Animal advocacy is a year round challenge but right now is the perfect time to start thinking how you may support our animal community.
—by Carol Koleman
Adopt, foster, volunteer, donate.
These are the magic words in animal advocacy. Consider adoption first, and if you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer. And if you can’t volunteer, donate.
I adopt and foster when I can, but volunteering is a bit hard on my heart (I am tortured that I can’t save all the amazing animals I encounter who need homes), so I created a way to help animals with Animalia (thank you Greta for being the catalyst for this) and Facebook. This past year, I helped two animals find homes who would otherwise have been euthanized. I was so grateful to find that my efforts have made an impact. Bottom line: You can and do make a difference in whatever way you can give. No gift of time or money is too small when you realize it contributes to saving even one animal’s life.
Ways you may give to the animal community
Some of our local rescues are holding special holiday events this month to help our furry friends:
• Best Friends Holiday Matching Challenge. Every cash gift through December 31 will be matched dollar for dollar. bestfriends.org
• Community Shopping Night at Ten Thousand Villages for Ching Farm rescue and animal sanctuary. December 5, 5-8 p.m., 10% of sales goes to Ching . chingsanctuary.org
• Utah Animal Adoption Center is holding a special adoption program, “Home for the Holidays,” to find loving, forever homes for senior (seven years and older) and special needs cats.
Adoption fees are waived for every senior and special needs cat, through December 31. Every adoptive family will receive a “welcome home” package for their new family member that includes litter box, litter and scoop, cat bed, bag of cat food, and food and water dishes. utahanimals.org
Ways to keep your pet safe and warm during the winter:
• Many holiday decorations are hazardous to adventurous animals. Small ornaments, tinsel and ribbon are easily swallowed and can cause obstruction in the bowels. If they exhibit an interest, keep these things out of your animals’ reach.
• Anti-freeze smells sweet to animals which compels them to lap up the poison (the industry is working on changing this because of this dangerous problem). Quickly eliminate any spills you encounter. This stuff is so potent that one of the CATALYST Dalmatian pups died from merely licking the boots of a visitor who had stood in a puddle of antifreeze.
• Keep your animals inside as much as possible during cold weather. Yes, it’s true, cats do look for warmth in the engines of cars. Make sure to pound on your car hood before starting it. And those nerdy dog booties? They really do help your dog’s sensitive paw pads which can get frost bite (as well as noses and ears). Stella likes to wear booties and a warm cape cover. In addition to the warmth, they make her feel like a super hero.
Here’s a fun contest to enter your pet: Morton Salt’s Safe-T-Pet® ice melt is launching a photo contest to promote keeping pets safe in winter and to support the ASPCA. To enter, submit a photo of your pet suited up for winter. Grand prize winner receives $10,000 cash, with prizes for runners-up and honorable mentions. http://mortonbestin-snow.com.
Studs Saving Stallions
Another animal cause that is close to my heart is our country’s wild horse population. They desperately need our help; as Sonya Richins of Reinfree.org and filmmaker of the documentary, Mestengo explains, “Every year, the federal government uses low-flying helicopters to stampede thousands of wild horses into pens and clear them off public lands so that commercial interests can turn a profit. There are now more then 50,000 wild horses stockpiled in government holding facilities and less the 18,000 wild horses run free in the wild. If we don’t act to stop these cruel practices, wild horses will soon be gone forever.”
Several prominent Utah men, committed to raising awareness about the plight of our country’s wild horses have posed with wild mustangs in a calendar called Studs Saving Mustangs. Proceeds from the sales go toward mass media campaigns and to adopt and care for wild horses. $20 (tax-deductible). Savethewildmustangs.com
And on a related topic. Please add your name a petition that an 11-year-old girl started to help save our nation’s wild horses. There are currently 126,264 signatures; 200,000 are needed to send to Washington.