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Our group of core volunteers from Waggytail Rescue

About Us

It all began in 2004 when founder Holly DeRito showed up at NYCACC looking for a buddy for her dog. A staff member took her into the back where all the dogs that were going to be euthanized the next day were. The dogs the public didn’t see. That night, she went home with seven dogs.  From there, Holly began building her own rescue and network through housing these dogs with friends and family. After a few years, ACC had seen a huge improvement, so Holly expanded to transports with the help of some rescue friends.


Waggytail Rescue now has partners in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, San Diego, Florida, and even Tijuana. Our team of volunteers, fosters, adopters and partners continue to grow and we would love for you to be a part of the journey!

Since 2015:










a portrait of two children with their newly adopted dog from Waggytail Rescue


We adopted Hank (fka Salt) in January 2021. He is the most amazing dog and we could not have found a better match for our family. He has become my kids class “mascot” as all 14 four year olds ask if he’s coming to say hi to them at pick up. We love Hank!

A picture of a woman and her newly adopted dog on a kayak after adopting from waggytail rescue


I adopted Grey in 2016, just a few months after I lost my husband. He arrived in one of the trademark Waggytail van journeys from Texas- it was love at first sight. He's the best! Thank you Waggytail for saving these special souls and giving us the opportunity to share our lives with them. 

Meet Our Founder

Meet Our Founder: Holly DeRito

Holly DeRito, founder of Waggytail Rescue

Holly grew up next to a wildlife sanctuary, so rescuing and helping animals was a part of her life since childhood. In adulthood, Holly adopted Taco, a special but scared pup whom she calls her soulmate dog (see pics 4-5 and our logo!). He inspired Holly to begin fostering, but when her first foster left, Taco was lonely. In 2004, Holly wrote the NYCACC looking to adopt another pup but ended up taking home 7 dogs that were on the list to be euthanized that same day.


From there, Holly began building her own rescue and network. She says, “I wanted to do my own group because other groups I had fostered for didn’t really provide any support for the foster parents, and I wanted to build a rescue that was more like a family and friends in the network together.”

Unfortunately, Taco passed years ago, but his legacy lives on every day through Holly’s rescue and tireless work. She says, “To see where these animals come from and then to see them in these happy forever homes is the best thing on earth."

Support Us

We are completely volunteer-run and are always welcoming of folks

who would like to donate their time, talent or funds towards saving more lives!

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