Dedicated Shelter Volunteer Devastated to Leave ‘Her’ Dogs

The dogs at Miami Dade Animal Services have looked forward to seeing shelter volunteer Kai Rohrer walking toward them. Her visits as a volunteer meant that they would be walked, played with, bathed, and most of all — loved.

Bathing a dog

Kai only began volunteering at the shelter a little over a year ago, but in that time she became invaluable to the shelter. She bathed dogs, walked them, socialized them, loved them. and talked to potential adopters about them. Kai reached out to rescues on social media, and she helped them save dogs.

When Kai and her family arrived in Miami, Florida, she had never volunteered with animals. But after years of helping children and others, she decided the time had come to work with animals.

Kai spent five to six days a week at the shelter. She told Shelter Me:

“The rescues got to know me because I know the dogs. I know if they are good with other dogs or cats. They know me more, so when I call they trust me.”

One experience remains a painful one for Kai. She explains:

“I fell in love with two dogs; they got attached to me, and I got attached to them. I had to go on a trip for two weeks with my husband, and while I was gone, they had killed them. They had bitten a volunteer – both of them were killed. I think it was because of me — because I walked them every day, and then I disappeared. Then no one was walking them. I think it was my fault. I walked them every day and gave them love and then disappeared.”

Kai and Spot, Champ and Coco

After that, Kai redoubled her efforts to get the dogs adopted. She would work with the sad dogs, the depressed dogs, the senior dogs. She tried to help the dogs that didn’t get noticed. Kai shared their pictures and their stories on Facebook. And most importantly, she gave them love.

Kai and her husband are moving to Charleston, South Carolina. She plans to volunteer at the shelter there, but working with dogs has changed her dreams of the future. She confided:

“The dogs at the Shelter inspired me to go back to school. I’m studying dog obedience at Animal Behavior College. By working on their obedience (thus making them cuter), I want to help the dogs get adopted more easily. Ultimately, I want to act as dog obedience instructor to the shelter team.”
Kai had two requests for this piece about her devotion to the dogs at the shelter. She begged anyone living in the Miami Dade area to volunteer at the shelter. “They really need more volunteers!” she said.
Kai also wanted to highlight a few of the wonderful dogs at the shelter who desperately need homes:
Bibi is six years old. She was adopted from the shelter as a puppy, and then found as a very skinny stray. The shelter is feeding her three times a day, and she is gaining weight. Kai says that she knows basic commands. Bibi is very good with other dogs, and while she’s curious about cats, she doesn’t seem aggressive with them at all. She loves to cuddle. She’s not a high energy dog, but she does need some leash work.

Coco and Spot are two other dogs looking for a home. Kai spent some of her last days at the shelter walking them and giving them lots of love.

Kai with Spot and Coco

Coco (ID# A 1822437) is a four-year-old black dog. She’s only four years old and very nice. She is very friendly with people and dogs, and good with children.

Her friend, Spot (ID# A 1232475), who has no spots, is around eight years old. He has been at the shelter since October, which really puzzled Kai. She said, “He a really great dog. He’s friendly and sweet. He’s good with other dogs.”

Another dog looking for a home is Champ (ID#A 1781976). He is still there and very sad. Champ is really friendly, and on Kai’s last day at the shelter, she took Champ for a walk with Spot and Coco. “It’s usually not allowed to walk that many dogs,” she explained. “But they were all together without a problem.” Champ is only four years old. Because he was surrendered by his owner, he really needs to find a home. Watch the video below where Champ can’t stop kissing Kai!

The Charleston shelters are lucky to be gaining a dedicated volunteer. Wherever she goes, Kai will save the lives of shelter dogs. Wherever you live, there are shelter dogs in need of help.

Kai’s advice: Volunteer. Love the dogs. Walk them. Pet them. Bring them some happiness.

Update: Kai has already been to the Charleston Animal Society and taken pictures. She’s taking the next volunteer class so she can start right away. Below are pictures of three dogs there waiting for adoption or rescue.



Pamela Kramer

​Animal lover and rescuer. Lives with 4 cats, 4 dogs, 1 bird, 2 frogs and usually one foster animal (and very understanding husband). Reviews books (especially about animals) and educates children about compassion toward animals. Former household animals include rabbits, rats, and other assorted creatures. Also writes at


  1. Melanie Meravigliare says:

    I’m selfishly sad she’s not staying. Miami dogs need her, but I suppose dogs everywhere need her too 🙁 Thank you Kai for all your time & efforts <3

  2. Davida Xm says:

    To know Kai Rohrer is to love Kai. I had the honor of meeting her a few months ago. Every time she saw an MDAS GSD in need she sent me pix and video, nice ones! She’d also assess them too. She will be sorely missed. Miami’s loss is another area’s gain. Bye Kai! You are amazing and I’m forever grateful.

  3. Barb says:

    Kai had been an amazing volunteer at mdas a very high kill shelter…she has been able to save many lives she will be sorely missed by the dogs and the rescuers!!! Charleston Shelter is very very lucky!!!!

  4. JERRY EDELMAN says:

    Someone who truly made a difference in Miami and will continue to do so in her next journey to Charleston. I wish her the best with many thanks for caring for the pets at Miami-Dade Animal Services. We could use many more like her…

  5. Elaine Whinston says:

    My sweet golden retriever Buddy was adopted from Miami-Dade shelter in the summer of 2014. He is a wonderful companion.

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