Author Archive | Finn Vorneweg

February 7th 2022, Foster 1 dog and save 2 lives

At Born Free, February is Foster Month!  Would you like to have a dog in your life, but are unable to make a long term commitment?  Have you considered fostering?  When you foster a dog, it gives the dog a chance for his true personality to shine through. Fostering helps us to answer questions about the dog when someone is interested in them, which helps us find the right family and get them adopted sooner.

  • Not a long term commitment.  Most of our foster dogs get adopted in only 4-6 months, but many find a home much sooner.  
  • No vet bills.  Born Free is responsible for all prearranged vet care.
  •  Learn about many different types of dogs.  Dogs of all breeds, size, and ages need foster homes. What can they teach you about themselves?
  • Learn about yourself.  Live in an apartment and always thought you liked only big dogs?  Foster a small one and discover they can be just as much fun as a larger one!

The biggest reason to foster: you are saving a dog’s life!  There is no doubt that when you foster a dog you are not only saving 1 dog’s life, but 2. The dog you are fostering allows an opening at the shelter for another dog to be rescued. Sometimes our shelter is full and we have to turn away dogs. If you take a foster dog, it opens up space for another dog to be given a chance.  To find out more about fostering a dog from Born Free, click here.  Fostering may be short term, but the impact lasts forever.


We are happy and excited to announce that we are now collaborating with Paws4You with a goal towards getting more dogs their forever homes!  Paws4You will feature some of our dogs on their website and on their social media and Born Free will do the same for their dogs.  
Paws4You + Born Free = More Adoptions!

Thank you! to the girls from the Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart Noah’s Ark Club who came to Born Free for a day of community service.  They helped us with numerous maintenance chores around our property and then, after all their hard work, got a chance to meet our dogs, who were quite happy with the extra attention.  If your school, organization, or club would like to volunteer with Born Free, please email BornFreePetShelter@Gmail.com or click here.

https://bornfreeshelter.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=0642de3c74be3a4a9bfab6407&id=62a68d591c&e=956e8a63a8

Upcoming events in February

  • -NOTICE: Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens Sunday morning dog walks are discontinued until Sunday, February 27
  •  Pinecrest Gardens is open to dogs on Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm.  To find out more, click here
  • A Day To Learn and Play with SoFlo Beagles, Saturday, Feb 26th 1:45pm at Margaret Pace Park, 1745 N. Bayshore Drive.  Click here for more details.
  • Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical GardensSunday February 27, 8-10am.  Have some fun, enjoy a walk and make new dog friends. For more information click here . 

Follow us on Facebook,  Instagram or Twitter to keep up with the activities of our volunteers and dogs. 
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see all our dogs videos.

January 4th 2022, New Year’s Resolution – Volunteer!

Are you looking for a New Year’s Resolution to help you lose those holiday pounds?  Love dogs?  How about combining the 2 and becoming a volunteer at Born Free?  Imagine strolling around 5 acres in The Redlands with a  beautiful Anatolian Shepherd or playing fetch with a playful, young Lab?  You’ll be getting some exercise, breathing fresh air and making a dog’s day – all at the same time!  At Born Free we have many opportunities for all ages and interests from walking and socializing dogs to planning our next social media campaign.  For more information, please go to https://bornfreeshelter.org/volunteer or email us at BornFreePetShelter@Gmail.com




2021 Annual Fundraiser

Photos (Left to Right Top Row) Adrian Czahar & Monique Van Damme,Alexa Holloway( mom)  & Susie &Pennell & Savannah Holloway (child), Adrianna Padrone, Celia von Specht & Sandy Wallin & Nina Walli(2nd Row) Hilary Natiello & Neil Berman & Sophie Gillette, Lucille Zanghi & Yogi, Isabel Lucil & Jose Alfonso & Pedro Reyes, Naydu Commenoz & Yoko Dardon

Our Annual Fundraiser was a huge success!  Our supporters enjoyed an evening of dinner, dancing and a wide variety of items to bid on in our silent auction.  Over $30,000 was raised for our shelter through ticket and drink sales, silent auction, and donations.  Thanks to all those who made this eveningpossible, our attendees and all donors, but especially to Lucille Zanghi and Monique Van Damme without whose invaluable efforts and organizational skills this event would not have occurred.


