If Chuck Schmidt doesn’t raise $28,000 soon he might be homeless; “If it was just me, I wouldn’t worry — but I don’t know what will happen to the dogs and cats,” he said this week.
Chuck Schmidt of rural Belview has gotten two late notices on his home. If he doesn’t raise $28,000 soon he might be homeless. That’s bad enough, but not what is bothering Schmidt most. “If it was just me, I wouldn’t worry — but I don’t know what will happen to the dogs and cats,” he said this week. Schmidt’s home isn’t just his home — it is his mission. Next door to the quarters where he lives is A New Beginning Animal Rescue, current home to 15 dogs and 20 cats no one else will care for. Schmidt estimates he has rescued, rehabilitated, and found new homes for nearly 1,400 dogs, 1,500 cats, and 15 horses. Some animals came to Schmidt after being neglected or abandoned. However, he said most were brought to him by their former owners, who just couldn’t keep them anymore for one reason or another. “I take in the cases that the other rescues and shelters either can’t or won’t handle.” After high school, Schmidt joined the army and became a dog trainer/handler. For the past 10 years, Schmidt has taken the skills and techniques he learned in the army to retrain and rehabilitate dogs and cats who, because of past abuse or neglect were left damaged in some way. After 35 years experience working with animals, Schmidt said, “I by no means consider myself an expert in what I do. I’m just a guy who happens to live and care about animals, and I want to use what I know to help and save them.” On May 2, the loan on Schmidt’s home went into default because, without many assets or collateral, he needs a cosigner to back his loan. “In years past there was no problem because I was able to secure a life insurance policy that would pay off my loan in case of my sudden death,” he said, “but while trying to reapply for a new home loan I was told that type of insurance is no longer offered.” Schmidt has many health problems of his own, with a series of heart attacks, strokes, and cancer behind him. Due to his own health issues, he can’t find any insurance company willing to cover the necessary policy that would allow him to keep his home. His options are also limited because he can’t afford the time and legal fees in turning A New Beginning Animal Rescue into a non-profit so that peoples’ donations to him would be tax deductible. “I know firsthand the importance of being given a second chance, so that’s what I offer,” he said. “I am by no means looking for a handout or a free ride in life, nor am I looking for pity from anyone. I am just looking for some help to save my home and the animals I am caring for.” For more information, Schmidt can be contacted at 507-430-9194, or at 23289 State Highway 19, Belview, MN, 56214.