Actor Grand L. Bush’s Medical Odyssey

“There is not a single entertainer around that has reached success by staying on the same career path,” actor-turned-diagnostic medical sonographer Grand L. Bush said today. “In fact, research shows that the average American between ages eighteen and forty-six will explore as many as fifteen different occupations before landing the perfect gig.

“Along the way, I’ve held jobs that tested me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and ethically. That was good, because each experience made the next one better.”

To read more, go here.

Raul Julia-Levy: ‘Love cannot be divided’

LOS ANGELES, CA — “I was raised around several families and I was a quiet little boy and the least popular kid at school most of my childhood,” revealed actor/producer/animal welfare activist Raul Julia-Levy in an exclusive interview with Exceptional People Magazine.

Patti was just 24 hours away from euthanasia before Julia-Levy rescued her. Copyrighted photo by Michael Doven.

“I had dogs, cats, horses and even a little pony. I loved them all the same. My grandfather told me that love cannot be divided between them and that animals have very sensitive feelings.

“Therefore, you must love them all the same way.”

Julia-Levy is currently preparing to film “Havana Heat,” opposite Hollywood icon Wesley Snipes.

Next Spring, he and Snipes will begin production on “Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel,” an effects-driven 3D major motion picture based on Julia-Levy’s yet-to-be-released novel by the same name.

Julia-Levy has vowed to donate his salary and partial box-office receipts from “Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel” to help the indigenous peoples of Mexico and benefit select animal causes.

The film is slated for worldwide release in December, 2012.

To read Julia-Levy’s entire interview, go here.

To learn more about Julia-Levy’s television and film career, go here.

Actor/Activist Moves Fast to Protect Animals from CA’s Next Deadly Quake

LOS ANGELES, CA (10/12/09) – There is no doubt that earthquakes can be catastrophic. Ask anyone jolted to their senses by the early morning Northridge temblor on January 17, 1994. In addition to having a powerful moment magnitude of 6.7, the ground acceleration was one of the highest ever recorded in urban North America. A total of 72 Californians were killed and more than 9,000 suffered injuries. With phantom arms clutching an 85-mile radius, the natural disaster was one of the costliest in U.S. history – presenting just cause for the next “Big One” that could come to pass any day now.

“When the big one hits, our infrastructure will collapse and our roads will crumble," predicts animal welfare expert Leo Grillo as he prepares Southern California's next major disaster.

“When the big one hits, our infrastructure will collapse and our roads will crumble," predicts animal welfare expert Leo Grillo as he prepares Southern California for its next major disaster.

“There have already been a marked increase in the number of shakers in this region since the beginning of this month, so the warning signs are all around us,” said actor/animal welfare expert Leo Grillo, who has been working around the clock with earthquake preparedness officials by helping alert as many communities and associations as he can between today and Thursday’s statewide drill. Grillo is founder and president of D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest animal sanctuary of its type in the world and home of two state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals. 

“Not only will you be frightened, but your animals will be petrified. You have to remain in control for their sakes,” said Grillo, a world-renowned animal rescuer and founder of Horse Rescue of America. “And the best way to calm your own anxiety is to have made preparations, to have a plan, and to follow that plan.” 

On October 15, 2009, Grillo’s organization will join millions of Californians living in the “Earthquake Capital of the World” and practice what is known as the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill, an exercise designed to save lives by promoting and demonstrating quick reaction. At exactly 10:15 a.m., Grillo will instruct his medical and administrative staff of 70 to drop to the floor or ground and take cover under a desk or table, or wherever else they happen to be at the moment. 

Grillo’s staff will then hold on for dear life as if a real-time earthquake had just ruptured. His employees will maintain position for the length of time the instructional California Institute of Technology scenario specifies. “At our location,” said Grillo, “the shaking will be for fifteen seconds, though Santa Monica will last for sixty-five seconds.” The moment magnitude of the ravaging Northridge quake was twelve seconds long.