Upcoming Events

  • Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens every Sunday 8-10am.  Have some fun, enjoy a walk and make new dog friends. For more information click here . 
  • If 8am is too early, Pinecrest Gardens is now open to dogs on Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm.  To find out more, click here.
  • Have a craft beer with your furry friends at the Barks and Brews event on Saturday, January 29th, noon-6pm at Suniland Park, 12855 South Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest, FL 33156.  A selection of craft beers will provided by Exit One Tap Room.  For more information click here.

Follow us on Facebook,  Instagram or Twitter to keep up with the activities of our volunteers and dogs.

November 4th 2021, Lumi’s Lucky Break and The Return of our Annual Fundraiser


Lumi’s Lucky Break

Lumi, a 1 year old Labrador Retriever and Terrier mix, was found as a stray and  brought to Born Free.  When she arrived she had a broken leg that had not been treated and had healed improperly.  Lumi always limped and it was obvious to all the volunteers that Lumi was in constant pain.  A family volunteered to foster Lumi before the surgery and during her rehabilitation period.  Two weeks ago, Lumi had a complex 3 hour operation which was successful.  The doctors feel she will make a full recovery and her leg will be a good as new!  Her foster mom tells us that she is recovering quickly and is very happy!
 Through volunteer events and donations, Born Free raised over $2,000 to cover the cost of the surgery.  In order to continue to help dogs like Lumi, we need you.  Please support Born Free in our upcoming fundraisers, either by attending our annual dinner and live auction fundraiser (our first since March 2019 due to Covid) or giving online at Give Miami Day Nov 15-18th.


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Upcoming events in November Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens every Sunday 8-10am.  For more information click here.If 8am is too early, Pinecrest Gardens is now open to dogs on Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm.  To find out more, click here.
Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with the activities of our volunteers and dogs.
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Support Our Supporters!
Thank you Exit One Tap Room and The Knotty Dawgfor hosting Born Free Pet Shelter while celebrating Pup-toberfest and raising awareness of our shelter!  Your support is appreciated!  Shop online for dawg themed Florida wear at The Knotty Dawg by clicking here, then drop by for a cold craft beer at Exit One Tap Room, 12 NE 3rd St, Florida City, FL 33034.

Facebook Birthday Fundraisers!

Is your birthday coming up?  Please consider a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser.  It only takes a few minutes to setup, Facebook takes 0% of the donations, and every birthday celebrant gets a free Born Free t-shirt or facemask as our way of saying thanks.  Help your friends celebrate your birthday and help Born Free at the same time!

September 7th 2021, Meet Golda

Can you believe this pretty face has been stuck at the shelter for 7 years?!  When Golda originally arrived at the shelter with her puppies seven years ago, her puppies were adopted quickly. But for mama to linger for that long is just not right! Golda deserves a golden home for golden years.

Golda is a 66 pound boxer-mix.  She is a very happy, goofy girl, and always ready to go! Even at 9 years old, Golda is easily excitable and very active.  Golda also loves the water – in any form from her kiddie pool to the lake. Volunteers have taken her home for weekends.

She is house broken and well behaved in the home. She adapts well and is easier to handle and calmer in a home environment.  Because of her enthusiasm in meeting people, she would do best in a family with adults and teenagers. 

Golda has had mast cell tumors removed multiple times throughout the years and most recently last month. The tumors are completely removed.  Overall Golda is in good health.

To meet or adopt Golda, call Maria at 786-205-6865.

