What’s Your Plan? (from Janet)

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A few weeks ago, the Animal Welfare community lost a wonderful advocate, who made it her mission to rescue the dead and dying dogs in a field, in Memphis, Tennessee.

The dogs dumped in this field were either shot or poisoned to death, or simply dumped and left to die.  Over time, these dogs became known as The Field Dogs.

Every day, Tonya would go out to the field, collect the bodies of the dead dogs, and bury each dog individually.  And every day, Tonya would collect the living dogs, making sure they received food, water and when possible, medical attention.  Many of these dogs were able to be adopted out, and many were not.

When Tonya suddenly passed away, there was no back-up plan in place for these dogs.  Tonya lovingly did this on her own, every day. She was helped with monetary and dog food donations, but the rest was done solo without a failsafe in place.

It’s a wonderful thing when anyone steps up to make a difference and JUST DO SOMETHING. But even the best intentions can fall by the wayside if something happens to interrupt the flow of something great.

In this situation, since Tonya’s efforts for The Field Dogs were so well known, another reputable Rescue organization was able to quickly formulate a plan and engage a group of volunteers to step in and take over the feeding of these dogs.  Of course, at the time, those volunteers were only focused on feeding the living dogs, so not much is known (yet) about tending to the dead dogs in that field, or being able to pursue anything from a legal standpoint in terms of monitoring the field for abusers.

So, my point? If YOU are doing something wonderful to make a difference in the life of an animal in need, please – get a back-up plan in place so in the event your efforts are interrupted, that animal will still be taken care of.   Write it down, tell a few people, and ask around to see if anyone would be interested in learning about your efforts in the event that someone else needs to step in.  

There are awesome people doing awesome things to help animals, but sometimes it’s done so quietly that it might go unnoticed if they were to stop.

Life changes on a dime, and that means it can change for you, also. Make sure YOUR changes don’t impact the great works you are doing to save or better the life of an animal in need; it matters to that animal.

So, what’s YOUR plan for that? Hopefully you have one, and hopefully you are also a back-up for someone else. It matters.

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

 

 

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Why the Super Bowl is a Win for Homeless and Adoptable Animals! (From Janet)

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

Last February, 111.3 million people in the United States watched the Super Bowl, making it, as usual, the top-rated television broadcast of the year.

Along with the Super Bowl, just as many hunker down to watch the traditional “Puppy Bowl”, which is now synonymous with the Super Bowl in terms of popularity and TV ratings.

The ‘Puppy Bowl’ (and now the ‘Kitten Bowl’ also), sponsored by Animal Planet, helps showcase the plight of homeless animals and the number of wonderful animals available for adoption through local shelters (whether dumped, stray or int he shelter from over-population)  and those displaced by disasters – although the very first Puppy Bowl was not intended to heighten awareness of animals in need.  This event usually targets puppies and kittens, however this event also helps smaller animals like guinea pigs and rabbits get adopted as well.

In 2017, the “Puppy Bowl” introduced disabled and special needs animals for adoption. How awesome is that!

And this year (so happy), the “Dog Bowl” has also been added!  The Dog Bowl highlights adoptable dogs ages two – older, spreading awareness about harder to place dogs that need a forever home. Finally!

Over the years, and with Animal Welfare issues and involvement so prevalent (with the help of so many varied social media platforms available), these “Bowls” have been transformed from something purely created for fun into something initially not expected – a way to save animal lives and educate our public about the many (MANY) animals in need across our nation, and beyond.

Every animal showcased at the “Puppy” and “Kitten” Bowl gets adopted. Period. 

Another plus, many of those infamous and cute Super Bowl Commercials involving animals also help to spread and heighten Animal Awareness. And, many of the proceeds from them goes directly back into participating local animal organizations.

Win, win and win.

