Al Feldstein, after retiring from Mad Magazine, spent his final 20 years rescuing animals on his 270-acre ranch in Montana. Al’s son, Mark, visited the ranch and decided that the animal rescue stories needed to be shared. Al declined the publicity, since the ranch was self-funded and he couldn’t afford to take on more animals than he had already rescued. Mark looked elsewhere for stories.
“I contacted shelters and sanctuaries from across the country and found there was a huge hunger to have their stories told,” Mark said. Many of these non-profits struggle by on very little funding from the public. Most expressed, though, that animal rescue is not a vocation or choice; rather, it’s their passion. Mark wanted to help by raising funds in the only way he could conceive.
Until now, most rescue stories have been written in a dry, factual manner. Feldstein felt that, in order to get the public to truly feel the emotional side of this epidemic of animal abuse and neglect, he had to take a different approach.
“While the shelters shared with me the bare facts,” he explained, “they also gave me free license to build the stories by adding my imagination to the mix.” The stories include some elaborative details, yet remain true to their core essence.
Over 300 pages later, Feldstein completed Last Stop Before Rainbow Bridge, True Animal Rescue Stories. Feldstein decided to self-publish;
“It’s no longer a writing project for me. It’s now my passion,” he said.