The Issue: Abused Malamutes Rescued from a Puppy Mill
In October 2011, 161 malamutes were rescued from the home of Mike Chilinski in Montana, who was convicted on more than 90 counts of animal cruelty, according to a story in the Billings Gazette. The dogs—including several litters of puppies—were living in unclean pens without food or water and were suffering from untreated wounds. Although animal-rescue workers celebrated the closure of one of what the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates to be 10,000 puppy mills across the country, they are now faced with the costs of caring for the dogs until they can be adopted out to permanent homes.
The Campaign: Feeding and Caring for Malamutes
If 39 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League (WAMAL) can provide one month of care for one malamute. Each additional $390 raised will fund a month of care for another malamute. The care breaks down to $10 per day for kenneling costs, plus an additional $90 for vaccinations, microchipping, and food. WAMAL aims to rescue and find homes for 100 malamutes in the upcoming year, including some of the dogs seized from Mike Chilinski's home.
Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League
When a volunteer at Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League (WAMAL) stumbled onto a computer folder called "petfinder," he was overcome with emotion. Though he knew what the folder contained—pictures of the rescued malamutes WAMAL had adopted out since 2003—he was unprepared for the effect that the hundreds of images would have on him. He found he remembered many of the dog's faces, names, and stories—whether they'd destroyed his shrubs or challenged him on brisk runs.
Though WAMAL rescues about 100 malamutes a year, its team of volunteers rarely has time to focus on the big picture. They're too busy finding kennels and foster families to take in homeless or neglected alaskan malamutes, a large breed that requires a lot of work, exercise, and specialized care. WAMAL volunteers make sure these dogs receive proper medical care and attention before they are matched with suitable adoptive families. They also conduct outreach events to educate the public about the breed.
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