By Dr. Marty Becker
January 29, 2010
I often talk about “The Bond,” the powerful connection that can form between human and animal. That bond benefits us in uncountable ways, so much so that I even wrote a book about it, “The Healing Power of Pets.”
Because I’m grateful for the amazing joy and love animals have given me throughout my life, I’ve made it part of my life’s work to pay that love back.
Apparently a whole heck of a lot ofÂ you feel the exact same way, because according to the great folks at Kuranda Dog and Cat Beds, we’ve raised more than one hundred pets beds for Orange County Animal Services in Orlando, Florida.
And so are the pets — like Blizzard, Buddy and Hero, three senior pets at OCAS shown in the photo above, giving staffers Kat and Vanessa big kisses and love in appreciation for their new beds. Or Sandy, right, a puppy hanging out in her brand new bed instead of on the floor.
But that happy ending for these pets doesn’t mean the “bed-raising” is over.
When I was at OCAS I saw a sparking clean, loving facility designed for 250 pets but filled with 800, a scenario playing out all over the country as the economy continues to fall and foreclosures and job losses to rise.
At OCAS as in many other shelters, only around one in five of the pets had beds. The rest are on concrete, without even the little bit of warmth and comfort that comes from being up off the floor.
I think of the senior dogs and cats lying on hard surfaces, becoming stiffer and more painful every day, lessening their chances of being adopted.
And I know that those of you who donated beds to OCAS knew that, because Kuranda tells me that many of you purchased beds for other shelters along with the ones you donated to OCAS.
When I contacted my friends and colleagues at Good Morning America, where I’ve been resident veterinarian for 13 years, and my great good friend Dr. Mehmet Oz, who graciously made me part of his new show’s core team, they wanted to help with this terrific cause, not just in Florida, but all over the country.
So we’re going to do that. We’re still working on the details, and we’ll let you know how you can continue to help homeless pets. In the meantime, visit Kuranda’s shelter donation page, find your local or favorite shelter, and donate a bed! Tell them you heard about it from Dr. Becker.
And keep reading and watching here at Pet Connection, Good Morning America and the Dr. Oz Show as we continue to help shelter pets across the country rise up, lie down, then move out — rise up from concrete floors, lie down on comfortable beds and then move out into loving forever homes!
All photos courtesy of OCAS. From the top: Sandy, a 2-month-old mixed breed dog who was found running loose; Buddy, a 10-year-old spaniel mix who was turned in with Blizzard, a husky, and Hero, an 8-year-old beagle mix, a stray; Emmit, a stray cat found already shaved; two friendly pit bull best friends that one of the kennel officers caught “spooning” after dinner one night — full bellies and a nap on a comfy bed sounds like the perfect evening! And last, Celia, a year-old female shepherd/pit mix surrendered by her owner.