2014 50 Most Beautiful

Meredith Raimondi
Hometown: 
St. Paul, Minn.
Age: 
27
Relationship Status: 
Seeing someone
Party Affiliation: 
Democratic

Meredith Raimondi has been rescuing dogs for as long as she can remember.

“My dad always said that dogs were drawn to me,” she says with a laugh. “I probably found half a dozen stray dogs in my childhood that I brought home and tried to find the owner.”

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 “Even on vacations, I would see a dog on the side of the road and be like, We have to stop!” she adds.

After attending George Washington University, the Minnesota native quickly landed an internship before getting her current gig as scheduler for Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.). When she’s not working on Capitol Hill, Raimondi serves as a director of City Dogs Rescue, a nonprofit that pairs canines from high-kill and overcrowded shelters with foster families and permanent homes.

“I wanted to do something that was not like what I do for my job,” Raimondi says. “I looked at a lot of different types of organizations and I thought it was really cool to be able to do something with dogs. 

Raimondi first started working at City Dogs Rescue in early 2012, five months after the organization was created. She has since helped save nearly 800 tail-wagging fur balls.

That’s how she met George, her English Coonhound.

“There’s a whole network on Facebook of dogs being posted every day that are at risk of dying in shelters. I saw the picture of [George] and I was like, I have to save this dog,” Raimondi said. “For some reason when people wanted to foster this dog, I got super protective.”

That Christmas, while Congress was out of session, she signed up to foster George for two weeks.

“Two weeks turned into forever,” she says with a wide smile. “You always think that owning a dog is such a responsibility, and it’s expensive, and that my schedule won’t allow it. But I realized once he was in my life that you just kind of make it work.” 

— Vivian Hughbanks