I remember it clearly. It was the late summer of 2005. My trusted sidekick Buddy (a six-pound rescue Poodle) and I watched dumbfounded by the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. There was so much human suffering, and yet we knew so many animals were affected as well. Suddenly, a classified ad seeking a mate for Buddy popped into my head.
“Twentysomething in human years, white, good-looking male dog seeks Cajun girlfriend to wed; swimmers preferred.”
The urge to help these animals, injured and displaced by natural disaster, as well as the positive response generated by my fun ad, led me and Buddy to found American Dog Rescue, which officially solidified as a charitable foundation in 2009.
Buddy had been a real key in easing the suffering of my terminally ill wife, Gail, who passed away from breast cancer in 2004. Buddy would predict her seizures, aiding me greatly in preparing and responding to them.
These dogs and the unconditional love they’ve provided have rescued me far more than I ever could consider myself to have rescued them.
The goal of American Dog Rescue is simple, yet huge: “No dog without a home.” Some of the specific efforts we support, however, include:
- Saving and expanding animal shelters
- Rescuing abandoned pets and livestock in the aftermath of disasters
- Providing special funding for specific animals in dire need, such as funding for eye and heart surgeries that would be otherwise cost-prohibitive for the rescue organization or adoptive family involved
- Closing down puppy mills nationwide
- Rescuing abandoned circus and theme park animals
- Cracking down on the inhumane practice of penning wild foxes and coyotes to be torn apart by hunting dogs
- Visiting and supporting sanctuaries and animal welfare organizations globally from China to South Africa
- Putting an end to dog fighting
- Helping veterans with PTSD by connecting them with service dogs
American Dog Rescue networks and pools resources with humane societies and other dog welfare organizations around the country and around the world. Because I underwrite all administrative costs out of my own pocket, and ADR is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3), contributors are assured that 100 percent of any donation they make to American Dog Rescue goes directly into projects to save and protect animals.
Watch How Bandit Rescued Arthur from American Dog Rescue’s page on Vimeo.
In addition to my work with American Dog Rescue, I had the opportunity to be part of the production team on a great new family movie, My Dog the Champion, a story of friendship, love and teamwork, starring Lance Henriksen. It was recently released on DVD. The starring dog, Scout, actually was a rescue (her real name is Karlie). In even better news, the film crew rescued five dogs who had been abandoned near our shooting location. I was so humbled to see this kind of action.
We also recently launched You Rescue Me, our new platform reshaping the conversation about dog rescue. We collected a bunch of stories about how your dog rescued you — just as Buddy, Bandit, Tex, and so many others have rescued me. You can also watch For the Love of Dogs, our TV show in the Dallas market (and available on YouTube), featuring great guests from organizations making a big difference in animal rescue on the front lines.
Follow American Dog Rescue on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Vimeo.
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