Tiny N Tall Rescue based in St. Charles finds home for bigger, smaller breeds

  • Niccalina Santilli, left, and Missy Young started Tiny N Tall Rescue in St. Charles. The rescue focuses on gentle giants like Great Danes and mastiffs and dogs under 25 pounds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkies.

    Niccalina Santilli, left, and Missy Young started Tiny N Tall Rescue in St. Charles. The rescue focuses on gentle giants like Great Danes and mastiffs and dogs under 25 pounds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkies. courtesy of Missy Young

 
 
Posted6/23/2022 10:27 AM

Best friends Missy Young and Niccalina Santilli met while volunteering at an animal rescue organization.

Missy was the foster and volunteer coordinator, while Niccalina helped with social media and fundraising.

 

"We soon discovered that the founder of that rescue was misappropriating donated funds for herself. Needless to say, we learned a lot of what NOT to do in rescue. We were truly invested and knew we didn't want to stop what soon became our passion, so we decided to start our own rescue," Young said in an email.

Niccalina Santilli, right, and Missy with one of their Great Dane rescues.
Niccalina Santilli, right, and Missy with one of their Great Dane rescues. - courtesy of Missy Young

So they started Tiny N Tall Rescue, which is headquartered in St. Charles. The rescue focuses on dogs that may get overlooked because of their size -- gentle giants like Great Danes and mastiffs and dogs under 25 pounds, like Chihuahuas and Yorkies.

The group has an upcoming 5K fundraiser on June 26 in Schaumburg, but you can meet dogs up for adoption at various meet-and-greets each month. The next one is from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at Ahlstrand Park, 6900 Catalpa St. in Hanover Park.

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Niccalina Santilli, right, and Missy Young show off two of their bigger dogs. The two best friends started Tiny N Tall Rescue after volunteering for another organization.
Niccalina Santilli, right, and Missy Young show off two of their bigger dogs. The two best friends started Tiny N Tall Rescue after volunteering for another organization. - courtesy of Missy Young

The group also will be marching in the Bartlett Fourth of July parade at 1 p.m. July 3.

For details on how to meet adoptable dogs, visit facebook.com/tinyntallrescue/events.

Missy Young talks more about the rescue and the upcoming 5K.

Q: What is Tiny N Tall Rescue? Give a brief overview of what the organization does and who you serve.

A: Tiny N Tall Rescue (TNT for short!) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foster-based canine rescue organization founded by Missy Young and Niccalina Santilli.

Bryson Young, son of Tiny N Tall Rescue co-founder Missy Young, poses with a puppy. The rescue organization offers meet-and-greets at various locations each month and will host a 5K June 26.
Bryson Young, son of Tiny N Tall Rescue co-founder Missy Young, poses with a puppy. The rescue organization offers meet-and-greets at various locations each month and will host a 5K June 26. - courtesy of Missy Young
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

We both grew up with tiny dogs in our family homes, and now, as adults, we both own giant breed dogs, Great Danes to be exact!

Tiny N Tall Rescue is based in St. Charles. We opened our "doors" in November 2017, and we have saved more than 1,750 dogs and counting. Our rescue is comprised of an amazing group of volunteers and foster homes that are dedicated to providing temporary shelter, veterinary care and behavioral support for small and giant breed dogs as they transition into carefully selected fur-ever homes.

We rescue "Tiny" breeds that are 25 pounds and under (Yorkies, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, etc.) and "Tall" giant breeds (Great Danes, Mastiffs, Great Pyrenees, etc.).

Q: Where do the majority of your donations come from?

A: We are a 501(c)(3) organization and rely solely on the public and our supporters to continue saving lives. We have amazing volunteers, adopters, followers and supporters who donate monetary and in-kind donations. We also have an Amazon.Smile wishlist that we share to help us replenish our foster dog supplies.

Q: What are some of your programs that highlight the animals you rescue?

A: We have meet-and-greet events almost every weekend throughout the Northwest and West suburbs at PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, Two Bostons, Wet Nose, etc.

Q: Tell us about any upcoming events you will be having?

A: We have rescue events almost every weekend!

Tiny N Tall Rescue volunteers in front of the new transport van. The rescue headquarters are in St. Charles.
Tiny N Tall Rescue volunteers in front of the new transport van. The rescue headquarters are in St. Charles. - courtesy of Missy Young

Our second annual 5K run and Bark in the Park is coming up at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 26, at the Schaumburg Boomers Wintrust Stadium, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road. It is one of our bigger events.

You can view all of our upcoming adoption events and rescue events on our website and Facebook page, facebook.com/tinyntallrescue/events and tinyntallrescue.com/tntevents.

Q: How can people participate?

A: We are looking for runners or walkers to sign up, and we encourage the attendees to bring their dogs for the 5K.

The cost is $50 per runner, which includes a race bib, water bottle, lanyard with medal, 5K picture frame, drawstring bag, 5K T-shirt and one ticket to the Schaumburg Boomers game after the run.

All registered runners can pick up their race packets from 9-10:30 a.m. June 26.

Niccalina Santilli, right, and Missy Young show off tiny and tall rescues at one of their meet-and-greet events, which are held monthly. Visitors can adopt a dog or buy merchandise to help support the nonprofit organization.
Niccalina Santilli, right, and Missy Young show off tiny and tall rescues at one of their meet-and-greet events, which are held monthly. Visitors can adopt a dog or buy merchandise to help support the nonprofit organization. - courtesy of Melissa Young

Following the run, everyone and their pups are invited into the ballpark for the Bark in the Park and Schaumburg Boomers game.

We are also looking for individual and business sponsorships for the 5K. We have many sponsorship options and levels to choose from. You can find more information about the different sponsorship opportunities and register for the 5K at bidpal.net/tnt5k2022.

Q: How can readers help besides donating?

A: We are always looking for foster homes to help us save more lives and volunteers to help us at events and transports. We also have rescue work you can do from home, as well such as joining our application team, social media team, etc.

To learn more about becoming part of our team, visit tinyntallrescue.com/volunteer.

We are always looking for adopters as well. Take a look at our available adoptable dogs at tinyntallrescue.com/adoptable-dogs.

Q: What else would you like readers to know?

A: We have grown so much as an organization since opening our "doors" in November 2017.

During these last few years, we have rescued just over 1,750 dogs, have over 200 active volunteers and foster homes, have almost 30,000 followers and supporters on our social media pages, purchased our very own transport van in April 2020, and are now ready to take the next step and open our own facility.

We will be able to host adoption events, have space for emergency foster dog situations, intake and medical rooms, an area to sell our merchandise that we make, and so much more. We also plan to help the community however we can, and would like to host low-cost vaccine and microchip clinics, as well as low-cost training classes for our foster homes and the community.

• • •

5K run and Bark in the Park

What: Fundraiser for Tiny N Tall Rescue

When: 11 a.m. Sunday, June 26

Where: Schaumburg Boomers Wintrust Stadium, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg

Cost: $50

Details: bidpal.net/tnt5k2022

Next meet-and-greet

When: 2-4 p.m. July 30

Where: Ahlstrand Park, 3900 Catalpa St., Hanover Park

Details: facebook.com/tinyntallrescue/events and tinyntallrescue.com/tntevents

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