South Slope

Meet The Neighbors: Suzanna Schumacher & The Sidekick Series

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Every week, we post photos of animals in need of a loving home, but have you ever found yourself wondering what happens to those pets after they’ve been adopted?

Neighbor Suzanna Schumacher’s new project, The Sidekick Series, sheds light on animal adoption, and tells the stories of how homeless pets find their owners, and what their life in NYC is like now.

We sat down with Suzanna to learn a bit more about how she became involved in the project, her own personal tale of pet rescue, and how you can share your stories with the series.

SSN: First of all, tell us a bit about yourself.

SS: I’m Suzanna and I’m a South Sloper! I’m an NYU grad and I love to write, sing, cross-stitch and most of all, hang out with my fiancé and two rescued doggies. By day, I’m a digital strategist at a Brooklyn-based brand innovation agency and during off-work hours I love to do volunteer work for animal shelters and rescues and peruse the interwebs for cute dog videos.

How long have you lived in South Slope?

I’ve been in South Slope since September of last year, but in Park Slope for a bit under three years. I love it here!

Hans Gruber
Tell us about the genesis of The Sidekick Series.

My dog Hans Gruber (Die Hard reference!) has a pretty unbelievable story. In short, he was found on the side of the road in Georgia having been shot twice and left for dead. Thankfully, he was saved and brought north by Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, an NYC-based dog rescue. His crazy story got featured on a blog a few months ago and when my friend and filmmaker, Emily, read his article, she had the idea for The Sidekick Series. After she told me about her thoughts, I was immediately on board. I could use my social media and digital marketing background to help bring these stories to the world and that together we could help raise awareness for animal adoption and rescue.

How do you find your subjects?

We actually found it easier than expected to build our cast for season one. We started by asking friends and then friends of friends and before we knew it we actually had too many potential episodes. We were really conscious to find diverse stories that each told an individual message about the importance of animal adoption. For example, we chose to feature Maggie, an amazing pit bull, because she will help dispel stereotypes about the breed. Additionally, we chose Ella, a senior cat with terminal cancer, to showcase how adopting older, medically needy animals is just as crucial (and equally rewarding) as young, healthy ones.

Can neighbors share their adoption tales with you?

Yes! We would love that. While we have created a set of stories that we’re sharing, another part of our mission to build a community around support for animal adoption and rescue. Every week we pose a question to our audience and ask them to submit their own adoption stories. Also, I’m considering starting a blog because we’ve already heard so many amazing tales that I want to share them all with our viewers. They’re all really important to us.

Who are your favorite Brooklyn rescue organizations?

I’m personally partial to Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue as I was their foster coordinator for quite some time. They are a group of ridiculously hardworking, passionate people that have created an unparalleled community of adopters, fosters and dog lovers. I’m also a fan of Sean Casey Animal Rescue. They do such amazing things and I love following their stories online. And while, they may not be a rescue in the traditional sense, I so admire the work Foster Dogs NYC does in helping connect rescues with potential pet foster parents. This ultimately saves more lives and is so important.

What would you like people to take away from the video series?

We want people to take away a simple message: adopt your next pet. Head to a local shelter or rescue and meet some dogs or cats. Every time a shelter/rescue animal finds a home, that leaves a space for another one to be saved and it’s a wonderful ripple effect. Some people are hesitant to rescue for a variety of reasons and others just don’t know it’s a viable option. Even those looking for a purebred—there are purebred rescues for almost any breed (but don’t discount mixed breeds, because they’re awesome too)! We hope that by watching The Sidekick Series, we’ll inspire others to adopt. And if they can’t adopt, maybe they can foster…and if they can’t foster, perhaps they’ll decide to donate some money to a local rescue.

If you would like to share your pet adoption story, or learn more about The Sidekick Series, visit their website, or email thesidekickseries@gmail.com.

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