Operation Homeward Bound: An Idea, a Van, Jackson Galaxy, and 43 Kittens

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On June 27, Jackson Galaxy and his wife Minoo embarked on a 1,000 mile journey from Los Angeles to Boulder, CO to save the lives of 43 kittens through a new program by the Jackson Galaxy Foundation, Homeward Bound. I had a chance to speak with Jackson about the successful rescue mission.

Jackson and Minoo were alarmed when they heard about the dozens of kittens in overcrowded shelters in their community. The Humane Society of Boulder Valley had previously told Jackson that “if you’ve got kittens, let us know, because we need kittens!” What could be simpler than taking the kittens from a place where they’re going to die to a place where they could find homes? Well, when you’re Jackson Galaxy, it really does seem to be that simple. “I’m so thankful that I could just pick up the phone and talk to Mark Rovner at Best Friends Animal Society Los Angeles, and they found a way to make it work,” said Jackson.

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With the support of Best Friends and various corporate sponsors, Jackson, Minoo and the kittens started their journey from California to Colorado in a cargo van. “The trip should have taken 16 hours,” said Jackson, laughing, “but it wound up taking much longer than that. We had to stop every time there was a poopy cage, undo 12 bungee cords, and clean and feed the kittens!”

Jackson provided live updates on Facebook along the way throughout the journey (you can find the videos on the Jackson Galaxy Foundation Facebook page.) “It was surreal at times,” said Jackson. “There I was, in the middle of Death Valley at 1 in the morning. It’s 105 degrees, Minoo is up to her knees in kitten poop, and I’m talking to people halfway around the world watching this unfold. There was this incredible synergy with everyone who loves animals.”

There wasn’t a moment when Jackson and Minoo complained. “It was one of those wonderful moments for us, both as rescuers, and as a couple,” said Jackson. Operation Homeward Bound took place on the couple’s second anniversary. “This is who we are,”  he added.

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When they finally pulled into Boulder several hours after their estimated arrival time, there was a large group of volunteers waiting to receive the kittens. “They formed this fire line to walk the kittens into the building,” said Jackson. Once everyone got settled in, Jackson spent some time just sitting in the big, open, airy cat playroom at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. “It was total mayhem, there were kittens racing around and playing, and I had this moment of ‘oh yeah, this feels really really good,'” said Jackson.

Jackson is hoping to do another mission like Operation Homeward Bound in the future. His vision is to foster a society where 20 years from now, kids will say “I hear they used to kill millions of animals.”

All of us can help Jackson realize his vision. “I’ve been saying over and over: do something,” he said. “Donate time, donate money, foster, do TNR, adopt, volunteer, or take a job working with animals. Every one of those saves a life.”

The Jackson Galaxy Foundation, a 501(c)3 tax exempt charity founded in 2014 by Animal Planet’s My Cat from Hell star Jackson Galaxy, is the realization of Jackson’s long-standing dream of improving the lives of animals at risk and helping the people who care for them. 

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The Conscious Cat is an award winning website published by writer and cat expert Ingrid King, author of Buckley's Story and Purrs of Wisdom. Here at The Conscious Cat, we're passionate about cats. Our mission is to educate cat guardians so that every cat, and every cat's human, can have a happy, healthy life together.

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Introducing ZiwiPeak: Natural New Zealand Pet Nutrition

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This post is sponsored by Ziwi Peak

ZiwiPeak is one of the brands that has long been included on my list of recommended foods. Today, I’m delighted to offer you a closer look at this brand, courtesy of the folks at ZiwiPeak. Ziwi Peak is a complete and balanced daily diet for all breeds and all lifestages. Their formulas are 95% digestible and palatable to even the most finicky cats (and dogs.) Continue reading…

National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

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August 22 has been designated as National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, and while it may not be your cat’s favorite “holiday,” it’s an important day designed to raise awareness about the importance of regular veterinary check ups for cats.

83% of cats are taken to the vet during the first year after they’re adopted, yet over half of them never return for subsequent wellness visit. Given that cats age more rapidly than humans and are masters at masking illness, these statistics are worrisome. Continue reading…

Purrs of Wisdom: Your Reviews Are Appreciated!

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Yes, I am shamelessly exploiting Ruby’s cuteness to ask you to take a few minutes to post a review of Purrs of Wisdom: Enlightenment, Feline Style on Amazon. I mean, who could resist that face, right?

Seriously, though – if you enjoyed my book, I truly would appreciate it if you would take the time to share your thoughts about my book on Amazon. Amazon reviews really help sell a book. They not only give potential buyers confidence when deciding whether to buy, they also help the book rank higher on Amazon, which, in turn, means that more people will see it via Amazon’s “you might also like” or “customers who bought this also bought” suggestions. Continue reading…

Mews and Nips: Lanai Cat Sanctuary is a Cat Lover’s Paradise

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The Lanai Cat Sanctuary, located on the small Hawaiian island of Lanai, is home to more than 500 cats. The sanctuary covers about 25,000 square foot where cats can roam around freely. Visitors from around the world can hang out with the cats as long as they want. The sanctuary’s website states that “no appointment is required. Bring a picnic and be ready to play and stay the day.” For more on the sanctuary and some wonderful photos, visit Top13.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: Continue reading…

Giveaway: 4MyMeow Jewelry for Your Zipper

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This giveaway is sponsored by 4MyMeow

We have a super fun giveaway for you today: adorable kitty zipper pulls! They are handcrafted out of glass beads in Northern California. 4MyMeow carefully selects the purrfect combination of colors and sizes to produce zipper pulls that bring a little fun and beauty into your life.

4MyMeow donates 10% of every purchase to animal shelters. Continue reading…

What Every Cat Parent Should Know Before Euthanasia

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Making a decision about whether or when the time is right for euthanasia is one of the hardest things cat parents will ever go through. I’ve previously written about what can help a cat guardian make this difficult decision. But even once you’ve made the decision for your beloved cat, there are some things you should know that will help make yours and your cat’s final journey as smooth as something so difficult can possibly be. Continue reading…

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