His Dogs’ Unconditional Love Inspires Zach Skow to Start a Rescue
Zach Skow found himself at death’s door suffering from end-stage liver failure after years of alcohol and drug abuse. His life had no purpose or direction, and he had all but given up. Miraculously, he found redemption through his rescue dogs that loved and needed him despite his physical appearance and failing health. They saw in him what he could not see—his true spirit and soul—and to them it was beautiful.
Those dogs were dependent on him for everything. What would happen to them if he were not there? When he stopped focusing on himself, he began to see the world in a new light. Zach had an epiphany. He regained his health, learned to love life and found a purpose that has driven him for the last nine years.
A New Lease on Life for All
As fate would have it, Zach’s future lay in the soulful eyes of his beloved pooches. With immense gratitude for the lessons learned from his dogs, Zach founded Marley’s Mutts in 2009. Zach could identify with shelter dogs all over Kern County whose lives were at risk. Zach’s rescue group was named for one of those original lifesaving dogs, Marley.
Marley’s Mutts has grown into a large organization with many specialized programs that seek to improve the lives of not only rescued dogs but also people. The dogs are trained for specific jobs based on their unique abilities. Zach and 300 volunteers in Kern County and even Los Angeles help administer social programs that benefit everyone from children to inmates. Barks and Books is a therapeutic and educational program where children read to dogs in libraries. Pawsitive Change gives inmates a chance to rehabilitate themselves by learning to be dog trainers, an employable skill after their release. Miracle Mutts is a community outreach program in Kern County that utilizes therapy dogs for social and emotional enrichment, addiction recovery and job training. The Mutt Militia is a group of dog lovers who are dedicated to the abolition of unnecessary euthanasia. The dogs utilize their healing powers to benefit residents at various senior centers, New Advances for People with Disabilities and The Mission of Kern County. They also have a spay and neuter program to help control Kern’s dog population.
Today, Marley’s Mutts occupies a ranch set in the peaceful hills of Tehachapi. Zach and his staff keep busy rescuing dogs, servicing programs, training and recruiting fosters and caring for ranch residents.
For more information, visit MarleysMutts.org.