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perfect activism

August 5, 2007

now see, i thought this was the PERFECT form of activism and i just wanted to share it. this rescue group needs to be given a big pat on the back. if i had money to send, i would send it with a note saying, “way to go, this is exactly what we need.” at the end of the article it mentions when 101 dalmatians came out, everyone wanted a dalmatian. months later, the shelters were overflowing with unwanted dalmatians. if we go out and educate people before they go out and buy a beagle, they may not buy one and they’ll rescue one instead. it’s perfect! i just wish more people knew about the plight of beagles. maybe more rescue groups will get out there and do something like this. wouldn’t that be grand?

article source.

‘Underdog’ Fans, Have No Fear: Beagle Rescue Is Here


Published: August 5, 2007

TAMPA – A local beagle rescue group recognized a good marketing opportunity with the opening Saturday of the Disney movie ‘Underdog.’

Tampa Bay Beagle Rescue brought more than a dozen beagles and beagle mixes ready for adoption to greet guests at the Muvico Theater at 18002 Highwood Preserve Parkway.

No on-site adoptions were planned, but the group hoped the exposure might boost awareness of the plight of homeless animals, elicit applications from potential adoptive families and recruit volunteers.

The movie opened Saturday and is based on the popular 1960s television cartoon show of the same name. The big-screen version tells the story of Shoeshine the beagle, who gains super powers and the ability to speak. He braves villains to save his city and a pretty spaniel named Polly Purebred.

The beagles outside the theater didn’t have special powers beyond the power of their big brown eyes. That was more than enough to lure in several admirers, including Pasco County teachers John and Andrea Gartland, and their 7-year-old twin daughters, Nicole and Rachel.

The Gartlands went in hopes of meeting some of the beagles they had seen on the rescue group’s Web site,, and were considering adopting. The family’s previous beagle mix, Copper, died in January after 12 years and the family wanted another one.

‘I’ve always had one, even growing up,’ John Gartland said. ‘When you come home, it’s like a friend that greets you at the end of every day.’

The family didn’t select which beagle was to become their newest family member, but the event brought them a step closer in the process, Andrea Gartland said.

By having experience with the breed, the Gartlands are prepared better than most for all that owning a beagle entails, said rescue volunteer Michelle Kowalske.

Potential adopters need to know the breed’s traits and behaviors, she said. Although beagles are one of the safer dogs to have around children, and they are generally good-natured and friendly, they can be more challenging to housebreak than other breeds.

‘Howling is another thing to consider,’ Kowalske said. ‘Some beagles do howl. If you have neighbors close by, or live in an apartment or condo, it might not be the best place for a beagle. However, not every beagle is vocal.’

The adoption process includes an application, an interview and a meet-and-greet visit at a dog park before a family is approved. The fees range from $100 to $350, depending on the specific dog or puppy.

The group typically fosters about 24 to 30 dogs at a time, she said. About 60 percent to 70 percent of new arrivals suffer from heartworms. Before they can be adopted, they are vaccinated and spayed or neutered.

Kowalske said she has mixed feelings about the ‘Underdog’ movie.

‘It will be good and bad,’ she said. ‘The good is that we were able to come out here and raise awareness. The bad would be for something to happen like it did with ‘101 Dalmatians’ and everybody goes out and buys one, they’re not prepared for it and then the shelters are flooded with unwanted beagles.

‘We would love it if we didn’t have any beagles that need a home,’ she said.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Colleen permalink
    August 5, 2007 6:20 pm

    Wow! This was an excellent idea! I wish there were more of this kind of planning and commitment from rescues.

    As I mentioned somewhere on VRF, I’m afraid that there will be a rush of people who want to get rats as pets (from Ratatouille). But many of those people won’t know how to properly care for and socialize rats. Unfortunately, most of the unwanted rats probably won’t make it to a rescue. :( It makes me sad.

  2. Lisa permalink
    August 6, 2007 6:19 am

    I heard that they used 600 puppies for “101 Dalmations” and made sure each one had a home before they were even bred for the movie. Unfortunately, there’s probably no amount of publicity that will convince moviegoers NOT to get a particular type of dog if they’re determined to do so (and kids think they can talk)…

  3. unknown permalink
    September 23, 2007 8:24 pm

    Colleen, there IS more of this kind of planning and committment from other rescues. The papers just don’t write about it. I have seen MANY rescues at movie openings where the movie is about a certain breed of dog.

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