{Take Action Tuesday} Animal Welfare in School Curriculum

“Children are great imitators.  So give them something great to imitate.” – Anonymous

I have said, time and again, that the way to actually get to the root of the pet overpopulation problem is through education.  I firmly believe that every single life saved is invaluable and deserving, but for every one saved, there are countless ones currently suffering at the hands of abuse, living in shelters or on chains, and being euthanized.  Imagine a day when there was no need for rescue work at all?  A day that shelters merely existed to house dogs that got loose until their owners could be reunited with them?  A day when the saddest story we read was of a beloved pet that came down with an illness?  If we are ever going to get to that day, it will be through education.

Happy black lab

I truly believe that children are our future.  Which is what makes this petition SO exciting to me:

“The mission for Animal Welfare in the school curriculum is to educate and explore the history and meaning of our animal kinship and foster a life-long commitment to animals. Our mission is also to alleviate the suffering of all animals. A classroom presentation program should exist to give the students hands-on learning experience of rescued animals. This will encourage kindness and empathy for both human and nonhuman animals and promotes understanding of our many diverse habitats.                                                                              Field trips to an Animal Shelter and an Animal Rescue should also be a part of this program. It is a powerful experience. Sharing the love of animals also includes awareness of animal overpopulation and the reason for neutering and spaying. Most importantly, humane education strives to establish a sense of responsibility, making the world a better, more humane place. Our children ARE the future.  To end I would like to Thank all of you who sign and share this, and may God bless you all.”

Penny the cat

Imagine the implications of a program like this!  Children that ask their parents for a puppy specifically from the shelter.  Children that ask their parents why Fido has to live on the chain in the yard and can’t come inside.  Children that scold their older sibling when they see them throw rocks at a dog.  Children that become more aware of the world around them.  Rescues currently in existence could begin to focus their efforts on educating low-income areas.  Or helping concerned pet owners with behavioral issues learn how to train their dogs to keep them in their homes and out of shelters.  Government funded animal controls could begin spending their budget on low cost spay and neuter clinics instead.  The potential domino effect is as large as our imaginations allow it to be.

Apollo the cat

 To the handful of people that I know will say something like, “But children should not be exposed to suffering!”  I call bulh$#*t.  You need to toughen up, and so do your kids.  There is a big world out there and by sheltering children the way parents do these days, you are doing them exactly zero favors.  Just because a child plays a sport does not mean he should automatically win a medal.  Just because a child does not like his teacher does not mean you should swoop in and demand they be moved to a new classroom.  Just because a child might come home saddened because they learned that there are homeless pets does not mean you should deprive them of this life lesson.  By learning to lose, work through a tough situation, and that there is in fact suffering in the world children might just begin to work harder, embrace compromise, and best of all, gain empathy for those around them.  And imagine what a beautiful world that would lead to.

Maggie the rescue

If are in agreement, please click here to sign the petition.  The petition currently has less 1/5 of the necessary signatures.  I also ask that if you are in agreement with this message, you hit that “share” button as well and let’s get this out there for more people to see!  Thank you and Take Action!  

  

{Take Action Tuesday} Your Community

Last week’s post was more, how do I put this, controversial than I anticipated it would be.  I really can’t imagine anyone will find fault in today’s topic though!  I read through countless articles and petitions over the past week trying to decide what I wanted this week’s post to be about, but after Sunday afternoon, I knew what I wanted to focus on: reaching out to your community.  It’s all about how you can get involved in your community.

Spunky Harley is the Queen of the kennel and she knows it!

Spunky Harley is the Queen of the kennel and she knows it!

It is incredibly easy for one person to make a difference.  My “Take Action” challenge this week is to find one simple way to do something for homeless or needy animals in your community.  Perhaps the simplest way would be to donate money.  I highly, highly recommend looking for a local rescue.  If you don’t know of one, try googling “(name of your city) dog rescue”.  Have a favorite breed?  Search for “(favorite breed) rescue”.  You want to make sure that it is a 501(c)3 because that means they are non-profit, and operate off of donations, with no money going to fund political ventures like lobbying.  Take a few minutes and look over their site.  Often times they will even have a “wish list” of some sort with items that they are in need of.  Who knows, they might just be desperate for blankets and you happen to have quite a few extras that are crowding your hall closet.  You could clean out your closet, make a needed donation, and not even spend a penny!

