California could become next no-kill state as governor puts budget funds toward ending euthanizing

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Friday when he unveiled his new budget proposal that he will put money toward animal shelters with the goal of becoming a no-kill state.

“We want to be a no-kill state,” Newsom said according to the Sacramento Bee.

Newsom’s budget, for fiscal years 2020-2021, would give $50 million to the University of California Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program so that it could create a new grant program for animal shelters.

The ultimate goal is to help local shelters and “achieve the state’s policy goal that no adoptable or treatable dog or cat should be euthanized,” the budget summary reads.

Delaware became the first no-kill state last year, a designation given once a state reaches a save rate of 90 percent or above in its shelters. Michigan was also designated a no-kill state in 2019.

The proposal is part of an expansive budget plan by Newsom that aims to create more green jobs and address homelessness.

Newsom’s $222 billion proposal includes a call for more than $1 billion in new spending to get homeless families into temporary or permanent shelters. It also requests another $1 billion over four years to prevent, track and fight fires after devastating wildfire seasons ravaged the state this past year.

The budget also calls for $12 billion over five years to take on climate change.


High School Track Team Invites Shelter Dogs On Their Morning Runs

Exercising is never fun. At least for a fair few of us it is never fun, it’s just something that we tolerate because we like food too much. But exercising with dogs is always a good idea, as these furry companions are great at keeping you motivated to move.

And one group of adoptable dogs from the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter spent a great day out with the Cross-Country Team from St. Joseph High School. The team decided that it would be fun to invite them to join their morning workout. Each runner was paired up with a dog prior to starting a miles-long run. The huge group then stampeded off, and it was fun for those they passed to see the dogs enjoying themselves.

Luis Escobar, the team’s coach, wrote on his Facebook, “I am not sure who was more excited and having the most fun, the dogs or the kids. Either way, it was a great time and I am sure we will do it again sometime soon.”

What a great idea. Who else thinks that more high school sports teams should look to pair up with their local animal shelters?





Photographer Stuart Williams tells the incredible and moving story of a 49-year-old man who devotes his life to save and protect stray dogs.

Edgardo challenged himself six years ago to go around his country, Mexico, to save as much wounded or sick stray dogs as possible. An admirable man and story …

A few months ago, Williams was driving down a small road in Mazunte, Oaxaca State (southern Mexico), when he witnessed a show that deeply affected him. A man was pushing an overloaded scooter, surrounded by several dogs who wagged their tails and barked happily. Some were on the vehicle while others followed him running.

This man is Edgardo. Six years ago, he had embarked on an unprecedented journey: tour the Mexican coast and save as many sick or injured stray dogs as possible. And he is about to complete his challenge, as he has traveled nearly 14,000 km and he has only 1400 left.

This friend of the dogs has adopted 3. They accompany him since the beginning of his adventure. When it comes to other dogs, those he encounters as he travels along the roads, Edgardo gives them food and drink, cares for them, takes them to shelters and veterinarians to offer them the necessary care.

A Facebook page, entitled Edgardo SalvaPerros (“Edgardo saves the dogs”), is dedicated to him. For his part, Stuart Williams made a small report about

him, which he published on his own Facebook page, The Yogi Photographer:

Actress Kristen Bell comes to Bakersfield, passes along special message to detained juvenile girls Renowned actress brought to Kern County by Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue

WATCH: Actress Kristen Bell visits Marley’s Mutts juvenile dog program

Actress Kristen Bell comes to Bakersfield, passes along special message to detained juvenile girls

Renowned actress brought to Kern County by Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue

  • Mar 27, 2019)

Every week for the past two months, a group of five girls detained at the Kern County Probation Department's James G. Bowles Juvenile Hall have been involved in a unique rehabilitation and training program.

The group is learning valuable life skills such as teamwork, not being afraid to open up to others and listening.

On Wednesday they were joined by a special guest — actress and activist Kristen Bell.

