Animal Shelter Appreciation

This past week, Animal Shelter Appreciation Week occured across the globe. Showing your local animal shelter appreciation is inherently important because YOU are the only way that these shelters are able to help homeless, lost, mistreated, or abused animals in their local communities. It is the volunteers, the employees, and every individual who has ever adopted a pet from a shelter; they are the reason that shelters can survive.

So this week, and next, and for every weekend after, I encorage you to find out more about your local animal shelter. Do they have volunteer opportunities? Do they sponsor local events or fundraisers? Do they hold adoption events annually or monthly? Get informed and learn how you can take a couple hours out of your week, or even month, to help these shelters so that they can help needy animals across your community.

Doing good is contagious so if you help out then bring a friend and encourage them to spread the word along as well. Spreading and sharing knowledge about such a great cause is extremely valuable and nothing else can come of it besides great help and support for all of our animals in need.

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Pepsi Refresh Contest

The Humane Society of the United States is competing in the Pepsi Refresh Contest to help animals who are victims of extreme cruelty. This project that Pepsi is holding gives voters a chance to decide what cause they think is most deserving of these funds. If the Humane Society were to win, they could be granted $250,000 to use in rescuing animals who are suffering from abuse, neglect, and animal fighting.

Every day, dogs, cats and horses suffer from life-threatening neglect. They are left to endure extreme deprivation, without care from the people they depend on the most—often struggling against death every day. -US Humane Society

This quote from the Humane Society shows just how pertinant it is that the issue of animal abuse and neglect is brought to the public eye and the Pepsi Refresh contest is doing just this. I have seen numerous facebook statuses and twitter posts regarding various projects in the running for funds. This is such a great opportunity for advocates to get their messages out and pull for whatever cause they feel is most deserving.

I believe that the Humane Society is definitely worthy of these funds as it will not only raise awareness for their caue but also help thousands of animals across the United States.

 Vote to enable the rescue of more than 2,000 dogs and cats from their cruel situations so that they can be placed in forever, loving homes. Please vote today!

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We Can Make a Change.

I think that the best way to advocate for change and make change happen is to spread information. I just read a really interesting article on About.com that explained the Top 10 Animal Rights Issues and I found some interesting and unexpected information. Surprisingly enough, the biggest threat to animal’s at the present moment is human overpopulation. As our population continues to grow, the widespread issues of animal maltreatment continue to increase across the globe. Can this cycle be stopped? Only with awareness. So get informed, support local farms, neuter your pets, and spread the love because our animals need us just as much as we need them!

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Before Owning a Pet…

It is a fact that abandonment and neglect are the two most common forms of animal abuse in the US. It breaks my heard to hear this and come to terms with the fact that there are a disturbing amount of people in our world who don’t properly care for their pets. Or animals in general, for that matter.
Because of this, countless animals end up without homes, and if they’re lucky may end up in an animal shelter with the chance of being adopted. But many animals aren’t so lucky, and unfortunately many end up on the streets.
These facts are clear evidence on the inherent importance of spaying and neutering your animals. Overcrowding is a huge issue in animal shelters and sadly many animals are killed in these institutions because of the severe crowding. Further, if animals are on the streets without being spaying or neutered they will on;ly create more animals which will end up on the streets as well.
This sad cycle can only be stopped if dog-owners get informed and realize the importance of not only spaying and neutering their pets, but also only buying an animal if they are 100% sure that they want to invest time and give the animal the love and the care that they deserve. They should only get a pet if they know for a fact that they will not abandon it and that it will have a loving home for the rest of its life.

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Dog Breeders vs. Animal Rights Activists

Are these two entities one in the same? Can you have one without the other? Some think so.

Missouri’s new ballot issue Prop B will appear on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot, urging votes to help enact the “Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.” This new set of laws would sharpen regulations on dog breeders in a substantial way. Proponents of this law are national animal-rights groups who see this law as a way to ensure that breeders within Missouri’s boarders are humanely treating all of their animals. Sounds fair enough, right?

