Monthly Archives: March 2016

Happy New Year, This Easter (From Janet)

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

Easter. Although not everyone celebrates it, for the millions that do, many feel that Easter is their New Year.  Their fresh start. Their refresh, reboot, renew.

For many, Easter is the time to set new goals, make new resolutions, make a fresh start.

If you celebrated Easter today, and this included quality time with family and friends – maybe that was enough for you.

But. BUT. If you’re searching for something more, something bigger than you, something else, and you haven’t quite found it yet, try giving of yourself.

Make this Easter your New Year of donating yourself for animals.

To donate literally means to give.

Think about that.

It doesn’t matter that your checkbook balance will not allow you to send money on behalf of an animal in need.   It’s a shame that so many feel that the only way they are TRULY making a difference is to send money, because they are closing the door on other opportunities to help and support.

Here’s a simple and surefire way to donate:  You can give of yourself.
Every person has something of themselves that they can give to make a difference in the life of an animal in need.

Of course, excuses are easy to come by if you don’t want to donate, period. So whether or not you have the money to write that check then becomes moot.  But, oh, how wonderful if you WANT to donate but you just can’t financially. Because that opens up so many other imaginative and creative ways to give of yourself instead.

If you’re reading this Blog, chances are you are familiar with our website and all the ways we encourage people to save or better the life of an animal in need.  Poke around our site, and you’ll come across some good ideas to be a great supporter of animals, no matter what your resources are.

It doesn’t take any science at all to dream up ways you can donate yourself to help out and support. All it takes is a willing YOU.

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

What will you do this Easter season, and every day, to save or better a life? Do it, talk about it, lead by example, and encourage others to JUST DO SOMETHING.

Make today YOUR best New Year ever.  Start today, start tomorrow. Just start.

Every effort, every giving of yourself, helps to make a difference in the lives of an animal in need; and they NEED all the help they can get.

Be a champion for those that can’t speak for, or defend themselves…donate yourself – today.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

 

 

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

 

 

 

 

 

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

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Spring into Action (From Janet)

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

Did you know?

  • There are roughly 7 million stray dogs and cats in the U.S. at any given time.
  • Many people will not take in a stray dog or cat, especially during mild weather, because they feel strays can fend for themselves if it’s nice out.
  • There are many people who will not even call to report an injured animal in the mild weather for the same reason.

When talking about stray (homeless, ownerless) animals, the majority of people take this to mean dogs and cats.  But common stray animals are not the only animals to be negatively impacted by their circumstance.  ANY animal (including wild animals and birds) can have a difficult time, depending on their environment and their health.

Never turn your back on any animal in distress or in danger. The type of animal and the situation should always be taken into thoughtful consideration before you make the decision to aide that animal yourself.  Even a stray dog or cat can be a possible risk to you if that animal is ill or becomes frightened when trying to approach it.  Not sure? Call your local authority.

Animals are waking up and coming out of hibernation.

You know YOU feel when your alarm clock goes off? You stumble out of bed, half awake, and try to begin your day still foggy and sleepy. THAT’s how it is for many wild animals in Spring.  Being aware of animals at ANY time of year is important – but like everything else, there are ebbs and flows to wildlife also. Spring is one of the times of year where we see more animals hit by cars than usual. Animals are waking up, roaming up, starting to forage for food and ready their homes for mating and breeding season. Their alarm clocks have gone off, and they are up and running.

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

It’s a good time of year to practice caution when driving, and ask others to do the same.

If you DO see an animal that has been hit be a car, PLEASE STOP.
Here are some things you can do to help.

Spring weather can still be cold.

The days may be longer, the sun may shine a little more, the snow is melting and buds are appearing all over the place.  But that doesn’t mean that the ground is thawed, the mud has dried and the nights are warmer.  At this time of year, the ground is still very cold even though we are starting to see the grass, and that includes mud that warms up during the day, but re-freezes at night. And remember, we still can get snow in the Spring!

