In honor of Remember Me Thursday, I thought I’d share some photos I’ve taken of shelter pets. If you’re not aware, Remember Me Thursday is the fourth Thursday of every September, and it’s meant to shine a light on orphan pets in shelters and rescues that are waiting for their forever homes. The goal is to get the whole world talking about shelter pets and pet adoption on social media!
Will you be shining a light today on shelter pets?
For Thanksgiving this year, I attended an annual event called A Gentle Thanksgiving that is hosted by The Gentle Barn, a sanctuary that rescues animals from severe abuse and neglect. While it’s mostly farm animals, they have also rescued and cats and dogs.
The Gentle Barn, which opened its first sanctuary in California in 1999, now has a total of three locations: Santa Clarita, California (where we visited); Knoxville, Tennessee; and St. Louis, Missouri. They consider themselves more than just an animal rescue and sanctuary. Founder Ellie Laks promotes protecting the planet, connecting people with nature, and helping both animals and children alike – ultimately moving toward peace on earth.
“Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.” gentlebarn.org
You may recall that I’ve written about Cat Pawsitive before, the clicker training initiative for shelter cats. Well, some exciting things have taken place since the 2017 program wrapped up last year. And the current 2018 Spring semester is already well underway!
The Sunday after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, Samantha Bell, Cat Behavior & Enrichment Lead at Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles, was called into her manager’s office, who started out with, “You know how Best Friends is helping with Hurricane Harvey…?”
Best Friends Animal Society, which has helped in disaster areas before, would be going to Texas to rescue animals in and around the storm-ravaged zones. While going to Houston was not mandatory, Best Friends needed to send two or three Los Angeles staff members to Texas, and Samantha knew immediately that she wanted to go.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with Samantha Bell DiGenova, the Cat Behavior & Enrichment Lead for Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles, and tour their impressive facility.
I met Samantha through volunteering with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation’s Cat Pawsitive initiative (she as a trainer-mentor to shelters and me as a writer) and asked her if I could drive up for a visit. Being the fabulous person that she is, Samantha immediately agreed, and she gave me a personal tour of the Los Angeles facility, which I’m happy to share with you today.
Founded by Valerie Ingram and Alistair Schroff in 2008, Lakes Animal Friendship Society (LAFS) is based in Burns Lake, British Columbia in Canada. The group is run by the husband and wife team and recently became a non-profit charity.
Today, the Jackson Galaxy Foundation (JGF) launches its sophomore Cat Pawsitive class! With nine participating shelters, led by four feline behavior experts, the 2017 class hopes to continue on with the success of the 2016 Cat Pawsitive initiative.
Cat rescues and sanctuaries each have their unique way of getting started. Today, we learn about a small cat rescue in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, fittingly named Bruce’s Legacy.
Rose Goodwine, founder and president, started the rescue in 2014 with the mission to place rescued cats and kittens into loving, permanent homes. The 501(c)3 group also wants to prevent pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering, and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.
How Bruce’s Legacy Came to Be
By Rose L. Goodwine Founder and President
In 2005, shortly after my husband and I returned home from our Hurricane Katrina evacuation, two feral cats who had somehow survived the storm appeared on our back porch looking for food. We started to feed them and named them, although we were unable to make personal contact for quite some time. We named the brown and black tabby Bruce, and we named the orange tabby Rocky, mainly because he often showed up beaten and bruised. We also noticed that Bruce seemed to watch over and take care of Rocky, despite the obvious beatings he took from time to time.
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