Author Archive | Finn Vorneweg

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. —

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Donate.jpg

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.