Amanda Giese stars on Amanda to the Rescue, which airs Tuesdays at 9:55 p.m. on Animal Planet.
Why Amanda Giese rescues animals
DOG DAZE - Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) - December 18, 2018 - 12:00am

Amanda Giese, star of the new show Amanda to the Rescue on Animal Planet, is the founder of Panda Paws Rescue in Washington State. But more that, she is a fun-to-interview human being who loves animals, as she showered much love on Mr. Gizmo, my frowny, longhaired exotic cat, and has joy and passion larger than life that I could almost touch.

 

“I rescue animals in Washington State,” says Amanda, who’s on her first visit to the Philippines. “And I also treat the seemingly hopeless animals in my Washington State home, primarily focusing on dogs that others have given up on, including major medical or special-needs dogs.”

Together with her two children, Jade and Beast, and her partner Gary, the family cares for animals in need and helps them get the second chance and loving-forever homes they deserve. Where others see animals with no hope, Amanda sees an animal full of love who needs her help.

In the show, Amanda launches large-scale rescue missions across the country to save dozens of animals with major medical or special needs from being euthanized. She’ll journey to crowded California shelters that are overrun with displaced and injured animals from deadly wildfires. Amanda also flew to Puerto Rico to help a dog rescue operation that needed assistance in their recovery efforts after hurricane Maria, and to Hawaii after the eruption of Kilauea to lend a helping hand by relieving the shelters of their overcrowding and helping bring dogs in need to safety.

We asked Amanda 10 things people should know about animal rescue. Read on to find out.

Philippine STAR: Why do you rescue animals?

It’s always been my calling. I think something that has always been important to me is animal welfare and animal rights. And just fair treatment of animals.

I used to work as a vet technician in surgery and I thought that a lot of the animals weren’t getting the quality of care they deserved. They were not given pain medications or surgery immediately, so I started taking them from the animal clinic, taking them home and giving them the care they needed. It kind of organically started.

What was your first rescue?

My very first rescue, I was 10 years old. It was a kitten that I eventually hand-raised and bottle-fed. When I picked her up she was maybe four weeks old. She was only the size of a lemon. I would put her in my backpack, get on my bicycle and bring her to the vet. I would get her weight checked, and then I would go to feed her. Then go to school. And feed her again when I got back. She stayed with me until she lived all the way to my 20s, until after my first child was born. 

What did you learn from that first rescue?

The vet said if I was willing to put in the time and effort for the care, he would take care of the expenses. So I did put in the time that was needed and she lived.

Smile: Amanda Giese with Mr. Gizmo, my exotic longhaired cat Photo by KJ Rosales

Was it then that you knew you would rescue?

I don’t know that I knew it at the time, but what I do know is that I continually brought strays home and took care of them. My mother said that I should stop bringing home strays. But, as you can see, I did not listen. Here I am now, still working with surgery, still working with animals, so it all came together.

Do you consider yourself a voice for the animals?

I think animals have a lot less opportunities. As a species humans put humans above animals too often, and so I think that I have become a good advocate and voice for the animal side of things.

Do you handle rescues every day?

I work with animals every day and that is so amazing. It’s like I get to work with my passion and my best friends every day. I love it.

Can you share one episode on the show?

There is Jedi; he is a Boston Terrier in episode 4. He was born with vision but he would climb and fall down until he lost his eyesight. Still, you had no idea he was blind. He could sense where you were at or where the walls were. He was the most incredibly impressive blind dog ever.

Do you do rescues differently for the show?

There is no difference between my rescue on the show and my rescue personally. We do everything that we do normally, just that now we have cameras following us around. We didn’t change anything for the TV show; we kept everything running how it runs at the rescue. The difference is that people can see the other side of a rescue — what really goes into running a rescue and how to take care of animals.

I have a camera and I explain to the camera what I’m doing. 

Do you rescue only dogs?

We come to any animal that needs help and we rescue them: dogs, cats, birds, horses, and the list goes on.  I know that most people are afraid to rescue a dog because they might get bitten, but most dogs are not biters; it really is all about learning animal behavior and their language. They will give you a signal before they are going to bite you, although I am not afraid of being bitten by an animal. I have been bitten many times.

Are you a dog person or a cat person?

I love all animals.

Before we part ways, I ask Amanda if she would rescue animals here in the Philippines, a third-world country, where we prioritize humans over animals.

“Of course I would love to,” she replies. “We can live in an ecosystem, which is balanced, or we can live in an ‘ego system,’ which is imbalanced,” she emphasizes. “There is a place for everything and we need to treat everything with respect and find that balance.” 

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Amanda to the Rescue airs on Tuesdays at 9:55 p.m. on Animal Planet.

AMANDA GIESE AMANDA TO THE RESCUE ANIMAL PLANET
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