Let us dream of tomorrow where we can truly love from the soul, and know love as the ultimate truth at the heart of all creation - Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson made the painful decision to give his animals up for adoption following the court battle he went through in 2005. Shortly after the decision, rumors started popping up all over the place regarding Jackson's mistreatment of the animals by organizations like PETA and others.
In honor of Michael Jackson's untimely passing I was blessed with the opportunity to help dispel this myth and show the depth of loving that lived in this man by speaking with Tippi Hedren.
Tippi Hedren is best known as the mother of Melanie Griffith and the blond bombshell who was made famous by Alfred Hitchcock starring in The Birds. She is also known for her lifelong love and commitment to animal rights, particularly "the big cats." She considers herself the "den mother" and close friend to sixty-odd big cats -- lion, tiger, leopard, cougar, and serval at The Roar Foundation's Shambala Preserve near Acton, California, which she founded in 1983.
This is the place where Jackson's Tigers Sabu and Thriller were blessed to go live when he had to give them up for adoption. I asked her about the treatment of Jackson's tigers knowing that her experience qualifies her to know when animals arrive at her sanctuary having been abused or mistreated, "They were absolutely beautifully treated. Animal organizations actually doctored photos." I also learned that for a three year period she and Michael Jackson shared their veterinarian, Martin Dinnes, who she has been in partnership with (in her animal work and her love life having almost married him) for over 30 years. She said, "Everything was perfect for those animals, they had the best food, best human care, wonderful areas to live, it was spectacular. He loved those animals. When Michael had the financial problems he asked Marty (her vet) to find the best homes in the U.S. for them. Michael once said about his animals, "Everything that I love is behind those gates. We have elephants, and giraffes, and crocodiles, and every kind of tigers and lions. And - and we have bus loads of kids, who don't get to see those things. They come up, sick children, and enjoy it."
Michael Jackson's legacy will not only live on through his music and the people who love him, but also through the animals who love him.
One way to honor Michael Jackson's legacy would be to support the sanctuary caring for his animals by making a donation in the names "Thriller and Sabu," at www.shambala.org
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