For many film fans, the name Christopher Walken conjures up a host of moody, intense, and sometimes dangerous cinematic characters. If asked to guess his preference in pets, we might think, rats, bats, or snakes…very lethal snakes. But that would be way, way off base. In a recent issue of Parade Magazine, the super-talented thespian confessed to being the doting daddy of a feral cat. Makes you wonder how many other books (and people) we’ve misjudged by looking only at the cover.

Cuddly Christopher Walken

As reported in the LosAngeles Times on July 30, a new study published in Science Advances concludes that eastern and red wolves are actually a subspecies of the gray wolf and not two distinct species as previously believed. DNA analysis of all three populations revealed their common ancestry as well as the presence of coyote DNA in the red and eastern wolves. It’s the prevalence of coyote ancestry – 75% in red wolves and 25% in eastern – that accounts for the differences in size and appearance. Conservationists are hopeful that the new findings will ensure the continued protection of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act.

Gray Wolves

We were thrilled to read that California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed A.B.1825 into law. The bill provides that dogs confiscated from convicted dog fighters will now be eligible for rehabilitation and, if successful, adoption. Previously, such dogs were deemed ‘dangerous’ and euthanized. Kudos to all of the rescue organizations and concerned dog lovers who helped secure the bills passage. In another triumph for animal rescue, NBC’s sponsorship of the ‘ClearThe Shelters’ one-day event proved to be a huge success. According to the just-released figures, 6000 animals were adopted in Southern California on July 23 and more than 45,000 nationwide.

Willa, a fight dog saved by Karma Rescue

Finally, a hearty shout out to L.A. County SupervisorMichael D. Antonovitch for his proposal to create a much-needed animal shelter at the County’s Pitchess Detention center in Castaic. If approved, the plan would attempt to address two of the region’s most pressing concerns – overcrowded shelters in the rehabilitation of repeat offenders. Based on successful efforts like Karma Rescue’s ‘Paws For Life’ at the Lancaster (CA) men’s prison, the Prison Pet Partnership (WA), and Paws In Prison (AR), the program would provide care for animals in need while giving inmates an emotional lift and offering job training for possible future employment in the animal care industry.

Paws For Life in action


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