Geez you guys, I can’t believe we’re already half way through February. I am so SO sorry for not writing about this charity until now!! My health has been a real CATastrophe lately, and it’s been “ruff” on me 😉 The only way to make up for lost time is to amp up my effort. And to write a good enough blog post to make you sympathetic to my cause. I think that I can do both…..Back in December when I was putting all of these charities together, I had not planned to specifically donate to Best Friends Animal Society. In fact, if you look back at my original list it says “Humane Society for Shelter Pets.” I selected the HSSP after doing some research into larger animal charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). However, it sorta puts a snag in ones plans when it is discovered later that this particular charity is unable to accept donations…GAH!! The Humane Society for Shelter Pets is devoted to encouraging people to donate LOCALLY and that’s what I liked about them. I learned some very interesting things off of their website (www.humaneforpets.com) that I was not aware of before, and I thought you guys might find some of these interesting as well:
~ “Despite the words “humane society” in its name, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not formally affiliated with any humane societies that operate at a city, county or regional level. HSUS does not run a single pet shelter. And the vast majority of its funds are kept for its own agenda. Only ONE PERCENT of its budget consists of grants to pet shelters.”
~ “Similarly, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is not affiliated with other local SPCAs (but does run ONE shelter in New York City). Generally, pet shelters are independent organizations.”
~ “It’s easy to forget local shelters and rescues who work tirelessly every day as we get mailing labels or see TV ads for national groups. American Institute of Philanthropy, an independent charity watchdog, finds that the Humane Society of the United States (which is not affiliated with local humane societies) spends as little as 50 percent of its budget on programs and as much as 48 cents to raise every dollar.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not against ANY place that takes in homeless, abandoned, abused, neglected and injured animals. I think every one of these animals deserves the chance to have a good home, no matter where they end up getting placed. It’s not like it was their choice that they got dropped off or taken in there. However, I do believe that local shelters need far more financial help than the big guys. Rescues and local shelters have to work hard to come up with enough donated money to house the animals, feed them, bathe them, clean up after them, and provide shots/vaccines/antibiotics and other medical care, as well as pay the full-time staff, the doctors that care for the pets, recruit volunteers and pay for the overhead costs of running their facilities.
Ready for why I chose Best Friends Animal Society?? It’s sort of a crazy tail (get it?! you get it right??) but let’s start with this guy and eventually I’ll get to the point:
This guy is my hero. Also my husband, my best friend, my sidekick.
Next week he will be 9. MONTHS. SOBER. It has not been an easy road, but we are so incredibly fortunate that we didn’t have to do this journey alone. We have each other. We have amazing family and friends. We have compassionate counselors, a spectacular sponsor, and the support of AA meetings. AND…we have the love and encouragement (and dare I say, friendship?!) of one of THEE coolest girls to ever exist on the internet. Her name is Katy, and she writes the blog http://www.wantadumpsterbaby.com . To be honest, I can’t even remember exactly how I stumbled upon her. I do know it was just a few weeks after my hubby was released from detox at the hospital. I was grasping for anything, anyone, that could help me make sense of the whole alcohol addiction thing. Some kind of beacon that would show me there WAS a light at the end of the tunnel, that addiction could be overcome, and that life with an alcoholic didn’t have to be lived on pins and needles.
And then….. there she was. Bright blonde hair and glossy red lips and sassy cat-eye frames. Standing in a dumpster! What the hell was this chick all about?! I started
stalking browsing her Facebook page. She is a self proclaimed “Proud drunk” ~ sober now for 11 years. She is a vegan. She hates when people act like dicks. She has two kitty cats named Sally Boy and Eliza Jane that are like babies to her, and she wants to take in rescue babies just like she takes in rescue pets. She has been homeless, jobless, friendless, hospitalized, committed, and jailed. But she has also been given a second chance, and because of that this woman lives, breathes, oozes gratitude. She is funny. She is smart. She is compassionate. She is supportive. She is SOBER. I fell in love 😉 I started commenting on her page, and she would comment back. I was inspired and hopeful and I wanted hubby to be as well. I purposely would leave her page up on our laptop, knowing that he would open it and see it. Would he take the bait and check out what she had to say?? Turns out he would. And I’m pretty sure my hubby is in love with her now too…which is cool with me, because I totally get it. She is the bees knees and the cat’s meow and any other weird animal expression you can come up with. In a weird way, she brought my hubby and me together in this battle despite the fact that she’s never met either one of us in real life. She is special.
And so to show our gratitude (there’s that word again) we have chosen KATY’S favorite animal rescue as February’s charity. Best Friends Animal Society is located in sunny and warm Kanab, Utah and is the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary for homeless, abused and abandoned pets. They own nearly 3,700 acres, and they lease another 17,000 acres of state and federal land. Almost 30,000 people travel there each year to meet and work with the animals, including Katy herself! Best Friends “fights discrimination against pit bull terriers, battles commercial breeding operations and keeps community cats safe and out of shelters with trap/neuter/return.” They work to spay and neuter pets, save lives and reduce euthanasia rates. They are doing good things. If you have an extra ten dollars in your account this minute, this week or this month, P*L*E*A*S*E consider visiting Best Friends Animal Society at http://www.bestfriends.org/ and clicking on the orange DONATE TODAY tab in the top right corner 🙂 And please let me know if you do!!! I always want to make sure you know your donation is appreciated.
*** More to come tomorrow on a project my sister Ellen and I are working on for some local shelters near us in Michigan. And pictures next week of some volunteer time with my little girl!! xoxo ***