The Story of Parka
One of the reasons I became involved with animal rescue was because of my love for dogs. As you would have read in my first blog He Came Into My Life For A Reason, I rescued my dog Butch from deathrow, and it was through this experience that my world opened up and I became aware of the world of animal welfare and rescue.
Over the years, I have volunteered in Pounds, Kennels, Shelters and with non for profit Dog Rescues and the biggest lesson I have learnt in this time is simple...adopt don't shop.
It was these three powerful words that brought me to meeting Parka.
Whilst I was scrolling through dogs needing adoptions on the internet, I came across a beautiful but sad looking dog who had been dumped in a pound and put on death row. His name was Parka and I instantly knew by seeing his photos that I wanted to help, and so I did.
Parka's time was very limited and he had 24 hours until he would be euthanised. Time was not on our side and I knew that simply sharing his posts on my social media accounts wouldn't get him enough exposure and so I did the next best thing. I contacted Sebastian Terry, the Founder of an organisation that I knew well called 100 Things, and told him Parka needed our help! I knew if anyone was going to get the word out there, Sebastian would. How did I know that? Because Sebastian is my brother.
100 Things evolved as Sebastian wasn't fulfilled with his life and decided to travel the world ticking off items from his bucket list to fulfil his dreams and inspire others along the way. As his journey developed, his list turned from fulfilling his own dreams, to helping others and so the community of 100 Things was born. Today 100 Things is an inspirational community of people who rally together to help others in need (people helping people). I was close to his journey from the beginning and it dawned on me that through all Seb's achievements of helping people, he was yet to help any animals! So I called him and told him about Parka and he instantly agreed to help Parka find a home.
Within a few hours, Sebastian had offers of people wanting to save Parka and he was contacted by Joe & Kristy a local couple, that were touched by Parka's sad story. Joe & Kristy had a background in training dogs and they volunteered to adopt Parka, give him a temporary home, train him and help find him a forever home. Only a few months later, Parka found his forever home in Sydney.
L-R: Myself, Sebastian, Parka, Joe, Kristy
Adopting a dog from a Pound, Shelter or Rescue Group means you are saving a life. I have so many people telling me they would rather buy a puppy from a Pet Shop because they want to have a dog that grows up with the family, but when I explain to them that for every puppy they buy, another dog will be euthanized, they change their minds pretty quickly. Pretty confronting fact isn't it?
Not many people are aware of the Puppy Mill industry or where the cute puppies in the windows come from, but to put it simply, Puppy Mills are places of torture. Thousands of dogs are kept in horrible conditions, they receive limited to no medical treatment or care, they have no human contact, they are petrified and they are forced to breed so the owners can make a small fortune from the giant Pet Shop companies who are willing to buy the puppies so they too can make a profit. To give you a little insight into what it is all about, I urge you to watch the videos below.
Via The Humane Society of the United States
Via Animals Australia
I have a feeling if everyone saw these videos and learnt about the truth behind selling puppies in Pet Stores, no one would ever buy a puppy from a Pet Store again. So let's get this message out there, let's tell our friends, family and colleagues and let's encourage them to adopt and rescue to give dogs, like Parka, the opportunity to live a happy life like they deserve.
Here are 8 of my favourite reasons to adopt and not shop: -
There are millions of dogs waiting in animal shelters to be adopted every year - do your bit to save a life.
Shelters and rescue groups often include vaccinations, microchipping and spaying or neutering (also know as desexing) in the adoption fee, so your outgoing cost's will be minimal unlike when you a puppy.
You can find so many beautiful dogs that fit your unique personality and vice versa.
Most “preowned” dogs in shelters are already housetrained and won't need any training!
You will be rewarded with looks of love and other expressions of gratitude for as long as you both shall live.
There is no greater feeling than knowing you saved a life.
And my favourite reason of all....you can't buy love but you can rescue it.
Let's make the pledge and vow to adopt and not shop!
Peta - Adopt Don't Shop