Posted: Sunday, December 3, 2017 – 2:27 PM
By Victoria Talbot
Finding homes for shelter dogs is the main focus of most animal welfare groups; but Marley’s Mutts works hard to treat the problem before it begins – with an extensive spay & neuter program to control the population of dogs that need homes or become euthanized by preventing them from breeding, as well as rescue, foster, adoption and health care.
Meet Zach Skow. He is the face behind Marley’s Mutts. This remarkable organization was born out of the desperation he felt in the midst of alcoholism, when he was dying of liver failure. Marley saved him, and he saved Marley, a Rottweiler/Pit mix rescued from the Mojave shelter when he was an 8-week old pup. Diagnosed with end-stage liver failure, Marley gave Zach a reason to get up in the morning. His dog’s love showed him the way; he recovered, and Marley lived to be 15. His legacy is Marley’s Mutts.
You may have heard of this organization – Hooch, a French Mastiff who nearly lost his life at the shelter, just won Hero Dog for 2017. When they adopted him, he was severely underweight. The shelter people did not know why he would only thrash around in his food and water bowls. He has no tongue – it was cut out. Today, Hooch has learned, through patience and love, to slurp up water and eat moistened kibble fed lovingly by hand. He now works as a therapy dog for children with special needs. He is truly a miracle, and an ambassador of the love that can heal humans and dogs.
But that is only one of the many dogs whose stories will bring tears to your eyes, and when you see how they have been cared for through the work of this organization, you will finish with a smile. Because these dogs with special needs, they bring them home, provide complicated health care, find permanent fosters – in short, whatever it take- with an amazing percentage that recover and get adopted.
The “Mutt Militia”, organized through Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue, is a group of volunteers who join Skow to wage a war against abuse, exploitation and needless euthanasia. Donors fight with funds, social media, time and effort, fostering, training, health care professionals and people who help abused dogs learn to trust again.
The organization brings the frontline of rescue, spay and neuter, dog training, dog CPR, healing, love, and education- to social media, prisons, schools, and any organization to help the disadvantaged and the vulnerable by interacting with dogs. Its a win-win.
Pawsitive Change teaches inmates in prisons a skill- dog training – so they have something good when they leave prison, focusing on death-row dogs. They live with the dogs and both the dogs and the humans heal.
See their campaigns to save the lives, rehabilitate and rescue individual dogs in real time, online, dogs as the stars of the show – on their Facebook page daily. The work they do is truly amazing.
The organization also understands that pet overpopulation is the root of the trouble; they provide low-cost spay/neuter to targeted areas through a voucher system and education that begins with presentations in grade schools.
The program matches trainers with dogs, fosters with rescues, vets with dogs and a host of win-win opportunities for those of us who love dogs. Though most of the dogs are rescued in the Kern County area – that is also one of the worst areas for dogs. Marleys Mutts Mutt Militia peeps also come to some of the worst LA County shelters to rescue dogs in need, and cats.
It is difficult to mention all of the programs that they sponsor, but you can donate here.