For a lot of us, home is where the furry face greets you. Few things can instantly turn a house into a home faster than the unconditional love of our pets. There are a lot of pets out there though that haven’t found their way home yet, and that’s where Clark Living friend and Mixed Mutts Rescue co-founder Caitlin Minges comes in.
Six years ago Minges began working at My Pet Garden in Pasadena, where she met her business partner and close friend, Christina Pellegrino. Minges says the two constantly received calls about animals that needed rescuing, and they did whatever they could to help. Soon they realized there was more of a demand to be met than they were capable of handling without delving in a little deeper. In 2011, Mixed Mutts Rescue was born.
Pellegrino moved to Mira Loma, onto two acres of land that make a perfect dog run. The Mira Loma property, Minges’ home, and My Pet Garden all house and help care for the dogs rescued by Mixed Mutts. Minges says they often pull animals from high-kill shelters, and that www.petfinder.com has been a great resource for connecting them with people looking to adopt. Though the rescue mainly ends up handling dogs from Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire, they rescue cats and other animals as well, and have no formal geographical boundaries. Currently they’ve gone as far as Las Vegas to pick up animals in need.
When I asked her about the most difficult part of running a dog rescue, Minges immediately responded, “Humans.” In terms of the need for rehabilitation and socialization, neglected pets seem much like neglected people—except that animals appear to have a greater and faster capacity to love and forgive, and a lesser capacity to inflict psychological harm. Minges says the hardest part of the job is being confronted with troubling human behavior.
Conversely, the most rewarding thing, she says, is seeing an animal overcome its abusive history and learn to be social and loving with new owners who’ve created for them a better life. “You get some dogs, “ she says, “that have been treated so badly that it’s hard to imagine them ever being normal, or having a normal life. But then you see them, however many months later with their new families and they’re playing with people and they’re being like, normal dogs. And it’s pretty amazing.”
So what do you do if you’re not in a place to help by actually adopting, but you still want to help? Minges says fostering a pet is a great option if you’re simply unsure or hesistant; if you’re unable to have a pet at all, Mixed Mutts always accepts donations. “Money is always an issue,” Minges says. “We pretty much always dip into our own pockets to keep it afloat, so donations are super helpful.”
You can donate to Mixed Mutts via PayPal on their website, www.ilovemixedmutts.com. Be sure to also follow them on Instagram @mixedmuttsrescue for your daily dose of puppies and to keep up with upcoming adoption opportunities.