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Monday, 19 May 2014 17:23

Shane’s War Pardon Week Begins

Desert Shelter Hosts Georgia Couple’s Campaign

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 – A Georgia couple’s campaign launches today at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms.

The Shane’s War campaign raises awareness about euthanasia of pets at shelters nationwide. Janet and Shane Smith of Macon, Ga., the founders of Shane’s War, visit animal shelters and help promote homeless animals using social media and mainstream media.

The couple visited a San Bernardino shelter last month. It was there in San Bernardino the Smiths met Cindy Sorenson, a Yucaipa-area woman who regularly rescues pets from various shelters, including the Coachella Valley Animal Campus.

Ms. Sorenson has rescued approximately 200 pets from the county shelter. She and the Smiths reached out to Riverside County Animal Services Director Robert Miller about whether a Shane’s War pardon week could be held at the county’s Thousand Palms location. Miller approved the visit and “pardon week” concept for its public-awareness benefits.

The animals that receive pardons this week will not be euthanized, barring any medical or serious temperament issues, Miller said. The animals are tracked and promoted by the Smiths, even after the pardon week has concluded.

“Janet and Shane Smith are emphasizing a critical point for our community,” Miller said. “An open-admission shelter, such as the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, accepts all the pets people bring to us and all the pets our officers save from the streets. We cannot say ‘no, sorry, we’re all filled up today’ to the public. With that in mind, we are forced to perform humane euthanasia and sometimes people forget about that – or they want to forget about it.”

Miller said the Shane’s War campaign reminds everyone about euthanasia and keeps the unpleasant subject in the public’s attention. And, he said, this is not just a pet-owner matter, but something all community members should share and discuss.

“Make no mistake about it, pets are euthanized and that is a shame,” Miller said. “We want everyone to know that we need their help. This is a war we wage all fifty-two weeks during the year. If more pet owners spayed and neutered their dogs and cats, fewer animals would end up at shelters and face an uncertain future. We know we can win this battle one day if everyone joins with us in educating all their friends, family members and neighbors.”

Part of the mission behind the Shane’s War campaign is to rally rescue-group organizations to make an extra effort during the pardon week to visit and save animals from the shelter. The good news is that the county shelter already works regularly with such groups, through its partnership with next-door neighbor Animal Samaritans and its Animal Alliance program. Animal Samaritans recently announced that the partnership reached the 5,000th pet saved milestone.