Ashley Owen Hill is a dog rescuer in Meridian, Mississippi. A lover of animals since she was a kid, Ashley has dedicated her life to saving them. She runs a dog shelter and boarding kennel in her city of Meridian and takes in dogs set to be euthanized. She uses funds and space from her kennel to take in the abandoned dogs and co-founded a facebook application called Pet Pardons that alerts followers about animals in other states that will be put down. Her goal is to avoid as many unnecessary deaths as possible by urging the public to adopt shelter animals.
Ashley also authors a blog that helps her spread her message and vent about the often frustrating life of an animal advocate. She features profiles of the loveable dogs she takes into her shelter, writes about her efforts to change our societal treatment of them, and provides bits of inspiration for her readers. Her blog is very well-written, extremely honest, touching and rallying. It shakes us from our complaisance with the world as is and spurs us to be more compassionate.
Ashley works to defeat misconceptions, like those regarding pit bulls as vicious creatures (many of the death row dogs she receives are pits). She points out that in all of her experience working with dogs, she has never been bitten by a pit bull. She also speaks about the irony and cruelty of dog breeding. While millions of pets are killed each year in shelters, breeders continue to produce- which often involves inbreeding, inhumane conditions, and unaddressed medical problems. Ashley’s ultimate goal (besides finding homes for her dogs) is to get more people to band together to make a difference in animals’ lives. She hopes that individuals will be inspired by her story to get out there and act. She says:
There should always be an active, ongoing effort to do good things…to make a difference. I guess that’s where I get frustrated sometimes. I know so many amazing people, who are capable of so much good. Yet, there’s so little motivation to actually do more with their time. To do more with their lives.
Ashley thinks the dogs themselves provide enough inspiration to get through anything- after experiencing conditions far worse than we could conceive, they still are able to love. Because of their resilience, she believes everything is possible. I really recommend her blog to everyone- it’s filled with such conviction, hope and sacrifice, it can move anyone to act. You can also donate to her shelter there if you’d like to help support her work. In the meantime, you can check out her Youtube animal advocate humor videos and look for the upcoming documentary Guarding Dogs, which features her endeavors.