Rescue Me

Rescue Me, Take Me in Your Arms!

I am haunted by these lyrics recorded by Fontella Bass in 1965.


  • There are approximately 5000 shelters in the USA.
  • Approximately five to seven million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately three to four million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.
  • According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than two percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips.petrescue2
  • 25 percent of dogs who enter local shelters are purebred, according to NCPPSP.
  • Only 10 percent of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered, while 78 percent of pet dogs and 88 percent of pet cats are spayed or neutered, according to the American Pet Products Association (Source: APPA).

Yes, I have purebred dogs and one “rescued” cat. It seems as though once a week I get a donation request from a shelter or an animal rescue organization. An appeal last week that pulled at my heart is about Freckles, a one-year old pit bull in Baltimore, MD, who was starved, dragged behind a vehicle and then thrown in a dumpster alive.

My plea is this: If you are considering getting a dog or cat, please contact your local shelter or rescue organization. Looking for a “pure bred”? Then contact: for a referral to a breed rescue organization.

Have time, talent or treasures? Contact a shelter or rescue organization and ask how you can help. Now until April 28th, please vote for your favorite shelter or rescue organization to receive prizes and up to $100,000 in grants by clicking here:

Thank you!


Kathy Hairston

Kathy Hairston

A native of California, Kathy grew up in the Pomona Valley. In the 60’s her parents began halter showing Quarter Horses. This hobby led them to purchase a small ranch in Ontario where they began raising and racing Quarter Horses and eventually moved on to Thoroughbreds. Although she never became a rider, their enthusiasm for horses was instilled in Kathy; she attended the Equestrian events at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Kathy purchased her first “show” quality English Bulldog in 1971. She has been actively showing and breeding dogs for 29 years. She has raised and finished champions in two breeds, Bulldogs and American Staffordshire Terriers. Kathy is a member of the Bulldog Club of America and the Pacific Coast Bulldog Club. She has served on the PCBC Board of Directors and has been their show secretary, public relations and fundraising chair. She currently is their AKC reporter. When not at a dog show, Kathy is at the drag strip watching her son, Clint, drive a 2007 Pontiac GTO at 251 mph. The GTO is tuned by her younger son, Jake, and the team is managed by Jim, her husband of 38 years.
Kathy Hairston

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  1. Bette Jameson says:

    Hi Kathy, great to see articles about rescue. Next time could you please remind people about our
    older pets in need of rescue. At Border Collies In Need we are finding that more and more older dogs are being turned into the shelters because “they are old” and the owners do not want to deal
    with what comes with age. As Boomers we are not getting any younger and if we are adopting puppies, they are more then likely going to outlive us. So Boomers if you are thinking about adopting always think rescue first and think about age second, our senior dogs and cats deserve the same love and care we all want as we age 🙂

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