|To celebrate the release of Everything But a Dog on 12/11/12 I'm talking to people who work with, or have adopted, rescue animals!|
Here's a photo of Catherine Mann. It’s…”from about a year ago with four beagle foster puppies that were born in my house Christmas week. :) The mama dog and all four of her puppies are happily settled in forever homes. (BTW, I named the mom Noelle and the puppies were named for reindeer!)”
There are people you meet and within moments know you've met a friend. Catherine Mann is that sort of person. I met her years ago at a Romance Writer’s of America conference. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her wonderful family. Rumor has it, her husband and I can be a bit of a handful when we’re together. (Seriously, me a handful? I know you all are amazed anyone would even suggest that! LOL) She decided there’s a chance we were siblings in a past life. Let me state for the record, if we get in trouble, he started it! LOL
I know a ton of you have read Cathy’s books, but you might not be aware of her work with animal rescue. So, why don't I let her tell you about it!
Holly: Hi, Cathy! Thanks for agreeing to talk to me about your volunteer work.
Cathy: Hey there, Holly! I always love to talk about animal rescue - just ask my family <g>!!
Holly: Tell me about the organization you're involved with? How did you get involved?
Cathy: I volunteer at the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society (Humane Society) in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. I foster puppies & special needs dogs, as well as escort dogs to the groomer and adoption events. I also serve on the PAWS Board of Directors.
As for how I got involved, my son was looking for a service project for confirmation and he decided to volunteer at the shelter by fostering a litter of puppies over the holidays. That also seemed like a great holiday spirit project for our family. We expected it to be a one-time thing, but discovered our family calling. Since then, over the years we have fostered over 100 animals.
Holly: I'm pretty sure I saw that family has adopted some of the animals you've worked with. Do you want to share how they're doing...their stories?
Cathy: LOL! Most of my family has most definitely ended up adopting from PAWS. The staff at PAWS jokes I must have a huge family since it seems I'm always escorting a new relative in to adopt. I'll just share a few of the stories. ;) My oldest son adopted a beagle mix with severe separation anxiety issues. My son spent extensive time and energy helping his dog Buddy learn to trust again. They share an amazing bond that's really special to see!
My oldest daughter adopted a special needs cocker spaniel that had been left to starve in a backyard. That cocker spaniel - Blondie - is now gorgeously healthy and now has an Australian Cattle Dog brother (a puppy I fostered last summer that my daughter's husband fell in love with!)
Many people don't realize that according to the National Humane Society, approximately 25% of animals in shelters are pure breeds. While I adore my mutts, I understand that some people have breed preferences or requirements (for allergies, etc.) My sister and her husband desperately wanted a dog for their three kids. They also wanted their children to understand the importance of rescuing a shelter dog. But my brother-in-law has severe allergies and my nephew is afraid of dogs because he was bitten by a neighborhood dog at Halloween. Still, in less than 2 weeks at our shelter, I was found a pure bred schnauzer with the most amazingly calm temperament. That dog - Lucky - is now a very beloved member of my sister's family!
Holly: If you have any URL/animals looking for their forever home, I'd love to post their pics/stories.
Cathy: A couple of PAWS dogs come to mind.
Rico is a handsome young beagle with a super temperament and small size, a great family type dog. He's about a year old now with an all too familiar and sad story. His original family got him as a puppy then brought him to the shelter at 10 months old because they "didn't have time for him" anymore. Rico clearly misses being part of a family and just wants a person of his own to shower with love.
Garcia is a bull terrier/lab mix who was found as a stray. About a year old now, Garcia is an amazingly, smart, sweet boy who loves to play - his favorite game is taking a treat, burying it and carefully covering it back up again. He was clearly "owned" by someone - as can be seen by his home-made crop job on his ears. His sweet spirit in spite of the bum start he got in life is mind boggling. It's my Christmas wish this year that Garcia find the most amazing home ever.
Both of these dogs are located in the Florida panhandle, so clearly they may be too far away for folks reading this to adopt. But I am certain there are equally deserving dogs and cats in everyone's local shelter. To find the perfect pet for you in your nearby animal shelter, check out Petfinder.com http://www.petfinder.com/index.html It's a stellar resource for find finding shelter and rescue pets. The search engine allows you to type in your zip code and preferences to find all the available adoption animals in your area.
Holly: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Cathy: Even if you're not in the market to adopt, please consider volunteering or donating. Every hour of your time, every bag of food is greatly needed and appreciated.
If you'd like to read more about Cathy, check out her website and her current releases!
Catherine Mann - USA Today Bestseller
RESCUING CHRISTMAS, Harlequin, Nov. 2012
ALL OR NOTHING, Harlequin Desire, Jan. 2013