Disaster Relief, Handicapped Animals, Non-Traditional Adoptables & Wildlife

This week’s Pet bloggers Blog Hop is a little different — it has a theme and it’s called Pay It Forward. After a session at BlogPaws about building community, the hops’ hosts asked everyone this week to talk about pet related causes they are passionate about.

The challenge has actually been very tough for me, because I want to help all animals. I know that sounds cliche, but I do.

Although we were supposed to pick one area we are passionate about, I’d like to share with you several (I never follow the rules … lol) animal related causes I feel strongly about — disaster relief pets and responders, handicapped pets, non-traditional adoptable pets and wildlife rehabilitation.

Disaster Relief

The first I issue I’m passionate about has to do with my insane drive as a journalist to cover and be in the middle of breaking news. If there’s a natural disaster, political riot or crime scene, I want to be in the middle of it. Cruel? Insensitive? Some may think so, but I want to tell those stories.

When a tornado hit Alabama earlier this year and I was working part-time for a pet magazine, I did everything I could think of to not only bring awareness about the help they needed, but also to get on a truck bringing them supplies, so I could be down there telling the stories of the rescues, shelters and others that were not getting told by the traditional media. If it were up to me, those are the stories I would be writing and documenting all the time, but I have a little thing called a mortgage.

I’d also love to get trained in animal disaster relief, so when something happens I can lend a hand the best way I know how, by helping the animals that always get overlooked.

Handicapped Animals

Last year a reader who one our photo contest requested the $100 prize donation get sent to the Rolling Dog Ranch. When I looked up their website, I was in awe. Steve Smith and Alayne Marker left their corporate jobs in December of 2000 and started the sanctuary, where animals who have a disability, “get another chance to have a safe and loving home.”

It’s really just amazing what they do, and the animals are a great example of perseverance. I’ve been hooked on their cause since reading about it, and am looking forward to visiting their new place in New Hampshire and bring my readers along with me through video, photos and text.

Less Adoptable Pets

We always hear about the dogs and cats that are in need of a loving home, but what about the insane number of birds, hamsters, tortoises, horses, snakes and chickens, who are also brought to shelters for a number of reasons and risk being euthanized, because no one is adopting them.

A number of years ago I was looking to find some friends for my tortoises. Instead of buying one, I looked up reptiles on Petfinder and found two adorable Russian tortoises named Bert and Ernie who were dropped off at dog shelter in the Hamptons. The tortoises were purchased for a classroom and were to be used a learning tool, until parents freaked and were quickly dumped.

I ended up adopting the two little guys, and whenever I told people I rescued them, I would always get a puzzled look followed by the word, “really?” It’s so important we make people more aware of the fact there are animals and pets other than just dogs and cats available for adoption in shelters all over the country.


This cause is my aunt’s fault. She was a wildlife rehabilitator at a refuge in New Jersey when I was little. So, I remember going with her to feed injured or dumped raccoons, skunks, squirrels, birds and pretty much any other wild animal you can think of. It made me very aware that wild animals also need our help. Even if we can’t adopt them and take them home, we can help provide resources for those who work with these animals.

What’s next?

I’m really interested in learning what animal related causes other people are interested in, and I’m sure my readers are, too. So, if anyone would like to do a guest post and tell us about theirs (or would like to do a guest post in general), please shoot me an email at michellemaskaly (at) yahoo dotcom. I love guest posts and would love to have more of them. After all, we’re building a community, right?  🙂

This post is linked up to the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop brought to you by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume.

3 thoughts on “Disaster Relief, Handicapped Animals, Non-Traditional Adoptables & Wildlife

  1. Like you, I would love to be trained to help in disaster relief for pets. I think it's a difficult job, but a noble one and one that is very much needed. I also love that you called out the less adoptable pets and handicapped pets. I have known a one-eyed dog (she lost the other in an accident) and a few 3-legged dogs at our local shelter and my faith in humanity was always restored when I saw them get adopted. Great dogs. I adopted a 9 year old dog at that same shelter and never regretted it once. I would definitely do it again.
    I'm going to have to check out Rolling Dog Ranch after reading your post.
    I have also rescued squirrels, birds and rabbits (never had the chance to rescue a turtle though!).

    All of these are great causes. Nice Pay It Forward post!

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