At Grillo’s direction, employees will look around and imagine what would happen in the event of a major earthquake. Their imaginings could be a story of horror. Grillo warns that the aftershocks can be even more dangerous since some structures are already weakened by the previous quake. 

“During Thursday’s drill, we’ll then create mental images of what our lives would be like afterwards,” said Grillo, whose 1,500 animals at the sanctuary would be afraid and tremble during an earthquake. “Our animals will need calming, as will your pets. We must be there for them, soothing their fears,” he added. 

Some researchers believe that animals feel precursors in the form of mounting cerebral pressure, stemming from their ability to receive low frequency electromagnetic signals. “I used to have a cat who climbed the walls days before a quake,” said Grillo. He said a general uneasiness exhibited by animals prior to a natural disaster is a leading indicator. “That’s our warning that there can be an event. Maybe not a big one, and perhaps not a reported one, but it’s there,” Grillo added. 

Even humans have been known to experience a persistent headache that can last for weeks and suddenly vanish before a temblor hits. And some dogs have been documented to have an urge to chew on willow bark, from which aspirin is derived, in an attempt to self-medicate prior to an earthquake. 

Grillo said his staff will be wholly committed to safeguarding animals during the quake. D.E.L.T.A. Rescue received no significant damage following the Northridge temblor. “Just broken water lines,” he said. When the big one hits, Grillo says the Cajon Pass infrastructure will collaspe – resulting in water, gas and electrical outages, plus a shutdown of freight transport for up to four months in some areas. 

Grillo feels that D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, which is located northeast of Los Angeles, will be able to withstand another major disaster. “Our structures are strong because they’re all newer and built to code,” Grillo said. “Even my straw bale dog houses are designed to take any quake.” Grillo’s plan of action proves promising since seismologists are now on edge as are those whose on-going mission is to save lives.

Since officials are unable to pinpoint the exact time the next calamitous earthquake will occur, Grillo says D.E.L.T.A. Rescue will remain in disaster readiness mode from this point on, particularly since landslides could develop in the wake of recent wildfire devastation.  Pictured: Chief veterinarian Dr. Gaylord Brown in active surgery.

Since officials are unable to pinpoint the exact time the next calamitous earthquake will occur, Grillo says D.E.L.T.A. Rescue will remain in disaster readiness mode from this point on, particularly since landslides could develop in the wake of recent wildfire devastation. Pictured: Chief veterinarian Dr. Gaylord Brown in active surgery.

Grillo said D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has already stockpiled sleeping bags and MRE’s (Meals, Ready-to-Eat) for its staff. Water storage tanks have been placed throughout the 150-acre sanctuary. As many as 1,000 emergency blankets for the dogs are in ready reserve. Moreover, the hospitals are equipped with a six-month supply of emergency medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. 

“We are working on emergency electricity now. It has to be solar-powered as generators require fuel that will be unavailable,” said Grillo. A fully-equipped firetruck and firefighting apparatus are at the ready. D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has also set aside a two-month supply of dry and canned food for dogs and cats, in addition to hay for horses and burros. 

“We’re also warning everyone about the real probability of falling rocks and other debris,” continued Grillo. “People think mountainous regions are immune to earthquake damage, but they’re sorely misled. We’re just as victimized as those living along the coastal region of Los Angeles, where tsunamis triggered by earthquakes remain a posing threat.” 

Grillo is also training his staff and community to “drop, cover and hold on” during aftershocks which can occur minutes, days, weeks, even months after an earthquake. He advises pet owners to watch their pets closely because they may become disoriented during and after a temblor. 

“Animals might try to escape from your property due to broken fencing,” Grillo cautioned. He also wants owners to be aware of hazards at the level of their pet’s nose and paw. “I’m referring to debris, chemicals and anything else that’s dangerous to humans. If it’s toxic to us, it can be lethal to them,” he added. 

