Posts tagged supporting no-kill sheltering

It finally happend in LA: Dog, cat and rabbit sales banned at pet stores

Great! Fantastic! That’s amazing! Imagine all the animals saved! Those were the responses I’ve heard as I spread the word that LA  banned the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in retail outlets today (ref: Los Angeles Times).

And, naturally, I agree.

You don’t have to wait for election day to make progress, and that’s what they did in LA.  Now, only animals for adoption can be provided through retail outlets.  This is a move to start solving the pet homelessness problem at the source!

Overflow of kittens at a Pacific NW shelterLA is a huge market for pets stores who frequently sell dogs that are trending as popular, such as Chihuahuas after the release of Legally Blonde.   There are so many animals homeless in LA that rescue groups all over the country actually export dogs out of LA to find them homes elsewhere.

And the relief that shelter workers will get is just one more reason that banning the retail sale of animals is so important.  Imagine each day you are faced with hundreds and even thousands of homeless animals, many who will be euthanized. This is a quote from one LA newspaper article earlier this month:

“In the 2011-12 fiscal year, city animal shelters took in more than 57,000 animals — 35,405 dogs and 21,883 cats — and euthanized 25 percent of the dogs and 57 percent of cats.” — ref: Daily News LA

Congratulations to Councilman Paul Koretz, Los Angeles Department of Animal Services and all the animal advocates and organizations who pressed for this ban.


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AMONG THE ANIMALS: Volunteers save animals from breeding mills, ‘death row’

Brooke, Michelle and their dog BonnieBy Christie Lagally

Oct. 12, 2011

Originally published in City Living Seattle by the Pacific Publishing Company

In the last few years, a growing number of cities have taken a proactive measure against animal homelessness by banning the retail sale of dogs and cats. South Lake Tahoe led the way with its city council unanimously voting in a ban, followed by Albuquerque, N. M. West Hollywood, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Fort Worth, Fla.; and Glendale, Calif., have most recently followed suit. The city council for the largest city in Canada — Toronto — unanimously voted to ban the retail sale of dogs and cats just recently.

These cities acted on a local level to tackle a regional problem: industrialized breeding of kittens and puppies (a. k. a. puppy mills) and pet overpopulation, leading to mass euthanasia in city pounds and shelters. Pet overpopulation is a municipal problem that costs cities and communities hundreds of thousands of dollars in shelter costs, cruelty investigations and euthanasia.

Momo is for adoption through Ginger's Pet Rescue

‘Death-row dogs’

Puppy and kitten mills are found almost anywhere in Washington state and elsewhere in the United States. And while retailers can make considerable profit selling animals, the reality is that breeding dogs and cats is not profitable under humane conditions. Hence, we have seen the rise of puppy and kitten mills, where breeding parents live in small, unsanitary cages, usually outdoors, with no exercise or veterinary care. The conditions are deplorable, and many breeding parents die before they are rescued.

City councils have discovered that by banning retail sales of dogs and cats, they can curb the economic demand for this type of breeding operation and save thousands of animals and thousands of dollars.

Like many surrounding cities, Seattle has no such ban, and backyard puppy mills and crowded shelters are common on the West Coast. Luckily, Seattle is blessed with many rescue groups that tackle pet homelessness.

But one such group, Ginger’s Pet Rescue, is dedicated to specifically saving those “death-row dogs” that are about to be euthanized in shelters from Washington state to Los Angeles and rescuing dogs directly from puppy mills.

Billy Jean, rat terrier mix available for adoption through Ginger's Pet Rescue

Foster care

Ginger’s Pet Rescue was started by Ginger Luke, who owns the Rickshaw Chinese Restaurant in Greenwood. The rescue group receives dogs from high-kill animal shelters and negotiates the release of breeding dogs from puppy mills to end the breeding operation.

If this sounds like an intensive operation, that’s because it is. Rescue dogs must be flown in from other cities or transported via car by volunteers. Each dog is given the care they need through a partnership with Greenwood Animal Hospital, but veterinary costs are high to treat so many dogs, and donations are desperately needed.

Without a centralized shelter, all the dogs are in foster care with more than 100 volunteers working with Ginger’s Pet Rescue. Volunteers provide care, love and reassurance for the dogs, and currently more foster families are urgently needed here in Seattle.

Dedicated volunteers of Ginger's Pet Rescue

While there are a lot of things that make Ginger’s Pet Rescue unique, a conversation with the volunteers reveals a very special group of people. Rescuing dogs from all over the West Coast takes organization and commitment, and a genuine feeling of teamwork was obvious during an interview with Ginger’s volunteers.

