Big and Small, They Need Our Help
Every creature in the animal kingdom has an essential purpose, yet through human interference, animal life overall has become so imbalanced as to signal a tipping point for Earth. Extreme care for the rapidly growing population of a relative handful of pet breeds stands in stark contrast to trending extinction of dozens of other species. Fortunately, in addition to the efforts of dedicated volunteers, conservationists and supportive lawmakers, every one of us can make a real difference.
Home Pet Rescues
Zack Skow started by volunteering with a nearby dog rescue organization. He became director, and then in 2009 founded his own nonprofit, Marley’s Mutts (MarleysMutts.org), in Tehachapi, California, pulling many kinds of dogs out of Los Angeles shelters. “A lot of rescues are breed-specific; I think mutts deserve an equal chance,” says Skow, now the executive director. “Small dogs get adopted faster, so we get the larger mixes, including pit bulls and Rottweilers.”
Currently, the facility continues to expand its services, working with pet foster homes; providing medical care for severely abused animals in need of rehabilitation and socialization; and managing visits to prisons, mental health facilities and schools. “We take in who we can help. To see a dog triumph over tremendous odds gives people hope,” says Skow. Recently, volunteers pulled 70 dogs from Los Angeles shelters, fostered them for a month and then transported them east to adoption facilities where conditions were less crowded.