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‘Amanda to the Rescue’ « Special Projects

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For greater than a decade, Amanda Giese has operated Panda Paws Rescue out of her house, elevating her household to share her ardour for saving animals. Now, she’s the star of a brand new Animal Planet collection

WASHOUGAL — Amanda Giese is speaking about considered one of the much less glamorous elements of operating an animal shelter.

“I do all the poop scooping, but I actually like it,” Giese stated, wanting over at her two youngsters, son Beast and daughter Jade. “It’s like therapy—they don’t bother me. If I’ve got a poop scoop in hand, they’ll come out and be like, ‘Oh, I’ll ask later.’ It’s kind of like Easter egg hunting, you know?”

With eight canine at Panda Paws Rescue — the shelter for particular wants and main medical animals that Giese runs out of her residence — there’s been numerous cleanup to do these days. Duncan Lou Who, the internet-famous two-legged boxer, isn’t residence now, however there are 4 different canine owned by Giese’s household: three spaniels named Garnet, Bullfrog and Groot, and Rogue, a hairless Chinese language crested canine.

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Amanda Giese holds her English toy spaniel Groot as Nilla, a Chihuahua, bounces towards her at her house in Washougal. Nilla was born with out entrance legs and already has a household ready to undertake her in California this fall. Giese has been rescuing animals since elementary faculty and formally based Panda Paws about 12 years in the past.

(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)


Then there are the three puppies Giese is making an attempt to discover houses for. You wouldn’t know that Wile E. Coyote, a German shepherd, had cleft palate surgical procedure final month, however the different puppies are extra noticeably — to use Giese’s phrases —“differently abled.” Teddy Graham, a golden retriever, was born with two malformed entrance limbs, whereas Nilla, a Chihuahua, was born with out hers completely. Till her wheelchair arrives, Nilla is confined to a child’s playpen, however that doesn’t cease her from terrorizing the family.

“Everyone knows she’s the boss,” Giese stated.

On TV

“Amanda to the Rescue” premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 on Animal Planet.

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Jade Giese, 14, feeds two of the household canine and considered one of their rescues at their house in Washougal as her brother, Beast, 16, works on homework. Amanda’s youngsters and her companion Gary Walters all assist to run the home-based rescue.<br />

(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)


It’s a typical scene for Giese, who has been operating Panda Paws in a single place or one other for greater than a decade. Her youngsters have grown up in the rescue, and in her companion, Gary Walters, she’s discovered somebody who’s unconditionally supportive of her work. Now, with a brand new Animal Planet present, “Amanda to the Rescue,” premiering Oct. 28, Panda Paws is poised to attain a much bigger viewers than ever earlier than.

Giese grew up in Deer Park, a city 20 miles north of Spokane with fewer than four,000 residents. Throughout the road from her childhood house was “this home that looked like a doll house,” the place a lady took care of adults with particular wants.

“In that home […] there was Down syndrome, quadriplegics and paraplegics — all sorts of differently abled humans,” she stated. “Those were actually my best friends growing up.”

When she was in sixth grade, she discovered a new child kitten — “covered in fleas, very sickly, anemic”— that had been deserted by its mom. Giese and her mom took it to their native veterinarian. The veterinarian didn’t consider the kitten would survive however was prepared to put in the work if Giese took care of it.

“I named her Janedoe, because no one knew who she was,” she stated. “I took care of that kitten on my own, bottle-fed her until the day she chewed the nipple off the end of that bottle, and we knew she was going to survive. That cat was with me all the way into my teens.”

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Amanda Giese began rescuing animals as a sixth-grader when she nursed a kitten, Janedoe, again to well being. She stated she would bike to the vet early in the morning earlier than faculty for checkups and get up in the night time to feed Janedoe, whose tag hangs on a fence outdoors Amanda Giese’s house in Washougal.

(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)


Although Giese continued rescuing animals by means of school — the place she studied human drugs — it wasn’t till after commencement that she made it her profession. Discovering the hours of working in a hospital incompatible with being a single mom to two younger youngsters, she switched to veterinary care, working night time shifts in a clinic in Vancouver.

At the clinic, she shortly turned dissatisfied the way it handled stray animals, nevertheless. With out an proprietor to pay for his or her care, strays can be locked in kennels till animal management got here to acquire them. Wanting to do extra, Giese took them in herself, paying for his or her care out of her personal pocket and discovering houses prepared to undertake them.

“That’s kind of where I started with Panda Paws,” she stated, nevertheless it wouldn’t grow to be her full-time job till 2008, when she met Walters.

“He asked me, flat-out, ‘What do you want to do?’” Giese stated. “In the first year of us dating, I left the clinic and started the rescue — formally — and I’ve been running it ever since.”



She has ‘it’ high quality

The wheels have been set in movement for “Amanda to the Rescue” final yr, when Animal Planet and indie tv manufacturing firm Indigo Movies mentioned doing a undertaking on animal rescue. An Indigo Movies worker who adopted Giese’s work on social media prompt Panda Paws.

“Amanda has the ‘it’ quality,” stated Christopher Voos, government producer and showrunner for “Amanda to the Rescue” at Indigo Movies. “Once you see Amanda on camera, the charisma and the passion of what she does, it was a no-brainer.”

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Amanda Giese holds one among her current rescues, Wile E. Coyote, a German Shepherd that’s recovering from cleft palate surgical procedure, at her house in Washougal. Wile E. was just lately adopted.

(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)


Giese and her household have been open to the concept, however they have been adamant that the present be as very similar to a documentary as attainable — no scripted moments, nothing created as content material for the present — and made it “very clear that we won’t change the way we run the rescue for the show in any way, shape or form, and that the animals will always come first,” Walters stated.

