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Love and Light
There is quite a controversial issue circulating in facebooking animal welfare arenas as of late.
I really find it disturbing that this trend is harming animal welfare and is splitting a hardy rift down the middle.
I have had many conversations with people regarding this as I see this situation as a threat to animal welfare as a whole and most importantly as a threat to the animals, the voiceless, and the ones that we as activists, welfare workers, networkers, etc. should be protecting. By protecting I mean thinking very carefully about how we approach problematic areas, and putting the animals first at all times, even if it means being “decent” to someone who may have fallen off the wagon completely or someone who may be merely heading in the wrong direction.
Having the animals welfare at heart means that ego shouldn’t even be a factor.
This is a conversation I had just this morning about this very issue. I am not posting it as a conversation but I think it is vital that people think seriously about which direction they are going and who they are harming along the way.
How can we encourage the good; filter out issues and not be attacked in the process for trying to make a difference?
If you have an issue you need to consider here is a way of looking at it. It’s rather funny but it carries an important message:
Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumour or spread gossip.
In ancient Greece (469 - 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.
One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?"
"Wait a moment," Socrates replied, "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
'Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance.
"That's right," Socrates continued, "Before you talk to me about Diogenes let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it."
"All right," said Socrates, "So you don't really know if it's true or not. Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?"
"No, on the contrary..."
"So," Socrates continued, "You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you're not certain it's true?"
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really."
"Well," concluded Socrates, "If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?"
The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.
It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was shagging his wife
As a dedicated feral feeder and animal networker I feel I should add “Does it harm the animals involved?”.
These are things that I shouldn’t have to explain because they should have been one of the fundamentals your parents taught you as a child. In fact I remember being taught these things at PRIMARY school too.
As it reads in the story above I have seen vicious stories circulating that aren’t purely factual. You honestly cannot post a story on a public forum that isn’t true, or doesn’t have all the facts.
Your half truths are acting as a journalistic piece, and unfortunately there are people who believe everything that they read.
I have said it so many times, and here I go again: “THIS IS AN UTTER DISSERVICE TO THE ANIMALS”
If you decide to support an organisation, by all means, check on things but have the initiative to use your own brain and when I say use your brain, I mean think about the ANIMALS first, and think before you leap. Think about how you want your actions to affect them. Try using the above childhood lessons to steer you from causing trouble.
Before you post an idea on a public forum think about how that idea affects the ANIMALS.
I read another post on a public forum that was steering people against sharing plea’s from friend’s public forums. This is so poorly thought out. Some organisations rely on volunteer support to get their plea; whether it be to home an animal or to generate donations, “out there”. These organisations only have these “friends’ public forums” to get the word out on social media.
Social media as we all know has brought a much needed boost to those finding homes for abandoned and unwanted animals. The numbers of animals needing homes is so incredibly high, that they need every ounce of help we can muster to give them the homes they deserve.
REMEMBER: You still go back to your cushy bed at night they don't have the luxury!
Its far better to be a classy do'er than a bitchfest warrior.
To end off, here is a thought for you.
When we had our Saturday feral meeting and walk around we found that a HOMELESS person is possibly feeding ferals in another area of the shopping centre.
Lisa just said to me thank God there are more people like us.
When I shared this story today a friend replied saying “If only all the fighting energy could be put into saving the animals, because they are the only thing that matters...”
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
It breaks my heart that so few people are willing to donate. Time, food, blankets...
Time of course being the most precious.
I appealed to my far away friends and family in SA and overseas to pay it forward this week, and now I appeal to all of you reading this.
I told them all about the homeless person and said that if a homeless person can step up and have a heart to feed homeless animals the working class can take out one day a month even to make a difference in an arena where they are inspired or feel needs change.
I keep on thinking about the picture I found that said I always thought that "somebody" should do something about that. Then I realised that I was "somebody".
The problem with the viciousness of the bitchfest going on is that possible volunteers think "Do I really want to be a part of that?" As soon as they see the fighting and the warfare it turns them away just as it does sponsors.
It’s incredibly sad, especially for those of us who have our hearts set on education and change.
Last night on TV there was a Rhino insert with Johnny Clegg about a music CD in support of rhinos. They said if every sector / person in SA put an effort in no matter how big or small they believed that we as South Africans could make a difference with the poaching situation. Johnny Clegg said purely because we are South Africans this is our problem and we should unite and take action.
