Seeing spots: Craig woman rescues dalmatians

CRAIG COUNTY – Diana Crush loves seeing spots. There’s nothing wrong with her eyes. She just loves dalmatian dogs.

In fact, Crush devotes her life to rescuing dalmatians, through the Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia.

How Charlie, a dalmatian who was microchipped in Japan, wound up in the Roanoke Valley. He found a new home through Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia. Photo by Meg Hibbert

Diana Morgan Crush grew up in Craig County and although she now lives just over the line in Botetourt, her children, Courtney, who is 13, and Cameron, 11, attend Craig County Middle School.

Both kids help with the rescue dogs, their mom said.

Recently, Crush and friends were covered in spots as they manned a booth filled with black-and-white spotted items for sale at Ye Olde Salem Christmas celebration. They also had two rescued dalmatian dogs with them that were helping make the case for the black-spotted white dogs who need homes.

Diana Crush devotes her passion to helping rescue dalmatians and finding them new homes. Photo by Meg Hibbert

The one in Crush’s lap that day was a dog named Charlie who evidently had traveled around the world to get to her:

“He has a microchip that tells us he was from Japan. We don’t know how he got to the Roanoke Valley. He was picked up and I got a call from Angels of Assisi,” she explained.

She and the other volunteers were hoping that if Charlie’s owners would be found, or at least, a new home for him. He was adopted a couple of weeks later with another dalmatian, Jake, that was in a different foster home. Both went to someone in North Carolina who had dalmatians previously, Crush said.

“Charlie is 4 years old and gets along with other dogs, cats and children,” Crush told an interested person who stopped by to pat Charlie.

The rescued dalmatians stay with Crush and her family from one week to three months. “Some could be heartworm positive. We make sure they have vet care and are spayed and neutered before they go to new homes. And we’re always looking for foster homes,” Crush added, to take in dalmatians before they go to “forever homes.”

Crush has three dalmatians of her own, and at that moment, was fostering a total of seven.

With her that day in December were Sandy Mayes and Gale Sanderson, from Morrison, Tenn., who are adopters who wanted to come to show support for the project, Crush said. With Mayes that day was a shy dalmatian named Luci, whom she had adopted.

“I’m getting ready to get another foster this weekend,” Crush said. “We probably have 12 fosters right now.”

The website is The contact person is Debi Smith, 540-392-6761. “If anyone wants to foster a dalmatian, we provide food, vet care and support,” Crush said.