Brooke Stanton and her partner, Michelle Smith, are foster “mothers” providing care to two dogs through Ginger’s Rescue. Stanton was originally an adopter from the Rescue when she brought Clyde, as Australian shepherd, into her home. Stanton soon found that she had room for a few more souls in the house.

When Smith decided she was ready to adopt as well, the couple fostered several dogs before they met Bonnie. Now with Bonnie and Clyde at the helm, the family of four continues to give its time and love to help foster more dogs through the Rescue. Thanks to Brooke and Michelle’s foster care, Momo and Billy Jean, both female rat-terrier mixes, are available for adoption through Ginger’s Pet Rescue.

More volunteers needed

Dedicated foster volunteers make the difference between life and death for dogs in crowded, high-kill shelters or confined at puppy mills. And while municipal laws to mitigate both these problems may not yet have come to cities in Washington state, Ginger’s Pet Rescue is putting a dent in pet homelessness and preventing euthanasia by saving one dog at a time.

Currently, foster homes are needed for about 20 “death-row dogs” received by the Rescue every other weekend.

If you cannot foster, Ginger’s Pet Rescue also needs transporters, volunteers and people who can help fund-raise. Currently, the rescue owes around $28,000 in veterinary bills for care for special-needs dogs who are deaf, blind, have only three legs have been hit by cars or need cancer treatment.

For more information or to find dogs to adopt, check out Ginger’s Pet Rescue online at

CHRISTIE LAGALLY is a freelance pet columnist who manages the website “Sniffing Out Home: A Search for Animal Welfare Solutions” at

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Maddie’s Fund in NY: Coalition looking towards the end of kill-sheltering

From:  Maddie’s Fund.

Blogger note:  This is an excellent article on how small rescues working together make a big difference and are getting major support.

Maddie’s Fund Gives New York City’s Shelters and Rescue Groups Additional $3 Million to Pull Dogs, Cats from City Shelters

January 17, 2011:

We’re heartened by a groundswell of public interest in the plight of shelter animals. Folks no longer accept at face value that the killing of our best friends on four legs is inevitable, and many are actively getting engaged in changing the fate of shelter animals in their own communities.

With so many economic challenges facing local governments, private shelters, rescue groups and individuals in these tough times, animal lovers sometimes ask Maddie’s Fund® to step in and directly use our resources to fix a problem at their municipal shelter, especially if we’re funding a project in their community.

We do this by investing in community collaborations and growing the infrastructure of the not-for-profit sector. While this is not the only way to save lives, it’s our belief that coalitions provide the best safety net for animals over time by creating sustainable, accountable systems. This method strengthens all of the partners and helps the weaker get strong through common purpose and cooperation. If a municipal agency gets hit by a cut in funding, or if the economy takes the legs out from under a private humane society, a strong coalition can pick up the slack and provide safe haven for animals in peril.

As part of our commitment to this approach, Maddie’s Fund has just approved an additional $3 million for a coalition of 111 rescue groups and shelters in New York City. Sixty percent of this money will go directly to our partner rescue groups to take more than 12,000 animals out of the city’s Animal Care & Control (AC&C) shelters and find them loving homes. With New York City’s municipal shelters reeling from a $1.5 million cut in the budget, the assistance of 111 AC&C coalition partners is more critical now than ever before.

There are many ways to save lives; this is ours. We believe that all of us can all work towards reaching the no-kill goal in our own way, and show by our daily actions that we’re committed to making the world a better place for shelter animals.

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700 UVic rabbits take road trip to Texas (Richmond News)

by Christie Lagally

(Photo left: TRACS for Texas-bound Bunnies)

See original article in the Richmond News

The University of Victoria bunny rescue effort is almost ubiquitous.

This issue has received a lot of press for a number of reasons: the damage caused by the rabbits, the inhumane treatment caused by trapping during breeding season, and the amount of resources spent by the university while making no progress in dealing with the animals.

However, following a court decision to allow the trapping and relocation of thousands of rabbits from the UVic campus, rescuers are scrambling to find a way to make that happen and solve UVic’s rabbit problem.

So, in the spirit of back-to-school, here is a word problem for those new freshmen at UVic; Say you have 700 bunnies living on campus that are the offspring of abandoned pets, and say they are eating all your landscaping and digging holes in the lawns.