Gosh if every person took positive action the world would be a better place!
Here’s another little bit of mental imagery for you.
Imagine two groups of people on either side of a see saw.
Imagine that one person on the one side gets off.
Everyone on the see saw will come tumbling down.
This is what the result of all the fighting is going to be if we don’t all play nice!
We need to work together to keep the balance in animal welfare.
Balance is a fundamental key!
Unfortunately if you don't see that and at least try to obtain it in your own life (as I know you do) you won't be able to be a worthwhile cog in the one of the most heart wrenching welfare arena's in the world.
Focusing too much on the negative gets those see saw scales to tip yet again. It’s fine and fair to ask questions like the vicious group are saying; it’s the manner in which they are doing it that is doing so much more harm than good. They are taking great ideas and basically ruining them. There is no balance or even tact there I'm afraid.
If a person wants to be part of something they can't walk around with blinkers on and nonchalantly brush off a sector of people who have the insight to see past the merry go round and can illicit change! Because there is so much arguing in aw, those who would normally be making the big changes and thinking of new and innovative ideas to change aw for the better are instead fighting off battles with a tactless bunch of individuals.
I think I could go on all day about how this nonsense is negatively affecting the animals.
I just hope that I can be a voice that initiates change. Good change, change that is manifested in a classy manner. Change for the history books.
I hope that this piece even though it is long will make you think about how you do things. I hope that it makes you think about the lives your 15 minutes of fame affects.
Seeing as it is Kitty Wednesday I have decided to do an update on the Pavilion Feral Angels for you.
For those of you who don't know; Kitty Wednesday is an initiative started up by the admin ladies on the South African Animal Supporters Unite Facebook page. This initiative aims to help the “underdogs” of the welfare world – kitties.
So without further ado, here is a little update.
Many emails and BBM’s transfer between Lisa - who heads up our station at the Pav, Mandy from Kitten Action (the “founder” of the entire scheme and I.
So far we are working on getting a head count of the kitties at our particular station.
We are feeding two litters of kittens.
In the older litter we have two grey and white kittens; which my children called Puff Two and Three after our cat Puff who passed a few years back. They certainly look like family of his.
There is also a little ging, Kitt Two; a black and white kitten, Stig Two; and two tabby and white kittens.
The younger litter used to have 6 kittens 2 black kittens and 4 tabbies. There are now 5…. I’ll get back to that story in a bit….
We have a tabby mommy and 3 tabby kittens that are a few months old.
Yesterday when i went to feed the angels I saw that we also have two calico cats, which I call The Callies.
So far one of the tabbies, who was trapped has been sterilised and released as well as one of the mommy cats. Mandy is planning a trapping evening soon to trap more of the kitties for their sterilisations.During the school holiday, we got our first glimpse of the new litter of kittens. My heart sank seeing how little these babies were. They are just absolutely adorable. Like Mandy said to me on the phone the other day “when are cats NOT adorable?” ~
Last Thursday, just before the Easter Weekend my children and I toddled off to the Pav a little earlier than usual. Dark clouds were brewing so our intention was getting dry food to the feral angels before any down pour occurred.
When we got there the tiny angels were out sunning themselves. when they saw us they moved to sit in between the trolleys.
My daughter who is an honest to goodness cat person went to sit near by while i was talking to the kitties. two of the tabbies were listening intently when Fairy stuck her hand under the trolley and yelled “I’ve got one!”
My son grabbed the towel we carry with us and within seconds this little girl was “saved” from living a life as a feral.
Her first day passed with much love and cuddles for reassurance. On Sunday she was already PLAYING!
Monday, a rather chilly day here in Durbs, we woke to a purring kitten.
She really has been such an easy baby to take care of. She only mews when she wants something, she plays with everything that she can possibly get her paws around and to top things off she is eating well and has already learned to use the litter box! Isn't that AWESOME?!
Its times like these that I am so happy that I chose to get involved with animal welfare.
We are hoping to have another lady on the team from today…. but we still do need food donations. Ice cream tubs and the like are very handy to swop over for cleaning, so please consider collecting some for us. We use them as water bowls.
We are still looking for some wood offcuts to make boxes to house the kitties food better in the rainy weather.
Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help.
Lastly a HUMONGOUS thank you to Kiley, who donated some food and kitten bowls for our station! *STANDING OVATION*
Time to tell you about my new project…
I have been so excited and really couldn’t wait to tell you all about it.