Please know, as one our of readers pointed out, and rightly so, that although the “Puppy Bowl” is beneficial for helping homeless and shelter animals in need, at the same, the Super Bowl is not as animal-friendly. Every year, thousands of pounds – THOUSANDS – of animal products are sold for human consumption at this event. This includes (but is not limited to) beef, pork and chicken in various forms. This year’s Super Bowl forecasts that there will be 1.33 MILLION POUNDS of chicken wings sold, and that’s just for chicken wings.  

And we are not even talking about the animal products bought and eaten at tailgate AND Super Bowl parties.  

Can you get a non-animal product food to eat at the Super Bowl? Yes, but they are few and far between, and not as highlighted as the animal product options.  And, since patrons are not allowed to bring their own food into the stadium, those who don’t eat animal products have a limited menu once seated – not that anyone would complain, because those that are devoted to veganism in support of animals are always happy to forgo meat based food options to help save a life.

And, Animal Planet, who is sponsoring the “Puppy Bowl”, isn’t perfect either.  Animal Planet has been in the poor limelight by supporting Animal Cruelty and Abuse by some of the shows they air, by stating incorrect facts on wild animals which seems to be geared towards scaring the public, and by mistreating some of the animals they use on air.

And sadly, the NFL still supports and funds animal testing for NFL medical research (example: using live rats for helmet hitting pressure testing – yup, these rats are placed immobile on a table, and their head is repeatedly bashed to see how much pressure it takes to cause injury and death), as well as the NFL still allows animal abusers to play on their teams. PS – Go ahead and sign/share that petition!

So, there are pros and cons to almost everything, including the Super Bowl.

Whether YOU are a fan of Super Bowl (or Animal Planet) or not, EVERYONE can appreciate the good they are doing to promote adoption and awareness for animals in need through these Animal “Bowls”.

Remember, if YOU are hosting a super bowl party tonight, don’t forget to pay attention to YOUR four-legged family members. Keep them safe, keep the food away that they aren’t supposed to have, don’t forget to take them on potty breaks during the game, make sure they are able to go someplace in your home to de-stress and make sure their needs are met no matter where YOU are in the game.

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

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Remember, it’s still Winter (from Janet)

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

It’s been unseasonably mild and warm in parts of Western NY this past week.  In fact, around our house, sprouts of green are pushing through the soggy, cold and wet leaves, and some people are seeing buds on trees.

But remember, whether or not you see snow on the ground, remember that it’s STILL Winter. That means, cold nights and mornings, and worse yet, colder days and nights, and more snow to come.

With that said, here’s our reminder to you, to share, that WINTER SUCKS FOR MANY ANIMALS.

Did you know?

  • There are roughly 7 million stray dogs and cats in the U.S. at any given time. And that’s just in the United States.
  • Many people will not take in a stray dog or cat, especially during mild weather, and even during bad weather.
  • There are many people who will not even call to report an animal left outside.  And animals are left outside 24/7, yes, sadly, even in the harshest of Wintry weather.

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 the harsh weather and 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. Of course, the species 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. But NEVER turn your back on any animal in distress or in danger.

Many people, and animals, love the change of seasons. A crisp, crystal clear snowy day or a snowy-blowy night is something many enjoy and look forward to. Unless you’re an animal who is forgotten, kept outdoors 24/7, dumped, injured, hungry, cold, wet, stray, feral… add your own description here.

Unfortunately, many people think that leaving pets outside day and night in the Pre-Winter and Winter season without basic care and attention is enough.  The days and nights leading up to Winter can be miserable on animals in general, not to mention Winter itself.

  • Lack of always-available clean, fresh, cold water – it’s a myth that animals can “drink snow” to stay hydrated. Many animals die every year from winter dehydration. Licking snow and ice does not prevent dehydration. A heated birdbath that can be placed on the ground is a great way to ensure a steady supply of unfrozen water. Be sure to clean it as winter water can still get dirty.
  • Lack of appropriate shelter from the elements – frost, cold rain, sleet, snow, hail, and wind. Animals can also get sunburn in the winter.
  • Lack of appropriate winter coat (and don’t forget to bundle up your pet when taking him/her to the vet, for a walk, to the car).
  • Lack of alleviation for allergy symptoms – yep, animals suffer from winter and food allergies also
  • Lack of boredom alleviation from being kept in the same spot every day
  • Food (and dish bowls with uneaten food) that sits out all day runs risk of becoming frozen, lost in the snow and ice and can attract other animals
  • Unhygienic environments when an animal is forced to void, sleep, eat and pace in the same  area

