BY JANET McAFEE
Thousands of networkers send out thousands of emails about animals in danger of euthanasia in our public animal shelters. Thousands more posts on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites showing the beautiful faces behind bars, some clearly in danger of never getting out. Some of these animal lovers travel to shelters to get animals out, others foster, while some work behind the scenes on computers tracking the status of various dogs and cats. They are the rescuers, called to their mission by concern that our nation’s public shelters euthanize 1.5 million dogs and cats every year, most of them adoptable animals whose only crime is being homeless.
Sometimes the stories in an email touch someone’s heart, and they go to great lengths to save an animal in danger. Sabastian Reiche recently received an email from Laura Garrick about a female black Lab at the Carson shelter, a Los Angeles County public facility. Sabastian is an ardent dog lover and former board member of California Paws Rescue.
Sabastian recalls, “I got this urgent email message about this 2-year-old dog set to be killed within 72 hours at a kill shelter in Los Angeles county. The plea became more desperate in the next email, describing how Daisy showed signs of abuse, cowering when anyone approached her kennel. Laura’s next email included a video of the family dumping Daisy at the shelter after adopting her from the Carson shelter the year before. Daisy looked heartbroken and confused when they left her there, and she must have wondered what she did wrong to deserve this. For a moment, in my anger at these people, I imagined they were the ones being taken back to a cold kennel behind bars, and then finally taken muzzled by the workers to be executed, like what happens to these innocent animals. The next email sounded like the final plea, reporting there was no one in all of Southern California coming forward to help Daisy.”
Sabastian continued, “I realized there was no time to waste as the clock was ticking for Daisy. I tried to put together a plan, but some of the details fell apart. Then I came up with a fool proof plan that would buy us a few more days to get Daisy to safety. I have many wonderful friends who are dog lovers, and Caryn Richman and Gary Alan Rowley drove out to Carson to rescue Daisy from the shelter but ran into some red tape. Finally, we signed an emergency waiver and a transporter picked up the dog. Lori Weiner, founder and director of California Paws Rescue, always backs me up when my heart is overtaken by one of these critical situations. Lori agreed to take Daisy into her program. On the long drive home Daisy and I bonded while she rested her head in my lap and gave me a grateful kiss.”
Daisy is now thriving at the beautiful Barkingham Pet Hotel in Palm Desert where the California Paws Rescue dogs are housed. Daisy receives daily visits from her beloved rescuer. Sabastian reports, “Daisy loves running through the yard, cuddling with me, and gently playing with toys. She loves it when I sing to her, especially love songs and ballads. She enjoys the company of other dogs, and romps happily in a dog playgroup in Barkingham’s dog parks. Daisy loves to run and we think she may be part greyhound. One of her favorite things is going for car rides, and she sits calmly beside me.”
If you are interested in adopting Daisy, call Barkingham Pet Hotel in Palm Desert at (760) 699-8328 and ask for Sabastian. This fabulous dog deserves a wonderful home where she is loved and gets to spend lots of time with her humans. To see all of the adoptable animals at California Paws Rescue or to make a donation, go to www.californiapawsrescue.com. The crisis for shelter animals never ends, but for one dog life is good and the future is bright.