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HALO – Helping Animals Live On

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Recently, I found out about a contest called Fenced In By Love. The winning organization will win an Amazon gift card valued at $350, 100 adjustable bandana dog collars (valued at $1,000) and a plaque of appreciation for their amazing efforts to provide a loving home for homeless pets.

As a person who has adopted from shelters in the past, I am all too familiar with stories about pets who were abandoned or abused by their owners. Here in Arizona, almost 90,000 cats and dogs enter the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control and the Arizona Humane Society’s shelters each year and approximately only half of these pets leaving the shelters alive. As you can tell, the monthly average temperatures in Phoenix can be brutal. Unlike most places in the country, when it gets hot around here, it stays hot. The summer heat is relentless. Think about how that can affect animals. The heat can blister paws and cause heat stroke.

This is why HALO’s services are so imperative. They save over 4,700 animals a year (a small fraction of the 90,000 mentioned earlier, but certainly no drop in the bucket) and have saved over 30,000 cats and dogs since their inception 20 years ago. What’s even more beautiful to me is how families come together on their Facebook page (the photo on the left came from there as well). To me there is no better magic than the bond between pets and their families.

Growing up, my mother refused furry friends, but in high school, I fell in love with an English Setter. The litter of pups belonged to a family friend, but in referring to my favorite, he always said, “This is your dog.” Good ole’ Patch would fall asleep in my lap and she could just see that the floodgates were just ready to burst. She couldn’t say no, as all the love I had stored up to that point came pouring out. Two peas in a pod, we were. Pals. The best kind. He was always by my side, eager to protect me one minute and slurping the hands and faces of adults and kids the next. To think that animals are confined to cages, essentially waiting for their deaths, is heartbreaking to me and I am thankful that animals have a second chance through organizations like HALO.

So many issues contribute to the problem, among them being:
Owners not understanding the importance of spaying/neutering their pets
Puppy mills
Dog fighting
Circuses (yeah, that one got me, too)
The idea that there is no option but to kill animals

We’ve all heard stories of animals protecting children, rescuing family members, about the healing properties of their saliva, and even animal-assisted therapy, right? Animals have a wonderful way of reducing stress levels and have been used for therapeutic purposes for children in hospitals and the elderly in nursing homes. Can we really deprive animals from achieving their fullest potential?

What can you do?
Do your due diligence.
Support organizations that contribute a large part of their funds to the program itself.

Share your story, because life is precious.

Just ask little Betharoo. Thanks to HALO, she was able to receive surgery for a congenital heart defect from a doctor in Boise.

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