tag. Generated: 7/31/2015 -->
Skip to main content

Saving Graces

Aug 01, 2011 11:51AM, Published by Style, Categories: In Print


Photos by Dante Fontana



Domestic animals depend on us for their safety and lives.

We take animals into our homes for so many reasons and once we do…we must take on that obligation for life. However, there are some who feel differently about the furry friend they have adopted. Instead of giving love, food and affection, they inflict pain and despair – leaving a trusting animal wounded, starving or abandoned.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, nationally more than eight million unwanted animals enter shelters, and half of those are put to death. This is due to lack of funds, space and resources, or health issues. The rest are adopted by new families or reclaimed by their owners.

Animals cannot speak for themselves; it takes someone to come to their aid and speak up against their suffering; they need humans to be their champions. We found some wonderful folks and welfare groups that did the humane thing and helped a few lucky animals find a new, bright and happy future.

DENALI

Domestic animals depend on us for their safety and lives. We take animals into our homes for so many reasons and once we do…we must take on that obligation for life. However, there are some who feel differently about the furry friend they have adopted. Instead of giving love, food and affection, they inflict pain and despair – leaving a trusting animal wounded, starving or abandoned.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, nationally more than eight million unwanted animals enter shelters, and half of those are put to death. This is due to lack of funds, space and resources, or health issues. The rest are adopted by new families or reclaimed by their owners.

Animals cannot speak for themselves; it takes someone to come to their aid and speak up against their suffering; they need humans to be their champions. We found some wonderful folks and welfare groups that did the humane thing and helped a few lucky animals find a new, bright and happy future.

 

CLAYTON

Back in 2009, horse-lover Wendy Digiorno found out about the terrible fate of horses Clayton, Dayton and Sierra. Within hours, the two colts were going to be sent to Mexico and the mare, Sierra (Dayton’s mother), would be taken to Canada where they all would share the same fate: slaughtered for human consumption. Digiorno worked fast and found transportation and the cash to buy all three horses for their worth in meat – a couple of hundred dollars each. She drove to Nevada and brought them to her nonprofit All About Equine (AAE), located in El Dorado Hills. 

Currently, AAE has 25 faithful volunteers that tend to 24 animals each day. Feeding, cleaning, brushing, training and veterinary care takes a lot of time and money. AAE depends on private donations to run the rescue. “We are blessed,” Digiorno says. “Seems like we get something just when we need it.” Their mission is to rescue and rehabilitate adoptable horses and find them permanent and loving homes.
The trio’s story is a sad one and it happens to hundreds of animals daily. Unwanted horses are taken to out-of-state feedlots…not a good place to be if you are a horse. Cramped, overcrowded and violent, these lots are where animals are fed until they’re heavy enough to sell for slaughter outside the U.S. Sierra was starving and she was feeding both Dayton and Clayton. Dayton was her own, but Clayton’s mother had been herded onto a Canada-bound truck weeks before. In the chaos, the month-old Clayton was bitten and trampled by the other horses fighting for the meager food available. 

For Linda Lewis, a volunteer at AAE, it was love at first sight and she immediately felt a connection when she met Clayton. There was something about this red roan colt that captured her heart. “I just bonded with him,” Lewis says, “and I took him under my wing.” Clayton needed a lot of special care because of his injuries and he was severely malnourished. “He was very weak,” Lewis explains. So, she helped bandage his wounds and nursed him to health. Lewis had always wanted a horse, but just never got one. “Now I have a horse for my four grandchildren,” she says. Clayton is a healthy, happy horse and is being trained to help educate children on the importance of horse safety and saddling procedures. “Horses are wonderful,” Lewis explains. “They bring a sense of peacefulness to me.”

 

MUHAMMAD ALI, A.K.A. OLIVER

One of the volunteers at Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary in Sacramento named this big white cat Muhammad Ali because he was so beat up when they found him. On a freezing and stormy November night, he and another cat were dropped off in front of the rescue in an old cat carrier wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag. “They were left in a torrential rainstorm,” says Cathryn Rakich, board secretary for Happy Tails. Luckily for the cats, patrons from a nearby restaurant intervened and they were taken in by the eatery’s manager for the night. Muhammad Ali had some major injuries that required stitches, lots of veterinary care and loving support. Many of the 75 active volunteers went to work to get him healthy and adoptable. “For such a rough looking guy, he was a real sweetheart,” Rakich says. Now in safe hands, they treated his wounds and had him neutered.

Happy Tails is a non-profit no-kill shelter currently housing 60 adult cats and six dogs on the premises. Approximately another 100 cats and kittens are in foster care awaiting just the right, loving permanent home. The group focuses on cats with special needs, those that would be automatically put down at other area shelters. “These cats deserve a second chance,” Rakich says, “however, that is why the bulk of our costs are veterinary services.”

Steve and Pam Green of Carmichael saw Muhammad and wanted to adopt him. The cat took to Steve right away, so despite his mangled appearance, they took him home. “He was missing a lot of fur and his front fang was broken off,” Steve says. These self-described “bleeding hearts” are a couple of softies when it comes to mistreatment. “I can’t stand to see anyone – human or animal – abused,” Steve admits. They changed Muhammad’s name to Oliver (Ollie for short) and he quickly assimilated into the family that included three other rescue cats. Ollie and Steve are best friends. “He puts his head on my keyboard when I am working on the computer,” Steve says. Ollie is a friendly cat that has beautiful yellow eyes, which complement his long white fur. “He has really attached himself to me,” Steve says. “It works for us…he is a good cat.”

 


Clayton and Linda

Area Animal Shelters & Rescues

Sacramento/Folsom/El Dorado Hills:

All About Equine
2201 Francisco Drive, Suite 140-174, El Dorado Hills. 916-606-3330
allaboutequine.org

Happy Tails Pet Sanctuary
6001 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento. 916-556-1155
happytails.org

The Grace Foundation
5800 Latigo Lane, El Dorado Hills. 916-941-0800
thegracefoundationofnorcal.org

Northern California Bulldog Rescue
thebcnc.org; email: info@norcalbulldogrescue.org

Noah’s Wish
4962 Robert J Mathews Parkway, El Dorado Hills. 916-939-9474
noahswish.org

Sacramento County Animal Care
3839 Bradshaw Road, Sacramento. 916-368-7387
saccountyshelter.net

Agee Memorial Wildlife Fund
4354 Town Center Boulevard #114, El Dorado Hills. 916-939-3418
fatkittycity.org

Friends of the Sacramento City Shelter Animals
2127 Front Street, Sacramento. 916-808-7387
saccityshelter.com

German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California
1-800-SAVE-GSD, savegsd.org

NorCal Boxer Rescue
866-989-6227, ncbr.org

Northern California American Pit Bull Terrier Rescue
angelfire.com/ca5/NorCalPitResQ; email: apbt-lovers@juno.com

Our Pack Pitbull Advocates for Compassion and Kindness
ourpack.org, email: info@ourpack.org

Northern California Boston Terrier Rescue
209-895-3474, btrescue.org/ca/ncabtr


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to the Style - Folsom El Dorado Hills free newsletter to stay informed



feature home page



PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS


T.D. McNeil Insurance Services
Eskaton
Veterinary Healing Center Folsom

Sunworks Inc.
Bach to Rock
Make a Smile