Thanks to the Many Who Help Animals
I want to begin the 21st century by saying “thank you” to all of you who have dedicated your lives to helping animals. Thanks to all the animal shelter workers — both those who work long hours for minimum wage and also to the volunteers. Thanks to the veterinarians who spend countless hours on cruelty cases or help both wild, and in certain circumstances, domesticated animals….without charging a fee.
I am also very thankful to the horse rescuers — without you, many beautiful horses would end up going to slaughter. Thanks to the wildlife rehabilitators — it is you who give up your summers caring for orphaned and injured wildlife, and you accomplish it all by spending your own money for food, caging, and medical care.
Thanks to those of you who write letters to newspapers as well as to your legislators in an effort to help end or prevent animal cruelty. Thanks to those of you who make monetary donations to animal organizations.
Thanks to the NYSHA board members who volunteer so much of their time working on NYSHA projects and programs to help animals, as well as doing hands-on rescue work when called upon. Thanks to our Administrator who does a great job running the office and ensuring that all programs and projects run smoothly.
Many times I’ve been asked why I dedicate so much of my time to helping animals instead of people. I take care of animals simply because I feel as though that is what I am supposed to be doing — and for no other reason. While I think it´s honorable to volunteer for or support organizations that assist humans, I have always felt it was equally important to work for the animals and be a voice for the voiceless.
Recently, I was listening to a radio talk show where the subject was Y2K. The guest speaker remarked that the most important thing we should have learned in the past two thousand years is not how different we all are, but how similar we all are. I realized that he was referring to all the peoples of the world. However, look at what we´ve learned just in the past 50 years about the family units of elephants, whales, dolphins, wolves, gorillas, and many other creatures, and see how similar we ALL are. Don´t they, too, deserve our kindness and support?
So, as we move into the next century, I would just like to ask you all to remain strong for the animals now and in the future, and when you start to feel “burned out,” remember that we have each other. Sometimes you might need a break, but don´t ever quit. Because together, we are making a difference.
Susan C. McDonough
New York State Humane Association Humane Review, Vol.XIII, No.4, Winter 1999.