By Kelly Kaspar
Pet overpopulation in the United States is a serious problem. I recently had the opportunity to talk about that with Lorenzo Borghese, founder of Animal Aid USA and founder and president of Royal Pet Club. He is also an Italian Prince who was featured on the ninth season of The Bachelor.
Every month, Animal Aid transports approximately 150 pets from rural southern shelters to New Jersey, where they are adopted into their forever homes through a network of no kill shelters. This wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of numerous volunteers. According to Lorenzo, “Animal Aid USA (www.AnimalAidUSA.org) also lobbies for puppy mill legislations, ending gas chambers and intra-cardiac injection without anesthesia, and also works with numerous veterinarians to provide funds for low cost spay/neuter programs in low income areas.”
I asked Lorenzo what groomers can do to help homeless pets. Donations of time are always needed. To get involved directly with Animal Aid, groomers can sign up on the website and join one of the monthly caravans. Vehicles are driven from southern New Jersey to Blackshear, GA, where dog food and other supplies are dropped off. Photos are taken of the animals in need, and they are loaded onto the caravan to head to New Jersey. The animals are bathed and groomed before adoptions and there is always a need for groomers to assist with this. Royal Pet Club shampoos are donated, and the animals are made beautiful to give them a leg up in finding a new home.
If you can’t make a caravan, a monetary donation will always be put to good use. Also, groomers, like veterinarians, are very influential in the process of picking a new pet. “Stress to your clients to adopt. Even if you aren’t able to join Animal Aid USA, donate your time to a local rescue or one of the many other caravans across the country. The more attractive the dog, the better his/her chances are of being adopted”, stated Borghese.
When asked what groomers can do to make rescue more effective, Lorenzo informed me that, “More volunteers means more dogs saved. Networking via the internet is a powerful resource for rescue. If 150 dogs can be rescued from one area in one month, imagine if that happened all over the US. The impact would be phenomenal!”
Finally, I asked what Lorenzo believes is the future of rescue. He is extremely optimistic that the US will be a leader in pet rescue, and other countries will follow. Once we take care of the problem here, we can move on to other countries and help them establish the same precedents taken here. “I am optimistic that eventually within the next decade the US will be a no kill nation”, concludes Lorenzo.