Sparkt Bridges

"Rescue Realtor" Helps Shelter Dogs Find Homes

Her passion is not only to help people find forever homes, but homeless pets too!

This story is part of a bi-weekly series that celebrates people who are reaching across a divide to "build bridges" with others. The Sparkt Bridges series is made possible with the support of UPMC.

Finding people a home is pretty much the definition of a real estate agent.

Realtor Biba Lubenski has expanded that definition a bit - to her, it's about finding a home for people and homeless pets.

"There's so many [dogs] that need a good home," says Biba, who is an avid volunteer at the Beaver County Humane Society, located about a half-hour west of Pittsburgh. For years, whenever Biba closes on a home sale, she's donated $100 from her commission to the animal shelter. But her support for these rescue animals is more than just financial. I stopped by the shelter to chat with her about all she does there and what it means to her:

Whenever Biba drops off a donation, she always makes a short Facebook video highlighting one of the adoptable dogs at the shelter:

"Last year I did 50 donations, so 50 houses. It just depends on the amount of houses I sell," says Biba. "It's mainly for these dogs. I wouldn't care if I got another listing out of it. I want to get them home and not see the shelter full."

The donations go a long way, especially at the Beaver County Humane Society, which receives no state or federal funding. "What we have here comes through our contributors, our sponsorship, our events that we have," explains Mike Romigh, the shelter's Sponsorship, Events & Social Media Manager. "We get a small stipend from the Beaver County government, but it was cut a few years ago... primarily it's from the donations from the people in the communities."

Biba Lubenski

Between donations and events she's organizes, such as "Spay-ghetti and No-balls" (for spay and neuter programs - duh), Biba has raised an estimated $15,000 for the shelter.

"[It's] something that I care so much about, I'm so passionate about." - Rescue Realtor Biba Lubenski

"We truly depend on our volunteers," says Romigh. "We're always looking for people who have an interest in animals. We're happy to have them."

The Sparkt Bridges Project is produced with the generous support of UPMC. Life Changing Medicine.

How can you start something good?

Did that last sentence make you say "well I have an interest in animals!"? Consider volunteering or donating to your local animal shelter. Simply search for "humane society near me" or something similar in your favorite search engine.

The Beaver County Humane Society and the Humane Society of the U.S. can always use support from your donations as well.

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