Paws4Change

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your values are expressed through the choices you make
Thoughts from Pioneers in the Animal
Welfare Advocacy Movement
My dream is a day without chains. Until the people rise up, the chained dogs will remain voiceless. While we continue to rescue starfish-style, we must actively pursue better legislation. Our government is supposed to be by the people and for the people, yet government is lagging WAY behind the wishes of the people when it comes to the chaining of animals. This we must chain-ge and I'd like to encourage you ALL to pull up a doghouse and chain to your capitol steps. Take action, be noticed. Save a dog today. 

Tamira Ci Thayne, Founder, Dogs Deserve Better
We can say there isn't any time, that there are too many animals and not enough homes, that "Sadie" or "Fluffy" will take up too much of your shelter's time or resources. Or you could get to work because there is never a good excuse to kill an adoptable animal. For me, the job is that simple - no excuses. I still can't believe that the old excuses are still being used by some shelter directors. There are so many shelters that have, like us, stopped killing adoptable animals. I cannot understand why there are still shelters out there that refuse to stop the killing. UPAWS and many other open-admission shelters have proven that we can save lives and there truly are enough homes - we just have to find them.

Dayna Kennedy, Former Shelter Manager, Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter -UPAWS
One shelter director who runs a No Kill open admission shelter talks about turning challenges into opportunities. Another says his job is to get out of the way of people who want to save lives. And a third says that patience is not a virtue when lives are at stake. Those who are successful at saving lives will tell you the same thing. When you take killing off the table; when you give people permission to help; when you create the environment that allows them to do so; when you give them the tools they need to succeed; great things happen, and you succeed. You don’t succeed in five years. You don’t succeed in ten years. You succeed right away.

Nathan J. Winograd (taken with permission from the October 3, 2010, blog entry, “Four Million Shelter Animals Want You”)
National Mill Dog Rescue was founded by Lily, my first Italian Greyhound (Iggy). She changed my life in a very fundamental way. To see such a little soul ask for help and not give it is damning in my mind. Theresa saw her and couldn't say no. She came home to me and I treasured (and I do mean treasured) every minute I spent with her. I remember so many of those moments. She just might be the most important dog that ever lived. She may be the catalyst behind a lasting change in the dog breeding "industry." The people that make money from the defenseless and tortured dogs in the puppy mills will get their just rewards. 

Richard Strader, Director, National Mill Dog Rescue
The rampant killing happening in shelters is the greatest preventable cruelty to cats. Alley Cat Allies is calling for an end to the killing. More than 70 percent of cats who enter shelters are killed there – virtually 100 percent of feral cats are killed because they are not socialized to people, and are therefore unadoptable. More cats are intentionally killed in shelters than die from any other documented cause. Most Americans don’t know about the high rate of killing in shelters. In fact, in the United States there are virtually no laws that require record keeping, reporting, or accountability.

Becky Robinson, President, Alley Cat Allies
The American Pit Bull Terrier needs us; we are the human guardians and caretakers of this breed. We must fight for their right to coexist with us free from suffering and discrimination. But we must also fight for their dignity, their preservation as a distinct and unique breed, and afford them the respect they deserve by recognizing their true nature. We must not turn them into caricatures or impose our own idealization of what we believe them or wish them to be. Pit Bulls are a courageous, loving, intelligent breed, but they are not the breed for everyone. Yet they are equally deserving of the rights and protection afforded to other dogs. And we do not need to pretend Pit Bulls are something they are not in our attempt to prove they deserve those same rights and protection.

Mary Harwelik, Founder, The Real Pit Bull
Photo Courtesy of Clay Myers
Photo Courtesy of  Lisa Vallez