- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
I know that we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I admit a cover caught my eye recently. It belonged to Rescue Ink, written by Rescue Ink and Denise Flaim. Not a viewer of the TV show on the National Geographic Channel, I had never heard of this unique group of volunteer animal rescuers. Behind the curve, that’s me.
Based in Long Island, New York, the group consists of ten men who are street tough but who have a soft spot for animals. They are not afraid to knock on the door of the local nasty who’s known for abusing his pit bull, and tell him to cut it out. They educate those who are willing to learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership, in order to turn neglect into care. They organize searches for lost or stolen animals. They accepted a donated vehicle that didn’t run and turned it into a full-service animal ambulance. Together, these guys have helped or rescued hundreds of animals, mostly dogs and cats, but some horses, pigs, and other animals, too.
The story of the group’s founding and the men’s personal histories were fascinating. I learned a lot, too, about some forms of abuse that I’d never heard of before: the inhumane practices of Mexican slaughterhouses that buy unwanted American horses for meat, to get around the law banning the practice in the US. Also, I didn’t know that Amish country is the location of so many puppy mills. The Rescue Ink website is currently down, but I did find a Facebook page.
This book got me thinking about animal rescue awareness. Most kids naturally love animals, so picture books such as Fleabag, Finding Susie, and The Dog Who Belonged to No One have a natural appeal. They encourage empathy with the additional message that there are unwanted animals out there who need homes. There is a series of chapter books called Vet Volunteers, and a whole host of other fiction for kids. And, of course, there are fun library visits by Furry Friends and Canine Companions, many of whom are rescued, with their "reading to dogs" events at West Valley, Willow Glen, and Santa Teresa branch libraries. Pets certainly enrich our lives. If a family is looking for a special pet, the San Jose shelter is a good place to go. Spread the love!