By: David DiPino Contributing Writer
When Delray resident and tennis professional Kevin Anderson and his wife, Kelsey, decided it was time to add a furry friend to their family, they knew they wanted to adopt locally.
They turned to Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue at the Delray GreenMarket at Old School Square to help.
The Anderson’s fell in love with Lady Kady, a “chaweenie” or Chihuahua and dachshund mix, that Sandra Dezelan-Axelband, a Delray Beach resident and founder of Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue, rescued.
“We first got involved with the rescue because we saw Sandra and some of the volunteers with the rescue dogs at the Delray GreenMarket. At the time, we had been talking about adoption for several months but were not actively looking for a dog yet. We always thought that we would rescue a dog when Kevin retired from tennis (hopefully only in several more years),” Kelsey Anderson said while in-between flights from Kevin Anderson’s runner-up performance at the Maharashtra Open in Pune, India, and a flight to the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia.
Kelsey Anderson, a certified public accountant (CPA), helps her husband with bookkeeping, booking flights and hotels. At press time, Kevin Anderson was the No. 11 ranked player in the world in the ATP 250 World Tour rankings. In addition, her blog Tour Wife Tales – www.realifetennis.com/lifestyle/tour-wife-tales shares personal insights and experiences from the tour.
Recently, the Anderson’s raised $17,000 for Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue. Late last year, Kevin Anderson’s ProWorld Tennis Academy, 651 Egret Cir, Delray Beach, raised money for the rescue.
“Between the event at Pro World and an event that I hosted with a club up in Chicago called College Park Athletic Club we raised over $17,000 in December alone. We are continuing our efforts online to try and raise even more money throughout the year,” Kevin Anderson said.
That large of a donation brought the non-stop energetic, Dezelan-Axelband to a halt.
“I had no idea Kevin and Kelsey Anderson would dedicate their time and energy to raise money for the rescue. It brought tears of joy to my eyes. Christmas came early,” Dezelan-Axelband said.
The effort continues online at: www.youcaring.com/dezzyssecondchanceanimalrescue-991446.
“We are so proud of the work that Sandra Dezelan-Axelband and all the volunteers do at Dezzy’s Second Chance to help save animals right here in our own community. We are so happy to be supporting that cause. After rescuing our own dog and forming a relationship with Sandra, we became painfully aware of some of the medical expenses that the rescue faces on an ongoing basis. Adoption fees don’t even come close to covering the costs endured by the rescues to save some of these animals,” Kelsey Anderson said.
“We know from our own experience of meeting all the great dogs at Dezzy’s how many good adoptable pets there are out there that just need a second chance. Shelters all over South Florida are busting to the brim and local Rescues are able to play a big part in saving animals and giving them another chance at life.”
The Anderson’s have always wanted to rescue a pet. They knew how many amazing dogs reside in shelters and rescues and have always felt passionate about giving a good loving home to an animal in need.
“We ultimately adopted our dog, Lady Kady, because she bore a very strong resemblance to the dog Kelsey’s family had for 19 years. We like to joke that it was love at first sight when we saw her at the Delray GreenMarket. With our traveling lifestyle it was tough to ultimately make the decision to adopt a pet. We had a number of details and logistics to discuss before diving in to pet ownership, but in hindsight we couldn’t have made a better decision,” Kelsey Anderson said.
“Lady Kady has been the perfect addition to our little family. She has traveled the world with us while Kevin competes on the ATP World Tour visiting places like Barcelona, Paris, London and even South Africa. We often joke that she’s a one-in-a-million dog because of her adaptable and easy-going demeanor. She is so well behaved that Lady Kady comes to every tennis tournament that allows it, and loves to sleep by Kelsey’s side while I compete on court. Lady Kady even attended all of my US Open matches last year in New York. After tennis, win or lose, it’s great to be on the receiving end of Kady’s unconditional love. She lifts our spirits day after day and has provided so much joy in our lives,” Kevin Anderson said.
The Anderson’s said they feel very strongly that there are so many amazing dogs out there available for adoption and by giving one a home you are actually saving a life. They said each year 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the USA alone simply because too many animals come into shelters and too few people consider adoption.
“When adopting a dog instead of purchasing one you are actually saving a life, and to us that has always felt like the right thing to do. We also hate the ugly side of the pet breeding industry that has given way to puppy mills and excessive breeding practices where dogs face a lifetime of mistreatment and abuse. All too often, operations that sell pets put profits ahead of the well-being of animals. As huge animal lovers, we knew that by adopting our dog we could be 100 percent certain that unscrupulous operations wouldn’t be supported by our own money,” Kelsey Anderson said.
“We know both from our personal experience and that of our friends and family, that rescues and shelters are full of happy healthy pets that make amazing companions. We encourage everyone to adopt and don’t shop for their next pet.”
Kevin Anderson returns home to Delray Beach for The Delray Beach Open Feb. 16-25, at Delray Beach Tennis Center, 201 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. Anderson won the tournament in 2012. Last year, Anderson fell in the First Round of The Delray Beach Open to Juan Martin Del Potro, a semifinalist in the 2017 effort.