Not to mention (but we’re going to)

  • Seasonal colds from damp, frozen wet grounds and cold temperatures
  • Dehydration
  • Sunburn
  • Blisters, cut and sensitive spots on paws from cold, frozen ground (a pacing animal that walks in the same spots every day does NOT warm the ground s/he is walking on).
  • Paw irritations and injuries from salt, and other de-icing products
  • Allergies
  • Hunger and thirst – many people don’t realize the number of animals who are deemed “outside animals” are FORGOTTEN more than one would think for regular feedings

By now, mostly everyone is aware about the importance of NEVER leaving ANY animal in a closed car on a hot day. The same goes for leaving animals unattended in cars on a super-cold day. If you’re cold – so are they. Remember, if YOU see ANY animal in an unhealthy, unsafe situation, JUST DO SOMETHING.  Your action may be THE action to save a life.

“Fur” Real?

Many people have the misconception that because an animal has fur, that they are immune to cold weather tragedies. Not true! Even domestic animals that are left outside too long can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia.

  • Even well meaning pet owners may not realize they should not simply put their animal outside for prolonged periods of time during the Winter. 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. Especially those that are routinely chained in one place.
    It matters to that animal.
  • Domestic pets that are in-door animals, should be limited in the amount of time spent outside in ANY element.
  • If it’s cold enough for you to feel it and be affected, then chances are you pet is being affected too.  Invite your pet inside for some warming time.
  • If it’s 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 cold (and hot).  Cold surfaces like pavement and  tarred driveways can burn and blister, cause frostbite, stones can tear and scrape, and other rough surfaces can do damage – AS CAN SALT AND OTHER DE-ICING PRODUCTS (and make your pet sick if s/he licks their paws after they come indoors).  Most domestic animals dislike “booties”, so simply pay attention to the amount of time your pet is walking on surfaces that can cause irritation and injury, and take the time to gently wipe off  paws after being outdoors.  Especially if your pet has environmental allergies, which Winter falls under.  A quick paw-soak or bath after playing in the snow can be a very soothing allergy-symptom reliever.  NOTE:  If your pet appears to be dealing with sore paws from winter irritation or allergy,  causing licking, itching, and/or causing your pet to act unlike him or herself, a vet visit is in store.
    Always be on the look-out for frostbite or hypothermia.
  • Is it a Winter cold rainy or snowy day? No-one likes to sit around and be soggy. Any soft, clean absorbent towel is great for drying off your pet after outdoor time.  Be sure to routinely wash any toweling used to dry your pet.
  • Speaking of drying off, if you plan on taking your pet to a dog park or swimming area in the colder weather, watch for signs of stress, hypothermia and/or infection. 

Remember, YOU can just do something!  

  1. First, always SPEAK UP.
    Keep your eyes and ears open.  If you become aware of a situation where ANY animal is in distress or danger, JUST 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.
  2. Provide shelter.
    If bringing the animal inside your home is not an option, help him/her survive the cold by providing shelter such as a sturdy cardboard box or large Tupperware bin (cut a hole for an entry way) lined with a good amount of 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, 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 freeze. Enticing the animal into your garage will also work.  Ensure proper bedding for warmth, as garages usually are not heated. When possible, change the straw. 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! This is also a good time to mention that strays (especially cats) will find warmth during the winter in many unlikely places – so check under your car and in your car wheel-wells before driving off; parked cars provide warmth and shelter, so it’s a common place for a cold, homeless animal to seek out.
  3. Provide food and water.
    Did you know that many pet owners think that SNOW is a great substitute for water? Not true! If you’re uber committed to providing water in the winter, invest in a heated bird bath. Place it on the ground, for all to have access to.
    Check out this informational about WATER in the winter!
    Your knowledge on this COULD save a life.Providing stray animals with fresh, clean (dry) food and water can help them survive the cold 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 check on water sources frequently for the same reason.
  • 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.

