The nightmarish reality of a dog or cat's death by gas chamber is about to become a rolling public service message as a massive group of animal lovers leave Folsom New Jersey together July 12 and head for Hinesville, Georgia in a multi-state rescue caravan honoring one survivor of the gruesome fate.
The Amazing Grace Caravan is named for Grace, an aging mixed breed pooch and poster child for the anti-gas chamber movement, who in 2006 survived a harrowing near death experience in the Liberty Animal Control facility's gas chamber. This will mark the first time Grace has returned to Liberty Animal Control since 2006, when her own experience with the gas chamber changed Georgia law on animal euthanasia.
Led by Prince Lorenzo Borghese and Karen Talbot and a network of pet lovers, the Amazing Grace Caravan will facilitate the rescue of over 100 adoptable animals from the Liberty Animal Control facility in Hinesville, and raise awareness of the cruelty of death by gas chamber in an effort to outlaw the practice which is still being performed in 31 states.
Grace's traumatic event that quickly made national news was life-changing for many, particularly Liberty County Animal Control Officer Linda Cordry who was among those who had ushered Grace into the gas chamber with other dogs scheduled to be euthanized that day, and who discovered Grace alive in the horrific aftermath. The event changed Cordry's life, and the Liberty County gas chamber was never used again.
Cordry will greet Grace at the Liberty County Animal Control facility for the first time since Grace survived the gas chamber in 2006.
Grace will be accompanied by her owner Phil Draughon and Davis Cosey, a member of the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Companion Animal Advisory Board and an animal rights crusader who committed himself to the passage of Grace's Law in the Georgia General Assembly. Grace's Law, which bans the use of gas chambers to euthanize animals in Georgia shelters, passed in December 2010. To add emphasis to the caravan's public service message, Cosey has donated an actual gas chamber like the one Grace was subjected to, and like those still in use in 31 states. This gas chamber will travel with the caravan as a beacon of hope for change. Supporters will have the opportunity to sign a petition which aims to ban the gas chamber and apply their handprint and signature in permanent paint to the gas chamber as a symbolic statement promising to always support the humane treatment of animals.
Artist Ellen Strack paints the Amazing Grace Caravan bus, which will travel from New Jersey to Georgia July 12-15. For a $50 donation, supporters can submit a photo of their pet for Stack to paint in caricature on the bus. All proceeds will benefit the Animal Aid USA fund to outlaw gas chamber euthanasia in the 31 U.S. states that still perform gas chamber executions of unwanted shelter animals.
Karen Talbot of the animal aid organization, Making of Miracle Stories (MOMS) along with Borghese, co-founder of Animal Aid USA and an ambassador to the American Humane Society, are spearheading the caravan rescue that will take them, Grace, Draughon, Cosey, and their supporters through New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, with daily stops scheduled to raise awareness for animal advocacy, spay and neuter programs, and animal adoption.
American Humane Association President and CEO Robin Ganzert, Ph.D. will make an appearance in support of the caravan and its lifesaving mission and Clark G the famous talking dog from Youtube with over 100 million views will also be in attendance in this historic event.
To make a donation and have your pet's caricature included on the Amazing Grace Caravan bus, please go to the Animal Aid "Paint That Bus" web page. To find out more about Grace's amazing story and how Animal Aid USA is working to make the planet safer for all animals, visit AnimalAidUSA.org.
About the Amazing Grace Caravan
In addition to raising awareness of the cruelty of gas chambers used to euthanize animals, the caravan aims to spread information on low cost and free spay and neuter programs, the dangers of pet overpopulation, and the importance of adopting shelter animals as pets.
The Amazing Grace Caravan will be making stops and participating in events at the following locations:
- Thursday July 12, Maryland House I-95 mile marker 82, Aberdeen, MD 21001
- Thursday July 12, Gander Mountain Store/10150 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland, VA 23005
- Friday July 13, Fairfield Marriott/95 Fayetteville/1925 Cedar Creek Road, Fayettevill, NC 28312
- Friday July 13, Arrives in Hinesville Liberty County, Georgia (approximately 5 p.m.)
- Saturday July 14, Liberty Animal Control/Miracle Ranch, 194 Hugh Gordon Lane, Ludowici, GA
- Saturday July 14, Dinner (TBD) hosted by MOMS
About Prince Lorenzo Borghese & Royal Pet Club
Prince Lorenzo Borghese, founder and president of Royal Pet Club and Royal Treatment Italian Pet Spa, is passionate about the well being of animals everywhere. His line of pet-friendly, organic products were originally created for his beloved black lab, Belle. For nine consecutive years, Royal Treatment has been the most successful pet line on the HSN shopping channel. A vocal advocate of spaying and neutering programs, Borghese donates five percent of Royal Pet Club profits plus $2 for every new customer to Animal Aid USA to support spay and neuter programs across the U.S. Through this program, families unable to afford the cost of having their dog spayed or neutered will be able to have the procedure done for free by a top veterinarian in their community.
Borghese's line of Royal Treatment products were developed to support pet wellness with premium, natural dog shampoos, conditioners, and other organic pet grooming supplies.
Borghese's Royal Pet Club is the online destination for the Royal Treatment line's of natural pet spa and wellness products. Made from the finest organic ingredients and fragrance oils, Royal Treatment's pet grooming products have been developed with the help of leading cosmetics manufacturers, world-renowned veterinarians, and other pet experts from around the world. Formulated in a cosmetics laboratory on the outskirts of Tuscany, Italy, all Royal Treatment grooming products are pH balanced for pet's sensitive skin.
Borghese has worked with numerous animal welfare organizations including North Shore Animal League, the ASPCA and Animal Care and Control of NYC. He is co-founder of NYC4ACC, a group of young professionals who organize fundraisers for this city shelter, and an ambassador to the American Humane Association.
For more information, visit the Royal Pet Club website.
About Karen Talbot
Formerly, Director of Occupational Health, Karen walked away from a 15 year career to throw herself into her volunteer work. She founded St. Joseph Elementary School "Paws for a Cause", The MOMS Rescue,Georgia Puppy Caravans, Miracle Ranch and the Amazing Grace Caravan. With an undying passion for children and animals, it only seemed natural to combine the two to speak for each other. A very tight bond was formed with Matthew her 12 year old son, since she was a single mother for the first five years of his life. Matthew would be given the up-front approach on matters of the heart in the hopes that he would make his world a different place for all! This approach was done in a way that made Matthew want to learn and be involved in what went on in his world, outside the bubble we live in. Karen is very proud that he will carry on her work long after she is gone.
Since January of 2011, both Karen and her husband, Dante travel to Liberty County, GA from NJ every thirty days. They have put together the first of its kind rescue model to incorporate receiving rescues in a team. Monthly they rescue an average of 70 animals and transport them to the doorsteps of the receiving rescue groups. Together with Lorenzo, Karen founded Animal Aid USA.