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Mojave Desert Animal Rescue founder gets $500

Annie Lancaster, founder of the Mojave Desert Animal Rescue, is seen in this photo.

March 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Boy" the dog probably wouldn't be alive today if one woman didn't step in.

Boy and his owner, a homeless woman named Donna, were struck by a car at a Victorville intersection. Donna died and Boy was discovered in a dirt lot, scared and badly injured. He needed leg surgery, plenty of stitches and lots of love.

Annie Lancaster welcomed Boy into her home. She's the founder of the Mojave Desert Animal Rescue. She provides food, leashes and care so the homeless, sick and recently unemployed can keep their pets.

"She's got a big heart and, I think, an even bigger soul," Terry Blomker said. Blomker visited the ABC7 Facebook page for a chance to Pay It Forward to Lancaster.

"I thought I would apply, and hope and wish, and it came true!" Blomker said.

Blomker surprised Lancaster at a Victorville food bank.

"I just think you're the most amazing woman ever, and you always take care of everybody before you take care of yourself. And I think it's high time, and apparently Channel 7 did too, that we want to pay it forward and make things just a little bit easier for you," Blomker told Lancaster before handing her the money.

Lancaster burst into tears and threw her arms around Blomker to thank her.

"I'm not a cry baby, I'm blown away! I am totally blown away. I did not see this coming!" Lancaster said.

Lancaster said the $500 will buy 3 tons of pet food, feeding animals for several months.

She says her passion comes from haunting memories as a vet technician.

"I've had to end the life of animals that were otherwise healthy and happy and loved by someone who had to surrender them because they had no other choice," Lancaster said.

Those she helps say they'd be in that situation without her.

"I've had my dog for 15 years, and it's hard to feed him now. I don't want to give him away. So, she means a whole lot," said Julie Loredo of Victorville.

"One thing people don't seem to realize about homeless people is they take incredible care of their animals," Lancaster said. "They'll go hungry to feed their own animals. That pet is their everything, it's their heart, it's their best friend, it's their confidant, it's their guardian."

Lancaster hopes her story will inspire a little more kindness to man and his best friend.

"You look at the world today, and what good are any of us if we don't Pay It Forward?" Lancaster said. "You don't have to do huge things, just random acts of kindness are all it takes. If more people would do that, the world would be a much better place."

Want to Pay It Forward? Tell us who you think deserves $500 on the Pay It Forward tab on our Facebook page. Every week until March 30, 2012, one person will be selected at random to receive $500 to Pay It Forward.