Do you feed the birds in the winter?

GREAT, and thank you!  In addition to providing them with fresh water (see #3), make sure that once you start putting out bird food, that you KEEP doing it through the wintry months.  Why? Once a bird finds a winter food source, it will become dependent on being able to forage in that same area as an expected food source.  Birds need to eat at least a much as it’s total body weight in food EVERY day just to survive another day of winter.  The energy a bird takes to find food can become a deadly race to store energy OR go find a new food source.  So, feed the birds in the same place, every day.

Not sure what kind of bird food is the best? During the winter, for the birds, it’s all about conserving energy and maintaining a healthy, daily weight.  Best food for that is ANYTHING that does not have to be de-shelled or broken apart. Sunflower chips, peanut butter, peanut chips, and suet are Number One go-to’s for most Northern birds. Forget the bread and standard bag of bird seed – bread is harmful to most birds and ducks, and the round millet that comes in standard bird seed is not eaten by many wild birds; it looks like a lot of bird food in one bag, but a lot of it is filler.

Smear peanut butter on tree branches and rocks. Roll some sunflower chips with peanut butter, and put these little yummy ball treats out for all the birds to enjoy. Hang suet from feeders out of reach of squirrels. Anything you spread on the ground (nuts, seeds, chips) should be spread in an area that you can keep clear of snow as best you can. Little birds have a hard time “digging” in the snow for the bits and pieces – and that takes energy away from them.  Make a point to clear snow out from your bird feeding area every day when possible. And, spread it out! Some birds are safer and will more readily eat closer to bushes than out in the open. Larger birds will push away the smaller birds – spreading out the food ensures that more birds will have a chance to eat.

Do you want to feed the ducks in the winter? A bag of corn works better than bread.  See a Canada Goose all alone in the winter? Chances are, s/he is injured and needs attention. A bird that cannot fly in the winter, WILL DIE.  Call someone to help.

WINTER KILLS ANIMALS.

No animal should suffer so horribly or needlessly.

You can help prevent that by doing right by any animal in need. Remember, not every “outdoor dog” you see chained is actually an outdoor dog. And not all cats are feral. Cats dumped during the winter months will most likely succumb to the elements, starvation or dehydration. Whatever you see, check it out and JUST DO SOMETHING- you may be the one person to save or better an animal’s life.

What are you doing to help animals combat the cold?

Share it with us, and we’ll pass it around! Your endeavors might just help someone else save a life…or just keep one warm!

Enjoy winter, and make it enjoyable for those that cannot speak for, or defend, themselves.

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

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

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Happy Birthday To Me (From Janet)

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

My birthday is this coming Wednesday, January 17th.

Lord, thank you for giving me the compassion that motivates me to want to make a difference every day, for those that cannot speak for, or defend, themselves.

Thank you for giving me the strength to keep moving forward in my animal advocacy goals, no matter what the roadblocks.

Thank you for a healthy body and mind, that I can keep fighting the good fight, no matter what comes my way.

Thank you for opening my eyes and giving me life’s ups and downs, so I can see what truly matters in life.

Thank you for my personality – I am that larger than life, louder than everyone in the room, outspoken, take charge, fearless, thick-skinned, just jump in, JUST DO SOMETHING person when needed.

Thank you for the loving support and encouragement of my wonderful family, friends, and fellow advocates.

Thank you for blessing me with a very understanding husband.

Thank you for another beginning of a year where I promise to continue to make a difference.

Happy Birthday to me.

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

 

 

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The Gift of Eloise (from Janet)

What do you say about a dog you never met, across a continent, who changed your life in a profound way?  

