Last weekend there was a great article in the Tacoma News Tribune/Puyallup Herald about a place very dear to my heart! Have I ever talked about it here?
Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue is the shelter from where we adopted our dear dog (and website namesake) Macaroni!
We adopted Mac in 2011 from SSAR after finding him on Petfinder.com. The shelter had named him Fargo, and about a month before we met him, Sunny Sky’s had rescued him from a high-kill shelter in southern California where he was one of the next to be euthanized simply because they didn’t have the space to hold strays for more than a few days. Isn’t that so sad?
So we went to Petfinder.com looking for a Poodle or Bichon Frise who was not a puppy but not old. We put in our specifics and found the scrappiest looking sweetie named Fargo at Sunny Sky’s! We went down to meet him on a Saturday, went back the next day to put in the paperwork, they neutered him and gave him all his shots and we were able to pick him up the next Thursday! We took him to get a haircut the next day, and all of a sudden there he was: our sweet perfect pupparoo. He is a Bichon/Poodle/Dachshund mix, was two years old when we got him, and has been nothing but perfect, sweet, fun, chill, such a wonderful companion, best friend, and big brother. He and Anthony are my very favorite pair of best friends there ever was.
He has truly been one (out of two) of the best things we’ve ever done.
So let me get on a soapbox for one second and talk about pet rescue.
When you buy a dog from a pet store, off of Craigslist, or from a breeder, you are adding to the problem. There are a few exceptions (American Kennel Club responsible breeding in order to keep breed purity), but for the most part there’s really no reason to not rescue. Is it cause you want a puppy? There are tons of puppies in shelters. Is it because you’re scared on their history or background? Okay, first off, be picky about breed, second, you can get them young with no history if you want, and third, the money you save by rescuing instead of buying, you can afford to invest the difference in some pretty specialized behavior training. Even if the pet you are buying is not from a puppy mill, you are helping the puppy mill industry make buying dogs look cool and easy. To me, the whole issue is people not willing to be patient and wait for what they want. Isn’t that the whole problem with our culture?
When you go on Petfinder, the exact dog you’ve been wanting may not be on there THAT DAY, but keep checking! When you search for a house, you don’t check Zillow once, not find your dream house, and decide to build instead, right?
I can’t recommend Petfinder enough. I also want to give mad props to Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue obviously, and my favorite national rescue organization, Best Friend’s Animal Society. I’m gonna do a whole Best Friends post at some point but check them out, they are so awesome!
Here are a few books about pet rescue that have really inspired me and warmed my heart:
Little Boy Blue: A Puppy’s Rescue from Death Row and His Owner’s Journey for Truth
A super eye-opening non-fiction book that is pretty widely regarded in the rescue community as a game-changer. Focuses on the southeast US where the problem is really rampant.
The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
Another non-fiction book that is really really really good. A couple early chapters are very difficult to read, but also easy to figure out where to skip to if you’d rather just start at the happy part. This is the book that made me fall in love with Best Friends Animal Society. Probably my favorite dog rescue book.
Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love
This non-fiction book is about dog rescue and human adoption! My two favorite topics! Such a sweet, entertaining book.
How Can You Help?
Shelters.Need.Money. If I were you, I’d donate at the local level where the need is the greatest and there is the least amount of overhead.
Please consider adoption first when you go to get your next pet!
Most local shelters, if not every single one of them, are looking for volunteers. There are regular gigs and one-time projects. It might be just walking dogs! Can you walk? Then you can walk a dog. It might be filling food bowls, it might be spreading peanut butter in Kong toys, it might be doing laundry. There is a job for everyone.
Check with a shelter or rescue closest to you; they probably need stuff you’re throwing away. Old towels and blankets. Paper towels. Dog and cat food. Cleaning supplies. Leashes and collars. Nothing has to be new. They have needs just like any other business, and they’d rather spend their precious little money on things like electricity, saving animals, etc. Go to their website or call them for their wish list, and then have people bring that to your next party instead of a housewarming gift! I’d much rather pick up a case of paper towels on my way to a party than a pick out another candle.
Thanks for reading this long soapbox of a post!