Brenham - As president and founder of True Blue Animal Rescue in Brenham, Melanie DeAeth has opened her heart and her home to thousands of animals in need. As a 2014 Jefferson Award recipient, DeAeth is being honored for rescuing animals while teaching others to do the same.
"We've helped over 1,000 dogs, about 500 cats and about 350 equine. In True Blue animal rescue we believe that education is the key to ending abuse neglect and over population. I'm a teacher so I believe that having kids out here and having hands on experience with animals is going to end the cycle of abuse and neglect," said DeAeth.
As a nonprofit organization True Blue has worked to end the abusive cycle since 2004, but Melanie's compassion for animal's traces back much further.
" I grew up in poverty my family didn't have much money, we didn't have much so I think in that way we always received from others so I learned to give. I worked in an SPCA when I was a teenager. Little by little I learned to take them and find them homes. So it started that young," said DeAeth.
What started as a young girl's hobby has grown in to a passion that is not only beneficial to animals, but also has a lasting impact on the people who help save animals in need.
"It's phenomenal, it's incredible the work. I've never seen a rescue do as much as they have," said True Blue supporter Reverend Sandy Roegner.