As the co-founders and directors of Advocates 4 Animals our job title encompasses a lot. We often have outsiders ask us what our main duties are and first and foremost we let them know that we are volunteers. We do this outside of our regular full time work. After that, we let them know that our main job is the save the lives of death row shelter pets that have no other options for life. Over the years we have become hospice workers, cradling the diseased and elderly in our arms as they leave this Earth. We have become caretakers as we are volunteer foster parents ourselves- mostly we are the first line of defense- we are the initial intake, we see the pets at their worst- when they are shaking uncontrollably from the impact of prior abuse, too ill to stand on their own, too weak to eat or drink on their own, etc. We develop relationships with shelters and work to pull pets to safety when we have raised enough funds for vetting and have available foster home space. As the first responders, we bring in the pets when they are covered in giant fleas, parasites, lice, worms and in need of emergency medical care and all too often of surgeries ranging anywhere from life-saving Pyometria surgery to eye removal surgeries and limb removals from injuries and illnesses that had been left untreated for much too long prior to our rescue. We find ourselves as business women as we work with a Board of Directors, we write Grants, plan and host fundraisers, create and publish newsletters and manage a very tight budget- all which is raised strictly through fundraisers, donations and grants. We have become submerged in our community, working together with every day families to foster pets in need, to adopt rescue pets and provide loving, forever homes, to advocate for a No Kill city instead of the current pound’s view of kill, kill, kill. We are techy’s creating web-pages, slogan’s, videos, photographs and keeping up with e-mails, social media and hundreds of weekly requests and pleas for help. We are creative at heart, using our words, our photographs, our souls to develop innovative and unique ways to save more lives than the year before.
All too often outsiders think we are a huge organization with plush offices and paid staff. But we are just two people, dedicating our lives to helping. We are two people who refuse to give up on the dream of creating No Kill Communities.
We wear a lot of hats from day to day, but none do we wear more proud than to know another life was saved. Whether saved from death row, saved from the streets, saved from neglect, saved from abuse, saved from abandonment, saved from having another litter of kittens, saved from chronic illness, saved from a bad rap (those deemed “vicious” often just need to be placed in the proper environment and suddenly everything changes for the better)… We rehabilitate lives not only physically with top-of-the-line medical care, but also socially and emotionally. There are those that say animals have no soul- that they cannot feel and experience emotions as we do. And to those, I say hogwash. To those who believe in the notion that animals do not feel, they have undoubtedly never experienced or been witness to saving the lives of 4 innocent tiny kittens from death row, only to find out they have an unknown illness that cannot be diagnosed. Only to watch each one pass before the other, for no apparent reason. They have not witnessed the way one brother kitten lays on his other small brother just moments before the end. For if you have witnessed this, you would know animals have souls and they feel just as we do- with all of their heart. Those who criticize us for saving lives and wonder why we do such a thing for no pay and no fame tell us that we can’t save them all, so why bother? To that, we say, but we can save some– and for those some and the thousands of off-spring they may have had- their lives are forever changed. For the ones we can save, it’s possible that we inspire someone else to save another life. It’s possible that we inspire another individual to start a 501(c)3 rescue to also save lives— there can never be too many helpers in the world, as there are no shortage of innocent lives in need.