"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others." Ayn Rand

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Lange Foundation

I want to write about a wonderful Mother's Day gift I gave. Not to pat myself on the back, but to hope to get the word out about this place.

It's called The Lange Foundation. It's a phenomenal program that I saw on the Oprah Winfrey show, the show she did highlighting puppy mills. Someone gave this gift to Oprah, and when I saw it, I knew it would be something that my Mom would love. The following I took right from their website.

Every year in Los Angeles County, several hundred thousand pets are taken to animal shelters, simply because they drastically outnumber the homes available to them.

They are alone, they are voiceless, and most of them are euthanized. As their lives silently end, several hundred thousand more pets are being born.

The Lange Foundation was founded in 1993 by Gillian Lange, recipient of the 1980 City of Los Angeles St. Francis of Assisi Award for her rescue work with impounded pets since 1974. She founded Amanda Foundation in 1975, and to date the two Foundations have rescued and placed over 13,000 cats and dogs who would otherwise have been destroyed at shelters.

Lange Foundation is dedicated to saving impounded companion animals, and preparing them for a journey to a new, safe, loving world.

The dogs we rescue come to us in all shapes, colors, sizes and ages. Some are victims of abuse or neglect; others starving strays; some are purebred and some are obedience trained. Owners who take their pets to the Shelter mistakenly believe good homes will be found for them, but , because of lack of space, most are kept for only five days. The pets we are able to rescue are cared for at our "Half Way Home Haven" in West Los Angeles, where their personality is evaluated and they are given T.L.C. by our staff and volunteers. Once adopted, we assist with training in their new homes if they have problems not easily solved by their new owners. We stand behind those we place.

The shelters continue to be over-crowded with cats. The kittens' chances are slightly better than adults...20% of those impounded find homes. Only 1% of adult cats are chosen for adoption, even though among them are many Siamese, Himalayan, Persian, Manx and All-American purr machines. The ones we are able to rescue are tested for FELV/FIV, sterilized and given health care as necessary. They are placed only in indoor homes.

They have a gifting program. For $75.00, the Lange Foundation goes to a local kill shelter, and takes an dog or a cat off the death list. They take the animal to their own no-kill shelter, and keep it until it is found a forever home. The recipient of the gift gets a photo of the dog or cat that was saved in their name, and a letter with information about the animal.

Since being highlighted on Oprah, the Lange Foundation has been flooded with donations; it takes about two to three weeks to process the gifts. That's the best backorder I could think of.

My Mom called me yesterday in tears; she had gotten her gift. I don't think that I've ever gotten her something that meant so much; we always agonize over the perfect gift. This was so simple. As the saying goes, there is beauty in simplicity.

On a further note, there was a poem included with the package, and it was referring to dogs "in retirement". My Mom said it was like a sign for her; there is a 13 year old Golden Retriever available from a rescue group who needs a home; the owner relocated to Europe and the dog would never make it through quarantine.

Guess who's taking the dog.

He probably doesn't have a whole lot of time left. But his time will be made special by my parents. And my parents time will be made special by him.

What a great thing.

We decided yesterday that this is going to be the birthday gift. The Christmas gift. The anniversary gift. The everything gift.

Let's see how many dogs we can save.