Missouri dog-breeders don’t think so. They argue that the majority of licensed breeders care deeply for their animals and follow given regulations, and they fear that this law ignores the real problem of unlicensed breeders who operate without any rules or regulations at all. Many licensed breeders across Missouri worry that Prop B will give a pass to the worst offenders while forcing the good breeders out of business.

This information definitely complicates the issue. If unlicensed breeders are getting away with animal cruelty shouldn’t legislation be enacted focusing on this issue first and foremost?

I am all for the strict regulation of animal breeding farms and I think that it is extremely important for the law to crack down on animal cruelty but I think that the laws that are being created regarding these issue should address the bigger problems first. If unlicensed breeders are getting away with animal cruelty that extends way beyond that which is found in licensed breeding grounds, these institutions should be shut down immediately.

I do, however, think that more regulation for licensed breeders is inherently important and will enforce healthy and positive changes for Missouri Breeders so VOTE YES on PROB B!

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Awareness Is Everything

I will be the first to admit that I love meat. However; supporting animal rights is still something that am very passionate about. So does it make me a hypocrite that I thoroughly enjoy biting into a juicy burger every once in a while and get super excited about the nights when my dad grills his “famous” maple-syrup and brown sugar encrusted salmon? Am I not truly a supporter of animal rights because of the fact that I’m not vegetarian or vegan? Perhaps later in my life I will adopt one of these principles, but for now, I believe that I have every right to eat meat, while still being considered a legitimate advocate for the well-being of animals. It is awareness of the issues that is the catalyst for change, so I hope to spread this awareness as much as possible.

It really comes down to how the animals are being treated at farms and this is why I am not in support of the intense industrialization of the farming industry. As I mentioned in my last post, Stonyfield Farms is a great example of a company that maintains healthy living conditions for all of its animals. While this institution doesn’t have a need to slaughter animals because they produce only dairy products, it is a reality that animals will always be used for meat products. Because of this, I believe that more funds should be given to local farms who are not highly industrialized and who strive to treat their animals in a humane way.

I believe that the intense industrialization of our food industry has created a strong need for awareness. The entire world becoming vegetarian isn’t a reality so this awareness needs to create a pull for local farms.

When researching this topic I also discovered another great organization called Farm Sanctuary, which was started by Gene Baur. He advocates for sick or abused animals to be rescued from industrialized farms. His sanctuary offers a safe haven for these victims of factory farming and is the worlds largest rescue and refuge network for farm animals. Baur’s goal is to “change [America’s] hearts and minds about animals and food.” More awareness should be created for this great organization and the huge subsidies that support industrialized farming systems should be directed more towards local farms.

The awareness of the issues and abuse that is going on in factory farms is inherently important. With this awareness, change can be made, and this change will create a healthier and happier America, for us and our animals.

Visit http://animalrights.change.org/ to learn more.

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Happiness

Being away at college definitely has its perks; freedom, independence, no curfew, and living in a unique, learning filled environment… but at the same time being away from my family is always a down-side to that. I do get to see my parents quite often though, as they love coming down to Lawrence for games, my sorority functions, and random shopping outtings on Mass. St., but the one family member that I don’t get to see nearly as often as I would like, is my adorable doggy Teddy. As previously mentioned, he is a white golden doodle and my family is basically obsessed with him. While I miss him terribly, I have found the cure for this lack of Teddy while I’m away at college; volunteering at the Lawrence Humane Society.

The Lawrence Humane Society is a truly great organization that provides shelter for over 7,000 homeless animals who are available to be adopted into loving homes. They also provide emergency rescue services and conduct cruelty investigations in order to keep animals safe around the Lawrence community and the Douglas county area. I always get such a great feeling after I volunteer at this shelter knowing that I made one animals day by simply offering some much appreciated petting, frisbee throwing, and maybe a biscuit or two. Nothing is better than seeing any dog’s tail wag with excitement when you open their kennel door and knowing you can give them any amount of happiness is a gift in itself.

So whenever I’m getting the Teddy blues, its great to know that this great organization exists right down the street where I can get all the puppy lovin I need. Click on their link below to learn how you too can volunteer and help an adorable furry friend!

http://lawrencehumane.org/

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