Into the Woods

These creative works were submitted by Samantha Crist from Illinois! The first is an Etch-a-Sketch drawing that is spin on the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood. In this tale, Little Red Riding Hood is not nearly so helpless. How many wolves can you spot?


The second two are leather pieces she has completed:

This one is an instrument pouch she made for quick access to common veterinary necessities. The front of the pack is shown with the veterinary caduceus and animals carved into the leather and surrounded by a decorative stitch that looks braided from the side. The inside of the pouch (not shown) has a calf detailed next to a molded penlight holder and the side of the pouch (not shown) displays attractive subtle western patterning, and the back of the pouch (also not shown) reads the famous quotation “All Creatures Great and Small…”  above a rose carved like the animals. She designed, stitched,and carved the pouch!


This one is a keychain that she made for her mom's birthday as she had hogs growing up. It is of carved leather like the pouch and displays a piglet!


It's Called Fashion, Look It Up

These two cuties belong to Ashley Saver from Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine!

Hiding from WinterReady for the Polar Vortex


Spayed Too Soon

This funny encounter was submitted by Kassandra Schneider from UC Davis. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

It seemed like just another day at the vet clinic as I checked in an elderly woman’s Miniature Pinscher, the woman’s two granddaughters by her side to help. It didn’t take long to find out this owner was going to fall into the “crotchety old lady” category rather than the “sweet old lady” one. Every question I asked was answered with a begrudging retort.

“How’s everything going with Fiona?” I asked.

“Fine. Just fine. I don’t know why the county makes me come in here once a year. It’s a goddamn waste of my time and money.”

Her granddaughters apologized profusely, explained the dog was just here for her annual rabies vaccine, and I continued taking my history. Finally, I asked my last question.

“Do you have any other concerns?”

The gray, wrinkled woman spat back, “No, I’ve already told you - she’s perfectly fine! Except…my landlord made me get her spayed last year. Before she’d ever even had sex! Can you believe that?! Don’t you think that’s cruel?!”

The room burst into laughter as Grandma continued to fume in outrage. I picked up the little Min Pin and turned to leave to get a weight on her in the other room. Almost at the door, I addressed the little dog: “I’m sorry you didn’t get to experience all of life, sweetie!”

Glancing into the exam room as I shut the door, my mind’s eye snapped a photo of the two granddaughters - doubled over laughing, with tears streaming down their faces - and the old woman resentfully mumbling the inhumanities of her poor dog’s virgin, gonad-free life.


Lifesaving Pet Training: A Woman’s Dream to Save Missouri Animals

(Check out this cool article written about Abbie Knudsen from Mizzou!)


MISSOURI – February 15, 2019 – A woman is bringing home the most progressive strategies to save pets after attending a revolutionary conference in Austin, TX.


Did you know that 1.4 million cats and dogs still lose their lives in U.S. animal shelters every year? In 2017, Missouri alone reported 17,292 cats and dogs were euthanized statewide. These findings sent one Missouri resident on a mission to find out how she can help.


Abbie Knudsen is a lifetime Missouri resident that has spent her career working in the field of exotic and domestic animal rescue. She has always recognized her calling to help animals and has really done it all – from rescuing cats and dogs off the streets to raising baby skunks and racoons in her bathroom for release into the wild to rescuing tigers from the performance industry and moving them to permanent sanctuary environments - her animal experience is both vast and diverse.


When you talk animals with Knudsen, you know she not only means business in making real change, but that every word really comes from deep personal conviction. “It’s my personal mission to make the world a better place for animals. I want every animal I meet to be better for having crossed my path,” Knudsen states.


Fast-forward to 2018 when Knudsen was ready to jump-in headfirst to find a way for every animal to leave Missouri shelters – alive. Her mission led her to the successes of Austin, Texas, and the groundbreaking organization, Austin Pets Alive, that helped transform Austin into the safest city for companion animals in America. (In Austin, 99% of companion animals leave the shelter alive.)


Austin Pets Alive, in partnership with their sister organization American Pets Alive, have devised what they call a “recipe for lifesaving” that can help a community save all healthy and adoptable pets from euthanasia in a shelter. Luckily for Knudsen, this roadmap to success also came with the opportunity to attend a conference to learn how to implement the most progressive and effective strategies for lifesaving in other communities.


In early February, Knudsen was joined by her mother (also an animal rescuer whom Knudsen attributes her animal obsession to) on a roadtrip to Austin, TX to learn everything she could about saving cats and dogs. The goal was to bring the tried and true strategies of Austin back her home state of Missouri.


Knudsen attended three days of intensive lectures on a variety of results-oriented programs that can be implemented in Missouri. “I believe when I look back at my life ten years from now, I will see this conference as a pivotal moment in my journey to save every cat and dog in Missouri. The data-driven approach and progressive rescue programs presented have significantly advanced my understanding of what it takes to transform Missouri into a community where we save them all,” Knudsen states.


With her newfound knowledge, Knudsen is planning a conference for the fall to unite the leaders of all Missouri shelters and rescues on the mission to save more animals. Knudsen believes a key piece to saving animals is getting all the key players to sit at the same table. “I think if we want to build on the amazing work that Missouri organizations are already doing, we need to find a way to work together. Ultimately, we can elevate our impact through collaboration,” said Knudsen.


If you want to join the cause, save the date for Knudsen’s upcoming conference in Columbia, MO on October 19-20, 2019 featuring sessions hosted by the best and brightest minds in animal rescue. Registration is open to anyone that wants to learn more about saving companion animals and attendance is expected to top 140+ individuals from all over the Midwest.




Here is the link to the event in case anyone is interested!


Take in the Beauty

These amazing photos were submitted by Alisha Mason from Washington State University. Thanks, Alisha!

Pinnacle PonderancePlacid TurmoilHistoric Perpetuation