Posts Tagged ‘animal rescue’

Volunteer at Marine Mammal Care Center

seal pup close up


I had a wonderful experience this morning and want to share.

A couple of years ago I picked up a pamphlet for the Marine Mamma Care Center at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, CA. I stuffed it into the ever-growing pile of information I always grab up about possible volunteer opportunities to explore and share, and sadly, I sort of forgot about it.

I recently randomly checked out their website and found their WISH LIST for needed donation items, and realized we had some things that would go to great use for them, and support the animals they rescue and rehabilitate.

Those animals are the all-too-many seals and sea lions that are stranded along the Los Angeles coastline. The MMCC functions as a hospital for sick and injured marine mammals and it is a great program serving a huge need.

With El Nino weather conditions, we tend to think of it just happening this year with some storms finally bringing much needed rain, but ocean water temperatures have been warmer than usual–an El Nino condition–for a couple of years. The warmer water creates some crisis conditions for seals and sea lions. The fish they usually feed on close to the coast are being driven farther out and deeper down, since they cannot thrive in the warmer ocean water. This means that mother pinnipeds (the center mostly treats California sea lions, northern elephant seals, Pacific harbor seals, and northern fur seals) have to go away to forage farther and for longer periods of time to find enough food to sustain themselves and produce milk for their babies. The pups are left on beaches for too long while adults search, sometimes orphaned, often malnourished. When a pup can no longer sustain itself and is starving, Animal Control or other agencies brings them to MMCC for care. Additionally, fishing line, nets, and other injurious human interactions take their toll.

An average year sees about 350 patients at the center…the past two years have exceeded 700. It’s a big deal and a big job.

I love this place. Some of the many animals, both young and mature, are frolicking like you’d hope, slipping in and out of pools of water, barking, feeding–these are getting close to being released back into the ocean. Others are newly arrived, in a quiet zone, while some pretty intensive care is administered trying to nurse them back to health and viability. With as much struggle as these little guys and gals go through, I expected a pretty somber mortality rate, but surprisingly they lose only a few. A few more are deemed unreleasable and find homes at aquariums and other facilities (all of the disposition is handled by the US Government…where, when, how many get transferred to which places).

If you’re local to the Los Angeles area and are looking for a rewarding volunteer gig, check out the opportunities, from docents educating children and adult guests and field trip classes, to folks doing animal husbandry in the back and keeping things clean and running smoothly, there is always a need for more big-hearted volunteers. I suspect it can be tough work, but I bet you, like me, won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face. If you’re local or traveling to the L.A. region and want to visit to learn more about the several species under their care and see them, there are educational docents there to show you around and answer all your questions from 10am to 4pm, and they are open 365 days a year. Check them out, support their work, and you too, will have a perma-grin.

Hope For Paws

Hope for Paws

Bless the Beasts and Children: Kids Rescue Puffins

This is how youth in Iceland spend evenings:


Animal Rescue Site-1 Click to Save


I’ll admit I squinted a lot and was entirely skeptical the first time someone forwarded an email to me ages ago about this (and the similar bowl of rice for starving children, etc programs that seemed like a crock)

I don’t know why I am a doubter, but I come to it pretty naturally. I wish it wasn’t my default setting. The Animal Rescue Site is, actually, a way to help with almost zero effort on our part.

You can, actually, go to this website, every day if possible, click the purple button, and a donation of food and care is made to shelter programs for animals (find the partners here: Charitable Partners). OK–you’re right–it’s not like some evil Cruella deVil/Fagin character is sitting over a giant tub of kibble and saying “Sorry little adorable puppies–not enough people clicked on the website, so you’ll go to bed hungry tonight. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha”…but your clicking DOES actually provide food (and shelter care). Here’s how–companies pay to have their ads appear on the “click” page of the website. They are paying for eyeballs to see their ads. Based on the number of people who click each day (and you’re monitored so only one click per day can count) they are charged for their advertising. 100% of the advertising is donated to the animal charities…so it isn’t a direct equation of a click equals a bowl of food—but your clicking DOES feed the hungry puppies.


So click already, and tomorrow. and again.

The Judges’ Scores: Carrie Ann Inaba

Photo: CAI Animal Project

Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba makes newbie dancers feel good about trying difficult steps and routines, and she makes newbie, or veteran, pet adopters feel pretty darn good as well. Her charity, launched this year, The CAI Animal Project gives grants/financial assistance to existing programs doing great work with animals in shelters and adoption programs, and her original program effort, It All Starts Here, works to make fantastic animal advocates out of young people.

We know cruelty to animals is a learned behavior, so educating children about the special nature of human-animal bonding and pet responsibility can interrupt the bad cycle of a kid learning to harm. It All Starts Here goes into schools to teach about rescue and responsibility, and inspires young people to get involved. Her two-pronged approach, financially assisting those who are doing rescue work right and making kids into agents of positive animal change, should be effective on its own…but add her considerable appeal to young audiences based on the TV show, and Carrie Ann has the ears, and hearts, of a big chunk of young people. Find out more about her work, and click here to support.

Saving Fiona: Already Gone Viral

SO many people have already seen this great video–keep it spreading around. If it is time to add a four-legged member to your family–RESCUE, RESCUE, RESCUE!!!!!

Why Help? Because You Can (30 dolphins rescued)

March 5, 2012, on the beach of Brazil Arraial do Cabo, about thirty dolphins came aground on the beach and were all saved by caring people.