I have joined a team of ladies who have started a feral feeding scheme at the Pavilion Shopping Centre.
There is a lot that needs to be done and a lot of areas could use your help.
Before I get carried away, for those of you who don’t know;
Ferals mostly rely on scrounging through garbage to find food. The luckier ferals are part of a feeding scheme.
To get to my main point of this post, I would like to ask for your help.
There are a few little kittens still following mommy, and some bigger tabby kittens. I haven’t seen daddy cat yet. But I will keep you up-to-date with developments.
We would like to trap and sterilise mommy, but this is what Lisa who has been feeding these angels on the weekends, has noticed:
“ I saw 3 new adult cats and the 3 new babies came out from their trolley safe haven for a bit. They look about 4-5 weeks old. The Mom is either a tabby or a big black female cat as she looked very heavy but she could be about to drop kittens.
I also spotted an adult tabby with a long fluffy tail.
There are still 3 tabby’s and I hope to somehow try capture them as they are getting rather big now and the conditions leave much to be desired but thankfully they do have some shelter.”
After doing a bit of research and looking at where the kitties are situated; we could really benefit from donations of the following:
Please contact me on email@example.com if you can help with any of the above. BIG and small donations are very welcome.
We are hoping to get plenty donations for our angels so that we will be able to share with the various feeding stations at the Pavilion.
Thanks to all of you for your regular support and be sure to pop back for more updates.
I'm sending these graphic pictures of overdose victims not for shock value, but rather in the hope that you will have a frank discussion with friends and family about respecting moderation, understanding limits, and knowing when to just walk away.
Hello again -
ARF, It’s me Blu.
I’m sneaking in to tell you what’s going on in this crazy house.
I’m still Bat Dog…. but now I’m a bit worried.
My human brother likes reading, you see…
When he comes home from school he shows mommy all the new books he got from the library.
I caught Mimmo reading one.
They are all about this BIG FAT CAT, just like Mimmo.
Remember I told you last time that she pushed me out of the way with her BIG FAT BUM?
Well, now I know where she gets those ideas from too.
I think – that she thinks – that she IS this cat.
I pawed a list to show you that she really does think that she is this Garfield Cat.
Likes to sleep all day
Likes to sleep all day
Likes to boot me out of the way
Likes to boot Odie out of the way
Likes to clobber me
Likes to clobber Odie
Chases me without much effort
Chases Odie without much effort
Likes to watch TV
Likes to watch TV
Likes lots of attention
Likes lots of attention
Likes her scratch post
Likes his scratch post
I like to spin around like a spinning teacup on my blankie, I like to run, I like to chew shoes, I like to wake Mimmo up, I like to sit on the couch and watch a spot of TV, I like to ride in the car (I’d love to ride shotgun but I sit in the back), I like to bark, just like Odie…………
Am I Odie?
This morning I read some posts from various blogs that I follow and enjoy.
I have mentioned this particular blog before in a few of my posts.
I really enjoy this guy's writing - it is honest and strikes a nerve or should I say almost always has something that I can relate to on a personal level.
At the moment he is writing a series of posts that are linked to one another.
Its all about finding your personal happiness, making the BIG decisions in your life; its about living.
This is a post that really resonated with me.
I mean this is so "me". Its what I'm all about right now.
I really have no interest in making other people happy, or fulfilling what others think my dreams should be.
I've said it before too that in my life; I've always put someone else first; or sacrificed what meant more to me because it made some other person happy.
Don't get me wrong I still enjoy giving and enjoy seeing someone smile. I have just grown to the point in my life where I see that some people add more value to your life than others do.
Its far more worth it to distance those that don't add value - and treasure those that do. You see recently I've opened my eyes to seeing that no matter how much you love and care about a person, and how much you do for that person out of love they may not feel enough about you to even respect you. Sometimes you just have to love a person from afar.
Some people bring so much negativity to your life that they should be cut out completely.
This is something I've also had experience with recently. These are the people who Dan says are the ones who judge you and grow apart from you because of it. To me its also to do with respect and jealousy. I analyse everything and to me these kind of people are poison not only to you but to your family. Your family meaning, the people who live under the same roof as you. That should be your priority, your home should be your sanctuary, and no-one from the outside should meddle with that, whether they are family or not...
