About Dire Straits and Founder Jan Tuma

I’m a veterinary technician and have been involved in animal rescue and sheltering since 1996.  I worked with a large animal shelter as a volunteer foster and adoption counselor, but soon found myself sneaking in injured, abused and badly neglected dogs that I’d find, via the Internet, in other areas.  I’d stash the dogs in the kennel at the animal hospital where I work and get their medical care done while they were there.  One of the shelter directors once made a comment about me running my own little humane society.  I hadn’t thought about it that way, but she may have planted a seed!

In 2005 I traveled to the Gulf Coast several times to take part in pet search and rescue in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.   At the end of my first trip I was asked to take a badly injured dog home with me to care for while he recuperated.

Hurricane had been injured in a dog attack and had lost his right front leg.  His left front leg was severely injured and was being held together with six pins and external fixators.  Hurricane was a trooper and handled his six-month long recuperation very well.   When he had gained some weight and was stable enough, he was also successfully treated for heartworm disease.

I consider Hurricane my inspiration for starting my own rescue.  I have always been drawn to the animals with medical needs in shelters or pounds where they often receive no medical care.  Thanks to the internet, it’s not very difficult to find many such animals.  Also because of the internet and many incredible volunteers from all over the country, it’s not too difficult to get these needy animals transported from one place to another.  There are many unsung heroes working hard day and night to save as many homeless animals across the country as possible.

Dire Straits is a very small rescue, but I’m reminded of a quote that rescuers use quite often: “Saving just one dog won’t change the world, but the world will surely change for that one dog.”

Thanks for your interest in adopting and for visiting Dire Straits.


Hurricane shortly after I brought him home from New Orleans.


My handsome Hurricane today.