Why do I work with Animal Rescues?

I was asked a question by someone that I won’t mention by name:

"Why do you work with homeless animals when there are so many homeless people and other more pressing causes?"

Now to be fair, I don’t think this person realized how callous they were being.  Most people with previously rationalized priorities in their own mind rarely stop to think about what other people’s priorities are our how they "see the world".  (This incidentally would probably be the majority of the Californians I’ve talked to that consider themselves "enlightened" when in reality all they really are are "opinionated".)

The fact is, I’m not convinced people are any more or less worthy of "aid" than animals are.  And I certainly don’t believe that animals control their lot in life in the same way that people do.  Why?  Because no matter how you slice it, HUMANS HAVE RIGHTS PROTECTED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT – ANIMALS DON’T.  The handicapped, the indigent, the mentally challenged… they’re all protected by the laws of the United States.

On the other hand, animals are considered objects & property in the eyes of the law and are considered disposable if they are hurt, sick, or have some sort of other health issues.  That’s right:  The loyal, loving dog in the home, without whom a family’s children would cry endlessly is just a smidge above being viewed as a piece of furniture or a garden wheelbarrow.

And here’s the kicker:  Pets are domesticated, meaning that they were not just born of will by humans that chose to have them bred, but they were also brought up in docile environments without learning to either fend for themselves or find their own food.  And in horrific cases, they’re declawed and left completely defenseless against predators just because "someone’s afraid their new sofa might get  scratched."

The bottom line is that animals are here and in the situations they’re in because of humans, not in spite of them.  We control their environment, and we control whether they live or die.  Conversely, animals have NO WAY of living on their own thanks to us.  As domesticated beings, they simply don’t have the skill or tools to ‘rough it’, like some would have you believe.  They are entirely dependent on us to survive whatever meager existence they might have.

So the question is:

  1. Do we continue treat living creatures with the same callousness as an inanimate object?  Do we ignore the sanctity of life, "just because they’re animals"?
  2. Do we choose to ignore the problem of animal homelessness when it’s very clear that with the right laws and the right funding and the right people, it’s a problem that can very feasibly be eliminated?

I’ve chosen to try to do something and that’s what gets me jazzed on the weekends.

Yeah, I said it.  As awful as it may seem to some, I personally get more satisfaction simply feeding and caring for needy animals at this time of year than I do serving dinner plates to the unfortunate at a shelter downtown.  Besides the fact that I know what I’m doing around animal rescue and I’m good at it, this is all something that I believe has far less assistance than is necessary – particularly when the problem can clearly be solved with enough money and the right laws.  And it’s something that I can do something about.

And then I get emails like these:

Best Friends Los Angeles Chapter –

Please help us find homes for the following animals in the Los Angeles/Southern California area this holiday season.


ANGIE was about to be euthanized at the South LA shelter in October because she was emaciated, geriatric, – and, face it, because she is a pit bull. She was bred and probably used as bait as her front incisors were filed down and some appear to have been pulled out.

Despite was this girl has endured in life, she has such a sunny disposition – everyone just loves her!! She is calm, loyal, quick to bond, intelligent, likes to go for walks and does good in the car, wants to please and is crate trained. Angie is good with cats, but not with all dogs (further assessment will be made by a trainer). She is not 100% housebroken, but getting there!

She has had a full dental procedure and teeth cleaning, is current on vaccinations and will be spayed as soon as she gains a little more weight. Angie has a low-grade heart murmur and will need daily eye drops for dry eye indefinitely.

If you are looking for an addition to your family and would like to give Angie all the love and happiness she deserves, please contact Mayte Delgado at justice4animals at yahoo dot com. Angie is based in Los Angeles, but adoption is open to neighboring areas. Adoption fee of $175 and home check required.


PRESTON is a 10-yr old Collie-mix who was severely malnourished and neglected when animal control picked him up in July. He was so weak that he could hardly walk. He sat in the pound for three months before being rescued. Although still a few pounds underweight (weighs around 45, but should be around 55), Preston has gained back his strength and is the sweetest boy! He is extremely gentle, loves attention, and is great with other dogs. He is housebroken, and walks well on a leash. Preston has plenty of good years left and he’d love to live those years with people who will love him back.

If you know of a good home for Preston, please contact Stacey Kozak at skozak at modernmx dot com.


Hi y’all. My name is WALLY because I was discovered running in and out of traffic at a Walmart Parking Lot during the fires. I was soooo scared! My rescuer took me to a shelter hoping my "parents" would come for me, even though I tried telling her they didn’t care about me. In just a few days the fires were in that area as well; so she bailed me out on my last day.

Although I am just 1 year old, I feel as though I have had enough experiences to last a lifetime. I weigh in at under 20 lbs. Even though I consider myself quite handsome; some folks think I sorta’ look like I could be a "cartoon character pooch". I am good with kids and other dogs but cats, well let’s say they fascinate me right now.

Chang.jpgMRS. CHANG was a semi-feral "teenage mama" who had several litters before she finally decided to go into a trap and put an end to all her years of motherhood. That was two years ago, and since then Mrs. Chang has taken up residence in the closet of her rescuer’s home, afraid to come out because of two bully cats who already live there. Mrs. Chang is in love with another kitty in the home, and would love to play with him, but she’s too afraid to come out. This is no kinda’ life for an adorable, sweet spirited, young (just 3 1/2) "Scardey Cat."

