Always Look Twice (from Janet)

Animal Advocacy Blog Picture Janet Bovitz Sandefur

I’m not that hard to find on the Internet. Most people reach out to me via our website or our social media pages. But, if you look a little harder, you’ll eventually find my phone number.  And this is the ONLY reason why I always answer my phone (when possible), and check my voicemail when not immediately available – because I never know when that unrecognizable phone number calling is someone on the other end asking for help with an animal in need.

Most of the calls I receive usually start with, “Is this Janet from”

Today, the caller started out with, “Janet, you don’t practice what you preach regarding helping animals, and it’s pissing me off.”  Yep, he really started out the conversation with this.


The guy was pretty worked up. So, I told him he needed to elaborate on what he meant because I was concerned with that statement.

Well,” he started, “I’ve been e-mailing you Animal Petitions for a few weeks now – a couple every week. And you haven’t responded that you signed ANY of them. I think that’s really rude and a waste of my time.”

Take a breath.

What Brian B. from Connecticut isn’t aware of is that I receive upwards of 1,000 e-mails per week. About 75% of them are Animal Welfare related. I go through EVERY single e-mail, EVERY week. I open EVERY e-mail, even if I am just being asked for a financial donation, because I feel that to look at every picture and read every story is just another way I can give testament to an animal’s life taken or abused by someone, somewhere.

I might get through my e-mails faster if I didn’t hold a full-time job (not related to Animal Welfare), if I wasn’t married and have household responsibilities, if I didn’t participate in other community work, and if I didn’t work on other Animal Welfare endeavors behind the scenes. Etc. But I do ALL these things, and so much more, and yes, Brian B. from Connecticut, sometimes I DO feel guilty about skipping a night of e-mails to go out with friends, or take a long weekend away with my husband, but I try to keep a balance between my heart and my sanity – Animal Welfare is a gut wrenching, horrible passion in so many ways, and sometimes it’s healthy to just breathe away from the e-mails that show me so many awful ways humans abuse animals just because they can.

Brian,” I ask, when he’s breathlessly finished calling me an asshole, without actually calling me an asshole, “do you follow on any social media platform?”

No,” he says, “I got your name from a Facebook post that someone else shared.”  Hey! That’s great to hear (I think to myself). I am all about spreading information, no matter how someone comes by it.

Okay.” I say back. “Do you have access to your computer now?”

Yeah, through my cell.” He says.

Well, why don’t you jump on my Twitter Account for” I gave him our Twitter name.

I see it.

Scroll through yesterday’s posts of mine. Do you see the one about Big Cats and Commercials?” I wait.

Yep, I see it.” Brian B. from Connecticut is quiet now.

And how about scrolling to March 29 – do you see the post about hunting (bears and wolves)?”

Yep, I see it.”

Brian B. from Connecticut and I had a good chat after he realized I have been posting EVERY petition that he sent me. Yes, we went through EVERY one, together.  

To-date, Brian B. from Connecticut has sent me 18 Animal Petitions, and we have signed, and shared out EVERY one of them.

How do I know this? Because I save EVERY e-mail from EVERY person who has EVER sent me information related to Animal Welfare.

Here’s the thing: if you send me something, I will see it. If it’s an Animal Petition, I will sign it, and then share it out. I probably will not reply that I have done this, because I am signing and sharing so many worth petitions (and doing other things related to Animal Welfare via e-mail) that it actually emotionally pains me to have to stop to acknowledge your e-mail that you have sent it if I don’t really need to reply. Maybe this is my bad, because yes, everyone deserves to have their e-mails acknowledged. But animals are dying and suffering, and THAT deserves my priority and attention more. Selfish me.

So, if you’re e-mail truly needs a response, I will respond. Otherwise, I assume that you are connected to me in some way, so that you will know I have signed and shared the information you have sent me. Especially Animal Petitions, we never ignore them. Never.

So, Brian B, from Connecticut now realizes that if he had just taken the time to LOOK at any of our social media pages, he would have seen that I wasn’t neglecting or ignoring him, and I was not being rude or wasting his time. Actually, his phone call wasted MY time, but I am always happy to right misunderstanding because I couldn’t bear the idea of anyone thinking I wasn’t always doing my best by animals, for animals, because of animals.

So, before you jump to a conclusion, take a moment to look again. Looking twice is so important when it comes to animal welfare (never assume a situation, always LOOK and LOOK AGAIN if you have to because an animal’s life might be at stake) but looking twice also makes life easier on both sides when it comes to stuff like this.

I am not sure if Brian B. will become a follower, fan or just a lurker. Either way, thanks Brian for not only taking the time to be concerned enough about animals to actually call me (most people are not that brave and wouldn’t speak up), and thanks for all you do to help animals in need. Hopefully we chat again sometime – you’ve got my number.

Animal Advocacy Founder signature Janet Bovitz Sandefur


Animal Advocacy logo Janet Bovitz Sandefur


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