Joining Bell to teach Wednesday's lessons were Princess, a black poodle mix, Popcorn, a chihuahua mix, and Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue.

Activism is an important part of Bell's life, as she is involved with Baby2Baby, the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund for the United Nations, No Kid Hungry and several animal organizations. When one of her friends encouraged her to follow Marley’s Mutts on Instagram, Bell knew she wanted to learn more.

“Some people who are training these dogs are in there for life and giving them the opportunity not to talk but just to feel. Being around an animal you have to feel," Bell said. "You don’t have to articulate yourself, you just have to exchange this energy, and I think that’s really, really powerful.”

The lesson Wednesday was focused on how to teach dogs what going in their crate means. Samantha Johnson, head trainer for Marley’s Mutts, told the group to “take it easy and work through progressions.”

“Be affectionate,” she said. “Put a little pressure to go into the crate.”

Girls explained there are times when the dogs are hesitant, to which Johnson said, “If you feel good about it, the dog will feel good.”

The lesson goes beyond teaching a dog obedience. Girls learn not to take it personally and try again if the dog does not initially follow their command.

Marley’s Mutts is a non-profit organization founded by Zach Skow that rescues, rehabilitates, trains and re-homes death row dogs from Kern County’s high-kill animal shelters. It first launched Pawsitive Change in 2016, a program that matches dogs with inmates throughout California prisons. This iteration focused on juvenile girls was spearheaded by Judge Lorna Brumfield.

“(Brumfield) puts girls in this facility, but she’s also an advocate,” Skow said. “Seeing Pawsitive Change be successful gave us the idea we could be successful here.”

Girls interested in the program had to fill out an application, write an essay and interview with trainers.

"I joined because it was an opportunity to do something never done before," a 15-year-old Caucasian girl said. "When I get out I want to continue ... this will help me stay sober."

Girls are not being identified by name because they are juveniles in custody.

During the 10-week program, juvenile girls learn simple obedience and dog psychology, which Johnson said “really makes (the girls) have to talk about energy first.”

“Their most important tool when working with a dog is their own energy,” she said. “It creates this awareness of how you’re feeling so we’ll do meditations.”

Director of Juvenile Programs Bill Dickinson explained the skills the girls pick up are valuable to their every day life.

"They see the frustrations with the dogs and trainers, and that's real life," he said.

The trainers spend two hours with the girls. Before Princess and Popcorn were introduced, Skow and Johnson brought in foster dogs and their own canines so they could learn how to interact with multiple personalities. Now, Princess and Popcorn live in the facility.

Dickinson said he hopes to see the program continue with more dogs and new girls.

After each training, the group gathers for a reflection period. Bell listened to the juveniles open up about the program and what it has meant to them.

“I’m grateful something like this has happened,” a 15-year-old Hispanic girl said to Johnson. “You’re somebody to look to, and you made this matter.”

Skow responded, "It's why we're here. You can do anything we've done."

Bell, who was emotional, shared her husband's, Dax Shepard, struggles with substance abuse and how their lives growing up were different. Now, after his 14 years of sobriety, they share the same house, bring in the same income and have two daughters together.

"Don't let anyone tell you you can't have the same things as them," the "Frozen" actress said.

Bell said her goal is to tell the world she believes in this program.

"Hopefully people around the country will franchise it and go into these facilities and say, ‘Can I bring a program like this in here? What are the rules we have to abide by? How can we accomplish this to get people a little bit more love?'"

