Advocates 4 Animals, Inc.

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A True Labor of Love

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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.
wine6We laugh with joy when another life is saved in time. We anger at the shelters who refuse to employ the No Kill Equation and instead choose to continue to kill dozens of helpless, healthy, innocent lives day after day. We cry when we lose a life to severe illness or disease- when those not afforded the opportunity to experience their golden senior years leave this world too early. We stay up for hours on end jotting down notes of what we can do the next day and the next year to continue making a difference. Not only do we plan for the future, but we live in the moment. We live for today, because sometimes that’s all of the time a pet in the shelter has left to survive without our intervention.We realize that while a No Kill Nation is possible, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get there. We know that strong leadership begets amazing volunteers and much needed progress towards the goal.

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.

AMYaWhat we do is a labor of love. A love that continues because of a commitment and strong focus towards creating No Kill Communities. An organization that is built upon giving back to the community, on saving lives and on working together to accomplish this goal day after day. Yes, there are days that we want to walk away because the emotional toll seems too much to bear. There are only two of us- we are the founders and directors of an organization that continues to grow because of one word- PERSISTENCE. Persistence brings with it dedication, focus, love, passion and most of all resilience. No matter how tough it gets, we keep going. We keep marching forward because we know we can make a better world for companion animals in need. We know we can make a difference if we just keep moving- continuing to create innovative ideas, continuing to work with more shelters, more volunteers, more adopters… But we realize we can’t do it alone. There are, after all, only two of us.All too often we hear from others, “but I can’t do much”- so they decide that if they can’t do “much” they will do nothing. But at every chance we get, we tell them, that something is more than nothing. Doing something can save a life, doing nothing can kill one. Action is the key- effort and action are the birthplace of of innovation; innovation to save lives that would otherwise be lost, forgotten and never known. We believe that everyone has a gift, a talent that is uniquely theirs- whether it’s taking beautiful photographs, raising funds to donate to our efforts, fostering a pet in need, purchasing much needed food to donate to rescued pets awaiting forever homes or simply making a donation towards our ongoing veterinary bills- no act of kindness is too small. No effort is ignored. If we all do what we can to give back, to play a role in the effort to save lives and build No Kill communities– we will reach our goal. The animals will live. But it all depends on attitude and effort.

Poodle2Today we each make a choice. We can do something or we can put it off until tomorrow. As the founders of A4A, we chose each day to do something— a lot of somethings and it accumulates day after day, translating into lives saved. Translating into lives adopted into loving, forever homes. What will you do today to give back? What talent or passion do you have that can contribute to the well-being of lives in need?NOTE: We are forever grateful to our army of amazing volunteers– those who help us foster, those who donate, those who sponsor a special needs pet, those who help with transporting from shelters to rescue or to/from vet visits and of course we are forever grateful for our terrific adopters.


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