, a movie deal about his life and a talk of a reality show to document his work.

"How are you around this? How do you keep you drive and perspective?" Bell asked.

"When I go home everyday I get treated like a rock star by my clan of dogs that I've saved over the years," he said. "I look in their faces and I know to rest up and get out on the streets and get more. They inspire me to be a better human being."

Grim's success has also led to generous donations. He's currently working to complete a huge no-kill shelter in downtown St. Louis, which Grim says will be more like a "community center" for the dogs he saves.

For more information on Grim's mission, visit, Stray Rescue.
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