Every day thousands of pets are killed in the Southern California shelters. START was formed in order to address the issues of overpopulation by providing two very important components:


Animals are rescued from high kill shelters in central and southern California and transported to northwestern rescue organizations, where they are re-homed.


START funds veterinary clinics in local communities to facilitate free spay/neuter services for low-income families, in the hopes of reducing unwanted births and less intakes at the already overcrowded animal shelters.



SHELTER TRANSPORT ANIMAL RESUE TEAM (START) was founded by three compassionate people who set out to make a difference in the lives of animals in need.

Steve Spiro, Rene Ruston and Adam Tarshis formed START to help reduce the thousands of mixed and purebred animals who perish, unnoticed, in our shelter system each day.  Dog and cats are being killed for lack of space, while there are homes in the Pacific Northwest waiting to adopt them, if only there was a way to transport.  Steve, Rene and Adam pooled their resources and knowledge to form START RESCUE that provides a reliable, transparent service to transport these dogs to safety.  In addition, providing free spay/neuter services to people who cannot afford it.


STEVE STEVE SPIRO is President and Co-Founder of START. He’s originally from London, England and resides in LA. Before forming START in May 2011 with Adam Tarshis and Rene Ruston, Steve and his wife did individual rescue helping as many dogs as they could bring home or find fosters for. The goal of START was to help more animals in need on a bigger level and bring national awareness to our major animal issues. Steve is an Actor/Writer and is pictured with his beloved MOY MOY.
RENEE RENE RUSTON is the Treasurer and Co-Founder of START. She has been an L.A. based Realtor for the past 26 years. She balances her successful career with advocacy protests, rescuing animals from hoarding conditions and high kill shelters, going nose to nose with animal abusers and city officials alike. “It is not unusual for me to show up at a home inspection with a recently rescued pitbull in my car.” laughs Rene.  “My clients don’t seem to mind.  In fact some of my staunchest supporters are clients. In addition to co-founding START, she is on the board of The Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (SPARC), which is the first no-kill open admission shelter in Ventura County. She also sits on the board of directors of Brittany Foundation, and her latest project: Rock and Rescue. This newest endeavor teams her with her husband of 10 years, successful record producer, Jay Ruston and some of their closest friends, at the top of the legal, marketing and music fields. Rene is a successful commissioned artist whose clients include Fortune 500 Companies and individuals and professionals in the TV and music industries. She has donated many paintings to animal rescues for their fundraisers.
ADAM ADAM TARSHIS is the Director and Co-Founder of START. He is originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998. He currently runs Principal Development Group, which is an LA-based technology-consulting firm that specializes in the design and development of licensing, distribution, financial and intellectual-property management systems for the media and entertainment industry. In addition to his professional career in the technology space, Adam Tarshis and his wife Amber established the Amber and Adam Tarshis Foundation that is committed to eradicating animal fighting, preventing animal cruelty and promoting animal rescue and adoption.  The Foundation seeks to prevent animal fighting by pursuing those engaged, and suspected of being engaged, in animal fighting or related abusive activities, including breeding animals for fighting. The Foundation also seeks to promote animal rescue and adoption by removing animals from high-kill shelters and finding foster or temporary care for these animals until such time as they can be adopted.  One of the primary tools used to accomplish this objective is transporting abandoned or homeless animals from city shelters with high kill rates to other cities with shelters that have available capacity to support adoption.  Adam’s personal passion for animal rescue led him to Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team, (START).
Image79 CANDACE MODRELL is Director of transports for START.While visiting her home town of Springfield, OR, Candace took her niece and nephew to visit a Humane Society and noticed they didn’t have many small dogs. She inquired with them about the possibility of transporting in dogs from California, and they said yes! The transports were born. Since then Candace has built relationships with many Humane Socieities and rescues in the Pacific Northwest and joined forces with START to continue the work of getting dogs out of high kill shelters and into groups where they are well cared for and have a new chance at life.