Archive for In the News

Volunteer helps shape dogs’ ‘destiny’

Nina's PhotoSun-Sentinel February 28, 2016

Destiny for Dogs volunteer Nina Blakeman helps animals in need. (Submitted photo / FPG)

By Jennifer Shapiro-Sacks Special correspondent

Name: Nina Blakeman

Residence: West Palm Beach

Birthplace: Central Florida

Family: Married, cat named Sonny

Career: Office manager/receptionist

Organization: Destiny for Dogs is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting seniors in keeping their dogs in their homes. Destiny for Dogs helps by providing food, necessary supplies and veterinary care; short-term foster care in the event of medical and emergency situations; final planning to ensure the pet is cared for in the event the owner is no longer able; they are also active in the rescue and placement of dogs in need.

How long have you been volunteering there?

Three years.

Why do you volunteer?

I want to help save the lives of animals and support people like JoAnn who do the same.

Why did you choose this organization?

JoAnn, who started the organization, helped me save a life of a hard to place dog and she stayed committed with me until placement came, months later.

Describe your volunteer role.

I walk dogs in Rescue Destination that are awaiting a foster home or permanent placement. I attend adoption events when needed and yard sales to raise money to vet animals. I also do feral cat rescue, trapping, sterilizing and finding homes. I assist Destiny for Dogs with providing donated dog and cat food to those families in need and educate them on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.

What are your goals when you volunteer?

I want to help save the lives of animals and support other rescuers like JoAnn who do the same. The animals deserve all the help they can get.

What does your organization need?

We always need good foster homes, money for vetting and JoAnn could tell you what specific kind of food and other supplies she uses for our dogs.

Are any special events coming up?

Third annual Rainforest Parrot Party on Feb. 28 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rainforest Clinic for Birds and Exotics in Loxahatchee and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office eighth annual Run for the Animals on April 30 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach. Destiny for Dogs will have donation jars and dogs for adoption at both events. Also, there will be a quarter auction on May 25 at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center at 6 p.m.

Is there a specific memorable moment that stands out to you during your time volunteering?

Every time we get a malnourished, abused, neglected, discarded, precious animal that blossoms with proper food and medical care and most of all time, attention, love, patience and compassion.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Please spay and neuter. Also, I am grateful to be a small part of the huge effort and sacrifices that JoAnn makes every day to save precious animal lives.


Palm Beach County Partnership for Aging

Award CheckDestiny for Dogs would like to thank The Palm Beach County Partnership for Aging for their donation of $500.00 to assist with our continued assistance to Senior Citizens who are in need of help for their beloved animals with food, medical expenses, transportation, medicine, etc. all provide by Destiny for Dogs.

The Palm Beach County Partnership for Aging is a not-for-profit local organization which focuses its energies on enhancing the life of older persons, their families and their communities through advocacy, information sharing and education.  Members include professionals in the aging network from both the private and public sector, individuals interested in aging issues, geriatric care managers, elder law attorneys, acute and long term health care professionals, university personnel and many others.

Identifying PFA members in photo from Left to Right:

Pam Wiener – Vice President of PFA and Chair of PFA’s Community Grants Committee

John Dalton – President of PFA

Destiny for Dogs – Kevin & Lynne Fiasconaro, Kenny Goodrich

Dianne Verner -member of PFA’s Community Grants Committee

Donna Root – member of PFA’s Community Grants Committee

Carole Hirsch – member of PFA’s Community Grants Committee


Sun Sentinel July 9, 2015

Kevin and LynnName: Kevin Fiasconaro

Age: 61

Residence: Boynton Beach

Birthplace: Red Bank, N.J.

Family: Wife, Lynne

Career: Semi-retired auto mechanic

Organization: Destiny for Dogs is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting seniors in keeping their dogs in their homes. It helps by providing food, supplies, veterinary care, short-term foster care in the event of medical and emergency situations, and planning to ensure the pet is cared for in the event the owner is no longer able to. They also are active in the rescue and placement of dogs in need.

How long have you been volunteering there?

One year this August.

Why do you volunteer?

Now that I find myself semi-retired, I have always wanted to be involved with an organization that helps our furry friends, to be their voice and save their lives.

Why did you choose this organization?

My wife and I met JoAnn Goodrich (founder of Destiny for Dogs) when we were going to foster one of her babies. The foster part did not work out; however, we felt like we had been a part of JoAnn’s life and commitment forever. We were attracted to the fact that we could make a difference in helping Destiny for Dogs grow into their new role as a nonprofit rescue.