Starting October 12 and continuing as often as practicable, the entire world will be able to track Grillo’s unpredictable journey to constantly safeguard pets during a natural disaster by following his up-to-the-minute blog at www.deltarescue.org. There, Grillo will address pet and livestock issues for both the mountains and coastal regions of Southern California. Those visiting his Web site will also be able to view Cal Tech’s official presentation and video.

“While we can not stop a huge shaker from occurring, we can at least get ready for it by making a plan and following it through to the end,” said Grillo. “We all need to be in control of our own survival, for our children’s sake and for the best interest of our animals. The countdown has already begun.”

MEDIA CONTACT:  Sharon Bush, (424) 202-0190, promise@dslextreme.com

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mrs. Myrtle W. Raiford taught her daughter, Sharon, how to become a valiant woman.

Mrs. Myrtle W. Raiford taught her daughter, Sharon, how to become a valiant woman. Mrs. Raiford turned age 90 on October 7, 2009.

Dear Mom,

I know that your loved ones have taken many photos of you since this one was snapped back in 1996.  And that’s okay because this image conjures up so many warm and beautiful memories for me. I froze this memory while you and I were on the beach in Santa Monica.  You loved spending your summer vacations in California, waking up to joyous sounds of seagulls, rollerskaters, people frolicking on the beach and the laughter of children. 

Although I only had thirty days with you, I relished every moment I had to spend with you.  I loved looking at the contrast of your cotton-soft hair against the brilliant green of our sun-kissed California meadows.  You purchased a bright yellow top from the Santa Monica Pier just to remind me where the other part of your heart lives. 

You and I shared many philosophical conversations with each other, too.  I always think about the story you told me about how flocks of pelicans always follow protocol. “When the leader tires, another one takes its place,” you said. “There are never two leaders at the same time.” 

I have applied this observation to many aspects of my human life, even in my marriage.  As you know, Grand and I are both commanding spirits with individual strengths and intellectual prowess.  That’s why it’s healthier for us to accept each other as independent leaders in our household, separated only by gender.  So whenever he grows tired of carrying the torch, I take over and lead the flock.  We are a good team.  

You and I have experienced so much throughout our lifetime together.  For the most part, I remember the simple things — such as feigning sleep when you tucked me in a night when I was a child to tucking you in whenever I have an opportunity. I had a dream the other night about picking apples from our backyard tree and paring them with you.  My best Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were spent with you. Even when I became very sick, it was you who gave me the strength to fight.

I am beyond grateful to Janice and Kenneth for taking such good care of you in New York. I’ve mentioned before that Janice is an angel on Earth. Well, someone brought that angel to Earth and someone helped developed this angel into one of the more generous and caring people I know.  I would like to think that Janice and I are reflections of the woman you are and have always been.  So thank you, Mom, for turning us into valiant women with drive and purpose.

And thank you for helping me become the better part of you.  With love always and forever, Sharon.

Hollywood Roundup Pushes Tax Relief for Pet Owners, Congress Considers

LOS ANGELES, CA (10/07/09) – If pet-loving actors and related consumers have their way, they will be able to deduct as much as $3,500 from their 2010 tax returns for pet care expenses. The idea of a pet tax-exempt initiative was conceived and generated by actor/animal welfare activist Leo Grillo, who has been on a 30-year odyssey rescuing and tending to domesticated animals abandoned in the wilderness.  

Leo Grillo is a world-renowned expert in animal rescue.

Leo Grillo is a world-renowned expert in animal rescue.

Grillo is best known for founding D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest animal sanctuary of its type in the world. It is a 150-acre mountaintop refuge where more than 1,500 animals are cared for on a daily basis by a staff of seventy. Grillo said an amendment to the 1986 Internal Revenue Code will help accelerate the nation’s economic recovery and improve the aggregate condition of America’s body and mind.  