This is how I felt about Eloise, a dog that came across my Facebook page in a random Rescue plea, like the hundreds and thousands of other postings that I see and hear about on a regular basis.  The shelter staff named her Eloise – whether or not in haste, just because she needed any name to be identified in the shelter, or because someone took the time to look at Eloise and decided that was the name for her – Eloise is how she fondly is remembered by me.

Here is that original Facebook post:

Animal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandeAnimal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandefur just-do-something.org Eloise

Roughly 2,441 miles separated us, but from the moment I saw that post, I knew I was going to get her out of that high-kill shelter environment and help find her a loving forever home.  

Pulling Eloise from the shelter:  Read the happy blog here. The shelter staff at New Leash on Life renamed her Pocahontas because they thought she looked like a little Indian.

Eloise finds her forever home:  Read the joyous blog here.  Her new family lovingly named her Sophie.

It always hurts, so much, when you can’t save an animal in need.

And it always hurts, so much, when you hear of an animal’s passing, whether s/he is your very own or not.

As many of you know, I kept in touch with Sophie’s family because Sophie had my heart and I just couldn’t bear to not get updates.

Here is my last update. Sophie was passed on Friday, January 5, 2018 surrounded by her family, in her own home. 

I would like to share the e-mail that I received from Sophie’s family:

Animal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandeAnimal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandefur just-do-something.org Eloise

The thing about losing a pet in ANY manner is this: there really are no words. 

Here’s what I will say: Every day, every where, animals are dumped, dying, hungry, cold, lonely, abused, exploited, hurt, and abandoned. Many are over looked for adoption in favor of younger, cuter, healthier animals. 

Maybe someone else would have looked at Sophie, who was a little worn, pretty haggard, and definitely tired, and passed her by without a second thought.

But Sophie’s family looked at Sophie, and gobbled her up, loved her inside and out, and gave that girl as much love, care and adoration as any animal deserved.  It didn’t matter to them that she was a little worn, pretty haggard, and definitely tired.

No-one knows Sophie’s beginning, or her journey up until she ended up at the shelter. However, in the short time between shelter life and new home life, Sophie loved and lived A LOT.  And in the end, that’s all anyone can ask for. 

I have thought about Sophie every day on some level since I first saw her picture in that Facebook post.  And, I will continue to think of her every day, as I carry her in my heart no matter what.  Sophie’s last day is written on my calendar, but it’s not a date that I will ever forget.

One dog changed the way that I view others, has made me see the positive, creative ways that people can come together to make a difference, and has given me optimism that there are lots of warm, wonderful people out there whose hearts are big enough to love an animal with any kind of challenge, no matter what the circumstance.  Look closely at Eloise’s shelter picture.  Her tail is wagging.  Wagging.  And that means hope. Eloise left me with many gifts. Impacted by a dog I have never even met. Wow.

I love you, Eloise.

Animal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandeAnimal Advocacy Blog Animal Welfare janet Bovitz sandefur just-do-something.org Eloise

Sophie, above, with her family.

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

 

 

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Be A ‘Little More in 2018 (From Janet)

 

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

Happy, wonderful New Year!

People have such good intentions this time of year when it comes to making those New Year’s resolutions.

“I will go to the gym every day and lose that weight.”

“I will donate 15% of my salary to a charity.”

“I will have less clutter at home.”

But often, the grander promises get pushed back, and before you know it, another whole year has passed and you find yourself making those same resolutions again.

This year, why not try something on a smaller scale, but possibly way more impacting – why not try “a little more”.

This New Year, I will try:

“to be A Little More kinder.”

“to be A Little More compassionate.”

“to be A Little More grateful.”

“to be A Little More freer with my time.”

“to be A Little More giving of myself.”

“to be A Little More tolerant.”

“to be A Little More patient.”

“to be A Little More empathetic.”

“to be A Little More generous.”

“to be A Little More helpful.”

This New Year, I will try:

“to be A Little More LESS selfish.”

“to be A Little More LESS caring.”

“to be A Little More LESS excuse-making.”

“to be A Little More LESS involved.”

“to be A Little More LESS self-absorbed.”

