Thursday, 30 August 2012

Author Spotlight - My Former Life as a Pet Rescuer by Nike Chillemi

In the early 1990s I felt a great burden for stray animals. Particularly pets who had been abandoned and thrown away by their owners. Almost immediately, through some church friends, I ran into a young woman who also had this burden on her heart. This was the confirmation I needed. The two of us began rescuing.

My new friend was great at adoption. She'd put signs up and sit at her phone talking to prospective adoptive pet owners. I set up a mini-shelter in my basement. I had a four foot square pen for an extremely large dog, or two smaller dogs that got along together. I had two large cages for small dogs or cats, and one small cage for a cat or kittens.

We did a lot of praying and a lot of chasing after animals in parks and alley-ways. But mostly other people found the pets and having heard of us, phoned asking if we had space for one more. Sadly, often we did not.

We did meet some resistance from "church folk" who admonished us that we should be rescuing unborn babies, not animals. Or at the very least work for the adoption of children. I recall telling one woman, "If we all do what God asks us to do, when He asks us to do it, it will all get done."

After about five riotous years with the cutest, funniest, most charming pets, my pet rescue friend's husband got ill and lost time from work and we had to stop. I later became a foster mom to two gorgeous sisters who eventually went back to their father. About a year after that my husband and I adopted three half-sisters who had been raised from infancy in foster care.

The photos included here are of the animals my husband and I kept…the less social ones, less adoptable ones. Of course people in the community who love animals have long memories and I still get calls to take in pets. Maybe that's why I presently have a house full of animals. We've even rescued baby squirrels fallen out of trees, kept them in a ferret cage, and released them back into the wilds of New York City.

Author Bio:
Nike Chillemi lives with her husband and very bright and beautiful high-school-age daughter in a borough of New York City on a protected wetland, not far from the Atlantic Ocean. Nike has to be near the ocean, which she loves. Nike's husband is a senior social worker supervisor at one of the "krazierst" NYC public hospitals substance abuse programs. If she needs info for her stories on the effects of a particular drug, she goes to him. She's met him after work at the hospital enough times to have personally seen drug crazed individuals brought in to the ER. This is all fodder for her stories.

Nike Chillemi ~ Crime Fictionista

Nike's latest release is: Perilous Shadows, Book 3 in the Sanctuary Point Series. You can find Nike's book here:

Desert Breeze Publishing. Links:


Barnes and Noble/Nook.


  1. Love that pic of the dog wearing glasses! As a former veterinary technician, I'd say you were crazy to get involved in rescuing. No, just kidding! It's great you help at least some needy animals. And I remember the last squirrel story...word's out in the stray animal community about you!!

  2. Pets make the world a better place and from Adam we have been charged with their care. Good for you!

  3. A noble deed for the abandoned and stray animals. A deed worth emulation.

  4. What a wonderful story, you are indeed one of those chosen few who nurtures and cares about all "God's" creatures. Fantastic!