Star Light and Magic is more than just a great place to obtain theatrical supplies and special effects. We also support our communities, both locally and across the country through donations to charities for sick children and homeless animals.
Hundreds of toys go to "Kids Wish Network", a non-profit distribution network for children nationwide:
Our work with homeless and abused animals is more hands-on. We have fed, cared for and found homes for approx. 200 animals over the years. This is in response, in part, to a local humane society that is quick to kill homeless animals, disorganized and unable or unwilling to work with "problem" animals.
Here are some of their stories:
Son Shine is the "Chairman of the Board", and possibly the sweetest dog on the planet. He didn't start out that way, though. He was discovered wandering starving and homeless after a lifetime of severe abuse that had almost robbed him completely of his spirit. He was very afraid and would not let anyone near him without biting. We grabbed him and held on, as we knew that if the humane society got him, they would put him down instantly. He stayed quarantined in the weeks that followed, but was given a lot of verbal assurance, and eventually became the lovable goof that he is today. His biting days are forever in the past, and he lives as a testament to the power of love and hope reclaimed. He loves to run in circles and play with the cats, who regard him with tenderness and use him as an occasional pillow.
Zero and Biscuit
Zero and Biscuit are father and son, found running for their lives. Zero was terribly abused, and seemed somewhat determined to find a better life for his boy. They play, eat and sleep together and are inseperable, though Biscuits' youthful excuberance does occassionally wear thin with daddy Zero, they are very happy to be together and safe at last.
Yellar likes to lay on his back, so we took this picture of him, flipped it over and stuck it on an old "Nirvana" CD cover. He is a "gentle giant", weighing in at about 80 lbs. He was abused and neglected, as are a lot of pit bulls, and still a little "gun shy", ducking easily if you raise your hand quickly - a telltale sign of mistreatment. He's a good boy, and lets the smaller dogs boss him around. He is happy just to relax and lay around after a tough upbringing.
Buck was found abandoned behind a crack house after the residents had left. He had lived his entire life on a short, 4 foot chain with little food or water. He was given no treatment for fleas, which he was very allergic to. He now enjoys his own air-conditioned room and monthly flea treatments. He's very excuberant and loves to hop and run. He's been slow to socialize, and prefers to be alone much of the time, but does so in comfort. He's still unsure how to run properly, from his years on the chain, but has a big heart and is quick to press his head against your leg to show his love and devotion.
Pronounced "Moon Pie". After dodging a couple of cars, she actually laid down in the road in front of ours. She, like many others, had plenty of signs of abuse. Now she guards the warehouse from intruders. She has the biggest heart on the planet (unless you're an intruder - noone ever gives them much love).
Perry and Winkle
Perry and Winkle are two excitable brothers who were found running together. Despite thorough searching, no owner was ever found. Fortunately, we were able to find them a home together on a farm where they get to run to their hearts content and work out their normally destructive instincts. They look out for each other and can not stand to be apart. The larger brother, Perry, looks out after his smaller brother, Winkle and they are enjoying a good life, filled with many treats and adventures.
Clifford is a very noble dog, quiet and unassuming. Found wandering and somewhat neglected, we were able to find a good home for Clifford where he looks after a kind, elderly lady, who also looks after him! We remember Clifford fondly, and wanted to keep him, but felt that his time would be better served being with someone else.
Oscar was found abandoned at the age of two weeks. He is very friendly and greets everyone with a kiss. He loves to walk on the keyboard while you're are trying to type, resulting in dajkfhdds;lkhf sentences like this.
Herman and Sherman
These two were found downtown. An unlikely place until you consider that they were probably caught by a thoughtless fisherman who then decided to dump them somewhere. One of the turtles had a fish hook through the head, which we had surgically removed. Fortunately, it did no damage and both turtles were released to a wildlife sanctuary.
(We did not have a chance to take a photograph, so this picture is for illustrative purposes only.)
1. Spay and Neuter - don't put it off. Fewer unwanted animals starts with more animals being "fixed". Rescued animals are every bit as good, and often healthier, then purebreds.
2. If your pet uses the restroom indoors, it's probably due to insecurity (if the pet is not elderly). Temporarily reducing their "free" space will often solve the problem. A large area is sometimes confusing to a dog starting out. We have found that dogs who exhibit signs of anxiety, destructive behavior or barking behave considerably better with the use of a Dog Appeasing Pheromon diffuser from Farnam. It costs around fifty dollars, but is well worth it.
3. Pets are very sensitive to their surroundings. If someone in your household is not sure about keeping a pet or of their feelings toward the animal, the pet will often start "acting out" and misbehaving. Pets respond to reward more than punishment, and will frequently stop misbehaving if treats and attention are forthcoming during times of good behavior. For a barking dog, this can mean rewarding quiet times, for a dog that has accidents indoors, this can mean a reward for using the bathroom outdoors.
4. Don't be shy when rescuing a pet. If you see an animal in the road, politeness should be your last concern. Use your vehicle to block others from hitting the animal if you can do so safely. Carrying a leash and a can of food is a good way to be prepared. Other people will quickly forget the hassle of having to drive around you, but you may have trouble forgetting the animal that got killed in front of you. You have the right to behave assertively.
If you're inclined to help animals, plan your rescue beforehand - don't assume you will never see another homeless animal again. If you are not in a position to take an animal in, keep a list of phone numbers handy that includes "No Kill" shelters in your areas and/or supportive friends who can help, pending further action. Don't wait until you actually find an animal to scramble for information and resources.
Dogs truly are "man's best friend". They offer undying devotion and ask for little in return. How we treat them is a direct reflection on us as people. Because they can not speak and are regarded as property, they depend on us for their well being. There is truly no such thing as bad dog, just bad owners. A dog, or other pet, is a great treasure, offering unwavering love and support when needed. An investment of kindness toward a pet will always come back tenfold, and the respect you extend toward an animal is certainly a direct reflection of the respect you deserve for yourself.
Thank you and God Bless!