Growing up, I was always surrounded by animals – pets, livestock, and wild alike. I’ve always felt a particular kinship with animals in general, and, to quote my uncle, I usually feel more at ease with an animal than a human. These days I find myself so looking forward to the moment I walk in my door to be greeted by my two sleepily excited fur-balls. Maybe it’s a selfish need to have something love me unconditionally (well, I do have cats so there may be a few conditions but that’s another story…), but in fairness, I reciprocate (smile).
For these reasons and others, I’ve always been drawn to helping animals. One of the reasons I wanted to be involved in the environmental sector was to help preserve the world for the animals and the humans (I tend to put them in that order). I suppose there’s something about an animal’s inability to control it’s life once humans get involved. So much injustice and cruelty occurs in this world, it’s easy enough to imagine but so very difficult to understand. In the past, my volunteer work has been almost exclusively with organizations that help animals, and I’m really looking forward to getting involved again soon (watch out for April’s goals).
In addition to volunteering my time, I also like to financially donate to organizations that help animals. There are a number of them out there from the Humane Society to the ASPCA, but the one I’ve sort of unofficially adopted is the Best Friends Animal Society.
Best Friends Animal Society started off as an animal sanctuary founded in the 1980s as an alternative to kill shelters. Now days, the Sanctuary owns approximately 3,700 acres and leases another 17,000 acres of state and federal land in southern Utah. There are about 1,700 animals at the Sanctuary at any given time, making it the nation’s largest no-kill shelter. The core of the Best Friends Animal Society is their motto: Save Them All. In addition to the Sanctuary in southern Utah, Best Friends works collaboratively with organizations and governments around the country to prevent overpopulation through means other than euthanasia.
I found Best Friends while searching for a way to commemorate a friend’s lost loved one (flowers just don’t have the same feel when someone loses a pet). Best Friends has a donation program that allows you to donate in honor of someone or an animal friend. In this case, I was able to donate in memoriam to my friend’s lost cat. Best Friends sent a nice card with the information, and another animal was able to benefit from a tragic loss. They also send out their newsletter to both my friend and myself, which is a great way to keep up with what’s going on with all the animals (it’s usually loaded with cuteness, just a fair warning) (smile).
There are several other ways to donate to the animals and these days, Best Friends has become my go-to charity, whether for the holidays, honoring lost companions, or just birthday presents for those friends that prefer such. I feel that they are a good organization working towards an outstanding goal – Save Them All. I’m looking forward to the day when I can go up to visit the Sanctuary myself and perhaps spend some time helping out (or at least trying not to be in the way). As the “mom” of one shelter kitty and one street kitty, I definitely understand the importance of timely care and a safe place to await fur-ever homes (yep, went there – smile).
What’s your favorite charity??