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Jeffrey Bauer’s passion for rescuing pets from Texas began three years ago when he came across a peculiar post on Facebook.

“It was my birthday, October 2016, and I was scrolling through the web when I saw the cutest dog posted on a rescue page,” Jeffrey said. “The post mentioned that Nali only had a few more days to live before she was euthanized in a Texas shelter. So I decided to drive down and rescue her.”

What made this all the more special was that Jeffrey, a Financial Advisor for AIG Retirement Services, lives in Colorado, hundreds of miles from the Texas border. Since then, he has made a habit out of making long road trips to Texas in order to save shelter animals facing euthanasia.

Texas does not have any spay or neuter laws, so animal shelters in the state often are at capacity. Animals that find themselves in a shelter are often living on borrowed time. In Texas, over one million shelter animals are euthanized for a variety of reasons, such as old age, pregnancies and injuries.

Jeffrey takes advantage of AIG’s Matching Grants program by having his donations to dog rescue organizations matched 2:1 by the company.

“It really makes a difference to have AIG match my donations to these organizations. Most rescues operate on a shoestring budget,” Jeffrey said. “If I didn’t donate the funds for gas, the majority of these dogs would not make it out of Texas. And without the matching funds from AIG, the dog rescues would have a difficult time paying for medical needs or fees to get the dogs out of the kill shelters.”

To date, Jeffrey estimates that he’s donated over 300 hours of time, driving about 26,000 miles to save about 400 dogs. In addition, he works with a host of organizations, such as Rescues Rescuing Veterans, a non-profit that pairs dogs with veterans who are working to overcome the daily struggle of PTSD and depression. Jeffrey shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, however, and is currently in the midst of hosting a one-of-a-kind event to benefit more rescues. Teaming up with a local brewery, New Belgium Brewing Company, Jeffrey has been working around the clock to host a Dog Prom, a fundraising event to help local shelters provide support to rescue dogs from Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

“This event combines dogs, beer, selfless people, and the desire to save and rescue dogs. We plan on having puppy yoga, a photo booth, dog adoptions, and robust advocacy for the rescues,” Jeffrey said.

But the true prize, according to Jeffrey, is the seeing the joy on people’s face when they’re matched with a rescue dog of their own.

“I’ve driven 20 hours to get one dog, and 8 hours to get 22,” Jeffrey said. “But seeing the joy that these dogs bring to these loving families makes each trip, each donation and each event all the more rewarding.”

This project is supported by AIG’s volunteer programme.

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