We are all born with potential to do the good to the word and the people around us. Our children learn from the examples and actions they experience in their peer and learning environments. But most of all, as well as first of all, kids emulate their parents.
It is caught, rather than taught. If a parent cares about people, animals, protecting our environment and supports these aspirations with actions – children want to do the same and better.
One of the urgent topics that we would like to discuss today is Animal Rights. I belong to different movements and organizations that protect animals and fight against animal cruelty and exploitation. I teach the same values to my children and support their actions to defend and treat with respect the animal world around them.
We’ve invited Debbie Duel, the Director of Humane Rescue Alliance, to show ways HOW-TO to lead with example to teach our children that animal rights must be protected.
When the happy-go-lucky, tail-wagging Labrador retriever who would become my constant companion was rescued, he weighed just 48 pounds. My family adopted Nigel (page 103 in 125 Pet Rescues) shortly thereafter. He spent nearly 10 years visiting classrooms with me. He was a beloved, enthusiastic humane educator; everyone loved Nigel – even those who professed to be afraid of dogs.
It’s impossible to know why the woman who previously claimed ownership of Nigel deliberately withheld his food. It is equally impossible to understand why passersby who watched the large-framed Lab, who topped out at more than 80 pounds during his “rounder” days, did not report his deteriorating condition to animal control sooner.
It Only Takes One Phone Call
The heartwarming stories chronicled throughout 125 Pet Rescues highlight how one person can make a difference. The ubiquitous slogan, If You See Something, Say Something, applies to animals as well as people. Whether you live in Maine, Mississippi, Montana, or Massachusetts – or anywhere else – if you see an animal that needs help, report it.
Support Shelters by Promoting Their Programs And Services
If your local animal welfare agency, like the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, DC, offers low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, help spread the word. Curbing the companion animal overpopulation problem is paramount to reducing the number of unwanted animals in shelters. Share information through social media or do it the old-fashioned (and still effective) way by creating posters and flyers and distributing them in schools, community centers, and any other public place that will allow it.
Research And Learn From Online Examples
Although many shelters have age restrictions regarding student volunteers, there is plenty you can do outside of shelters to help animals. The internet is full of fun ways to make toys for cats, dogs, and other animals.
One of my favorites gives a new purpose to outgrown tube socks. Put an empty 16-ounce water bottle inside the cast-off sock, knot the top and toss it to a pooch. The sock is repurposed, the water bottle is recycled, and the shelter has a new toy for a playful pup! Save the bottle caps for the cats. Chasing bottle tops across the floor is my cat Murphy’s favorite midnight activity!
Be A Fundraiser for Furry Friends
Hold a bake sale, lemonade sale, or yard sale. Make sure your signs explain that the event is a fundraiser for the animals. Don’t forget to have your spay/neuter, adoption, or other promotional materials front and center. Promote your local shelter every chance you get!
Sponsor Collections for Shelter Critters
Most shelters welcome donations of towels and blankets. Some shelters use lots and lots of newspapers. Set up collection boxes in schools, health clubs, or offices. Dogs and cats don’t care if towels are a little frayed or the wrong color—they can’t differentiate between midnight blue and plum purple!
What Animal Laws In Your Community Need Updating?
In some areas of the United States, dogs like Clyde and Bandit (page 75 in 125 Pet Rescues), Bumble and Tulah (page 27 in 125 Pet Rescues), or Elle (page 20-21 in 125 Pet Rescues) could not be adopted from shelters because of legislation that prohibits the ownership of pit bull-type dogs. Kiah (pages 80-81 in 125 Pet Rescues), New York’s first pit bull-type K9 officer, would be unemployed in areas where dogs like her are banned.
Take a stand for issues that you believe in; whether it’s opposing breed ban legislation, lobbying to prevent circuses featuring wild animals from setting up their tent in your town, or calling for stronger anti-cruelty laws to protect animals like Nigel, let elected officials know that animal issues matter to you.
Animals are super smart, but they can’t pick up a phone and call for help.
Tweet or post information online, or promote the good work that shelters do. That’s our job, each and every one of us.