Describe your volunteer role.

I contact all venues to see if our rescue can be a part of an event, and then I coordinate the fosters and volunteers to be at said event. I also research all emails sent to the rescue that are potential fundraisers.

What are your goals when you volunteer?

Foremost, to find our babies their “furever” homes, and to educate the public that it is better to rescue than buy at a pet store. Also, to raise as much as we can at an event so we have the funds to rescue more babies as 100 percent of all donations go to the rescue.

What challenges have you faced?

I have found that when you are passionate about a cause, you tend to meet a lot of people that get caught up in my excitement and promise the world. Unfortunately, a lot do not follow through. To put it bluntly, too much talk, not enough action with fundraising and volunteering.

What does your organization need?

Fosters, funds and volunteers — also, food, toys, treats, beds, leashes, collars, towels and more fundraising events.

Are any special events coming up?

We are always looking for special venues, so we can get our name out there. For the summer months, we are at local Pet Supermarkets most weekends indoors.

Is there a moment that stands out that made you think, “This is why I volunteer?”

Yes, her name is Abby Leia. Destiny for Dogs rescued Abby Leia along with a dog named Chewy. Chewy had been kept outside most of his life and therefore was very shy when it came to meeting people but was great with other dogs. We rescued them both and watched Abby Leia work her magic in socializing Chewy, so he was able to find his “furever” home. We were getting Abby Leia ready for hers when we found a lump, which turned out to be mass cell cancer. Our director has taken her into her home, and we are all making sure she will have the best life ever.

For more information, visit or call 561-313-2005.

Abby Lei, 4 Legged Hero and Inspiration to Others (article from on April 21, 2015)

Leia 04Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and genders and most have had a hard start in life.

Abby Lei, a 6 year old Tibetan Wheaton Terrier was rescued from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control in Florida several months ago. Little Abby, like many other dogs has had a difficult start in life. She was found roaming the streets of Riviera Beach, Florida covered in fleas, ticks, dirty matted hair, and starving.

Destiny for Dogs in West Palm Beach, Florida took her in and after a “spa day” Abby was transformed into a beautiful girl outside to match her beautiful soul inside.

Although Abby herself and gone through some hard times, her spirit wasn’t broken and she kept her tail wagging constantly. Abby Lei was able to set aside her own fears and anxieties and be a hero for Chewy, a very scared and frightened Bouvier Irish Wolfhound. Her high spirits were contagious and helped Chewy adjust so well that he was adopted and is now in his loving forever home.

Abby stayed on at Destiny for Dogs and it was soon discovered that she had a lump on her side. Destiny decided to have Dr. Barton at South Dixie Animal Hospital remove the two tumors from Abby Leia’s side. Sadly, the biopsy came back as Mass Cell Cancer. Within 14 days a few other tumors appeared. Leia was seen by Dr. Kosarek, Oncologist who suggested removing the new tumors.

Dr. Barton once again performed Abby Leia’s surgery and was successfully able to remove the entire mass from her leg, getting all the parameters. It was a huge incision and Abby Leia was in a lot of pain. However, still a trooper, she never stopped wagging her tail. Sadly, the biopsy once again reflected Mass Cell Cancer. Thankfully, the Cancer is low grade therefore chemo therapy was recommended by Dr. Kosarek.

Up to this point, Abby Leia’s vet care was almost $2,000 which included the first and second surgery, dental, ultrasound, X-Rays, CBC blood tests, medication and boarding.

Abby Leia is now in a loving Foster Home where she was cared for while healing from both surgeries and now while undergoing chemo therapy. We hope that in the future a special loving forever home will be found for this awesome girl.

Abby Leia receives a chemo pill every other night prior to bedtime. Dr. Kosarek recommended this treatment for a total of six months. Abby is doing great so far with no side effects to date during this two month period.

Abby Leia visits Dr. Kosarek once a month for an exam, CBC Blood Test, and chemo pills. The cost is from $170+ to $200+ depending on the blood and organ levels.

Despite all of her hardships Abby Lei is a true hero, not just by helping Chewy overcome his fears but for everyone she meets. She greets everyone with a smile and keeps her hail wagging. She is not going to let anyone or anything break her spirit. Abby Leia is great with other dogs, large and small, cats, and birds and loves children.

If you would like to assist with Abby Leia’s monthly chemo therapy treatment, any amount would be greatly appreciated. Donations may be made via Destiny’s website via PayPal.

