In the intro to the show Mariann talks to Jasmin about her new favorite book, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk, and what a pleasure it is to read a book that really gets it about animals. Jasmin announces that she’ll likely be participating in The Goat Games, a virtual event that challenges participants to finish a 5-kilometer run, walk, bike, hike, or swim at a location of their choosing between August 8 and 16 to raise funds for Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Recently, Catskill, like many other sanctuaries, has lost 30% of it’s funding due to COVID-19. Then, in our continued effort to support vegan-owned businesses, we’re shouting out Charlie Fyffe and his amazing guide to 70+ Black owned vegan businesses in Los Angeles. Over 70!
Then, Jasmin talks to Zach Skow. Zach is the founder of Marley’s Mutts, an animal shelter with a difference in Kern County, California. He turned to his dogs to help him when his diagnosis with end-stage liver disease meant that he had to battle to stay sober to access a liver transplant. When Zach recovered, he was prompted to start the shelter to give back, and, since its inception, Marley’s Mutts has now rescued over 5,000 dogs and started a pioneering prison program called Pawsitive Change.
In this episode Zach joins us to dive into how his love for his dogs and their unwavering acceptance of him pulled him through the darkness and brought him back to his authentic self. He shares why Marley’s Mutts is not only an animal shelter, but is a positive force for change in the community, and how the Pawsitive Change Prison Program works to take rescue dogs into local prisons to train with inmates and give both a second chance. Zach also discusses how he sees Marley’s Mutts developing and expanding in the future to support vulnerable humans and animals in need.
“There is nothing more scary than not being able to recognize who you are” – Zach Skow
This Week in Our Hen House:
- Zach’s journey through 6 months of sobriety to get a liver transplant
- The dogs that helped him get sober
- The story of Marley, and his calm elevated spirit
- How Zach’s commitment to being there for his dogs stopped his suicidal thoughts
- How the Miracle Mutts therapy pets program works
- The importance of facilitating change in your life and being open to your potential
- Where the dogs at the shelter come from and why they are committed to a no-kill policy
- How the Pawsitive Change program works
- Why Marley’s Mutts is so keen to expand Pawsitive Change into the juvenile detention system
- How the work has impacted the lives of real prisoners
Anti-Recidivism Coalition founded by Scott Budnick
Connect with Zach Skow:
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This episode is brought to you in part by the Barnard Medical Center. To set up a telehealth appointment today call 202-527-7500 or create an account on pcrm.org.
As always, the award-winning weekly Our Hen House podcast is hosted by Mariann Sullivan and Jasmin Singer.
This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at awfw.org.
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The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by the incredible Michael Harren.