(KRON) — It’s International Women’s Day, and KRON4 is recognizing remarkable women of the Bay Area. Here is a story of a woman who has dedicated her life to helping animals in need and finding them loving homes.
Meet Pali Boucher. She has been answering every bark and call for more than 20 years.
“The phone starts ringing; it could start ringing in the middle of the night. I keep it under my pillow,” Boucher said.
Boucher founded “Rocket Dog Rescue” back in 2001.
It’s a volunteer-based organization dedicated to saving homeless and abandoned dogs and other animals from the danger of abuse, neglect or euthanasia.
It also has a 24-hour helpline. The organization fosters the animals, then finds them permanent homes.
“The animals that were pouring into these shelters will live and die without ever having been loved or treated with kindness,” Boucher said. “I couldn’t turn away from it.”
She also goes to overcrowded shelters throughout the Bay Area to find the animals most in need.
“They’re showing me these cute little puppies and these little fluffy things and then there’s a three-legged pitbull or like a dog with one eye and we’re like ‘we’re taking him first,'” Boucher said. “That’s where my heart lives. I know what it’s like to be without kindness, and I know what it’s like to be scared and unsure.”
Boucher — like many of the animals she rescues — also had a tumultuous start.
“I was born a ward of the court to an unfit mother,” she said.
She says her upbringing was unstable. Her family suffered through homelessness and not knowing where their next meal would come from.
But she found comfort in animals.
“I would find little animals on the street,” Boucher said. “Little kittens that were covered in fleas and weak, and I’d just take care of them.”
As an adult, her love for animals continued to grow into Rocket Dog Rescue. “We’ve saved over 14,000 animals, and I remember every single one of them,” Boucher said.
“Nothing matters to her, but these dogs. That’s it,” said Maurine Killough who has adopted multiple dogs from Boucher’s organization Rocket Dog Rescue.
Killough has had three dogs from the organization and each has a special place in her heart.
Dina was the first. Then, her husband adopted Boomer.
“I think he was my husband’s soulmate, this dog (Boomer),” Killough said.
Then, her husband convinced her to add Rosie to the pack. Eight months later, Boomer suddenly passed away — leaving Killough with Rosie.
“She has been my lifeline and my savior,” Killough said.
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Boucher says she’s heard many stories of how these dogs have changed and saved people’s lives. And Boucher’s reach goes beyond just animals.
She throws fundraisers to buy supplies for people in need after fires or other natural disasters. Boucher also travels to Puerto Rico to volunteer at spay and neuter clinics.
“I can’t even imagine having lived any other life. This is it. This is it,” Boucher said.