Missoulian, October 6, 2007
Rolling Dog earns honors for animal care
By the Missoulian
The Rolling Dog Ranch is now an international award-winning animal sanctuary.
The Ovando ranch goes live and nationwide – again – on Saturday on the independent television show “Animal Rescue.”
Co-founder Alayne Marker was in Santa Monica, Calif., on Thursday to accept an animal action award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare. One segment of Saturday’s show will cover the awards reception.
Marker and her husband, Steve Smith, received one of six action awards presented by IFAW, a worldwide advocacy group for wild and domestic animals.
“Established in 2000, Smith and Marker’s 160-acre ranch is a haven for nearly 80 rescued disabled animals,” an IFAW release reads. “Residents are those who are the least likely to be adopted – including blind and deaf dogs, blind horses and blind cats.”
The organization honored West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall, a champion of animal issues, and eighth-grader Marcelo Hoynowski of Clark, N.J., who has campaigned to end the Canadian seal hunt since he was 7 years old.
Others receiving animal action awards were Glenda Davis, for her work as manager of a veterinary and livestock program in the Navajo Nation; Ed Hogan, for his work with a horse rescue sanctuary in Hidden Valley, Calif.; and Richie Moretti, who founded a hospital for sea turtles in Florida.
John Garamendi, lieutenant governor of California, was presented a lifetime achievement award, while actor and writer Ben Stein received the IFAW’s Animal Advocate Award.
“These winners are a shining example of dedication and commitment to animals,” IFAW President Fred O’Regan said in the release. “Their tireless efforts are truly inspirational. They are real animal heroes and are helping us create a better world for both animals and people.”
It’s been a year of national recognition for the Rolling Dog Ranch and its founders, both former executives at Boeing.
They were featured in a five-minute segment on NBC’s “Today” program in January, and in articles in People Magazine and USA Today in March.
This week, John Woestendiek, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who now works at the Baltimore Sun, is making daily posts about the Rolling Dog Ranch on his animal-oriented blog “Mutts.” Woestendiek is a visiting professor at the University of Montana journalism school this fall. A link to his blog is on the ranch’s new Web site, rollingdogranch.org.
The Animal Action Awards ceremony was held in conjunction with IFAW’s 15th annual Animal Action Week, the world’s largest educational event focused on animals.
Animals on TV
See a segment on the International Fund for Animal Welfare awards ceremony on “Animal Rescue” Saturday at 11 a.m. on KMMF Fox in Missoula.