  • Even well meaning pet owners may not realize they should not simply put their animal outside for prolonged periods of time during Spring (especially in the early mornings and night time).  This is especially true for new pet owners who may not yet be well educated on environmental pet care and for elderly pet owners who may forget from time to time the importance of routinely checking on their pets once they are outside.
  • Take the time to speak up if you see a domestic animal staying outside for too long.
    It matters to that animal.
  • Domestic pets that are in-door animals, should be limited in the amount of time spent outside in the cold and damp.
  • If it’s still cold enough for you to wear a jacket, then chances are your pet needs one also.
  • Humans have boots; animals have paws.  Although the bottom of your pet’s paws may feel rough, they are sensitive to hot and cold.  Cold can burn, ice can tear and scrape, snow can numb, salt and residual ice-melting chemicals can do damage (and make you pet sick if s/he licks their paws after they come indoors) and frostbite is still possible in the early Spring.  Most domestic animals dislike “booties”, so simply pay attention to the amount of time your pet is walking on the snow, ice and cold pavement, and take the time to gently wipe off cold and wet paws after being outdoors.
  • Is it a cold, wet day? Any soft, clean absorbent towel is great for drying off your pet after outdoor time.  A cold wet pet is a miserable, shivering pet.  Be sure to routinely wash any toweling used to dry your pet.

PESTICIDE SEASON starts in Spring, and for many, continues on until late Fall.  Before you make the decision to treat with pesticides, think about your pets, wildlife (babies in the Spring and Fall), and our environment.  If you do decide to treat YOUR lawn, be conscious of where your pets routinely go outside, and the little critters that you know roam on your property.  Let your lawn guys know you have a pet that goes outside, and if you know of certain areas that critters enjoy, mention that, also. Ask them to leave an area untreated so your pet and other critters can enjoy your yard without easily coming into contact with lawn treatments, which can cause internal and external issues just by licking or touching pesticides.

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

  • Before treating your lawn, before they arrive, remove water sources and ground feeding stations.  Pesticide poisoning HURTS.
  • Try to keep your pet off treated lawns for the first 24-hours.
  • Do not put out any food or water to entice other critters to your yard for 24-hours.
  • Have an “out” plan in place if you treat your entire lawn, so your pet can still get out for exercise and relief.
  • Be aware of neighbors who treat their lawns – stay away!
  • Wipe off paws any time your pet walks on treated ground.
  • Never let your pet lie or roll on treated ground.
  • As a courtesy to other pet owners, leave your lawn treatment signs up at least two days to make others aware.

Spring springs activity in animals!

Spring is the time when mating rituals begin, many animals give birth, and wild animals wake up from hibernation to roam about looking for food and new homes for their young.  There is A LOT of animal activity in the spring.

Wild Animals

  • More wild animals will be killed or injured by cars as they become more mobile.  Warmer weather means more animals roaming about. This is a good time to talk about what to do if you see ANY injured animal.
    • Again, click HERE for helpful information on what you can do.
  • Come across any baby birds or animals? Leave them alone unless it’s clear they are abandoned or in distress. Not sure? Call your local rescue or wildlife rehabilitators to find out what you may need to do.
  • If you have a dog that loves to chase, make sure wild animals (think squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, and their babies) are protected as best as you can, before you let your dog out.

Outdoor Dogs

  • Yard debris covered up by snow should be cleared up to prevent animals and domestic pets from stepping on potential objects that can inflict injury by stepping on them or eating them. This includes picking up animal droppings that have accumulated in the yard over the winter.
  • Some dog owners do not use flea medicine in the winter.  If you are one of those dog owners, it’s time to start!
  • If your dog is an outside dog, clean out the doghouse, wash the bedding, clean up the area around the doghouse, and clean out the water bowl.  Routinely check doghouses and bedding for spiders and other bugs that love to nest inside them.

