Sports teams, clubs, political parties and even TV shows have mascots. The Colbert Report has Stephen Jr. a baby bald eagle, the democrats have the donkey, republicans have the elephant, the stock market has a bull or a bear depending on the day. So, this week I challenged myself to find a Never B4 mascot and here she is:
A. She's damn cute!
B. She's experienced many Never B4's in her 6-year life:
NB4 #1: she was abadoned by her family and left at a garbage dump
NB4 #2: she was rescued by a stranger and brought to shelter
NB4 #3: that shelter sedated her and nearly euthanized her
NB4 #4: the stranger from NB4 #2 swooped in to rescue her again and took her to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary where she is now waiting for her ultimate NB4 - to be adopted.
C. She gives me some of the joy of having a dog in my life again (which my travel schedule, city-sized apartment and my cat have prevented until now).
D. She's also raised my awareness of the overwhelming number of pets being left behind in foreclosed homes. Their families leave them when they're forced to move out, just like they leave old furniture or bags of garbage. They are alone with no food and no way out.
It's hard to believe but it's happening more and more frequently as the economy continues to turn south and foreclosures rise across the country. Owners are abandoning pets at alarming rates. Shelters are over-flowing and animals are being euthanized more and more frequently due to limited space and money at the shelter.
Knowing there's not a lot I can do to turn the economy around, I decided to take a step to help some of the forgotten victims of our foreclosure and unemployment crises -- the pets people can no longer afford to own. I'm sponsoring Sahara as my Never B4 mascot to help her have a better life, to help the Best Friend Animal Sanctuary that took her in and will never euthanize her and also to spread the word that these animals and shelters need all the help they can get.
I'll be sponsoring Sahara until her ultimate Never B4 dream of being adopted comes true. In the coming weeks, I'll post more pics of her and if anyone out there knows a family who would love to adopt her, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For anyone in the same situation I am (meaning: can't bring a new pet home right now) think about sponsoring one as a mascot for your family, your book club, your kid's school, your company or just for yourself. There are cats, dogs, birds, bunnies and barnyard pets like horses and even pigs. You can a sponsor a pet with a one-time $25 donation and/or you can sponsor them more frequently. A little goes a long way.
If you or someone you know is facing the painful reality of needing to give up a pet due to economic hardships, click here to read an article from the Human Society that may make the painful process more smooth for both pet and owner.
I'd also like to thank all of you that followed me last week as I wrote my first real-time, 4-day novel on Twitter. It was a real challenge but a lot of fun.
What do you think of Sahara? Click on the headline above, scroll down to the bottom of the page and add your thoughts in the comments section.