“to be A Little More LESS fearful.”

“to be A Little More LESS of a procrastinator.”

…“to be A Little More.”

You just never know who YOU are making a difference for, when you just try a little more.

Just Do Something…a little more.

YOUR ‘Little More is up to you. But YOU can do it. We ALL can.

It’s YOUR New Year. How will YOU be making it count for an animal in need this year?
Think it, then do it – every day. It matters.

Happy New Year!

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Because Christmas is coming, again (From Janet)

 

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

There are do-gooders, and then, there are do-gooders. Whether you are the former, or the latter, the majority of people feel that if they do just one charitable thing during the Holiday season that maybe they normally don’t do at any other time of year, that their obligation is done for the year, until next year.

How sad for them. How sad for those living lives of misery the other 364 days a year.

Being kind, compassionate, giving, aware, responsible and conscientious, is a way of life.  Doing the right thing, EVERY time, is a choice. A conscious decision made with someone else’s very best interest at heart. And it doesn’t matter if that someone else is a four-legged, or two-legged, living being.

What matters is that, if the ONLY thing that motivates you to be charitable is the Holiday season,
then you should live as if every day is the Holiday season.

Giving of yourself, extending yourself is a gift; it’s a blessing – it’s a privilege. If you are able-bodied, you can give of yourself. And with that, the possibilities are endless. Endless.

If you think you are too tired, too busy, too broke, too depressed, too lazy – welcome to the world of being alive. We all feel “too something” at one time or another.  If you’re up to your eyeballs in “too something” be thankful that you are. It means you’re living. It means you have choices you can make. It means you can do something to change your part of the world. It means that you can do something to change the world for someone else.

So many animals have so little freedom. Their lives aren’t their own. Their choices, lives and destinies are decided for them, based on who owns them, who captures them, who abuses them, and who neglects them.

The Holiday season is no different for these animals, than any other miserable day.  And for many animals, the Holiday season is tragically even worse.

It’s a poor excuse for someone to think that the only time of year that they need help make a difference is during the Holiday season. There is something wrong with society if the push to increase charitable acts only comes at Christmas time and at the end of year.

We can ALL make a difference EVERY DAY, in some way.  And, we should. We are ALL obligated to make the world a better place for ALL living beings.

Does everyone feel and think this way? Nope. Should we? Yep.

Be a 365 do-gooder, and encourage others to do the same.

And if you cannot bring yourself to be 365, then start NOW, planning for the next Holiday season. Because Christmas is coming, again.

Happy Holidays,

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

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Guest Blogger, Mary Christo

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Animal abuse garners more attention when it involves certain animals such as dogs, cats, dolphins or whales. Conversely, animal agriculture is an accepted practice even though those animals, no matter how humanely raised, experience fear, suffering and untimely death. That is because farm animals are deemed commodities. Society considers some animals, or species, to be more valuable and deserving of rights. This concept is know as “speciesism.” Speciesism is no different than other forms of discrimination. Morally there is no distinction between cow or dog meat, leather or fur, foie gras or steak. In each case animals suffer for either palate pleasure or fashion. Most people believe animal abuse is wrong. Unfortunately, that belief is often speciesist. 

As an animal advocate it is necessary to establish a moral baseline, namely, that all animals matter and that all animal use is abuse. Humans do not need to consume animal products to survive. Current medical research supports a plant-based diet for optimal health. We certainly do not need other animal products such as leather, fur or animal-derived cosmetics when there are readily available alternatives. Animal agriculture is responsible for the deaths of nearly 60 billion animals each year. It is also one of the leading contributors to climate change. 

What can you as an individual do today and everyday? If you are against animal abuse and agree that animals matter morally it follows that you do not use animal products. What you put on your plate and what you wear matter! Live what you believe and go vegan. It’s easy. There is a plethora of information and support to guide you. The Internet, particularly via social media, has support groups, recipes galore and everything from vegan 101 to vegan philosophy. Most cities and towns have vegetarian/vegan meet-ups and restaurants.

