Love Rhymes with Everything is not only a beautiful collection of paintings and poetry, it is a gift to animals everywhere! In this book, you’ll meet sanctuary animals and beloved pets, rescues and strays now living in peace, and your purchase will go to help animal protection and rescue organizations such as SNYP, Sanctuary One, the Jackson County Animal Shelter, Equamore Foundation Horse Sanctuary, and many more. Every penny from the sales of Love Rhymes with Everything will benefit animals.
In Love Rhymes with Everything, you’ll see the beautiful faces of exquisite creatures captured by Dana Feagin’s whimsical paintings, and you’ll hear their voices in Kat von Cupcake’s affecting poetry — and you’ll also learn the personal stories behind many of these rescued animals, from horses and goats to bunnies and cats.
Americans love dogs. I woke up watching Good Morning America on May 20, 2015. At the time I was about halfway into reading Jacki Skole’s seminal book, Dogland.
The story that played out on my television screen was of two Colombian National Police Officers who performed a daring rescue of a dog who was caught in rapid waters. The dog was moving fast and bobbing and disappearing under the waves. The two brave officers, clearly risking their own lives, finally intercepted the struggling pooch and pulled him to safety. They performed CPR on the riverbank as the camera caught the dog’s limp and nearly lifeless body as it revived. The newscasters were celebrating and rightfully commended the police officers on a dangerous rescue well done. I was also incredibly grateful to witness the compassion and kindness displayed by these officers.
It left me wondering why we Americans who love dogs so much, who are so happy when we see feel-good stories like these and who spend billions of dollars yearly on our pets, continue to allow the mass euthanization of thousands of healthy, adoptable pets every day in our nation’s shelters.
Read Dogland to understand why. We will never adopt our way out of the killing. Companion animal overpopulation is a multi-faceted problem that requires multi-faceted solutions. Most of all, it requires that we all become educated and do our part to eliminate the senseless suffering and death of countless sentient beings. Suffering that extends to both animals and people. As Dogland rightfully points out, non-human animals can’t thrive if people aren’t thriving, too.
The first way out of the problem in our nation’s shelters is to know the plight of homeless pets. Thank you to Jacki Skole for taking the steps to understand this complex issue and for writing this important book to inform the rest of us. The question is what we, as a nation of animal lovers, will now do with this information. My hope is that Dogland compels us all to truly work together to stop this senseless problem. Animal protection is one of the most pressing social justice issues of our time. Once you are aware of the daily suffering animals endure, you can’t not know. Not looking at animal suffering doesn’t make it go away. Education and compassionate, informed action is what makes it go away. We all need to do our part. We all need to wake up, America.
Ms. Skole’s dog Galen was the inspiration for Dogland. I hope that, just as Galen wakes up the author’s daughters every day with licks and love, Galen will also wake up our nation through this seminal work.
Kimberly Spanjol, Ph.D., BCBA, LMHC, is a forensic psychologist, doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), and New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) with more than 20 years of experience working with children. She is also a founder of Youth Animal Protectors (YAP) in New York City, an organization that teaches children and teens empathy, compassion, problem solving, and related social emotional skills through learning about animal protection issues. YAP Club empowers young people by raising awareness and developing a greater understanding of others’ perspectives – both animal and human – in exploring how choices impact local and global communities.
To learn more about DOGLAND, coming in August, click here.
I loved this article in the Chicago Tribune, “Animal welfare groups may be losing their appetite for meat,” which is about rescue organizations that realize serving meat at events goes against their mission: protecting animals.
Many organizations already get it; some are still learning. Organizations that rescue farm animals, of course, don’t put pork on the menu — yet those that help pets like dogs and cats often don’t make the connection when it comes to the food at their fundraisers.
St. Hubert’s in New Jersey walks the walk, and the organization went meatless after its new CEO, Heather J. Cammisa, joined the organization. As she told the Tribune: ”Our mission involves the humane treatment of animals, building an environment where people respect all living creatures,” Cammisa says. “And this aligns with that.”
The article notes that a California survey found that 85 percent of those involved with shelters believe it’s ethically inconsistent for an organization that rescues animals to sell or serve animal products. Yet only 29 percent of organizations have adopted a vegetarian or vegan policy.
Most people simply don’t realize what animals suffer in order to get to their plates, and once they do, the change to a cruelty-free environment is welcome. As Cammisa told the Tribune, “Over 90 percent of animals raised for food are raised in factory farms. When that information is shared people don’t want to be part of that.”
For any organization to be a true advocate for animals, it must be meatless. And making this change may not turn supporters into vegans overnight, but it will help make the connection and show that all animals deserve protection.
Last night, the gorgeous Jacksonville Barn Co. hosted a wonderful event to benefit Sanctuary One, the amazing Jacksonville care farm that rescues animals and promotes mutual healing through those who visit the farm and work with the animals.
The champagne flowed, fabulous items were raffled off, and the evening was filled with generosity, from the visitors who bought items to support the sanctuary to those who donate a portion of sales to Sanctuary One, including artist Dana Feagin and Kat von Cupcake.
Dana’s exhibit was in a chandelier-lit room and filled with her Sanctuary One animal paintings…and 25 percent of sales from the event were donated to the sanctuary.
Greeting visitors at the entrance to the gallery were portraits of Cookies and Cream, pictured below, two cows who spent their lives donating blood at a California university — now retired and enjoying a lovely life at Sanctuary One.
I was absolutely thrilled to meet Kat of Kat von Cupcake, whose vegan cupcakes were so delicious I lost count of how many I enjoyed.
Pictured above are the chocolate cupcakes; also contributing to my extreme sugar high were lemon cupcakes. Kat also prepared a gorgeous array of cookies for the event…
For all your sweet-tooth needs, check out Kat on Facebook (and her new website will be ready soon) — Kat donates 100 percent of her proceeds to the sanctuary.
If you haven’t already, visit the Jacksonville Barn Co. for some of the most fun antique, vintage, and eclectic gifts in the valley — and while you’re in the area, take a tour of Sanctuary One (make your reservation here) and learn more about all the great work the sanctuary does.