'Rescue Ink's' Big Men With Big Hearts for Pets

Photo: NatGeos Rescue Ink

With scowls and tattoos abounding, a group of New York tough guys have dedicated themselves to the dirty yet adorable work of rescuing some of the cutest dogs and cats in the city.

In Nat Geo's new reality series "Rescue Ink," eight men, some with violent pasts, fight for neglected, abandoned and abused animals.

They are "seeking redemption and solace in their mission to save animals from human abuse," according to Nat Geo.

Click here to visit Rescue Ink's Web site.

Catch the series premiere on Sept. 25, 2009 on the National Geographic Channel.

The boys had always supported rescue groups, but they banded together after they read a story about someone in their neighborhood tying a dog to a tree and setting it on fire.

"Right then and there we decided we were not going to let this happen again with anyone doing something about it," Rescue Ink team member Joe Panz told "Good Morning America."

The group says they go to calls other rescuers won't go to. As member Big Ant explained it, some rescue organizations sneak in to take abused animals away from owners in the dead of night. That's not exactly Rescue Ink's style.

"What we do is we go to the guy's house, knock on the front door and confront the problem," Big Ant said. "We like to say we give him an education... We have all the time in the world to come back."

Click here to see a slideshow of Rescue Ink at work.

Click here to read an excerpt of the "Rescue Ink" book.

For more information on adopting pets in your area, check out the Shelter Pet Project, a collaboration between the Ad Council, the Humane Society and Maddie's Fund, where visitors can connect with shelter volunteers and meet some pets.

There are eight million pets in animal shelters around the country and about three million of them will end up euthanized, according to the Humane Society.

Maddie's Fund is the largest foundation in the world focused on saving shelter dogs and cats.

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