Debbie is one of our most dedicated volunteers. She organizes off property events to promote and raise awareness of our shelter.  She organizes our Sunday morning dog walks at Fairchild Gardens, which are very popular with foster parents and often recent adoptive parents join us, too. She recenty planned and organized the Kira Kulture Paradise Pump and Pups event and the Fairchild Tropical Gardens Dog Bazaar.  Pictured with Debbie is Cookie, a former resident of Born Free, who Debbie took home as a foster and quickly fell in love with and became her forever mom.  Stay tuned for future evens and look for Debbie.  Thank you, Debbie for all you do for Born Free Pet Shelter. For more information on upcoming events, see below.

Upcoming events in September

  • Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens every Sunday 8-10am.  For more information click here .
  • If 8am is too early, Pinecrest Gardens is now open to dogs on Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm.  To find out more, click here.
  • Join us a Pet Fashion Show, on Saturday October 2nd from 4pm to 10pm. Located in Inhale Miami, 6310 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33138.  Click here for more information.

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with the activities of our volunteers and dogs.

Support our Supporters!
  • Thank you Master Pet Nutrition for another generous donation of 500 pounds of Special Dog food on Monday. Master Pet Nutrition has generously offered to give 1 free bag of Special Dog food for every 3 bags purchased when you select Born Free Pet Shelter during checkout. Shop online at Master Pet Nutrition.
  • Thank you Sunset Feed and Supply for hosting a National Dog Day event with Born Free Pet Shelter August 28th.
  • Thank you Kira Kulture Fitness for hosting the Paradise Pumps and Pets event, August 8th.
  • Thank you Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens for choosing Born Free as their preferred shelter for their annual Dog Bazaar on August 22nd.


August 5, 2021 Fundraiser Update

Thank you!! for making our 40th Anniversary Fundraiser a success. Although we did not reach our goal of $40,000, we did raise $24,744! The Mark and Carol Zimmel Fund has agreed to match these donations for a total of $49,488! This will go a long way for paying down our past due vet bills and catching up with some much needed and overdue maintenance at the shelter. Thanks to all who donated.

Fostering changed his life from Destroyer

to Perfect Companion – Arnold’s Story

Hi, my name is Arnold. When I arrived at Born Free in January, I did not adjust well. Alistair, a volunteer, saw me sleeping on the concrete (since I had destroyed my beds) and attached some carpet to some plywood, and I destroyed that, too. I destroyed my door, which had to be replaced. The volunteers did everything they could to help me get used to my new surroundings, but, like I said, I did not adjust well.

So, another volunteer took me home to foster me. I was happy there, I never destroyed anything, I got along with my new brother and sister dogs and never made a mess in the house. Sometimes, my foster mom would take me on outings to an outdoor restaurant or Fairchild Gardens and I was always well behaved. One day, a man named Mario, came to meet me. I liked him right away. My foster mom told him all about me and he liked me right away, too! And now Mario is my dad and I really love him. But I am so thankful for the volunteers at Born Free for all they did, but especially to my foster mom for taking me home, so I could show Mario what a good dog I am. I wonder if he had seen me in the shelter acting all crazy, if he would have chosen me.

Sometimes, I think about my other friends back at the shelter and I know, if they had a foster mom or dad to give them a chance to show their real personalities, they could find their own Mario (or Maria), like I did.


Arnold is right! Fostering REALLY helps a dog to get adopted.

There are many reasons to foster a dog. Here are a few:

  1. Not a long term commitment. Many of our foster dogs get adopted in only 4-6 months.
  2. No vet bills. Born Free is responsible for prearranged vet care.
  3. Learn about many different types of dogs. Dogs of all breeds, size, and ages need foster homes. What can they teach you about themselves?
  4. Learn about yourself. Always thought you liked only big dogs? Foster a small one and discover they can be just as much fun as a larger one!

The biggest reason: you are saving a dog’s life! There is no doubt that when you foster a dog you are not only saving one dog’s life, but 2. The dog you are fostering allows an opening at the shelter for another dog to be rescued.

Sometimes our shelter is full and we have to turn away dogs. If you take a foster dog, it opens up space for another dog to be given a chance. To find out more about fostering a dog from Born Free, click here.