If you know someone who could give either Wally or Mrs. Chang a loving home, please contact Joy Ray at Rayofjoy at aol dot com.


RALPH is a handsome Rottie mix who is a real couch potato! He’s good with kids and other gentle animals. He walks well on the leash and is learning his commands.

ALBERT is a pit mix with a very active/energetic temperament. He needs to find a home with someone who understands Pit Bulls, and though he likes Ralph he isn’t great with other animals.

Both dogs came from an abuse/neglect situation and were held for MANY months while the case pended in the county court system. When they finally got relinquished to the shelter’s care, they were put on hold status and finally adoptable status on September 1st of this year. They are currently "staff favorites" at the Camarillo Shelter at 600 Aviation Drive, Camarillo in Ventura County; email Denise.Callaway at ventura dot org who can put dogs on hold status for rescue pickup. Ralph’s ID# is A378770 and Albert’s is A378774.

For more information about these boys, contact Lisa at newslady7 at hotmail dot com.

toby.jpgTOBY was stuck at the San Bernardino animal shelter where he became very ill with an upper respiratory infection. After a few weeks of antibiotics and a warm bed he has recovered 100% and is ready to find his forever home! He is a 1 year old little boy that we think is either a Poodle/Golden Retriever mix or a Chesapeak Bay Retriever/Golden Retriever mix. Either way he is a bundle of love and gives great hugs!

Toby is about 20 lbs, has curly hair and loves to cuddle. Did I mention he gives great hugs?! Toby is a very loving dog who likes to play and chase a ball and is also very happy curly up with you to watch TV or a movie. He enjoys rides in the car, going for walks and making new friends. He will bark to alert you but not unnecessarily. Toby’s a smart dog that is incredibly well housebroken. He is great with other dogs of all sizes and with cats but will be fine in a single pet home.

percy.jpgPERCY is a quiet and attentive little man. He just wants to be around you and sit on your lap – or your shoulder, whichever is available! He is a Chihuahua mix, weighs about 8 lbs. and I think he is about 5 years old. Poor Percy was being hoarded by a homeless woman in South Central who kept him in a small crate in the sun. Percy, however, has faith in humans and really just wants to find someone to love him and keep him safe for the rest of his life. He will dote on you and just wants cuddles in return.

If you would like to meet Percy or Toby, please call eightoneeight-foureightzero-eightonefournine.


Hi, my name is PUPPY. I am a 4-year old Pit Bull Terrier. I’m a very loyal, sweet girl – smart and obedient, too. I know some tricks, and would love to learn more. Though taking walks is lots of fun, my favorite thing is just spending time together quietly. People say I’m well-behaved and playful, and I won’t argue. I don’t mind kittens, and am not aggressive towards other dogs – though I’d have to meet your other pets before deciding whether I like them.


My name is DOLLY, and my story is a sad one. When I was just a pup (I’m 2 years old now) my ears were cropped, then I was used for breeding – the people at the shelter say I was abused, too. Maybe that’s why I’m shy and scared of people. I’m a Pit Bull who’s slow to trust, but sweet and lovable once you’ve earned my affection. I love long walks and, of course, a good belly-rubbing makes my day. I need to be an only pet because I just looove attention; my new family needs to be patient with me, to help me forget my past and look forward to a bright future in a caring home.


Hello! My name is CINNAMON. I’m a sweetheart of a Pit Bull Terrier. I’m 5 years old, and a little shy, but if you give me a chance I can show you the real me: an affectionate and loving girl. I’m very quiet, and love just to lie beside you peacefully. However, I won’t turn down a walk or a trip to the park, too! When I first came to the shelter, I was depressed. I was found on the street, with signs of abuse; now, though, I’m ready for a new life with a forever family!

If you would like to know more about these or any of the other dogs at the Burbank Animal Shelter, please contact Molly Stretten at molly at basv dot org. The address of the shelter is 1150 N. Victory Place, Burbank 91502.

Another way you can help the Burbank Animal Shelter and the dogs is to forward this message to your contacts, friends and family.   The shelter, the dogs and Best Friends thank you for anything you can do on the dogs’ behalf. 

Thank you for supporting Best Friends’ mission:
Making the world a better place through kindness to animals.


Until one has loved an animal, part of one’s soul remains unawakened. – Anatole France

2 Responses to Why do I work with Animal Rescues?

  1. Genevieve Frederick says:

    Dear Kurt,
    You make many great points in your position on why you would rather work with the animals.  I am the founder of "Feeding Pets of the Homeless" and I hope you will take a few moments to go to http://www.petsofhomeless.com  The pets of homeless do not choose their owners.  They need help and my organization is helping them across the country.

  2. Dean says:

    From My Blog:

    December 15
    For All The Selfless Animal Rescue Volunteers

    When a person who has given tirelessly and made it their life\’s work to save andsuccor abandoned aminals and find them happy homes comes to the bridge, firstone animal will stop and look into the distance, then more and more will look up andwatch. For this is a person all the animals know about. As they have waited for theirloved one(s), they have told the story of their rescue from loneliness, neglect andimpending death, and the wonderful people who helped them until a special lovedloved one could be found. O special friend of animals, you have been spotted, andall the dogs and other animal friends will run over the fields to thank the person whohas enabled so many to have had good lives and memories. Then, will they all walkto the gate of St. Peter and say, "This is a person whose name is surely entered onthe roll once for each of us whose life was changed." Then those friends who willbe forever together step forward, and to the sound of great rejoicing from all theanimals, cross the bridge together.

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