Birds

  • If you clean out your birdhouses or nest boxes and leave them open in the Fall, now is the time to close them back up so birds can begin to nest.
  • If you wean off from feeding the birds from the winter, do it gradually.  It’s still difficult to find food in the Spring, especially for the birds who have gotten used to eating from your feeding stations all winter.  The warmer is gets, the less seed you can put out.
  • Clean up your feeding stations and feeders so they are ready for next year.  Uneaten, left out seed and food items from the winter will spoil and mold in the warmer weather.
  • Clean out bird baths that have stayed out over the winter. Always offer fresh, clean water.
  • Do you like to feed the ducks? A bag of corn works better than bread.

And remember, for the SPRING, or ANY time of year:

  • Always SPEAK UP.
    • Keep your eyes and ears open.  If you become aware of a situation where ANY animal is in distress or danger, DO SOMETHING about it.
    • Call local authorities and WAIT until someone comes to the animal’s aide.
    • You may be the ONLY witness and/or the ONLY one to help that animal in that situation.
    • Don’t be nervous or worried if you have to report an act of animal abuse or neglect.
      YOU are their voice.
    • If you are not sure about what you think you see, call for help anyway. You might be saving a life.
  • Provide shelter.
    • If bringing the animal inside your home is not an option, help him/her survive the damp and cold Spring weather by providing shelter such as a sturdy cardboard box lined with a good amount of clean, dry straw (straw is the main insulator that rescuers use when helping out strays or domestic outdoor animals who stay outside).
      • Straw provides a soft but effective barrier against the cold and damp, keeps warmth in (if you pile it in a good amount), is pliable enough so animals can burrow and surround themselves with it, and does not mold quickly.
      • Don’t bother with towels and blankets as these will get wet in a storm and stay damp.
    • Enticing the animal into your garage will also work.  
      • Ensure proper bedding for warmth and comfort, as garages usually are not heated.
      • Make sure that harmful products normally stored in the garage are completely out of the way.
      • Cars should never be running in the garage at any time if there is an animal in there!
  • Are you already providing shelter to a stray?
    • Time to change the straw or bedding!  
    • Just like a human, animals can develop sores and sensitive skins from dirty, unwashed bedding.
    • Replace straw and/or  wash bedding!  
    • A stray’s life can be pretty miserable. Don’t add to it by overlooking this simple necessity.
  • Provide food and water.
    • Did you know that many pet owners think that melted snow is a great substitute for water? Not true! Melted snow is left-over snow, which is dirty and unclean for a number of reasons.
    • Always ensure that there is a daily supply of fresh, clean water easily available.  
    • Providing stray animals with fresh, clean food and water can help them survive better because they will need to use less energy to scrounge up their dinner.
    • A well-fed, well hydrated animal is also better prepared to fight off illness and infection.
    • Steer clear of canned food as it is more likely to freeze when the temperatures drop and spoil when the temperature warms.

Remember, if you do take in a stray animal:

  • Make sure your first stop is with a licensed veterinarian who can assess the animal for diseases and make sure that it is immunized and safe to be around your children or other pets.
  • If you don’t want to bring the stray to a shelter, reach out to your local rescue groups to see if someone can take him/her.

What are your Spring tips? Share it with us, and we’ll pass it around! All efforts matter for ANY time of year, when it comes to helping out our animals.

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

 

 

 

 

 

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

 

 

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Guest Blogger, Donalea Patman (fortheloveofwildlife.org.au)

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

It’s time to think differently about conservation

The past 18 months have been remarkable. As most would know, I campaigned my local MP to create a global first. Australia announced in March 2015 that it would ban the importation of lion trophies and body parts…well before the death of Cecil.  France has recently done the same.

How this came about is because I believed and trusted my guidance. Scientists will scoff, trophy hunters will tell you I’m crazy, politicians will say I’m not a normal activist and they’re right, I don’t fit any particular mould.

I’ve always deeply loved and spoken up for nature and animals. Even as a little girl while on a family holiday off the Western Australian coast, my father and his friend decided to ride the turtles:  I wept and told them that they were “interfering with nature”. I was born with an innate sense of justice and I’ve been fierce in that.

A spiritual traveller, questing for deeper meaning and purpose, but never dreaming I’d find myself working on wildlife issues, assisting the Australian Government.

What ignited my heart and a love for Africa was attending a workshop at Global White Lion Protection Trust in Timbavati, South Africa. Hosted by Linda Tucker, the Trust founder, and Andrew Harvey, author and Sacred Activist teacher. The first morning out we surprised the Royal Pride, the founding family of white lions of this project, they sat bolt upright and engaged. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the immense beauty and presence of these magnificent white lions. I’d never seen or imagined anything like it. But what was pivotal was that one of the young males locked eyes with me and I was pierced through, my heart broken wide open.

Back at camp Linda talked about the threats facing Africa’s lions and specifically white lions as they are targeted by trophy hunters, obviously because of their stunning beauty and high trophy value. She also described the horrors of canned hunting which I’d never heard of and to say that I was white with rage is to put it lightly.  In my disgust and despair Andrew Harvey looked at me and said something like this; “now that you’ve been brought to your knees by your righteous indignation, your rage, your disbelief and sorrow, I want you to take that heartbreak and turn it into passionate action fuelled and informed by your heart”.

I returned to Australia, sharing what I knew about the plight of Africa’s lions, signing petitions and the like. But it wasn’t until December 2012 (and many know the significance of that date) when I was again at the Global White Lion Trust for a gathering of people from around the world, including Pippa Hankinson, her history in conservation, specifically lions,  led her to produce the recently released film on canned hunting, Blood Lions. We left Timbavati knowing we had to do more and get very serious about it.

On these early trips it became blatantly obvious that Africa, and more specifically her wildlife, is under siege as wildlife is intensely commodified. I needed to contribute, I needed to do something!

I’ve attended workshops with people like Anna Breytenbach (interspecies communication), Jon Young (deep nature connection), Alwyn Myberg (bird language) and one thing is for sure, we better well start listening (deeply) to nature if we’re to stop the race to extinction.

Should conservation be the responsibility of conservationists only and if so, why are so many species facing extinction? Is it the responsibility of scientists, activists, ecologists or governments?  Whilst all are absolutely necessary and I am so very grateful to those that work in these incredibly confronting and challenging fields, I accomplished something that, even in the week leading up to the announcement, was declared impossible.

I have a background in design and a few years back attended a government led workshop where designers were engaged by big business. Creatives see what others don’t – musicians, poets, writers, artists, mystics, philosophers…we view the world differently. Bring those eyes into an organisation or a problem and hey, opportunities, possibilities, ideas are uncovered which are often overlooked because everyone is busy getting the day to day done.

I’m testament that the old rules of engagement don’t necessarily apply. We need creative partnerships – to think outside the usual constructs and safe zones if we’re to manifest radical, passionate action which cuts through old limitations and just maybe, create a bit of magic. We don’t have time for further reporting or consultation – it’s been done to death and we’re losing our wildlife because of human bureaucratic process.

I navigated the work with the Federal Government as it presented – no training or experience in strategy, conservation or policy and certainly no attachment to outcome, just being courageous and being prepared to learn along the way.  I know I was guided once I  completely committed to the process and I was blessed to have Ian Michler (internationally respected conservationist and investigative journalist) and Pippa Hankinson mentor me.

A great initiative that is currently brewing is listing lions as a World Heritage Species – it’s brilliant and necessary. But of course, we are in this predicament because we haven’t been able to stay connected to nature; we have forgotten that intrinsically we are part of the web of life.

Wildlife belongs to the planet, not to any government, individual, organisation, corporate or group – animals have a right to exist, on their ancestral or endemic homelands as part of their specific ecosystems and the greater ecology. Commoditizing wildlife will be our undoing.

Moving species to other countries to save them, to live in captivity is not conservation, it’s desperation, In certain instances its a bid to use an old paradigm to mask lucrative wildlife trade. We’re on dangerous ground when we continue to mess with the natural order of things. It’s time to drop our arrogance and allow nature to inform us and we must return to our rightful place as guardians not gods.

We are racing extinction and the truth is, if the animals go so do we.  What I ask myself everyday is what am I going to do about it – we all having something unique and practical to contribute.

I don’t know how to save the world. I don’t have the answers or THE answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive, nor will we deserve to.

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

 

 

 


– Donalea Patman

Having travelled throughout her life the most defining and memorable moments have always involved animals. A passionate advocate for sentient beings, she has always held a deep love of nature.

A lifetime interest and study of personal development and spirituality lead to her involvement in Sacred Activism. Donalea launched For the Love of Wildlife to create a professional platform to campaign the plight of animals in Africa, Australia and New Zealand, raising awareness of the destructive forces annihilating the natural world. 

Connect to For The Love of Wildlife on Facebook and Twitter; E-mail them at fortheloveofwildlife@gmail.com for more information.

 

 Animal Advocacy Guest Blogger Thank You Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

 

 

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Guest Blogger, Galen Schultz (Wildlife ACT – Africa)

THERE IS HOPE

I grew up in the African bush and had a very privileged childhood traveling through Africa – being exposed to her diverse and beautiful wildlife. Only recently I realised that the last 7 years of my life had been spent in the ‘big city’ – pursing the things that Society dictates. I went through an incredibly emotional and spiritual journey when I was thrust back into the African bush with a group of wildlife conservationists. They moved me beyond words. The central message: “there is hope.”

Africa is the mother and birthplace to so many amazing animals – the wise and wrinkly elephant, the cheetah with markings resembling tears, the beautiful African Painted Wolf, the iconic rhino being maliciously poached for its horn…

It’s so easy to lose hope when one hears about the poaching crisis; the death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe; and the unbelievable number of species that are now extinct, which we will never see again! It’s natural to feel powerless and to have the attitude of “enjoy it while it lasts”…

But being among conservationists who speak so passionately about their work, and who work tirelessly to fight for our endangered animals, makes one realise that there is hope, and fuels you with the much-needed desire to JUST DO SOMETHING.

There are some incredibly inspiring things being done by a small few in Africa, and it moves you to the very core to see them in action. Even just being among wild animals is so fantastically good for the soul. It makes you want to do something and makes you question the purpose of life. Moreover, it makes you realise that there is much that you can do to help!

My own life changed in recent months after such an experience. I have been involved with a conservation organisation in South Africa called Wildlife ACT, who are at the forefront of endangered African species conservation. Their members are some of the most inspiring people I have ever met, and they need all the help they can get. They have taught me the difference between real wildlife conservation and the equally real industry that exploits the human desire to help by offering highly unethical conservation practices. Everyone has the desire to pet a lion cub, to ride and elephant and to swim with dolphins, but so few understand how this is actually so damaging and harmful to the animals involved.

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My goal of just doing something has boiled down to the importance of educating people about what is going on, so that they may make informed, ethical decisions when it comes to helping our defenseless animals. And I can’t stress enough the importance of getting involved and witnessing it first-hand, and by doing so, feel the urge to help spread such knowledge. I have always loved animals. Nothing gives my life more purpose than fighting to save them. And I don’t blame those who believe they are doing good under false pretences. Knowledge is power, and I hope this at least encourages you to just do something by actively educating yourself through research.  I am still learning too; but please don’t hesitate to get in touch (galen@wildlifeact.com). I will dedicate all the time I have to inspire and motivate you as much as I have been in the past few months. There is hope. It is my goal to show you that.

– Galen Schultz

Just-Do-Something.org Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal WelfareGalen was lucky enough to have been born in Zululand, South Africa to parents who love to travel. Waking up in a different country was a major part of his childhood. From an early age Galen has been fascinated with nature and feels an amazing sense of connection when immersed in it. His love for animals will never die and he has recently dedicated himself towards saving endangered African species from extinction – by rallying support and spreading knowledge and awareness about African conservation.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin” ~ William Shakespeare

 

Animal Advocacy Guest Blogger Thank You Janet Bovitz Sandefur just-do-something.org

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