Advocates Creating Safety Net for Dogs in Need (Op-Ed)
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Wayne Pacelle is the president and chief executive officer of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). This Op-Ed first appeared on the blog A Humane Nation, where it ran before appearing in LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

I am always inspired and empowered by the devotion of advocates who fight for animals. One day it may be volunteers who are helping to prevent the needless trophy hunting of wolves, another day it may be grassroots organizers working to ban horse slaughter.

Recently, I was thinking about another group that deserves special attention — the dozens of organizations and thousands of hardworking people, too many to name, changing the lives of large, mixed-breed, pit-bull-type dogs, including senior dogs.

Those dogs have found two angels in a pair of long-time animal advocates: Dwight and Kimberly Lowell, who are steadfast in their devotion to helping senior, pit-bull type and mixed-breed dogs, in particular. It all started with a shelter dog named Chrissie who, Dwight will quickly tell you, changed his life. Driven by the love discovered in that special relationship, Dwight and Kimberly vowed to help other dogs in need, and that's exactly what they've been doing.

They've been quiet in their giving and want all focus on the dogs and the great work of so many people who are helping dogs in need. But, I want them to know how much their generosity is valued by all of us who share their love of dogs. Dwight and Kimberly have made a generous donation and long-term commitment to The Lowell Fund, which plans to continue to give grants to support animal protection organizations over the years to come. As a result, this past week The HSUS announced grants, funded exclusively through The Lowell Fund, to 31 groups in 21 states.

Recipients include: Bama Bully Rescue in Birmingham, Ala., which helps dogs who have been abandoned, abused, neglected or fallen victim to other situations in their lives; Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet, Tenn., which gives senior dogs, especially those with medical problems or disabilities, a place to live out their lives as a loved family member; Ruff Start Rescue in Princeton, Minn., which is an all-volunteer group that fosters animals in homes until they are adopted; and New Mexico Dogs Deserve Better, based in Rio Rancho, N.M., which focuses on helping free chained dogs through owner education, outreach and rescue. These are just a few examples of the many great groups, often all-volunteer run, that are changing the lives of so many dogs.

There is a remarkable network of dog rescue organizations, operating in thousands of communities across the country. The Lowell Fund grants cannot help them all, but they make a difference for dozens of organizations, and therefore for thousands of dogs.

I know the Lowells join me in celebrating the wonderful folks taking care of so many creatures in need. Congratulations to the grant awardees, the Lowells and all of you who change the world for the better.

Pacelle's most recent Op-Ed was What's Behind the Search for Lab-Grown Meat. This article was adapted from A Safety Net for Dogs in Need, which first appeared as on the HSUS blog A Humane Nation. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This article was originally published on LiveScience.com.