Photo by Christina Gandolpho

Photo by Christina Gandolpho

Each year, millions of animals are euthanized at local shelters because of overpopulation. Almost half of the animals brought into these shelters are euthanized because suitable homes can’t be found for them. Animal rescue, a cause close to my heart, can lead to the safety of millions of these these lost souls.

I had a dog growing up, and a series of them throughout my adult life. In fact, right now, my closest companion is a coyote mutt mix named Harley. In my opinion, he is the coolest dog ever. He growls when he’s really excited to see me, never holds a grudge, licks himself like a cat, hates getting his feet wet in puddles, stretches out on his back across my pillow, and wakes me up every morning at 6:30 a.m.! He truly is the love of my life.

I found Harley at a kill shelter in Lancaster. That day I viewed hundreds of dogs and watched more animals entering the shelter than leaving with new owners. The math made me queasy. I had narrowed my choice down to three dogs: a fluffy, affectionate golden retriever mix; a sweet, chocolate lab puppy; and a scruffy little black mutt. We already had a large dog, so more than one dog was absolutely out of the question. I decided to take the night to make my decision. Suddenly, fate stepped in. One of the employees at the shelter told me that the little black mutt would “be gone” the following morning. The other two had a few more days left to find prospective homes. The decision was made, a life long companionship created.

jud_tylor_dogThe best dog I’ve ever had was hours away from death row when I adopted him. Almost four million dogs are put down every year—one every eight seconds—making euthanasia the leading cause of death for dogs. The good news is, it’s easy to make a difference, and there are many ways to do it. I volunteer for local shelters and rescue groups, transport dogs, and donate supplies. I find animal fosters and adoptees who can give an animal the love they’ve never had, or the safe home they’ve never experienced. Most importantly, I try to spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering pets.

I work closely with Love Those Paws Rescue, a rescue group that is truly passionate. This organization is dedicated to rescuing dogs that have been left homeless, dogs in public shelters facing a high risk of euthanasia, and those that are in danger of abuse and neglect. They place their canine friends in loving, committed “forever” homes, and spay and neuter all animals in their care. They are always looking for fosters, adoptees, dog transporters, and volunteers for adoption events. I urge anyone who’s interested to visit

Making the choice to adopt could be the best decision of your life. It was for me.

JUD TYLOR made her acting debut in the film My 5 Wives. She has starred in films such as What About Love with Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Anne Heche. Her television credits include What About Brian, Raising the Bar, Mad Men, and Two and a Half Men. Tylor will appear with Harrison Ford in the forthcoming film 42.

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