One day, you decide they must be shipped off somewhere else, and a sanctuary in Texas offers to take some of them (others will stay on Vancouver Island.)

If you can trap approximately 30 rabbits per trip, make a stop in Richmond to have them spayed and neutered and head down south to Texas, how long will it take for all the rabbits to reach the Wild Rose Rescue Ranch and how much will it cost?”

If I were faced with this question on an exam, I would fail Rabbit Rescue 101, which is hopefully a required course at UVic by now.

As with so many real-world problems, we need a little more information.

First, it takes a few days for UVic staff to trap the rabbits and three or four days for the little guys to get fixed by the veterinary in Richmond.

The rabbits are then transported across the border to Washington so they are out of the country within the seven-day time period set by the Ministry of the Environment who apparently “digs” getting into the nitty-gritty of abandoned pet-bunny management.

The drive to Wild Rose Rescue Ranch is 3,869 km, and the truck from Washington State to Texas comes up infrequently. The answer: it will take about five to six months to move the rabbits (if all goes well), but the Ministry has given TRACS for Texas-bound Bunnies until roughly the end of November to get the job done or the rabbits will be killed by the university.

TRACS for Texas-bound Bunnies is an ad hoc organization which includes The Responsible Animal Care Society (TRACS) in Westbank, B.C.

They are one of many organizations working on the UVic rabbit rescue, but TRACS is transporting and spaying/neutering the 700 Texas-bound rabbits.

And with only three months, instead of six months to implement this bunny road trip, TRACS needs our help to speed things along.

While a generous donation from FurBearer Defenders is paying for some of the costs, volunteers are needed to help drive the bunnies across the border and assist with the post spay/neuter surgery recovery of the rabbits.

Moreover, TRACS is in need of donations of rabbit pellets, bales of hay, fresh produce, animal carriers, water bottles and gas cards to pay for the transportation costs.

TRACS has also made a special plea to residents of local farms to provide a temporary resting area where the rabbits can safely await transport to the States.

Furthermore, volunteers are needed to hold fundraisers for this three-month rescue effort, and this is a great opportunity to get involved in helping animals for a short period of time.

With your help, the UVic rabbits will be speaking with a Texas accent by Christmas time – a much better future than their impending doom at UVic.

To help the Texas-bound bunnies call TRACS (Vancouver) at (604) 551-9297 or donate online at

Christie Lagally is a pet columnist. View her blog at

© Copyright (c) Richmond News

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Where have all the ‘Bearded Dragons’ gone?

Yesterday was an eye-opening experience.  I visited one of the only pet reptile rescues in British Columbia.  When individuals stop by their local pet store, pick up a ball python, turtle, bearded dragon or gecko and later decide the care required is too much, often that animal will end up at the Reptile Rescue, Education and Adoption Society in Richmond, BC.

Val, the dedicated operator and caretaker of this unique facility, has been taking in these unusual animals since 2003.  She says the most common snake surrendered to her care are ball pythons.  The most common reptile is a bearded dragon.  So where have they all gone… to the Reptile Rescue, Education and Adoption Society.

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UVic Bunnies get a lift from TRACS through Richmond

The Richmond Review reported on Saturday the UVic Bunnies made a pit stop in Steveston, Richmond BC.  See the article here.   Currently, the rescue group, TRACS, is assisting the bunnies through the spay/neuter process and trip to Texas.

The UVic bunnies have had a perilous outlook for years as rescue groups work to save them from the University’s botched policies to manage the population!

Several groups are working transport the rabbits to sanctuaries in BC and in Texas.  Most notably, Fur-bearers Defenders has raised $50,000 towards this effort.

Once the rabbits arrive in Texas, they will live at Wild Rose Rescue Ranch which houses both domestic and wild animals for a lifetime.

Furthermore, some animals will go to sanctuaries in BC with the assistance of Earthanimal Humane Education and Rescue Society (EARS), Rabbit Advocacy of BC,  the Rabbitat Rescue Sanctuary and RestQ Animal Sanctuary.

See this article by Best Friends Society.

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If you haven’t heard of “Maddie’s Fund” take a good look!

Maddie’s Fund is behind some of the most successful and widely known shelters in North America primarily because they are dedicated to making shelters no-kill and doing it well. This organization offers grants for pet/shelter/rescue related projects to help groups become and support efforts to remain no-kill.   See No Kill Nation.

I was particularly interested in the editorials provided by the website on the community support for a no-kill sheltering.  See this article on Making the Community No-kill.

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