Ema Sasic can be reached at 661-395-7392. Follow her on Twitter: @ema_sasic

Dog Wraps His Body Around An Abandoned 2-Year-Old Child For 2 Days To Keep Him Alive In Freezing Weather

Dog Wraps His Body Around An Abandoned 2-Year-Old Child For 2 Days To Keep Him Alive In Freezing Weather

Link to Original Post

Dogs are amazing creatures. Aside from being human’s constant companion, they can also come to our rescue in times of need. One amazing testament to this is the story of how a dog helped a child who was about to freeze to death.
It happened in Siberia, a Russian region known for having one of the coldest climates in the whole world. A 2-year-old child had been abandoned on a cabin’s front porch while it was freezing cold outside. A dog, who lived in the cabin where the child was abandoned, rushed to help, and wrapped his body around the little boy to keep him warm. This heroic act helped the boy to survive for two days, until some neighbors noticed the dog, and went to check on him. They were shocked to discover that a young boy was actually lying underneath the dog. They both survived, and although the boy suffered from acute hypothermia, he got better thanks to the dog’s heroic act. The boy’s mother was finally identified and charged for neglecting her child.

In Siberia, a 2-year-old-child was abandoned on a cabin’s front porch. Thankfully, a dog who lives in that cabin saw the poor boy.

January 2020 Foster Feature

Mutt Militia, say hello to Jennifer Walker. Jennifer has been fostering for Marley’s Mutts for the past year and a half and has fostered over 15 dogs with us. However, her total foster experience spans 10 plus years fostering over 400 dogs! That’s amazing!

After 10 years of fostering with another organization, school and work got in the way and Jennifer took a break from fostering until 2017. She then found that life was rather boring and non-purposeful unless you were helping someone other than yourself. Jennifer loves working with the dogs and matching them to the families they were always meant to have.

Jennifer’s favorite foster is her current foster, Athena, a wild child, 9 month old lab who has wormed her way into their hearts! Their most challenging foster was Moose who had to be nursed back to health after CCL repair surgery. Moose pulled some tremendous antics while in recovery!

The most rewarding part of fostering for Jennifer is knowing that both a family and a dog’s life are better for having made a great match. She finds people’s happiness is as important to her foster experience as the act of saving dogs.

Everyone always says,”I will never be able to give up a foster dog. I will keep them all!” Jennifer tells them that may be true for the first couple of dogs, but then you learn that they come and go, your brain adapts and you appreciate the time you had with each foster. You learn to find happiness in the match. Jennifer encourages fosters to find support in each other and their experiences and to continue researching and learning in regards to dog training tips and tools.

Aside from fostering, Jennifer and her husband run a dirt bike tour company. They get to visit with people from around the world, share their beautiful dessert and their foster dogs with them.

Thank you for all you do, Jennifer!

Volunteer of the Quarter

Mutt Militia, meet Connie Rocke, our Volunteer of the Quarter! Connie started following Marley’s Mutts when she moved to the Tehachapi area in 2012. She was impressed with all we did for rescue dogs and other animals. Connie was retired and had some extra time so she decided to start volunteering at the Rescue Ranch nearly three years ago.
Connie enjoys meeting all the different people at the Ranch and says the staff, fosters and volunteers she has worked with are all fabulous! “Everyone is so warm and welcoming. It’s like a wonderful family.” Some of Connie’s favorite things about volunteering at the Ranch are the community pack walks, holiday decorating and volunteer days. The rescue dogs are special to Connie and it gives her great joy to walk them and give them clean warm blankets. “They are all beautiful, bright and funny in their own way.”
Her advice to anyone thinking about volunteering at the Ranch is to find work that you enjoy. “There is so much to do here at the Marley’s Mutts Ranch. It’s great for retired people like me. There’s plenty to do that doesn’t require heavy strenuous work. Walking dogs is easy. If I can’t lug 50 pounds of dog food around, I’ll just ask for anyone I find to help me as they are happy to lend a hand. That’s important to me”
Connie has 2 dogs of her own, a Doberman named Jake, age 5 and Doberman mix, Jasper, age 8. Jasper even won first place at an agility competition when she was two years old! While Connie was holding the award, Jasper jumped up, grabbed the award and started shredding it! “That is her fun sneaky self.”
Thank you Connie for all you have done and continue to do!