This year’s inaugural monthly caravan will feature a first-time meeting between Animal Aid USA volunteers and Asher, a severely injured dog in Waycross, Georgia whose successful rescue was made possible by Animal Aid USA team volunteers and Waycross volunteers.
January 15, 2013 – Animal Aid USA founders Prince Lorenzo Borghese of Royal Pet Club and Karen Talbot will launch the organization’s first animal rescue caravan of 2013 January 18 by saving 175 abandoned and homeless dogs in the Liberty County, Georgia area. The New Year Caravan will be sponsored by Frank Leone of Leone Homes in Oyster Bay, New York, and Georgina Bloomberg, Animal Aid’s newest board member.
The New Year Caravan is part of a trek repeated every 30 days by Animal Aid USA volunteers who travel 1,600 miles from New Jersey to Liberty County, Georgia to rescue shelter animals from rural Georgia communities. More than 170 dogs have been pulled from animal control facilities across Georgia to be rescued, and most have been brought to Animal Aid USA’s Miracle Ranch in Long County for care and treatment before forever homes can be found for each of them.
“Each moment an animal is about to be euthanized due to its inability to find a loving home is an emergency situation to our group of volunteers. I’m so happy to be a part of our first caravan in the new year in which 175 lives will be saved,” Borghese said.
Miracle Ranch is a temporary transfer station and quarantine facility made possible by donations from California-based rescue Dogs on Death Row.
The Caravan’s arrival to Miracle Ranch will be marked by a poignant meeting between Animal Aid USA volunteers and Asher, a gravely wounded dog rescued on December 18 in Ware County, Georgia after local resident Jane Keeler found him abandoned and wandering the streets. After unsuccessful attempts to rescue the dog herself, Keeler contacted Talbot for help; from her home in New Jersey, Talbot contacted partners in Waycross, Georgia for assistance.
Suffering from a gaping, gangrenous wound to his neck, the injured dog avoided capture until volunteers from Ware County and the Okefenokee Humane Society used a tranquilizer dart to catch him. The dog was immediately rushed to Cedar Animal Hospital in Richmond Hills, Georgia where staff had been notified of his condition and impending arrival. By the time he arrived at Cedar, Talbot had named the dog Asher, which in Hebrew translates to “happiness and extreme desire to be surrounded by family or community.”
Asher’s injuries were discovered to be at least two weeks old, and since he had been living without treatment on Georgia’s county roadways for so long, the early prognosis was bleak. But to everyone’s surprise, under the care of Kyle Christiansen, DVM and the Cedar Animal Hospital staff, he pulled through and was released on Christmas Eve.
Currently under the foster care of Animal Aid USA volunteer Georgia Pontikakis, Asher continues with follow-up visits to Cedar for continued care to the neck wound, and treatment for heartworm and a possible dislocated hip.
Steve Dash of the Humane Society of Atlantic County in Atlantic City, New Jersey, an Advisory Board member for Animal Aid USA, will travel with the New Year Caravan to join the many volunteers who came together to save Asher when they meet the lucky miracle pup at Miracle Ranch. The Humane Society of Atlantic County will be taking Asher into its program once he is medically cleared for travel, which is expected to take a few months.
Also traveling with the Animal Aid USA New Year Caravan will be seven Miracle Ranch board members, five cargo vans (in addition to Animal Aid USA’s customized transport rig), and four participating receiving rescue partners: Denise McCann, founder of Almost Home Dog Rescue, New Jersey; Dana Smith Edwards and Kathleen Schaefer; Shelly Michener and Jennifer Bailey from The Animal Orphanage, Voorhees New Jersey; Alyssa Jones of WAGS Rescue, Horsham, Pennsylvania, and Lorie Wus of Finally Home Farm Rescue, Williamstown, New Jersey.
Additional participating rescue groups and shelters in Georgia include:
Randy Durrence, Liberty Animal Control, Hinesville, Georgia
Sissy Haskell, STARS of GA Rescue, Statesboro, Georgia
Friends of Screven County Animals (FOSCA), Sylvania, Georgia
Hannah Tostensen, Humane Animal Resource Team (HART), Darien, Georgia
Ben Hood, Okefenokee Humane Society, Waycross, Georgia
Special guests participating in the 2013 Animal Aid USA New Year’s Caravan will be (Amazing) Grace, Animal Aid USA’s canine hero and her owner, Phil Draughon of Chicago, as well as members of the Guardians of Rescue organization, which has chapters in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California. A special reunion between Karen Talbot and Robert Misseri of the Guardians of Rescue is planned to commemorate their co-founding of the Georgia Puppy Caravan in 2009, then the largest rescue mission in Georgia State history.
About Animal Aid USA:
Co-founded by Prince Lorenzo Borghese and Karen Talbot (M.O.M.S. Rescue Founder) in January 2012, Animal Aid USA is comprised of a group of volunteer animal lovers who drive more than 1,600 miles each month in order to relocate animals from high-kill shelters to receiving rescues and homes. In addition to finding homes for animals facing an uncertain future, Animal Aid USA raises money to fund spay and neuter programs in low income communities, and raise awareness of the legal cruelties happening daily in the U.S., including gas chamber euthanasia. In July 2012, Animal Aid USA raised awareness of the cruelty of gas chamber euthanasia through the Amazing Grace Caravan. This caravan also saved 144 shelter dogs. To date, Animal Aid USA volunteers have rescued more than 3,000 abandoned and homeless dogs.
Borghese combines his animal advocacy commitments with his Royal Pet Club product promotions by utilizing his on-air appearances to raise awareness for animal rights causes. Royal Pet Club donates five percent of its profits, plus $2 for every new customer to Animal Aid USA.
To learn more about Animal Aid USA, visit http://www.AnimalAidUSA.org. To learn more about Royal Treatment, visithttp://www.RoyalPetClub.com.