Here are a few sources to get you started:

HowDoIGoVegan.com (covers all the basics and then some)
EatLikeYouCareBook.com (available in 11 languages)
VeganSidekick.com (cartoons which make you go “Hmmm.”)

Mary Christo
Florida

Find and follow Mary on Facebook, and ask her about her Facebook page promoting veganism.

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

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Would YOU Have Noticed Him? (from Janet)

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My eyes are ALWAYS open. No matter where I am going, or what I am doing, I am always looking EVERYWHERE to see how I can help out an animal in need.  Because in every town, every day, some place, an animal is waiting to be noticed, to be helped, to be saved, to be rescued.

Today was no different. My husband and I were on our way to grocery shop.  If I hadn’t been looking, I may have never spotted a lone Canada Goose sitting quietly and almost invisibly near a parking lot of a local bank.

It’s rare this time of year to see a Canada Goose by him or herself. Almost always, when you do, it’s because something is wrong.

The something wrong with this Canada Goose was that it looked like he had been hit by a car. 

Sadly, this is not uncommon in this part of town where I live. Canada Geese love the water, and the area by this particular shopping area has ponds and a swamp area. No matter what time of day, there are always Canada Geese crossing the entry roads, causing traffic to stop. And in the summer months, traffic stops happily to allow the Canada Geese families time to get everyone across the street – it can be quite a sight when there is more than one Goose family treking from one side of the road to the other. 

It was very clear that this Canada Goose needed some looking after, and a safe place to convalesce, where he would have easy access to food and water. An injured bird of any kind will have a difficult time surviving if s/he cannot get to food and water easily. This Goose could not fly at all – a death sentence in the winter.

Being so concerned about animals, I have quite the list of rehabbers I can call, depending upon the animal in need. So, a call was made, and within the hour, someone came to net this Goose and bring him to a safe location with a rehabber.

The rehabber was able to walk right up this Goose initially.  Most likely this was because he was injured, tired and just trying to rest. 

It was a slightly different story when the net was brought out. The Goose stood up and tried to walk in the opposite direction of the net, hissing all the time.

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If you’ve ever seen a rehabber try to net a Goose, you know it sometimes is not an easy task to accomplish.  Geese are large, and yep, mean – even an injured one.  They can put up quite the struggle, and they can look and sound very intimidating.

It’s easier to catch a Goose against a building – Geese are fast and can be hard to net if they have a wide place to run.  Water is even more challenging.  Once a Goose gets in water, they can swim to an area that you can’t reach. Having a Goose against a building increases the odds of netting him because there is less space for the Goose to go.  So with some gentle cornering, the Goose found his way towards the local bank where we found him.

From there, it took no time at all for a succesful netting.

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It may look awful for the Goose, but actually, the netting is soft, and once the Goose was caught, he visibly calmed down and actually sank into the net. He was comfortably transferred to a cage in a warm car.  And we went on with our shopping.

#1 Good thing that came out of this: Happy Ending

#2 Good thing that came out of this: As we were cornering the Goose to net it, a woman in a car drove up, quite upset. She said that she was driving down the main road, and happened to look over at the bank parking lot and saw “some guy” looking like he was trying to harm the Goose. So, she u-turned around to check things out. She was so happy when we explained to her what we were actually doing. It made me feel great to know that there are other’s out there, right in my town, who keep their eyes open and who care about animals enough to JUST DO SOMETHING.  I gave her my contact information – you can never (NEVER) have enough contacts and friends who have the same passion for helping animals in need.

I waited a few hours and called to check up on Goose.  By the way, the rehabber informed me that this Goose was a male.

He had eaten and drank, and had been walking around. The blood was saw on his back and tail were from losing some feathers. His wing was compromised, and we were not sure if the wing was broken yet or not, but he was completely unable to fly.

This Goose will stay with the rehabber until it can fully fly, or through the complete Winter season. Once Spring arrives, if the Goose still is unable to fly, I will be calling some of my other contacts to find a permanent home (sanctuary) where he will always be cared for. 

