Arts & Entertainment

Dog Rescuer Amanda Giese is Proving "Kindness is Cool"

Giese also gives tips for people who want to adopt a rescue animal.
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She’s rescued around 4,000 dogs in 10 years.

Rooting for the underdog has always been Amanda Giese’s calling. She rescued her first animal—a sickly kitten she named “Jane Doe”—when she was 10 years old. Years later, she’s rescued and adopted out a little over 4,000 animals over the span of a decade with the help of her non-profit animal rescue organization Panda Paws Rescue.

While they don’t rescue pandas, as their name suggests (it's a nod to her childhood nickname, Amanda Panda), they do rescue domestic animals and specialize in medical, special needs, and hospice care. It's the most challenging cases that capture Amanda's heart—the ones who need the most healing and attention. Her small, family run nonprofit focuses on "quality, not quantity" of rescues, limited by space and resources, but unlimited in compassion and patience.

On the new Animal Planet series Amanda to the Rescue, viewers will follow Giese and her team to Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria to find homes for the island's displaced dogs; to Hawaii following a volcanic eruption to help make room in the crowded shelters; to California to assist the animals affected by the wildfires; and Missouri, the puppy mill capital of America, to educate viewers on "how to responsibly acquire an animal so you're not part of the problem."

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And the problem is pretty big. Globally, there are issues like animal cruelty, neglect, puppy mills, hoarding cases, and miseducation on spaying and neutering animals (which can actually benefit pet population issues and your animal's health). "It’s not one person’s problem. It’s not PAWS' (Philippine Animal Welfare Society) problem to fix. It really is the community’s problem to fix, everyone together," Giese emphasizes. One way to accomplish that is through responsibility, something she brings up a lot: responsibility in choosing, raising, and treating an animal.

 

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Looking to adopt a dog? Go for full-grown aspins.

"I am huge about adopting adult and senior animals, especially for first-time pet owners, because everyone wants the cute fluffy puppy, but it doesn’t stay a fluffy puppy forever," she says. With adult dogs, their personalities, fears, and behavior are fully established; their healthcare has been taken care of; and they’re less expensive to adopt.

"I think the biggest thing is going back to education on finding the right match, not the right breed," Giese continues Match-making, not breeding, is the way to find an animal partner that suits your personality and lifestyle.

There’s no such thing as a lost cause in Amanda’s book, whether the dog has only two feet, a cleft palate, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Each dog has a story, one she’s dedicated to ensuring ends with a happily ever after. With the show, she hopes that people will approach investing in the planet the same way. “We live in a world where we have enough ugly, we have enough hate and battle and fighting, that to me, kindness really is cool.”

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Amanda to the Rescue shows on Tuesdays at 9:55 PM on Animal Planet.

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Anri Ichimura
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