“When you watch each episode, you’ll see that it’s very much so authentically our family home,” Giese stated. “And it’s nutty here.”

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Household portrait of Beast, Amanda, Jade and Gary with their canine.

(Photograph courtesy of Gabriel Nivera/Animal Planet)


That authenticity — and nuttiness — is on full show in the premiere, shot in the aftermath of final yr’s California wildfires. Panda Paws took in seven rescues from the Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia, Calif., making for almost a dozen canine in the home — at the very least, earlier than certainly one of the rescues delivered a litter of puppies.

On prime of that, Giese stated, having 5 strangers with digital camera gear in the home in any respect hours took some getting used to.

“We’d have, like, four camera guys in the hallway and one crammed in the bathtub, and I’m literally just brushing my teeth,” she stated. “It took us about a month to get used to it.”

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Amanda Giese is pictured on Rockaway Seashore, Ore., throughout the filming of her new present, “Amanda to the Rescue,” earlier this yr. “Amanda to the Rescue” premieres at 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 on Animal Planet.

(Photograph Courtesy of Kenny Allen)


The cameramen aren’t the solely individuals whose work makes “Amanda to the Rescue” attainable. There are the veterinarians to whom Giese brings animals for medical consideration, and there are Giese’s companions with whom she coordinates rescue efforts and transfers; with out them, there won’t even be a Panda Paws.

“It’s not uncommon for us to be planning a rescue transfer at midnight, texting back and forth,” stated Lydia Home, Valley Oak SPCA’s government director. “Amanda and I have always had no drama, just this ‘let’s save some animals’ kind of mentality, and she’s my inspiration because of that.”

Later in the season, Giese will go to Puerto Rico and Hawaii to help canine rescue efforts after pure disasters. Visiting the former in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Giese stated, was “one of the hardest things” she’d ever executed.

“Anytime I see certain clips, even I get choked up and start crying,” she stated.



‘Handicapable’

It’s time for bodily remedy at Panda Paws. Giese unfurls a big blanket and calls over the canine. Nilla, free from her playpen, scoots round on two legs and teethes Bullfrog’s hair. (He doesn’t thoughts.) Groot makes an attempt to climb an armchair earlier than giving up and retiring to his water bowl.

Giese stretches Teddy Graham’s entrance limbs, engaged on his vary of movement; he can stroll, however does so with a pronounced limp. Giese isn’t positive of what wants to be completed about his “wonky little legs,” however a seek the advice of in the coming days will decide that neither of his entrance limbs — another atrophied than the different — will want to be amputated.

“He is no different than any other dog, with the exception of having to make adjustments for the front legs,” she stated. “To me, he’s perfect.”

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Jade Giese, 14, holds Nilla, a Chihuahua who was born with out entrance limbs and who just lately underwent surgical procedure, at their house in Washougal. Jade helps her mother with many features of Panda Paws rescue, together with bodily remedy and hospice care. “My daughter is absolutely, hands down, my wing-woman,” Amanda Giese stated. (left)

Amanda Giese and her daughter Jade, 14, work collectively to do vary of movement remedy with their rescue Golden Retriever Teddy Graham on his malformed entrance leg at her their house in Washougal. (proper)

(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)


Giese is aware of that others might not see it that approach, preferring to undertake a “typical, four-legged, healthy” canine. As such, she’s aware of her personal phrases, utilizing “differently abled” and “handicapable” slightly than “disabled” or “handicapped.” Even one thing like Wile E. Coyote’s nostril, which has a delicate cut up due to his cleft palate, might forestall somebody from adopting him, Giese stated.

“We were asked if we wanted to correct Wile E.’s nose, and to me, that’s cosmetic,” she stated. “If the nose is a deterrent for adoption for him, then that’s not the right home for him.”

Viewers will see over 100 rescues move by means of Panda Paws in the first season of “Amanda to the Rescue,” Giese stated; she additionally stated Panda Paws has saved almost four,000 canine because it started. Most of those tales have completely happy endings, with the canine discovering a “forever family.” Giese lovingly calls these canine “Panda Paws alumni,” and commonly stays in contact with their households. A number of of them got here out to Duncan Lou Who’s birthday celebration in July, she stated.

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For every of the 43 animals that Amanda Giese has misplaced over the years, she hangs a tag of their reminiscence on a piece of fence in her yard. (left)

5 glass containers with ashes from hospice rescues and Amanda Giese’s animals which have handed all through the years sit above the hearth at her house in Washougal. “It’s a better way to memorialize them, than looking at a generic brown box,” Giese stated. “ I know they’re here, they’re still with me, they’re just looking out from a different perspective, like little angels out there looking out for the rescue.” (proper)

(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)


However every so often, Giese finds an animal that she will’t save — an animal that suffered an excessive amount of abuse from a earlier proprietor, or had a terminal illness or well being situation. For these animals, Panda Paws supplies hospice care till they die. The emotional toll of caring for them, she stated, can lead to compassion fatigue.

“The heartbreak and the emotions, and that compassion … sometimes gets the best of you,” she stated.

For every of the 43 animals that she has misplaced over the years, Giese hangs a tag of their reminiscence on a piece of fence in her yard. Hanging in the middle is a gold-colored tag, formed like a cat’s head, that reads “Janedoe.” Giese touches the tag for a second, considering again to the first life she saved. Then she exhales and turns to stroll again inside. There’s extra work to be executed.

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Amanda Giese tells her canine and rescues to wait at the door earlier than letting them inside after some outside play time at her residence in Washougal on Thursday, Oct. four, 2018. “Our goal is to take in these differently abled animals, get them the care that they need and eventually find them a forever home,” Giese stated.

(Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian)


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