As much as I need to distance those people, I feel I need to distance or phase out the "things" in my life that are holding me back on my path. Its basically having all the nuts and bolts in the right places, and in doing so it ensures that the cogs are working in the right order to move forward smoothly.
As all of you know by now; my ultimate goal and something I am always working on is being the best wife and mother I can possibly be.
My personal dreams are with animals. I want to see them happy, I want to be more "hands on" with animals in my community, and I want to continue writing or sharing posts that educate people on what benefits animals and how animals enrich your life. I have been waiting since forever to be doing what I am right now. I feel that things are falling into place for me, all holds have been lifted and its all or nothing for me right now. What's really wonderful is that I can and am still concentrating on encouraging my children, so that their dreams can become a reality.
I really enjoyed Dan's last line which reads "You'll be amazed how absolutely "perfect" a person's judgment calls are for their own life when the rest of the world shuts up for five minutes and lets them do their thing".
This line showed me how completely the post made a full circle for me.
This is what makes me - me.
So what makes you - you?
Take a few minutes and read what Dan has to say. Remember that his post is from a series of posts, read them all. Think about what he says. I'm
The 6 Words People Making Huge Life Choices Need You to Say
You'll be amazed how absolutely "perfect" a person's judgment calls are for their own life when the rest of the world shuts up for five minutes and lets them do their thing
"Don't be mad when someone else starts to appreciate the person you took for granted. What you won't do, someone else will."
There is a lot I’d like to share with you this week, so there have been many posts.
I am going to get straight to it then.
Over the past week or so Irwins Animal Rescue Centre has been in the news. i don’t particularly want to get into the arguments going on between those in welfare as i believe that what people feel and think is irrelevant, unless what they are saying is shed in a positive light for the animals concerned.
That being said i would like to get you informed on the task at hand.
I received this email last night from someone who had been to the centre herself.
Please read it with an open heart with the animals in mind, and then I will tell you a little bit more about how you can help.
There has been a lot of publicity lately regarding the Irwins Animal Rescue Centre. I was there yesterday, after receiving an email advising that the centre was opening their gates to the public as part of a rehoming campaign undertaken by a group of volunteers.
As I understand the situation, they have a deadline pending the outcome of a court case against the owner, to drastically reduce the number of animals at the shelter by 10 March 2012. Should the case be finalised, the relevant authorities will decide on the fate of the remaining animals which is unlikely to be positive.
The volunteers that I met are a wonderful group of dedicated people, with the animals' best interests at heart. I know there has been much negativity, but I would like to appeal to all animal lovers not to criticise what may have happened in the past - whatever has taken place, no matter whether we agree or disagree - it is the PAST. We need to focus now on trying to get as many animals rehomed as possible by the deadline.
It is not all doom and gloom when you visit the centre - I would say comfortably that around 95% of all the dogs were interested in the people who came to see them and freely came up to the cages to be petted and enjoy the attention.
Although the enclosures are not fancy, they were neat and clean with shade cloth and kennels in each of them providing good shelter. There was food in the bowls (I was there at feeding time), and as can be seen from the pictures, the water bowls were clean and full. None of the dogs were thin, in fact some were a bit chubby! There is such a variety of dogs available that there would be a dog to suit anyone's needs and lifestyle.
Please open your heart and send this appeal to anyone whom you know will not mind receiving this email. Strict adoption procedures will be followed with home checks being carried out by people with relevant experience. All animals leaving the shelter will be sterilised, vaccinated, dewormed and treated for ticks and fleas. An adoption fee will also apply to cover these costs. If you or someone you trust, can offer a loving, forever home to these very special dogs, please contact Allison on 083 269 9102 for further information.
They will be hosting adoption days every Sunday from 10h00 to around 16h00 - come and visit the animals, and offer your support. They are also in need of additional shadecloth, and labour to clear some stony areas. Any other donations whether food, cash, collars, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
As you can see in Helen’s letter, there is an open day every Sunday at the rescue centre.
Besides that there is a Facebook page set up called “Irwins Angels”. The main function of this page is to show case the adoptable animals at the centre. Adoption forms will be available at the centre on Sunday open days. The amazing Emma O Brien has been round to the centre and has taken some photos of the doggies which are now posted on the page.
A group of volunteers have organised some shampoo and sponges to be collected and they will be bathing and dipping the doggies on Sunday. This will all be happening on Sunday 26 February from 10h00-16h00.