Our nation is mentally, emotionally and financially sick,” said Grillo. “We might be listening to the urgent needs of the lonely, the elderly and those afflicted by personal tragedy, but we’re not moving fast enough to help center their expectations and turn the tide for them.”

 Grillo’s stout-hearted movement to push for pet tax-exempt status falls on the heels of alarming data. A 2008 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care survey revealed that nearly 600,000 Americans were treated for self-inflicted injuries between the pre-and-recessionary years of 2006 and 2008. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 30,000 Americans each year turn to suicide as their means to an end.  

In addition to medical intervention by physical and mental health care authorities, some animal welfare activists, veterinarians, politicians and medical care professionals are of the collective opinion that if more humans could afford the cost of owning a pet, the effect would perhaps have a positive impact on America’s tattered state of mind.  

People are depressed,” Grillo said. “Pets help them to live and are sometimes the only beings that show these people love. So [H.R. 3501] makes pets a necessary part of their lives, not a frivolous commodity. People who live happily and are productive are good for the economy and the country. Therefore, this bill not only saves pets, it saves people.” 

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue is located near Glendale, California – a state where more than 2.2 million residents are out of work. A few weeks before Grillo’s bill was introduced, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said, Our wallet is empty, our bank is closed and our credit is dried up.” But it is not political hand-wringing taxpayers want to see, said Grillo, as the number of families suffering from both want and need continues to escalate.

DAVI WITH STELLA

Robert Davi is best known for his outstanding work in such movie greats as "Licence to Kill," "Die Hard" and Predator 2." He is currently filming "The Irishman" in Detroit, MI. He is shown with his dog, Stella.

So Grillo shared his proposal with fellow actor Robert Davi, who admits spending a minimum of $4,800 each year caring for his four dogs and cat. “And that’s if there are no medical emergencies,” Davi said.  

Davi is best known for his strong character roles in a number of popular feature films. He is currently working on a movie set in Detroit, MI, a sprawling metropolis slammed to its knees by the collapse of its auto-making industry and a 28.9% unemployment rate.  

A pet tax-exemption will also encourage owners to take better care of their animals, said Grillo. “Pet owners will have more discretionary income from which to do that, and we think there will be a demand for pets since they will be more affordable,” he added.  

The New York headquarters of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals agrees. “Pet care can be expensive,” said Emily Brand, ASPCA’s national spokesperson. “And in these trying economic times, families all over the country have been forced to give up their pets because of financial hardship.” Most owners spend an average of $800 each year caring for their pets. 

Brand believes if owners are able to receive tax relief, “more pets [will] get to remain in their loving homes and [not] wind up on the streets or in the already overburdened shelter system,” she said. ASPCA celebrates Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month each October for good reason.  

According to latest statistics, more than $2 billion is spent annually by local governments to house and ultimately destroy up to 10 million discarded, yet adoptable, dogs and cats due to a shortage of homes. The Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science estimates that animals with a registered pedigree account for 30% of all animals in shelters. The Doris Day Animal League reports the number of abandoned animals has ascended into the millions nationwide. 

In response to Grillo’s quest to help improve the economic standing of an instable and troubled nation, Davi presented Grillo’s proposition to Thaddeus McCotter, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan’s 11th District. McCotter introduced Grillo’s plan of action, which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 111th Congress.  

The bill was cited as the Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act. It is designed to change for the better the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 by allowing a deduction for pet care expenses. McCotter is asking Congress to deliberate on foremost documented facts which show that 63% of all United States households own a pet and that the human-animal bond has been proven to have therapeutic impact upon the emotional and physical well-being of humans.  

Pet care expenses include the cost of food, veterinary care and pet insurance. A qualified pet is defined as one that is legally owned, domesticated and alive. Those pets possessed by owners for the intention of research or utilized for a trade or business are excluded.  

Grillo’s bill was introduced in the House by McCotter on July 31, 2009. 

McCotter believes that a modification to the IRS Code of 1986 will be a simple procedure. He wants the subdivision which relates to additional itemized deductions for individuals altered by re-designating an existing section and inserting a new one. 

