About Us and Our Mission at SmallDogChic.com
For a few months many years back, I volunteered at Animal Control in Mesa, Arizona, and learned a lot about throw-away pets. It was both a rewarding and heartbreaking experience. With the stereotype of the dog catcher in mind, I initially thought the employees at AC couldn't possibly care about animals. Then I found out each one had adopted more than their share of cats and dogs to save them from euthanasia. As I got to know everyone at AC, I mentioned to one of the team that I thought they would be animal haters, and he said, "No, we love animals; we hate people." While they don't actually hate people, I certainly came to understand what he meant.
One day, I watched a young man bring in a white purebred "senior" Toy Poodle. His mother had gone into a nursing home and he didn't want to be bothered with her dog. This tiny little creature had probably spent its entire life being pampered and sleeping on a soft comfy bed and now it was stuck in a kennel with a concrete floor and barking dogs all around it. It couldn't stop shaking. Fortunately, one of the AC team called the local Poodle Rescue Group and they came to the rescue, literally. On another day, a woman brought in a 5-year-old purebred Golden Retriever. They were moving and chose not to take the dog with them. I felt like asking if she would give away her children if they became inconvenient. These kinds of drop-offs were a daily occurrence. Not a thing wrong with these dogs other than they weren't wanted by their owners. It's no wonder the AC team had a strong dislike for these people who made no effort to find a new home for animals in their care. Of course, there were pet owners who through no fault of their own could no longer keep a beloved pet, and those tearful "good-byes" were also hard to watch. My volunteer experience at AC came long before our current recession, and with today's economy, the number of drop-offs and abandoned animals, referred to as "foreclosure pets," is truly staggering. I can't imagine what it's like dealing with the volume of throw-away pets now.
I'm happy to say that while I was involved with AC in Mesa, Ed Boks, the new Executive Director began making huge changes including a new name, Animal Care and Control. The employees in Maricopa County are now better able to perform their duties with the compassion that was always in their hearts. One of the changes initiated by Ed was working with the local community and Maddie's Fund. This foundation donates money to local non-profit rescue groups when they joing with the area's government-run animal control department, and all commit to becoming "no-kill" shelters. Ed's success in transforming Maricopa County's ACC into a no-kill shelter and working in harmony with other community rescue organizations caught the attention of Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York. Ed moved to NYC to bring his passion to Animal Care and Control there. He was later honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Friends of Animal Care and Control in New York City for a career of extraordinary life-saving work. His next move was to become General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services where he brought that same "no-kill" philosophy. And then in June 2010, Ed became Executive Director of the Yavapai Humane Society in my hometown of Prescott, Arizona! He continues his devotion to protecting innocent creatures whose very existence depends on the kindness of humans. You can read more about Ed, including his articles and blog, at EdBoks.com.
SmallDogChic.com's affiliate commissions aren't large so there's not much to spread around. Deciding which of the many worthy animal organizations to support took some thought. Considering the question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg, we decided to go after the egg which manifests itself in horrific puppy mills. Only through education will potential dog owners learn the plight of animals living in indescribably abusive conditions and make the connection between puppy mills AND pet stores. Shutting down puppy mills will help reduce overpopulation AND it will end years of suffering for these poor dogs who spend their entire lives crammed into cages with wire floors, having litter after litter after litter, and never experiencing one single moment of love or tenderness. Read about puppy mills at the Humane Society's site. Share this information with everyone you know and support the HUSA campaign. Take the pledge to never buy a dog from a pet store. If you or someone you know wants to add a dog to the family, please start with Petfinder.com, and visit or contact your local shelters. They are overflowing with wonderful pets, many of them purebred dogs and cats, who desperately need a loving home.