Tonight it’s very cold, and snowing.  If I hadn’t had my eyes open, this Goose would be spending another night alone, in the cold, covered with snow, hungry and suffering.

Looking around is something we ALL do. We may not always be so super aware of what’s going on around us, but maybe we should.

This is why My eyes are ALWAYS open. No matter where I am going, or what I am doing, I am always looking EVERYWHERE to see how I can help out an animal in need.  Because in every town, every day, some place, an animal is waiting to be noticed, to be helped, to be saved, to be rescued.

Eyes open! It matters. It really does.

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

 

 

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Guest Blogger, Billy Howard – helpstopdogfighting.com

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Our Note: Dogfighting and dog baiting is well known to those involved, but they make it VERY difficult for outsiders to find them. With the colder weather upon us, it might be even harder in some places to spot a dog fighting ring. This is because the dogs and events may be moved more routinely inside, and snow hides things even though leafless-trees makes it easier to look around.  Dogfighting and dog baiting can be anywhere: from deep in a wooded area, to the basement of a condemned or boarded up house, to even someone’s fenced in backyard. If you THINK you see or hear something, or you KNOW about a person or animal involved in dogfighting and/or dog baiting, PLEASE report it.

Many people don’t report it because some dogfighting and dog baiting rings are run by gangs. And ratting on a gang related event is cause for retaliation. But know that you can report dogfighting and dog baiting anonymously to your local 911.  Yes, 911 will ask for your information, but legally they cannot and will not make your information known publicly. And if, you are still nervous about reporting dogfighting or dog baiting, reach out to us and WE will report it for you.

Take a moment to google “Report Dog Fighting” for other references and information on how you can help, and report on this brutal and illegal practice.

Let’s End Dog Fighting Together

Many people are not aware of what dog fighting really is, or are aware of the possible signs of a dog fighting operation.

Dog fighting is extremely inhumane and cruel, and the things these dogs are forced to endure are unimaginable.

Do a quick search on the internet and you will learn how dogs are treated and what they are forced to do to fight or be the “bait” dog.

Dogs are stolen from shelters and domestic homes for dog fighting purposes, or raised just for this purpose.

Dog fighting is no “sport”, contrary to those who treat it as a sporting event.

Here in the Alabama area, dog fighting areas and operations usually present signs of multiple dogs (usually pitbull mixes) living outside in 55 gallon barrel drums chained with logging chain (10 feet long).  Surrounding that area are usually ropes and chains hanging from trees, with springs attached to those ropes and chains.  We see a number of tread mills in the area.  And the dogs that are used to fight have scars and/or fresh wounds on their faces and bodies.

Sadly, dog fighting is prevalent is ALL countries.  Did you know that within the Unites States, almost every county in every state has dog fighting organizations?

Our organization is www.helpstopdogfighting.com, and we go ANYWHERE in the United States for FREE when it comes to investigating and stopped dog fighting operations.  There is up to a $5,000.00 Reward for valid information, and we encourage people to reach out to us if they have any reason to suspect, or have information about, dog fighting.  Call 1-877-215-2250.

Dog fighters are not stupid.  They are very aware of what they are doing is illegal and inhumane, so they are very careful to conduct these operations in secret and without bringing too much attention to the dogs they are using for dog fighting.

In addition, please visit my own personal endeavor at www.alabamaangelsdogrescue.com.  I do ALL rescuing and website maintenance by myself, without any volunteers because where we are located in Alabama it is quite rural and it’s difficult to get interested people to want to help.  Anyone wanting to help my dog rescue here, 90% are Death Row Rescued!  You can call my local Farmers Co-op at 256-357-4743 and order dog food by phone or through pay-pal listed under my e mail account through Yahoo.

My additional contact information is listed on my website.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and share it.
Thank you to www.just-do-something.org for helping me share my story and spread awareness on this important issue.

Please, do what you can, where and when you can.

– Billy Howard
Alabama Investigator

Thank you to our Guest Blogger

 

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