Checks may be mailed to:

Destiny for Dogs 326 Macy St West Palm Beach, FL 33405

All donations are tax deductible and receipts provided.

Thank you for opening your heart to assist Abby Leia.

“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.” Bob Riley

Lambchop In the News


Bagel Keeping Her Tail Wagging In The Face Of Adversity ( on 02-25-15)


BAGEL HOPE ~ WITH BALL FULL BODY WEBOne of the great things about dogs is not only their constant loyalty to their humans, but their resilience in the face of adversity. Something we can all learn from them. For those that already work in the rescue world, they see this day and day out. Dogs coming into the shelters starved, mangled, neglected, and sickly; yet through their pain they will still manage a tail wag, a gentle lick on the hand of their rescuer as if wanting to comfort them when they are the ones that are hurting inside and out.

Bagel, an eight year old Basset mix female was rescued from the Broward Shelter in south Florida. Her journey then took her to a rescue, where she was adopted by what was thought to be her loving forever home.

However, when she started urinating in the house the family decided to return her. They did not realize that this poor girl was suffering from bladder stones for what could have been over a year. Bladder stones are very painful, however Bagel continued to wag her tail and provide love.

Destiny for Dogs rescued Bagel and took her to Dr. Barton’s South Dixie Animal Hospital where she had surgery to remove the stones and the best medical treatment available to cure her. Bagel went to a wonderful foster for two months then onto another long term foster home. Unfortunately, after a year and a half the foster family could no longer keep her.

So once again Bagel was taken out of the home she knew and loved and moved back into rescue. Right now she is sitting in boarding in West Palm Beach, Florida waiting for another miracle, waiting for someone to walk through that door and fall in love with her.

This little gal is approximately 45 lbs., fully vetted, up to date on shots, spayed, micro chipped, housebroken, crate trained, loves people, especially kids, she is great on a leash and in the car. She is not good with dogs or cats.

Due to her recent bout with bladder stones she is on Uroese twice a day to prevent crystallization of her urine. The medicine is inexpensive and important for her overall health.  Although she has had a sad life and bounced from home to home, shelter to shelter she is a very happy dog and only wants to please.

A teenage girl who cared for Bagel wrote this story about her:

“Hi! I’m Bagel! I love to run, jump, play, kiss, and much more. I know lots of cool tricks that will surely entertain you! I’m very loving, loyal, and protective. I can play fetch for hours but, when the time comes, I’m ready to snuggle and cuddle the day away! I love kids and I’m very gentle and kind. I will always be at the door to greet you when you come home; and when you sleep, I’ll never leave your side. I like to be the main protector of the people I love; so, I do very well with male dogs that are my size or smaller. I take less of a liking to female dogs because I’m a princess and my throne is for my scruffy butt only. If I come home with you, I promise I will be a good girl that will steal your heart.
Hugs and kisses, Bagel.”


Bella Wellence

Pictures of Miss Bella our rescue Maltese all ready for Christmas dressed in her candy cane dress. What she wants in her stocking?: Bella says “I have everything I want and need.  I was blind when adopted from Destiny for Dogs, and Mommy and Daddy gave me surgery so I can see again. All I want is to have more furbabies adopted so they will have a forever home like me!”  Owners: Leo & Cheryl Wellence W. Palm Beach FL

This article was posted in the Palm Beach Post on 12-21-14

Creating a positive destiny for canines (Sun Sentinel 11-05-14 5:50pm)

Catherine LouisCatherine Louis has helped foster canines with Destiny for Dogs for about two years. (Photo courtesy of Mitch Herring)

By Jennifer Shapiro-Sacks, Special Correspondent

Name: Catherine Louis

Age: 61

Residence: Royal Palm Beach

Birthplace: France

Family: Husband, Robert Louis; daughters, Juliette and Caroline Louis

Career: Owner of Bibi’s Doggie Boutique in Palm Beach

Organization: Destiny for Dogs is a nonprofit dedicated to assisting seniors in keeping their dogs in their homes. It provides food, supplies and veterinary care, short-term foster care in the event of medical and emergency situations, and help with the rescue and placement of dogs in need.

How long have you been volunteering there?

Two years but have been rescuing animals all my life.

Why do you volunteer?

To help find homes for dogs that have been abandoned through no fault of their own.

Why did you choose this organization?

They are ethical and really care for the animals. I have a carte blanche to do what I think is best, and JoAnn Goodrich (founder) is always there to help and support.

Describe your volunteer role.