Grillo hopes the bill will inspire pet owners who have fallen on difficult economic times to start seeking routine wellness checks, emergency attention and follow-up care for their animals.  

As much as eighty percent of them never go to the vet, not once in their lifetime,” said Grillo. “This way, owners will have more discretionary income to take better care of their pets. And we think there will be a demand for pets since they will be more affordable.” 

Grillo said he is pleased that Rep. McCotter was the one Davi chose to walk in the legislative measure. “Thaddeus [McCotter] is not the typical politician. He has integrity,” Grillo said. “He has stayed with our ideas, even though there are easier political ways to get something passed and look good to pet owners. Instead, he is with us to get the whole thing passed.”  

Grillo added that he is not astonished that the number of Americans supporting H.R. 3501 has entered into the millions within just a few weeks.  I do not understand how there could be even one animal organization that is not on our bandwagon on this one, supporting us in our efforts, despite real world competition between us. This one is purely for the animals,” Grillo said. Grillo and Davi co-starred in the feature film Magic. Grillo also starred in the movie Zyzzyx Rd, opposite Katherine Heigl.

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue operates two state-of-the-art hospitals at its private sanctuary, which is also home to Horse Rescue of America – a successful operation Grillo founded as well. Grillo is a world-renowned expert in animal rescue.

Additional Reading: 

 

 

 

Celebrity Community Leader Calls for Federal Probe into Deady LA-area Fire

When the Fire Captain warned me that the fire would make a run at us in a few hours…I knew this would be a fight to the death,” says Leo Grillo, regarding the day two firefighters were killed. Now those living in the devastated area face an extremely dangerous health risk, stemming from the fire.

ACTON, CA (09/28/09) — While detectives continue to build a murder case against the culprit who set the massive wildfire that killed two firefighters, a prominent community leader today is calling for a full-scale, federal investigation into circumstances surrounding the deaths of Los Angeles County Fire Captain Tedmund Hall and Specialist Arnaldo Quinones. The pair died August 30 after their vehicle plunged some 800 feet down a steep mountain road in the Angeles National Forest. The men helped rescue dozens of inmate firefighters held captive at their campsite by roaring flames. But according to Leo Grillo, it was a situation that never should have happened. The actor and animal welfare activist says he should know because not only was he there, he bore witness to a critical error in judgment. 

Leo Grillo, a world-renowned animal rescuer. He is the founder and president of D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest animal sanctuary of its type in the world.

Leo Grillo is a world-renowned animal rescuer. He is the founder and president of D.E.L.T.A. Rescue, the largest animal sanctuary of its type in the world.

“Firefighters know the truth, but they can’t tell you directly or they will lose their jobs,” says Grillo, whose position on this ill-fated day was to safeguard not only his family, but the largest animal shelter of its type in the world. They were both in harm’s way and bracing for what would eventually result in the largest wildfire in the history of Los Angeles County. For decades, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue has served as a sanctuary, or refuge, for more than 1,500 previously abandoned and abused animals. It is also home of Horse Rescue of America. So Grillo would get no sleep. Especially not this night. “I heard the radio traffic. And I talked to disgusted fire supervisors all night long,” Grillo adds. 

After being alerted that the Station wildfire – which began in the La Cañada area — was bearing down on his safety haven, Grillo says he rounded up all his workers and security force. Like a circle of covered wagons in the darkness of night, staff members used their private vehicles to corral the sanctuary. They then flooded the area with high beams to herd the animals to safer territory. With a well-equipped firetruck and hoses at the ready, Grillo and his firefighting team prepared for war as a small army of orange flames advanced across the mountain. 