NOTE: The Address for Irwins is Plot 25,... 7th road, Walkers Fruit Farms, Walkerville. There aren't any signs except for a rock with IRWINS painted on it in white. Turn left into South and then take the second dirt road on your right - which is 7th road. Irwins is right at the top of the road, on the left!
There is also a food drive on the go, organised by Linsey. This drive has been organised to keep the flow of food for the doggies coming in.
it is unfortunate but sponsors usually pull out when negative publicity surrounds a centre and the ones who end up suffering are the animals.
If you would like to contribute to helping the Irwins animals this is how you can do it:
You can either donate to linsey’s food drive:
please put the ref as IRWINS
L Rautenbach, FNB, ACC NO: 62066091556 BRANCH: SELCOURT
or you can take some food and treats, toys, collars, hoofs etc through to the centre on Sunday.
If you have any bright ideas on how to help this Rescue centre or help one in your area, comment here.
(the simplest way of commenting is by clicking anonymous but you can use one of the various profiles suggested)
I would love to hear from you.
Have a super day further.
Please read Kim’s story look at the pics of the work that they do and please share and / or consider donating to help these ladies continue with the work that they do.
For those that don’t know me, I help animals in Chesterville Township in Durban. Most South Africans are aware of the poverty of residents in townships and the lack of care and ignorance of owning pets. As a result, millions of unseen animals are suffering terribly without adequate food, no shelter, biliary, mange, parasites, being chained, etc., etc. At the root of this problem also is the uncontrolled breeding under horrendous conditions.
Please see pics below of a lot of animals that I have helped, though this is by no means all.
I rely on donations to make this possible and do only those rescues that funds will allow. Quicha Morgado from
Animal Action Dog Rescue has provided the bulk of expenses in the sterilizing and meds, plus she has taken over unwanted puppies and adults and homed them!
In the last 2 weeks alone she has funded the sterilizing of 8 dogs, 1 euthanasia, mange treatment and foster homes for several animals. We still want to do another 5 spays this week. (See pics of dogs below at end.)
Animal Action Dog Rescue is merely a two-woman show with Quicha and Kim Samuels. They have no formal infrastructure and only 6 or 7 foster homes. They raise all their rescue money themselves and with so many animals needing help, their funds are severely limited, yet they are helping me with these dogs which just cannot be ignored.
Visit their website: http://www.animalaction.org.za/
I am therefore inviting you to help fund these 8 sterilizations and the 5 that still need to take place this week. Please, these animals desperately need our help!
I appeal to you to please make a deposit of whatever you are willing and able, as long as it’s something, to:
· Name: Animal Action Dog Rescue
· Bank: First National Bank
· Account No: 62258858798
· Branch Code: 220426
NB: Additionally, as a reference state: Chesterville plus your name. Also please email me your email address. firstname.lastname@example.org . You will be acknowledged in their newsletter and your email address is needed to send you a copy.
Also be assured that every single cent will used to pay vet fees.
Thank you very much!
084 683 5149
Below are pics of animals which have all been rescued or sterilized, removed or helped.
DONE IN THE PAST 2 WEEKS:
The following pics are of a dog rescued from giving birth to 8 pups in a hole she’d dug (4 Feb). She’s now in a foster home. For full pics and story:
Last week this poor young black dog had advanced biliary and sadly had to be euthanised. Note all the flies biting his bloodied ear.
She was from the same household, was spayed, vaccinated and went to a foster, then forever home a couple of days ago. She’s a very sweet little dog.
THE TWO DOGS BELOW WERE SPAYED 17 Feb. This little black & tan girl is in horrendous condition with mange and sores under her (dirty, dry & brittle) fur. She is very thin too from poor nutrition and lack of food. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3104122156545.142493.1068980914&type=3&l=d22361bfcf
Snoopy was infested with ticks and fleas. Same with Candy, plus lice!
Yesterday, (Sunday 19 Feb) they went to a lovely foster home. They still need forever homes!
THE FOLLOWING ARE DOGS THAT STILL NEED TO BE SPAYED, VACCINATED AND HOMES FOUND:
THESE 2 DOGS NEED TO BE SPAYED AND A HOME FOUND FOR THE PUPPY AND ONE ADULT:
Note how thin she is and flies biting her ears. (Puppy is also a female.)
This dog is in heat again and needs to be spayed urgently! I suspect she is the mother of the above two
This little girl will be in heat soon.