Alistair has been volunteering with Born Free since May 2020. Originally inspired by a news article about the rehabilitation of Michael Vick’s dogs, Alistair began volunteering at animal shelters 7 years ago. His volunteer activities took him to multiple shelters in California, Philadelphia and Utah (even meeting some of the Vick dogs). Alistair prefers to spend his time with the behaviorally challenged dogs, but he also works with some of our dogs who really have no problems at all and just need a walk and some leash manners.

The experience Alistair brings to Born Free is a real asset to our shelter. Thank you, Alistair for all you do for the dogs and our shelter.

“We’re fortunate, really. I come from city shelters with high euthanasia rates and extremely limited resources. It’s a much harsher environment and many of the dogs never see the opportunities they deserve. At Born Free we have the time, space and patience that few shelters have. That’s all most dog’s need: A chance and some consistent rules and guidance. That’s what we do at Born Free and I’m fortunate to be a part of it” Alistair Thompson

Upcoming events in August

Join us at Kira Kulture Paradise Pumps and Pups this Sunday, August 8, 10am – 1pm. Dog adoption event plus a portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Born Free Pet Shelter. Click here for details.

Come meet our Born Free volunteers and dogs at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens Dog Bazaar! August 22, 10am – 4pm. Look for our tent. Support 2 great causes at once!  For tickets and info, click here.

Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens every

Sunday 8-10am.  For more information click here .

If 8am is too early, Pinecrest Gardens is now open to dogs on

Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm. To find out more, click here.

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with the activities of our volunteers and dogs.

Support our Supporters and Feed Dogs at the same time!

Born Free Pet Shelter just spent $4,000 on dog food. Master Pet Nutrition who recently gave us 500 pounds of dog food, has generously offered to give 1

FREE bag of dog food FOR EVERY 3 bags purchased when you select Born Free during checkout. Support those that support us!

To learn more about how to Adopt, Foster, Volunteer, or Donate to Born Free Pet Shelter, please click on the photos below.

July 21, 2021 Fundraiser Update

Starts today! 40th Anniversary fundraiser…40 years, 40 days, $40 donation to $40K goal and donor match!

THE FINAL STRETCH!!

Marquesa finally gets a home!

Marquesa arrived at Born Free over 6 years ago. We fed her, took her to the vet, loved her, and waited for her forever family to find her, wondering why such a sweet, gentle dog was passed over time and time again. Last month we spent over $1,100 removing a large mass from her neck. Then it happened, Libby came to the shelter and immediately fell in love with Marquesa! Born Free never gives up on a dog, no matter how long it takes.

Please donate during our 40th Anniversary fundraiser and your donation will be doubled! Special thanks to the Mark and Carol Zemmel Fund,

which has offered a generous dollar for dollar match for every donation up to $40,000.

— All donations are tax deductible. —

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Our final stretch is here!       Only 10 days left to claim the dollar for dollar match from the Mark and Carol Zemmel Fund. Let’s get as close to our goal as possible. If you have not donated yet, please donate today.

Every donation helps and is matched!

Julie has been volunteering with Born Free for two years. Julie accompanies other volunteers on outdoor adventures, vet visits, and other excursions to socialize the dogs. She also lends a hand with the newsletters and our Petfinder listings. On her second day volunteering, Julie took home a small dog to foster that she ended up falling in love with and adopting. When not helping out at Born Free, Julie volunteers helping homeless cats. Thank you, Julie, we appreciate all you do.


Born Free Pet Shelter just spent $4,000 on dog food. Master Pet Nutrition who recently gave us 500 pounds of dog food, has generously offered to give 1

FREE bag of dog food FOR EVERY 3 bags purchased when you select Born Free during checkout. Support those that support us!


Upcoming events in July and August

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with the activities of our volunteers and dogs.

  • Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens every Sunday 8-10am.  For more information click here .
  • If 8AM is too early, Pinecrest Gardens is now open to dogs on Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 5pm. To find out more, click here.

