Small dog rescue volunteer receives this week's Pay it Forward award

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV.CBS 5) (Source: 3TV.CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV.CBS 5) (Source: 3TV.CBS 5)

Donna Umsread does her best to find homes for dogs in need, but it's not easy.

"There are hundreds of dogs that are perfectly healthy and perfectly wonderful dogs that they cant find homes for," said Umsread. "Not just sick and neglected -  just too many dogs."

Every week, the retired kindergarten teacher can be found at the Arizona Small Dog Rescue.

The devoted volunteer does everything from cleaning kennels and giving baths, to getting pups ready for adoption.

"Sometimes we have dogs that turn over in a day or two, but we have dogs that are long-timers, and to actually place a dog and know that it's with people who love it and provide a wonderful life; it's very rewarding."

Fellow volunteer Leslie Tweeton has seen how much Umsread cares about the cute canines, so she reached out to CBS-5 to Pay it Forward to Umsread.

"Donna makes a huge difference," said Tweeton. "I'd love to have this type of coverage to inspire others to come help and do the kinds of things she's doing in her spare time."

A CBS-5 News crew surprised Umsread at the Arizona Small Dog Rescue Center earlier this week.

"I reached out to CBS-5 because I've been thinking about how great of a volunteer you are, and all the incredible time and effort that you've put into the shelter," Tweeton told Umsread. "Your the first person in the world to drop everything and run out to Mesa if we need to get a dog. On behalf of the shelter and Channel 5 we would like to present you with a big thank you and $500."

"Once you retire you need a passion," said Umsread. "You need something new to focus on and help feel productive."

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio