Month: May 2017

Be MORE for Animals this Memorial Day (From Janet) Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

Warm weather is here, the pools are ready, and Memorial Day Weekend is upon us.  At least in Western New York, Memorial Day kicks off the start of warm weather celebrations and relaxation. By this time, in our area, the fear of frost is gone, and everything is suddenly greener over night.

Despite this long holiday weekend, we are on social media – signing and sharing, spreading awareness, replying to e-mails and endeavoring to make the world a better place, if even for a DAY, for animals in need.

Unfortunately, during holidays (and the nicer weather), many people become MIA when it comes to Animal Advocacy. Sunshine, yard work, pool parties and the like become the highlight, while the sometimes unpleasant “task” of championing for the voiceless takes a back burner.

There is nothing wrong in celebrating holidays and long weekends with friends and family, taking a break from the computer to enjoy warm weather and all the fun that comes with that. But imagine if EVERYONE took a break from advocating during the nice weather or holiday seasons? What then?

Animal suffering doesn’t stop on holidays. Or when the weather warms up (in fact, many animals suffer MORE in the warmer weather for obvious reasons like lack of shade, lack of water, and being left in hot cars). But sometimes, people want to “forget” that and rather, enjoy the summer months without “thinking” about “that kind of thing”.

How wonderful if, during the nicer weather and the warmer long holiday weekends, that we all still made the decision to JUST DO SOMETHING, every day, to better or save the lives of animals in need.

Yep, this means that you may have to actually carve out time from your nice day off work or long holiday weekend to plan for that. My laptop is never far from me when I travel out of town, because even on MY vacations, I always take the time to champion for animals. The great thing about being an Animal Advocate is that a dedicated person can advocate from ANY place, you just have to make the time.

This Memorial Day, have FUN. Enjoy the sunshine, those cold glasses of iced tea on the deck, and special times with friends and family. And, while you’re at it, take a moment or two to enjoy your blessings during your long holiday weekend and remember those who aren’t as blessed. Then take that thought, and do something with it, to positively impact a four-legged someone who is quietly waiting in misery for a better life to come along.

Because they are out there, every day – even on Memorial Day.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Animal Advocacy logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Continue Reading

If You See It, Say It (from Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandefur“I couldn’t do what  you do, it’s too hard.’

“I wouldn’t want to think about something that makes me so sad”.

“Why bother, its just going to die anyway.”

“That’s gross.”

“Animals aren’t my thing”.

“It’s just an animal.”


Personally, a person’s misguided opinion of my endeavors to help save or better life doesn’t impact me. I honestly don’t care if you want to help, or that you can’t see something my way, or that you don’t understand my passion, or that you can’t handle hearing about the things I see or do.  I’m going to do this no matter what you say, and I do.

But here’s something that does impact me – to the point of tears.

A story first.

I’m not feeling my best. I’m hot, I’m tired, and I don’t feel well. I am driving home from work and wondering if I will get home safely because I am slightly dizzy. But then I see him, or her. A tiny field mouse. In the middle of rush-hour traffic, at a four-way stop. Maybe no-one else sees him/her, or maybe they are in too much of a hurry to stop. But … I always – ALWAYS – stop. So, out of my car I go, waving cars to slow down, as I try to help this little mouse get off the road and onto the grassy side. You would think one small mouse running around on blacktop would be easy to corral into a simple direction – but it’s not. What makes it even harder is that my balance is off, so as the mouse is weaving all over the place, so am I. Nonetheless, fifteen – FIFTEEN – minutes later, I have successfully herded this little guy (or gal) to the side of the road, into a grassy patch away from the cars. I wait a little while to make sure that this mouse is not coming back into the road again.  As I am getting back into my car, a man pulls up beside me. He says, “you are one of the kindest people I have ever not met”. And then he thanks me for taking the time to help that little mouse out of the road.

I smile, and blow it off  with an “it’s nothing; I am always happy to help an animal in need”. But we both know, it IS something, and it’s wonderful and yeah, I am sort of kind like that.

And that’s when I get teary. Alone, in my car, kindness recognized by a complete stranger for me helping an animal in need. That is a day maker.

I still don’t feel well.  But yet, I feel terrific just the same.

When YOU see someone helping an animal in need, that’s a wonderful thing. We don’t NEED to hear it, but you will rock someone’s world just by saying thank you. So if YOU see it, say it. Give someone an unexpected day maker.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Animal Advocacy logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur


Continue Reading

Happy Mother’s Day! (From Janet) Janet Bovitz Sandefur Animal Advocacy Animal Welfare

ALL sentient beings deserve kindness and compassion.  ALL. OF. THEM.

Today, and always, keep in mind ALL of the four-legged Moms that, because of humans, because of us:

  • Are forced to breed
  • Are kept in captivity
  • Are not given the opportunity to have their young by their side
  • Have lost their life before their young are grown
  • Have lost their freedom
  • Do not receive consideration or compassion
  • Are not provided basic care
  • Are forgotten
  • Are left outside
  • Are abandoned
  • Are starving
  • Are sick
  • Are doing their best to take care of their young, with so many roadblocks
  • Are dying, somewhere

Do what you can, when you can – it matters.

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Before I was a Mom –
I slept as late as I wanted and never worried about how late I got into bed. I brushed my hair and my teeth every day.

Before I was a Mom 
I cleaned my house each day. I never tripped over toys or forgot words to a lullaby. I didn’t worry whether or not my plants were poisonous. I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom –
I had never been puked on – Pooped on – Spit on – Chewed on, or Peed on. I had complete control of my mind and My thoughts. I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom –
I never held down a screaming child so that doctors could do tests…or give shots. I never looked into teary eyes and cried. I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin. I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom –
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn’t want to put it down. I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn’t stop the hurt. I never knew that something so small could affect my life
so much. I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom –
I didn’t know the feeling of having my heart outside my body. I didn’t know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby. I didn’t know that bond between a mother and her child. I didn’t know that something so small could make me feel so important.

Before I was a Mom –
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay. I had never known the warmth, The joy, The love, The heartache, The wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom. I didn’t know I was capable of feeling so much before I was a Mom.

– author unknown

Look around you. Motherhood is everywhere.  Mom’s are amazing. Every Mom, no matter WHAT living, breathing Mom she is, deserves motherhood from start to finish.

Let’s start celebrating ALL Mom’s.

Happy Mother’s Day to those incredible women who went from before they were a Mom, to well, being a Mom.
We wouldn’t be here without you. xo

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur


Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur

Continue Reading

Guest Blogger, Diedra Kirk – Verona Street Animal Society

The Many Ways to Help Animals in Need

RAS Header





We often see posts and hear comments about how badly people feel about animals in unfortunate situations so we wanted to post some ideas of how you can get involved even with little time or money.

  1. Volunteer at the Shelter – Shelters always need extra hands to keep their temporary residents happy and healthy.  Consider volunteering even a couple hours per week to help with tasks around the shelter.  For example, you can volunteer to walk dogs, socialize cats, help out at an event, provide customer service or data entry, or even assist in the clinic.
  2. Fundraise – You can sign up to volunteer at an event already scheduled or create your own fundraiser and donate the proceeds.  Bake sales, garage sales, lemonade stands, can and bottle drives, and fitness challenges are all great ways to raise money that you can donate as a tax deductible gift.  You could also choose to have friends and family donate money to your fundraiser instead of birthday or anniversary gifts.
  3. Donate Goods – You can always give money; however, shelters usually have a wish list of items that are in short supply or not covered by operating budgets. They can be very inexpensive things that you may have in your home or can easily buy while doing your weekly errands.  While you are out shopping for your pet, you could pick up an extra box of milk bones, a Kong or even some laundry soap.
  4. Foster Pets – It is preferable to get a pet into a home as quickly as possible even if it is not going to be their forever home.  In a foster home, animals are more relaxed, less stressed and often benefit from the socialization and training a family can provide.  This extra care results in a more well behaved pet that will present better for potential adopters.
  5. Buy from Retailers that Support Shelters – There are stores and websites that will give a portion of your purchase to the shelter in the form of a donation.
  6. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter and share the posts with your friends and family. They may not be looking for a new pet but someone they know might be. It also helps spread the word for fundraising events like The Fast & The Furriest® Race & Pet Fest!

If you are interested in getting involved with a shelter in Rochester, New York, please contact us:

Verona Street Animal Society
P.O. Box 22874, Rochester, NY 14692
(585) 727-2533


Facebook Instagram


About Verona Street Animal Society

The Verona Street Animal Society, Inc. (VSAS) is dedicated to providing the resources necessary to enable Rochester Animal Services to more effectively serve the public’s animal care and control, pet sterilization, and pet adoption interests and, in cooperation with the City of Rochester, to support the mission of Rochester Animal Services.

Rochester Animal Services (RAS) is a municipal animal care and control agency dedicated to improving the quality of life and safety for city residents and their animals, the promotion of responsible pet ownership, and the reduction of animal overpopulation to reduce animal suffering and euthanasia. RAS enforces all New York State and City of Rochester ordinances pertaining to animal control. RAS operates an animal shelter for stray, injured, and disowned animals that serves both as an adoption center and as a site for locating lost pets. RAS strives to provide the best possible care for every animal in its charge.

Diedra Kirk is a Board Member at Verona Street Animal Society and Volunteer at Rochester Animal Services. She graduated with a B.S. Degree from Cornell University and a MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology and has had a career in product and service marketing, social media and e-business.






Thank you to our Guest Blogger

Continue Reading
Translate »