Daddy

Daddy is quite possibly one of the most eager-to-please dogs I have ever met!

Speaking of blankets, did you know that most Animal Controls are operated on extremely limited funds?  Some only have enough money in the budget for the salaries of officers, utilities, and euthanasia.  You know what’s missing from that list?  Food, toys, veterinary care, and even blankets for cold winter nights.  No, not all are that bad, but some are and they might just be in your back yard (this was true for me, and let me tell you, it was quite a shock when I learned it.)  Try googling “(name of your city) animal control”.  Look for the budget, it’s public record, and you might just be surprised at what you find.  They will appreciate your old blankets.  Or maybe you plan to get your dog a new bed for Christmas?  Give them your old one!  Notice a sale on dog food at your grocery store?  Pick up a bag or two.

Elliot is truly the complete package: smart, handsome, eager to please!

Elliot is truly the complete package: smart, handsome, eager to please!

Another great way to help at Animal Control’s is to volunteer your time, just to do something as simple as walk the dogs.  Did you know that often times the only way the dogs get out of their kennel is if volunteers come and let them out?  It’s a sad reality, but most of the time these places have employees that are overworked.  Simply walking the dogs is sometimes a luxury that they don’t have time to for.  And it’s the dogs that really suffer in these situations.  Imagine the pent up energy and stress that many dogs could be relieved of simply by getting them out into the fresh air and a little exercise.  While you are walking them, maybe practice a few basic commands like “sit”.  Knowing a few tricks, not to mention being calmer and less stressed, is PROVEN to make dogs SIGNIFICANTLY more adoptable!

Joffy

Joffy is something else. SO athletic and smart. If I could take one home, it would’ve been this stud.

Planning to stay home for the holidays?  Been considering the idea of fostering but just not sure if you’re ready for that commitment?  Reach out to the local rescue that you just found and offer to temporary foster for them.  What does that mean?  Often times foster families travel for the holidays and the rescue needs a family to take the dog from anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks while the normal foster is traveling.  The beauty of this is that while fostering is temporary in the sense that the dog will only be with you until it is adopted, there really is no way to know exactly how long that will take.  By “temp” fostering, you will actually know exactly how long you will have the dog!  Plus, it’s is a great way to see if you are actually up for fostering or not.  If you don’t enjoy it, it’s just a few days out of your life, but who knows?  It might inspire you to become a regular foster and save countless lives!

Radar

Little Mr. Radar is 100% goofiness!

       Heard of a friend, coworker, or member of your church that might be down on their luck?  Maybe it’s your cousin’s-hairdresser’s-mailman’s-sister.  Instead of just gossiping over the water cooler, figure out how to get in touch with this person and offer to help.  It might take nothing more than a couple of bags of dog food, some flea preventative, and help finding a veterinary clinic to keep a family intact and a dog out of a shelter.  Can’t afford to buy these things yourself but still want to help this person?  Reach out to that rescue that you found and see if they would be willing to help you help that person.  Seriously.  It is SO much easier to help a family that already loves their dog keep it safely in their home rather than hope to find that dog a new home after the family has turned the dog over to a shelter where it can suffer emotional trauma.

Atlas

Atlas is mellow and easy to please. Just needs a little love and he’s happy!

None of those sounding up your alley?  What about contacting that rescue and asking for a printable version of their foster brochure to pass out at work or leave on the counter at your local coffee shop?  Maybe they have printable flyers you could hang at your favorite pet store.  What about asking for a magnet to put on your cars thus rendering yourself a mobile advertisement?

Joffy

I dare you to look into Joffy’s eyes and not fall in love.