Throughout the night, Grillo says he spoke with a number of visiting, out-of-area firefighters who confessed to him their reasons the fire grew into an out-of-control monster, spreading in three different directions. Their answers were the same. “Very little air support,” Grillo says the firefighters repeated. But on the night prior, a fire had broken out in the wealthy seaside canyons of Rancho Palos Verdes, near the headquarters of the Trump National Golf Club. Aggressive nighttime air assaults at the onset of this blaze helped prevent the fire from causing widespread damage. “Yet on [the La Cañada] fire to save money, the county held off on air support,” Grillo charges. Though the flames tip-toeing from La Cañada had died by morning, a foreboding threat loomed.

With a flow of warm wind forecast for the day, Grillo says Los Angeles County should have ordered a preemptive air assault on what was identified as a mercurial area blanketed by hazardous dry brush and chaparral. “For hours, there was no air attack to easily extinguish the remaining threat,” recalls Grillo. “So I called the news radio to let the world know that we were sitting in the eye of a storm.” Thirty-two minutes after Grillo’s broadcast, a DC-10 air tanker flew overhead and dropped retardant. 

Clear skies over D.E.L.T.A. Rescue on Aug 30 favored a preemptive air assault. Photo Courtesy: Leo Grillo

Clear skies over D.E.L.T.A. Rescue on Aug 30 favored a preemptive air assault. Photo Courtesy: Leo Grillo

The four-hour delay was reportedly due to heavy smoke — an official statement Grillo charges is a fabrication. “There was no smoke or wind for hours as [documented] by my news photo,” disputes Grillo, who is an active member of the National Association of Press Photographers. 

When the fire turned treacherous, Grillo admits he feared for his life. “After the Fire Captain visited me and told me the fire would make a run at us in a few hours…I knew this would be a fight to the death,” recalls Grillo. He and ground crews stood by as the truck carrying Hall and Quinones was overtaken by a giant wall of burning mass. To date, the Station fire has blackened well over 240-square-miles of the Angeles National Forest. Scores of dwellings and invaluable properties were destroyed. 

Grillo hopes that a thorough federal investigation will result in the removal of the individual(s) responsible for withholding the air attack on this fire. “As long as these incompetents are in charge, we are not safe. Our firefighters are not safe,” he warns. 

Grillo adds that the front reason for calling for a federal investigation into the events that led up to the deaths of Hall and Quinones is “to [help] protect the lives of firefighters who put themselves on the line to defend against killer firestorms and who depend upon their superiors to protect them with air cover,” explains Grillo. 

The 2009 Station Fire near Acton, CA, was the largest in the history of Los Angeles County. Photo Courtesy: Mark Ralston AFP

The 2009 Station Fire near Acton, CA, was the largest in the history of Los Angeles County. Photo Courtesy: Mark Ralston AFP

According to latest statistics, more than 3,650 firefighters from as far away as Montana have fought the Station fire which carries an estimated cost of $78 million so far. Government data show that people were the blame for the 5,208 wildfires that occurred in Southern California in 2008. This is the only region in the United States to see a significant rise in the number of wildfires caused by humans. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist who sparked the blaze. Under California law, this figure is the maximum the chief executive can offer. 

Authorities report that several firefighters have been exposed to cyanide gas in two separate incidents as they were mopping up hot spots near Acton, where Grillo’s 150-acre sanctuary and his two state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals are located.  

Now those residing in or near the broad area of devastation face a serious health risk as pathogenic spores of the extremely dangerous coccidioides fungi continue to be unearthed. Coccidioidomycosis is an infectious, airborne disease that attacks the respiratory system of humans and animals alike. Typically known as valley fever, it is characterized by a high internal body temperature and various respiratory symptoms. If untreated and chronic, this disorder can become fatal by spreading to other organs of the body. Grillo and his medical staff are currently alerting those who live or work in the greater Acton area about this acute health hazard. People and animals with compromised immune systems are particularly in danger.  

We are testing it for now with at least one suspected case,” reports Dr. Gaylord Brown, D.E.L.T.A. Rescue’s chief veterinarian.