HOPE Week: New Beginning Animal Rescue

On the third day of HOPE Week 2013 (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) the Yankees celebrated the New Beginning Animal Rescue, located in the Bronx. Yankees players Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner and Shawn Kelley surprised NBAR founder Pedro Rosario and his staff, which includes local youth who are getting the chance to gain valuable animal-care skills at a young age.

The players took a tour of the facility and assisted with daily chores. When gates at Yankee Stadium opened at 5 p.m., NBAR had an information booth at Gate 4, where fans could talk to Rosario about NBAR and see photos of some of the animals in NBAR’s care. The information booth was open through the fifth inning.

Dating back to his days growing up on an idyllic farm in the Dominican Republic, Pedro Rosario has always taken care of animals.

It was only natural that his love of animals extended into his professional life, and in 1996, he began a career at New York City Animal Care and Control, rising through the ranks during the course of 16 successful years.


While his work was always rewarding, it was too often filled with heartbreak. New Yorkers brought in a never-ending stream of cats and dogs, but there were never enough adoptive homes to keep up with supply. Animal Control in New York dealt with a reality that is also faced by many shelters across the nation. Because of a lack of space, resources and funding, many un-adopted animals had to be euthanized.

One year after Rosario was named shelter manager, adoption at the facility rose to its highest-ever level and euthanasia dropped to its record low. Despite his great success, the time came in 2012 when Rosario thought he could do more good on his own, and he created the not-for-profit New Beginning Animal Rescue in an industrial part of the Castle Hill section of the East Bronx.

“These animals need to have a voice,” Rosario said. “And I want to make sure they go to the right places.”

NBAR is dedicated to pet adoption. The organization takes in unwanted, abandoned, abused and stray pets and attempts to find suitable homes for each of them. The group is run by volunteers, who take care of the animals at Pedro’s kennel in the Bronx and foster them in their own homes. Many volunteers are local high school students who gain a sense of pride and purpose in caring for the animals.

“It prepares me for when I go to college, so I have experience with animals,” NBAR intern and Bronx Dale High School 10th-grader Janyll Pena said. “I want to be a vet.”

NBAR will take in all breeds of dogs and cats, but they will also take in non-traditional pets as well, including, most recently, an injured dove. NBAR receives between five and 20 surrenders (pets given up by people) per month, depending on the time of the year. Most occur during the spring and summer months.

Rosario operates NBAR on a shoestring budget, trying to care for up to 80 dogs and 60 cats at any given time. His organization relies solely on donations and adoption fees, and it is almost impossible to cover all of the group’s costs. Nevertheless, Rosario always shows up to work as the primary caretaker at the shelter with a smile on his face.

“Every day is rewarding,” Rosario said. “These animals have so much love in their hearts. It’s a beautiful thing when we match them up with a family who feels the same way.”

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