Still nothing jumping out at you?  How about the all-time easiest way ever to help out: hit the share button!  If you live in the northern part of Florida, you could share this post which is full of adoptable dogs.  Share a picture from the Facebook page of the local rescue you found.  But please, keep try to keep it local.  Everyone wants to share that picture of a terribly sad dog located on the opposite side of the United States, but think about it, if you are seeing it, how many other people have already seen it as well?  This is called “going viral”.  Sure, it’s fantastic for that dog but lots of times by the time you have seen that picture, the dog has already been adopted!  I’m not saying never to do it, just keep in mind that there are so many dogs in need that never make it to the lime light because their story just doesn’t have the drama to “go viral”.  This certainly doesn’t make them any less deserving though, does it?  Remember, sharing is caring (not to mention quick, easy, and free!)  Take action!

If any of these gorgeous dogs caught your eye, please email me at morganrivera518(at)gmail(dot)com.  They would like nothing more than a home of their very own for the holidays! 

{Take Action Tuesday} Greyhound Racing

It’s the first-ever installment of “Take Action Tuesdays” and after all of the positive feedback I received, I have to believe you all are as excited as I am!  This weeks topic may come as a surprise to you, as it’s not a topic I have ever really discussed here: Greyhound racing.

We all know my passion lies with pit bulls, but despite the fact that greyhounds and pit bulls have polar opposite physiques, they share a trait that links them and therefore makes me passionate about their well-being as well: they are animals suffering at the hands of selfish humans.  (I should hope you all know by now that things like head shape aren’t what I truly care about, and my real passion lies with animal advocacy as a whole; from pit bulls to greyhounds to mice all being of equal importance!)

Image from Google Images

Image from Google Images

Pit bulls are commonly used for dog fighting, a form of entertainment for low life scum.  Greyhounds are commonly used for dog racing, another form of entertainment for low life scum some people.  Both are also forms of income for said individuals.  At the very core, the issue lies in the fact that many people view animals as property that are on Earth simply to serve us in some manner.  This is an entire post for another day though, and for now we shall focus on the topic at hand.  To say it simply, greyhounds are bred to profit the breeders, then the racers, while living in cruel conditions, all to then ultimately need rescuing–that is if they aren’t killed first.  I will refrain from going into the gory details but you can click here for concise explanations of why greyhound racing is wrong and should be ended.  Should you care to read more, trust me, a simple Google search will give you more details that you would care to have.

Image from Google Images

Image from Google Images

In Florida, law requires that if you are going to have gambling onsite, you have to have live racing.  Almost always that means dog racing.  This means for anyone that wants to open any sort of gambling venue (usually poker rooms) they have to also bring with it this cruel sport.  Most venues house around 1,000 dogs at any time!  Decoupling the racing from the gambling would mean that racing is no longer required and these gambling facilities could now legally operate without racing. As it stands now, the racing industry is being subsidized by the other gambling. Without this subsidy there would likely be a decrease in racing activity in the sport as it is forced to rely on its own market.  Additionally, at this time Florida and Alabama are the only two states that do not require injuries be reported.  It is proven that by reporting injuries, the number of injuries will decrease.  Perhaps because no one wants to have to admit that what they are doing is actually very dangerous and harmful?  Seems like it to me!

webmap

  So, while this is a brief overview that is fairly specific to Florida we can all still get involved!  If you live in Florida, click here and you will be brought to a form that you can personalize and then easily submit to the Senate Gambling Committee.  Session isn’t until March, but now is a good time to act because together we can flood their inboxes with our opinions on this barbaric matter.  Don’t live in Florida?  Click here to visit the Grey2k website (where the map above is from) and you will see a plethora of ways to get involved.  Take Action!

Update!  I quickly learned that this is topic is even more heated than I realized.  I want to be clear about something: I welcome all comments and views, even if they oppose mine, IF they are presented in a respectful manner.  If you bash another person, on either side of this debate, you will be banned.  Period.  This is my blog and while I am fully aware that I frequently write things that people disagree with, I will not tolerate rude or disrespectful behavior.  Additionally, my blog is simply not set up to handle videos in the comments.  It causes it to crash and I have therefore had to delete nearly all of the videos that have been posted.  I am not “hiding” anything, I am simply trying to keep my blog operational.  Thank you.  

Update #2: While I am thrilled to have written a post so that so many people are passionate about, the comments left by a handful of people, who could not respect my requests to keep this space mature and respectful, have gotten completely out of control I have elected to disable any further comments on this post.  Thank you.