st. martin's animal rescue
becomes first recipient of animal place's
food for thought shelter grant
First of all, we want to commend your organization for its wonderful work on behalf of companion animals. For those just learning about St. Martin's, tell us how your organization came to be?
We adopted our personal dog and found out she had originally come from a high kill shelter in Los Angeles, California. She is such an amazing dog and we could not believe that she was so close to being killed for space. As I did more research into the plight of shelter animals, I just couldn’t look away. I knew I had to do something to help and so many of these animals are highly adoptable in Oregon. So, I started St. Martin’s Animal Rescue and at first we took in any dog that needed rescue; however, over time we have become more specialized and take mainly super seniors (dogs over the age of 10), hospice pets, and pets with chronic medical issues.
St. Martin de Porres (1579 – 1639) of Lima, Peru was noted for work on behalf of the poor, establishing an orphanage and a children's hospital. He maintained an austere lifestyle, which included fasting and abstaining from meat. Among the many miracles attributed to him were those of levitation, bilocation, miraculous knowledge, instantaneous cures, and an ability to communicate with animals!
How does it feel to be the first winner of Animal Place’s Food for Thought Shelter Grant?
Wow, I did not know that! I am grateful and happy to help support vegan efforts and hopefully one day mass farming operations will cease to exist.
What motivated your organization to adopt the policy?
It makes sense to advocate for all animals once one begins to advocate for one kind of animal. It is not at all a leap of logic. Once I learned the plight of homeless pets then it was a natural to learn about the plight of farmed animals. Compassion is not compartmentalized in our opinion; compassion extends to all living beings.
Tell us about the process of adopting the policy.
It was very easy for us. We have a very small board, only three members; however, everyone on the board also happens to be animal advocates and understood the logic behind adopting the policy. There was no debate or discussion, other than it was a sound policy and it is in line with the advocacy work that we are already doing.
How was it to work with Animal Place on this issue? Did you find Animal Place’s resources, materials and staff helpful with the policy adoption process?
It was great and I did appreciate the resources. We liked the pro list and I found it very helpful to see sample policies from other organizations in order to refine what we wanted our policy to be.
Besides rescue and adoption, do you help animals in other ways?
Yes, we talk to people about mass farming operations and the plight of all animals. We also help homeless people keep their pets by distributing food and pet supplies. We oftentimes will help pet owners find resources to cover veterinary costs so they can keep their pets healthy. We also support animal shelter reform and keep a watch on animal related legislation occurring at the local level.
Why do you feel it’s important for shelters and rescue groups to adopt such a policy?
If an organization is going to support the rights of pet animals and advocate for them, then it only makes sense to protect all sentient beings. How can someone protect a dog from abuse and neglect and not feel that a chicken deserves the same protection? If a shelter or rescue organization is going to show compassion towards companion pets, then it is short-sighted to exclude all other animals. Adopting a vegan menu policy sends a clear statement to society about protecting all beings that live on this planet with us.
Some may think it’s difficult to have an animal friendly menu policy in place in a small city or town. You’re located in rural Oregon. What sort of meal options are you able to find for your events?
It is a challenge. However, we are pretty good cooks and we are fortunate to live in an area with many fresh fruit and vegetable markets. We have access to a plethora of fresh foods that can easily be made into appetizers at any event. For protein sources we use beans and quinoa a lot in our cooking mixed with fresh herbs which are also abundant here. We are lucky to live in the fertile Willamette Valley.
BRIDGET! Bridget has actually been with St. Martin’s for over a year but hasn’t been ready for her forever home until now. Bridget is about 6 years old and is a Shihtzu-mix. She was found as a stray in Portland, OR. She had THE WORST skin case we had ever seen. This girl had suffered allergies for so very long that her skin is permanently scarred and she has eye problems and her bark is raspy from damage done to her body. She had many different skin infections and ear infections. She was truly one sad little dog and miserably uncomfortable. We immediately took her to an allergy and skin specialist, Dr. Randall in Beaverton, Oregon. After many tests and visits and medication trials, Bridget has been diagnosed with both food allergies and environmental allergies. Bridget is basically allergic to the world around her. We felt that it was worth saving her precious soul if we could make her comfortable. Bridget eats a Hydrolyzed Protein diet along with taking three medications to treat her environmental allergies. She takes supplements to keep her skin strong and daily eye medication to keep her eyes moist. She also receives special baths two times a week. These things are essential to keeping her comfortable and out of pain. Bridget is a special needs dog by all accounts. She will need a dedicated adopter who is willing to spend about $100 a month on her medications, $75 per month on her special food and supplements and lots of time to give her for love and baths. She also needs check ups with her allergist twice a year with bloodwork.
Bridget has many needs but she is worth it! She is absolutely adorable for one. She has the cutest dark black button nose and floppy ears. She loves to be wrapped in a blanket and rocked back and forth in an easy chair. She loves to do happy rolls on her foster mama’s bed and gets downright giddy after a bath. She is a very good girl at the groomer and at the doctor. She is a very gentle dog and likes quiet and peace. She doesn’t play with other dogs or with toys but she seeks out cozy spots to rest. She LOVES food and even special treats made for allergy prone dogs. She always lets her foster mama know when it is dinner time by letting out her harsh little barky noises. Once she eats, she settles in her dog bed and is ready for more nap time. We know her life has not been easy. In fact, her life up until now has been filled with pain and neglect. Bridget will be happy to have someone take care of her daily needs and show her love without expecting too much “doggy behavior” from her in return.
Bridget is current on all vaccinations, is spayed and microchipped. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like an application for her.