by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Leslie Hoffman Photography

Caring for Canines

volunteer_ginsburg_2Starting at a young age, Frederica Ginsburg had a desire to take care of animals. “I lived in Nigeria for a few years as a child and I had the most amazing opportunity to have my own rescued eagle, in addition to all my other pet animals,” recalled Frederica.

Today, Frederica – who resides in Santaluz with her husband, Scot, their two children (ages 6 and 9) and three pet dogs – remains passionate about her furry friends and is making it her mission to find them all a loving home.

In 2013, Frederica founded ScratchMyBelly.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving animals – mainly dogs – from high-kill shelters in Southern California and in Mexico. “ScratchMyBelly.org was created after volunteering and fostering for other rescues for a few years,” shared Frederica. “We wanted to be able to save animals without the screening criteria of breed, age, or medical condition.”

The organization – which proudly saved 50 lives last year and has already exceeded that number in 2016 – not only rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and off the streets of Mexico, but also rescues animals coming from owner surrenders, hoarding cases, and strays. “Our ultimate goal is to provide the best opportunity to these often overlooked animals, to find a loving forever home,” said Frederica. “Many of them come into the rescue with huge medical bills, and we strive to find donations to help off-set all those vet care costs that can easily exceed thousands of dollars in just one pup.”

ScratchMyBelly.org, Frederica explained, is always in need of volunteers. “Volunteers can help us at events, coordinate vet appointments, and transport.” She added, “Fosters are the golden foundation of our success with the placement of our pups. We provide the everything; they provide the love and care these pups deserve.”

The organization has a few fundraisers coming up, including its Blanket for Shelter Animals campaign. “Many shelters are unable to provide blankets for the animals housed at their location,” said Frederica. “We ask the community to help us keep the animals warm by donating gently used blankets and towels.”

The organization will also have a presence at the Santa Paws Event on Dec. 3, hosted by the San Diego Animal Support Foundation at the Grossmont Center in La Mesa from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
When asked about her biggest accomplishment, Frederica replied, “It’s knowing that those pups have wonderful adopters, full of love and appreciation for them. As author Karen Davidson says, ‘Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.’”

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Name: Frederica Ginsburg
Community: Santaluz
Volunteer Affiliation: ScratchMyBelly.org – An All-Breed Dog Rescue
Occupation: I’m an animal rescuer at heart!
Family: Married, two kids, and three pups!
Hobbies: I love empowering audiobooks (e.g. Girl Code, Big Magic) reading about interior décor and nutrition, going to the beach, and the excitement of saving the life of a rescued pup


Group: ScratchMyBelly.org
Purpose: Scratch My Belly is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving animals from high-kill shelters in Southern California and throughout Mexico. Scratch My Belly works to rehabilitate and re-home animals in need.
Website: www.scratchmybelly.org