Saturday, May 3, 2008

My new favorite charity: Angel's Gate Animal Hospital

A few weeks ago on her show, Oprah had Lisa Ling do an investigative report on puppy mills. I cried through the whole show wondering if past dogs we've bought from pet stores came from puppy mills. One of my very favorite pet stores has many of the designer, mixed-breed dogs and many of those are bred at puppy mills. As a potential pet buyer, you are allowed to ask questions from the pet stores: Where do your dogs come from? What sort of life did they have? Did you visit the breeder where they came from? That is your job before you actually buy the dog.

When I went to buy a dog, I had seen schnoodles at pet stores and loved them. I did my research on what kind of dogs they were and found local breeders so that I didn't need to buy from a pet store. I ended up finding Minnie at a great breeder in Warrensburg (Sleepy Hollow Kennels), and the owner was fabulous! She was more than helpful and you can tell that she really loves each and every litter of dogs that are born. Each litter gets to take turns sleeping in the house and they are raised as pets before they are sold to new owners.

So ... back to my story. This Monday on Oprah she had updates of past guests. One of the great parts was when several different pet shelters sent in videos telling how the day after her puppy mill show ran, they had record days for adopting the most pets they ever had! What a great feeling knowing that her one show helped to save the lives of many animals that needed homes.

Then, Jill Rappaport came on to do a report about one of her favorite shelters. She said that she doesn't have children and her pets (horses and dogs) are her children. She shared a story about Angel's Gate Hospice. Angel's Gate is a facility that takes in and cares for animals that they rescued from being put down at other shelters. They are animals that have severe disabilities and needs. They are animals that have abnormalities and defects from living in puppy mills. They are animals that no one wants. They are animals that are abused and neglected and abandoned. They are animals that need a nice place to live the rest of their lives.

The owner and founder, Susan Marino, quit her job to run this facility. She cares for each animal to the best of her abilities with a great team. It is an exhausting job because some of these animals need daily medical care and have needs like rehabilitation (because they were paralyzed) or "wheelchairs" because they have malformed feet and legs from being in a puppy mill. They basically adopt animals and try to let them live the rest of their lives in an open space where they can run around (even if it is on 2 legs or with the help of wheels) and play and be loved for the rest of their lives.

Please go watch the video of the clinic on Oprah's site. Susan works for no salary Angel's Gate is run completely by donations. Obviously they have some very severe needs when it comes to medical care for these animals and every dollar counts! They have a "No Adoptions" policy as Susan and everyone else at Angel's Gate has promised to adopt these animals for life ... they encourage everyone else to find the perfect pet to adopt at other shelters in their area!

Pin It!


Bets said...

Boo Hoo ... no comments. Is it that nobody wants to actually read something that I write that is longer than a caption? I was hoping this one would stir up some discussion!

melissa said...


well i am glad oprah did this show on puppy mills. i think people want to believe their designer pet didn't come from a puppy mill. i live in a yuppie town and almost everyone has a purebred. i was a dog walker for 4 years and 90% of the dogs i walked were purebred and of course their owners went to the "best" breeders. not to make you feel bad, b/c you are a mommy to a beautiful dog. but i think it is a lesson learned that family members can be found in shelters and don't need to be bred.

angel's gate is a great organization. other great rescues are pets alive in ny and best friends in utah. keep talking about the animals and donate when you can!


Nitu said...

I have just recently in the past couple of years have realized about the cruelty of puppy mills. My own dog was from a local pet store...with cute "purebred" puppies. And recently I had adopted another dog from a local shelter. I love them both but have become aware that..why buy a dog when there are so many out there who need you at local shelters. Please do not buy from local pet shops and breeders who are out to make a profit. Please go to a shelter where there are so many dogs who would love to come home with you.