Heroes & hounds: Calendar featuring firefighters helps local rescues

By on October 9, 2018

Precious, a calendar model, as she looks 10 months after being rescued.

In December, Brenda Parrish visited the Bertie County Animal Shelter, which has no running water and no indoor facilities for the animals it takes in. There she saw a dying pit bull who had been found stumbling along a road — cold, hurt and emaciated. She appeared to have been used as a breeder and her body was covered in tumors.

Parrish looked the dog in they eye and promised she’d get her out. On Dec. 19, she made good, delivering the skin-and-bones stray to Ocean Sands K-9 Resort in Kill Devil Hills, owned and operated by animal advocate Pam Anderson. The dog was too weak to walk in on her own.

“She was so abused, if you looked at her she would shiver,” Anderson said.

They gave her a new name, Precious, and began the long, slow process of nursing her back to health — and teaching her to trust people. Her transformation is chronicled on her own Facebook page: My New Name is Precious.

Ten months later, Precious still bears the physical and emotional scars of her past, but she’s learning to trust and love.

Dogs like Precious are the inspiration behind a new charity formed by Anderson and a handful of dedicated volunteers like her: the Outer Banks Animal Rescue Funding Project, or OBX ARFp.

The group was recently awarded 501(c)(3) charity status, and on Oct. 24 from 2 to 4 p.m., celebrates its inception with an Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting at Jolly Roger restaurant in Kill Devil Hills.

A photo of precious as she looked when rescued from the Bertie County Animal Shelter in December.

The group’s mission, to “promote education, rescue, rehabilitation and adoption,” is centered on producing an annual calendar of rescue animals, with proceeds benefitting eastern North Carolina rescue groups working with shelters to reduce euthanasia.

The 2019 calendar, “Rescue Heroes,” pairs firefighters from the Crawford Township Volunteer Fire Department in Currituck County with dogs either in need of homes, or who have found their happily-ever-after. Precious is one of the models.

Six years ago, Pam Anderson opened Ocean Sands K-9 Resort, obtaining a shelter license at the same time.

“I wanted to be able to partner with the SPCA,” she said.  “We take in their overflow.”

The Second Chance K-9 Sanctuary has operated since, with a core group of volunteers pitching in. They first launched a calendar to raise funds for rescue groups in 2015, with the theme “Beach Babes.” After a year off due to lack of resources, the next calendar celebrated “Outer Banks Superheroes.”

This year’s idea for the 2019 theme came from Charleston, S.C., where the Charleston Animal Society annually prints a popular firefighter calendar.

Jolly Roger has been title sponsor for the last two calendars, with local businesses and individuals sponsoring individual pages. ARFp’s vice president, Susan Parker, who works at Jolly Roger, served as photographer for the 2019 calendar.

Other members of the ARFp group include secretary Kim Griggs, treasurer Lisa Penosky, Pam Anderson and Brenda Parrish of Weeping Radish Farm Brewery.

For the 2019 theme, the group struggled to convince local fire departments to sign on, but finally worked out a partnership with the Crawford department.

ARFp volunteers gave the fire department 100 calendars to sell for whatever price they deemed appropriate, with all sale profit staying with the fire department.

The firefighters took the calendars to sell, but decided to donate anything they made back to ARF.

“They made me cry,” Anderson said.

Dogs from rescue groups from across northeastern North Carolina are featured in the 2019 calendar, as well as a few success stories, like Parrish’s Chihuahua Rocky, who spent 99 percent of his life in a crate before she adopted him.

The 2019 Rescue Heroes calendar is for sale at Jolly Roger Restaurant, Weeping Radish Farm Brewery, Ocean Sands K-9 Resort, any of the animal aid organizations profiled in the calendar, and PayPal at arfpobx@gmail.com.


Recent posts in this category

Recent posts in this category


  • hightider

    Bless all these kind, generous, and caring people. Precious is adorable. Thank you all for saving these creatures and giving them a chance at a happy life.

    Thursday, Oct 11 @ 6:34 pm
  • Jess

    Love this! Absolutely heart warming!

    Friday, Oct 12 @ 1:19 pm
  • Wendy Rose Boice

    Just ordered a calendar! I”m an admin for a facebook group called Lovin the OBX and the calendar is going to be a prize for one of our memebers who wins our “How well do you know OBX Restaurants Game”. Jolly Roger Restaurant and Weeping Radish Farm Brewery are on the list of the Restaurants we will be featuring so this is a perfect “Prize”.

    Wednesday, Oct 17 @ 10:15 am