Good Sam Drives 200 Miles To Get Florida Rescue Back On The Road

Rescues depend on reliable transportation for many reasons.  To get their animals to meet-n-greets.  Trips to the vet.  Supplies.  Freedom rides for shelter pets.  And their vehicles, especially in South Florida, must have working a/c.  A hot car is no place for an animal!

Nyla, adoptable at Dezzy’s Second Chance

So when a rescue van for Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue started losing its cool, founder Sandra Dezelan brought it to three different mechanics, racking up over $2000 in repair bills over a number of months.  Every mechanic gave her the same excuse.. “oh, it’s something else…” and tried to further tug on her purse strings.

In rescue, every penny is pinched till it screams.  Not only was her van on the fritz, the rescue facility had been thoroughly tossed about by Hurricane Irma.  Expending dollars on repairing things instead of rescuing more animals weighed heavily on her heart.  She mentioned the issue to one of her great volunteers, Kristy Groover.  Who, as it turned out, just happened to have a Good Samaritan tucked away in her back pocket.

Justin Macri and Kristy Groover, Courtesy, Sandra Dezelan

Groover reached out to Justin Macri, a family friend.  Though they hadn’t spoken for about 20 years, Macri, a licensed mechanic who graduated from the General Motors Training Center and knows a thing or two about automobile a/c’s, jumped into his car and drove 200 miles, one way, to get the animals back on the road, and Dezzy’s back on track.

Macri told,

“I love dogs, I always have.  I was worried about the dogs.”

Macri has always believed in ‘adopt, don’t shop’.  One of his own came from Miami-Dade Animal Services.  He’s also a failed foster and recently lost one of his own furkids.   The rescue’s situation touched him deeply.

Ms. Dezelan tells us,

“He reached out and said ‘do you have anything that needs to be fixed’ and I said YES!”

Fifi, adoptable at Dezzy’s Second Chance

Though he never met Ms. Dezelan before the day he packed up and drove the 200 miles from Daytona Beach to the Delray Beach/Boca Raton area, Justin didn’t think twice.  He checked out the disabled van, let Sandra know what parts would be needed, rolled up his sleeves and got to work.  He said,

“I was happy to help.  I totally agree with what she’s doing.”

Ms. Dezelan tells ShelterMe that he not only fixed the a/c, he also repaired a number of doors on the vehicle.  And all for free!  Then, after touring the grounds and eating half of his sandwich (a sneaky furbutt had somehow snagged the other half!), Macri got back into his car for the 200-mile trip home.  Just another day in the life of a Good Sam with skills!

Gracie, adoptable at Dezzy’s Second Chance

Dezzy’s Second Chance pulls dogs from local shelters – many have severe medical conditions.  Her rescue devotes time, energy and a great deal of funding getting these animals on the road to recovery and into new homes.  She currently has more than 20 dogs in the rescue, with two more saves expected soon from MDAS.  Here’s the Petfinder link to her adoptables, some seen in this story.   If you want to learn more or wish to donate to Dezzy’s, a 501(c)(3), please click here.

And check out this episode of about how incredible shelter pets are, featuring a performance by Steve Connell, acclaimed actor and performance artist.


Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she's covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She's always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the family!


  1. Phylis Kreshover says:

    Sandra Dezelan is somebody who I consider as a great friend and I’m very proud to say so. She is a fantastic and amazing person !!

  2. Xena says:

    So nice to hear that there are still good people that walk among us.

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