Thanks for stopping by. To learn about my biography of Will Judy, The Founder of National Dog Week and other writing projects please see ABOUT. I will be speaking at Booktowne on Friday, Feb. 3 at 5:30 in Manasquan, NJ. Topics will include SOMETHING’S LOST AND MUST BE FOUND and my work on the biography of Will Judy, the man who founded National Dog Week.
A couple of weeks ago, on the occasion of my birthday, I wondered what I could do to make the day really count. As it was a Saturday morning, it occurred to me that it was a perfect opportunity to ask people in my Facebook Network to support a cause I felt strongly about.
I quickly set up a weekend-long event on Facebook and asked my friends to contribute just one dollar to an existing Chip In account set up by Project Pets – Spay, Neuter, Love. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Project-Pets-Spay-Neuter-Love/160594203971240
I figured if I could just raise $50.00 it would be enough to pay for one female cat or dog to be spayed or neutered. On Monday morning, Jo Burchfield, President of Project Pets presented me with a list of donors and their contributions; it was enough to pay for several procedures; female cats and dogs cost $50.00 and male cats $35.00. While some gave the requested dollar, others went above and beyond and each gift was appreciated. We have contacted each donor personally to thank them for their generosity.
Before you think that this is not significant, Jo will tell you that, “Given that two (unaltered) cats can add up to over 420,000 cats in a seven year period, it’s easy to see how many lives are saved by spaying/neutering as many as possible.” As those active in the cause like to say, spaying and neutering is the most effective form of rescue there is.
A recent article in the Asbury Press written by Associate Press reporter, Sue Manning, confirms this fact. According to this piece, “higher rates of spaying and neutering in recent decades have cut the number abandoned puppies and kittens, which in turn have cut euthanasia rates.” The article goes on to note that prior to 1970, approximately 20 million companion animals were destroyed per year in the United States, but in 2011, fewer than 4 million homeless animals met that sad end. That is still an unacceptable figure, but demonstrates the positive effects of spay and neuter initiatives.
Today, I read that retail giant PetSmart is helping to promote S/N awareness. Congratulations to them! http://www.petsmartcharities.org/spay-neuter/low-cost-spayneuter-program.html
The following presents my recent interview with Jo Burchfield (be sure to scroll down for photos below):
Please share how this organization got started. The idea to start Project Pets came after I tried cat rescue. For the 6 animals we could pull, 10 more would show up at the shelter the next day, and another 7, etc. It didn’t take me long to realize that there was a need for more opportunities for spay/neuter, and specifically free spay/neuter options for the pet owners who couldn’t afford to pay for the procedures. In some areas, even the low cost clinics were still too expensive.
What are your plans and goals for the upcoming year? Obviously, we would like to grow and get more donations so more animals are spayed/neutered. We also want to start focusing on education as many don’t understand how important spay/neuter is and how in fact it does save lives. Yes, by preventing the birth of homeless babies, we also prevent the death of the ones that are not rescued.
I hear you may be getting your own website soon, can you elaborate? In order to be found online, I have contacted a firm and they are designing a web page for us. I met the owner on Facebook and he’s an animal lover himself, specializing in web pages for pet companies, groups, etc.
When you talk about educating the public, how would you do this? At what age level do you think it is appropriate can you reach out? The best way to educate is to reach the children. During a spay/neuter seminar, I found out that the 3rd graders were pretty much the best one to reach. And since children are the next generation of pet owners, it’s important that they understand and respect the lives of animals. Kids are also the one who can go to their parents and tell them they want their pets to be spayed/neutered because it’s better for them.
And that last point is a major one. Will Judy, Founder of National Dog Week got it right when he wrote, “We think dog ownership prepares the children early in life to develop into whole-souled members of the community, of what we term society and the state.”
Knowing how important responsible pet “ownership” was to Will Judy, I am almost certain he would fully support the humane teaching of this most effective method of “forward thinking” rescue to the young.