Childhood abuse survivor on a mission to save lives of abused animals, find forever homes

San Ramon; Calif. -- A Stockton woman and survivor of child abuse is turning her tragedy into triumph by rescuing animals from abuse and neglect.

Regina Sanchez, founder of Finding a Best Friend Rescue, is on a mission to rehabilitate and find animals a home that they deserve.

Finding a Best Friend Rescue and nonprofit is based in Stockton, but rescues animals from Northern California to Mexico.

The rescue is a foster home-based rescue and depends the kind hearts of volunteers to provide a temporary home for animals in need.

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"This is my purpose," said Sanchez. "I am trying to leave a footprint. I am trying to educate. I am trying to help as many animal lives that I can."

Sanchez grew up in an abusive household, but found comfort in her family dog, Thovie.

"We had a Doberman and he was just the best thing in the world," said Sanchez. "We were poor and there was a lot of abuse. Thovie was the one who never showed me that, he just showed me love."

In an unfortunate incident, Thovie was killed by a relative and turned Sanchez's world upside down.

"The moment we lost him, it was as if we lost everything," said Sanchez. "I knew that any animal that would come across my path was meant to be. Cause I knew that Thovie was going to bring them across my path."

Since 2007, Sanchez has saved hundreds of animals from abuse, neglect, and animals living in homeless encampments.

"These animals are severely abused," said Sanchez. "Whatever issue that they have that we see from the abuse, we address it."

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Finding a Best Friend Rescue provides all wellness and medical services for all animals.

During the Covid-19 shutdown, adoption events were cancelled at retail pet stores. A rescue volunteer opened their home to host small adoptions to continue the efforts of the rescue.

"Anyone who adopts from us, you are part of our family now," said Sanchez. "We want you to know that we appreciate you and we love you because you love them the way they should have been loved from the beginning."

Saving animals from abuse and placing them into loving homes can be a lot of work. But Sanchez wouldn't have it any other way.

"It just makes everything worth it in the end," said Sanchez." These wonderful adopters that treat their animals like family. You see these babies so happy and being so loved. It makes me feel tremendous satisfaction."

Animal rescue can be expensive. For more information or to donate, visit the Finding a Best Friend Rescue website.