“Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.”
Shelters are filled to overflowing with sad and frightened animals. The suffering they experience in the bleakness of their cages, their grief at being separated from their humans, their babies, or their mothers, their confusion and fear just before their ‘euthanization–‘ all of those energies are released into the universe, enlarging the dark cloud that hovers over not just humanity but all beings. The pain we feel (or avoid by changing the channel and burying our heads) when that dog-gone (yes, intended) Sarah Mclachlan commercial comes on and makes us cry-that is an organic, authentic, primordial cosmic hint: we can do better for our planet-mates. We must do better.
I have come, through the magic of Facebook, to know a peaceful warrior by the name of DJ Chandler. I would only mangle her bio if I tried, but if you’re curious, no doubt you can find her online. I was inspired to share her with you because she is personally responsible for the diminishment of the toxic cloud of confusion due to her tireless efforts to find forever homes for shelter animals on Death Row. She organizes people to pull the animals from high-kill shelters, shows us how to contribute to their veterinary expenses, finds foster homes, and arranges animal transport from shelter to vet to foster to new home. She has also rescued and fostered countless dogs, cats, and horses herself.
Their physical injuries are mended. Their fears are (sometimes very slowly and painstakingly) allayed. Their sadness is loved away. The cloud dissipates just a little more as each cat starts to purr again, as each dog puts his head on his new human’s knee for the first time and looks up with trepidation and-wavering-trust.
DJ uses the internet to post, re-post, and crosspost pictures and stories of these animals. As the word gets out, people offer to pull an animal from a shelter, or to contribute to the vet care, or take any of the other steps it takes to save a baby such as the one on the right, or the kittens on the left. I’m sure there’s so much more involved in what she does, and perhaps she can share in a comment to this post. She has brought my attention to an organization called A Shelter Friend, to which I have contributed. Visit the website: http://ashelterfriend.org to learn of ways you can help. There is also a Vet clinic which takes care of animals pulled from a notoriously inhumane shelter in Robeson, NC. The web address to the clinic, should you wish to contribute to the shelter animal veterinary fund, is: http://www.southrobesonvet.com/ Give them a call and tell them you want to contribute. My favorite shelter is Our Companions Domestic Animal Shelter; the link is on the side of this page. If you do nothing else, PLEASE spay and neuter so as to prevent the births of hundreds of animals who could end up grieving and terrified in a shelter one day.
I’m going to close with pictures of my current furry roommates; we got Chloe from a local rescue, and Daryl was born in a box outside the lunchroom of the school where I teach.
Not only did their adoption into our world alleviate their stress which has the sun peeking over the toxic cloud, but the joy they’ve brought into this house, and our laughter at their antics have blown a good part of that cloud to smithereens. But it’s nothing compared to the difference my friend DJ has made, and continues to make, tirelessly, every day. Thanks, DJ, for building a rainbow behind the cloud. Someday all shelters will be no-kill, and we’ll have an unobstructed view!
“The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret…. It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”
~Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize address, “The Problem of Peace in the World Today”
Peace, friends (those with and without paws)