A Phoenix woman is being recognized for her efforts to find families for homeless dogs. (Pay It Forward is sponsored by Valley Honda Dealers)

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Sarah Duncan likes to think of herself as a matchmaker: someone with a unique talent of connecting abandoned, and unwanted dogs with just the right family.

"You have to pour your love into them constantly because they have never experienced love," said Duncan. "If anything, they've experienced the opposite and that takes awhile sometimes."

The Phoenix woman has plenty of experience rescuing homeless animals. Back when she was 14, Duncan's mom let her adopt a couple dogs from a local shelter and she was hooked. She immediately started up "Caring for Canines," a non-profit devoted to saving and relocating dogs in need.

"They have no voice, they have no one to help them, and there are some very scary situations out there," said Duncan. "I wanted to do something."

Since 1996, Caring for Canines has found homes for more than 1,000 dogs.

But it hasn't been easy, with Duncan often using her own money on vetenarian bills and transportation.

And things just got even tougher with Duncan's suburban pet-mobile breaking down.

Donna Farkas rescued a dog from Duncan last year and has seen how hard she works taking care of animals.

She reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to Duncan and help her out. "The message is, I appreciate her, and I know a lot of people do as well," said Farkas. "Times are tough now, tougher than we've seen I wanted to let her know that I care."

A CBS 5 news crew followed Farkas recently, to surprise Duncan and give her $500.

"You started this when you were 14 years old here, and you are still doing this, taking care of dogs, finding new homes for hundreds, if not thousands of dogs," Farkas told Duncan.

"I reached out to channel 5 and their Pay it Forward Program and on behalf of us and channel 5, I wanted to give you $500," said Farkas.

"When she started this, she had the ability to do it, the desire to follow through," said Farkas. "All these values and goals and she's still doing it years later. I just wanted to say thank you."

"Oh my Gosh - this could help so," said Duncan. "Thank You. Thank You."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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