I generally will foster a dog. Sometimes I even go and pick him up from the people who are surrendering him and then will bring him to work with me so that I can evaluate behavior, issues, doing a little training, and re-balance him with direction, comfort, food and discipline. They respond very well to this. Then we find him the perfect home with JoAnn’s networking. I also bring the dog to my doggy boutique, and that way the dog gets lots of exposure. The dogs are in a more natural environment, and I can tell the potential adopter lots about the dog’s likes and dislikes.

What are your goals when you volunteer?

To help the animal — that is my only goal. I can intervene directly and have the satisfaction of knowing that a good dog is in a good home.

What challenges have you faced?

Sometimes people don’t see the dog. They see the age. That is sad because I have adopted 10-year-old dogs that lived a full life with me and gave me much happiness for seven more years.

What does your organization need?

Always funds and foster homes.

Is there a moment that stands out that made you think, “This is why I volunteer?”

Every time I get a dog a home that I know is right. Even when I give up hope and guess that the dog will be mine forever, destiny steps in and the perfect home comes along. I have learned to trust the universe.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Many of the [rescue] groups are overwhelmed with lots of dogs that need homes, and many of the people work a full-time job, so [please be patient]. Also, Animal Care and Control is lambasted for being kill shelters, but the sheer amount of volume of owner surrenders is disheartening. Animal Care and Control does its very best by calling rescue groups every morning to try and save as many pets as possible. People need to understand that if they won’t care for their animal, who wants to? Be responsible pet owners and enjoy your pets. They are wonderful.

For more information, visit or call 561-313-2005.

Copyright © 2014, Sun Sentinel (05-22-14 8:49pm)

Destiny for Dogs, keeping pets with senior citizens in West Palm Beach, Fl


For anyone who has ever owned a dog, we can attest to the fact that they enrich our lives, inspire us and make us better people.

For JoAnn Goodrich, her experience with a feisty, spirited little Cairn Terrier prompted her to form the group Destiny for Dogs to help all dogs in need.

It all started when her and her husband’s Cairn Terrier Benne gave birth to a litter of puppies in their bedroom. One of the puppies was stillborn but JoAnn’s husband performed CPR and gave the puppy life. When it came time to find homes for the puppies, he looked into the big brown eyes of the puppy he saved and just could not let her go. He knew they were destined to keep her and appropriately named her “Destiny”.

Destiny, like all dogs got into some mishaps in her life that could have been life threatening but each time she pulled through She was a feisty little dog with the strong will to live. But even the most spirited dog or person can fall prey to Cancer and even their strong will to live is not enough to pull them through.

At 9 years old, Destiny was diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer which has no cure. The vet treated her medicinally and she led a pretty normal life until the night before JoAnn herself had to have a surgery. That was when Destiny started to limp. But she knew she had to hang in there to help her mama and stayed by JoAnn’s side while she was recovering as she had so many times before.

Right after JoAnn’s surgery, Destiny’s legs became paralyzed. JoAnn knew this was God’s way of telling them it was time to let her go. She and her husband provided Destiny with lots of love, treats and pain medicine. They wanted to care for and comfort her as she had cared and comforted JoAnn during her illnesses.

A few days later the vet came to the house and while JoAnn was lying on the bed with Destiny, they had her put to sleep in the room she was born in. Destiny’s mother Benne was still alive at the time. When Destiny was put to sleep, Benne let out a howl as if to say good bye to her baby girl.

JoAnn and her husband were blessed to have Destiny for 9 years. She inspired them with her spirit and loyalty, they could not let her be forgotten.

Today JoAnn runs Destiny for Dogs in West Palm Beach Fl, named after this amazing dog. One of the many things Destiny for Dogs does is assist seniors in keeping their beloved pets in their homes. This is done by providing them with donations of food, supplies and veterinary care, short term foster care in the event of an emergency, assistance with planning to ensure the pet will be cared for in the event the owner is no longer able.

But Destiny for Dogs’ work does not end here. They also rescue and place dogs in need. They have a small facility within their vet’s office, Dr. James Barton’s clinic in West Palm Beach, Fl. They also use the services of Rescue Destination to house dogs needing quarantine before going to their foster homes.

As with all rescues, Destiny for Dogs’ need is great. They are in constant need of donations, foster homes, and of course permanent homes for the rescue dogs in their care.

Visit their website at . It also offers educational and medical advice for pet owners.

It all started with one little dog named Destiny whose destiny was to touch the lives of her owners and continue to touch and inspire lives long after her 9 short years.

“The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.”
– Martin Luther