– Join us at Kira Kulture Paradise Pumps and Pups on August 8, 10am

– 1pm. Dog adoption event plus a portion of the ticket sales will be donated to Born Free Pet Shelter. Click here for details.

To learn more about how to Adopt, Foster, Volunteer, or Donate to Born Free Pet Shelter, please click on the photos below.

Juli 12, 2021 Fundraiser Update

Starts today! 40th Anniversary fundraiser…40 years, 40 days, $40 donation to $40K goal and donor match!

Meet Marquesa, Golda, Lumi, Duke, and Buddy. Marquesa just had a mass removed from her throat at a cost of $1,123. Golda was rushed to the vet when she was vomiting blood last month – $672. Lumi needs hip surgery, we do not have an exact estimate yet. Duke and Buddy both need dental surgery estimated at $600 total. These are the types of unforeseen expenses Born Free has every month. Please donate during our 40th Anniversary fundraiser and your donation will be doubled!

Special thanks to the Mark and Carol Zemmel Fund, which has offered a generous dollar for dollar match for every donation up to $40,000.

— All donations are tax deductible. —

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We are halfway through our 40 Day/40th Anniversary Fundraiser and are slightly behind our target at this time. If you have not donated yet, this is a great day to do it! Please help us keep up our momentum. Every dollar helps!

Just for Laughs!

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to find out which Gardens our dogs will be visiting each weekend!

-Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens every Sunday 8-10 am. For more information click here .

-If 8AM is too early, Pinecrest Gardens is now open to dogs on Saturdays and Sundays 10AM – 5PM. To find out more, click here.


To learn more about how to Adopt, Foster, Volunteer, or Donate to Born Free Pet Shelter, please click on the photos below.

Born Free’s 4O year anniversary fundraiser

Starts today! 40th Anniversary fundraiser…40 years, 40 days, $40 donation to $40K goal and donor match!

Born Free Pet Shelter is launching our 40th Anniversary fundraiser today!

Our hope is to raise $40,000 over the next 40 days through $40 (or more) donations. The Mark and Carol Zemmel Fund for Human/Animal

Connection has generously pledged to match every dollar raised, dollar for dollar, up to $40,000. Please consider donating $40 or whatever you can afford. All donations help and are appreciated, no matter the size.

Due to the pandemic, last year’s annual fundraiser and primary source of income was cancelled, resulting in overdue veterinarian bills and delayed maintenance of our grounds and kennels.

Born Free Pet Shelter thanks the Mark and Carol Zemmel Fund for the Human/Animal Connection for their generous support; please help us celebrate our 40th anniversary of saving abandoned or orphaned dogs by clicking on the donate button below or use our Venmo or PayPal QR codes below or click here to go to our donate page. Thank you.

Everyday Angels

Key Biscayner and founder of Born Free Pet Shelter, Alicia Aballi has saved hundreds of animals since 1981. Now living at her 5 acre property in

Homestead, she and her team of dedicated volunteers continue to care for rescue dogs in a humane, open environment where they can exercise and maintain a healthy life while awaiting adoption or in which to live out their remaining years happily when adoption is not an option.

In 1981, after moving to Key Biscayne while working in NW Dade as a teacher Alicia Aballi began rescuing dogs from the streets of Miami and Key Biscayne. The number of dogs grew to over fifty. In 1993 upon the passing of

her physician husband, Alicia took her grassroots efforts to the Redlands where she stills cares for dogs at the age of 92.

“I’ve taken care of animals since I was a little girl growing up in Cuba,” she says. “I love helping anyone in need, whether it’s animals or people; it makes me feel good. I just wanted to find a way to continue to do that.” To read more, click here.

Upcoming events in June

-Take your dog for a stroll in Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens every Sunday 8-10 am. Look for us, meet our dogs, say “Hi!” For more info click here .

To learn more about how to Adopt, Foster, Volunteer, or Donate to Born Free Pet Shelter, please click on the photos below.