Bleaders, you’ve come to know me as an upbeat, delightful ray of sunshine (or that’s how I imagine that you know me!) but today I write with an extremely heavy heart. Yesterday, my beloved yellow lab, Littleman, died at the age of 15. This dog was the kindest, sweetest dog you’d ever hope to know, and his death is hitting me harder than I really thought it would. He lived a wonderful, long life, surrounded by people and other animals who adored him. He was a friend to all, and truly changed the lives of everyone who encountered him.
In his honor, this week’s Weekend Warrior is the Humane Society of the United States (www.humanesociety.org) and all other pet related charities. Organizations like the Humane Society work tirelessly to aid animals of all kinds. Here’s what they have to say about themselves.
“Established in 1954, The HSUS seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals—a world that will also benefit people. We are America’s mainstream force against cruelty, exploitation and neglect, as well as the most trusted voice extolling the human-animal bond.
Our mission statement: Celebrating Animals, Confronting Cruelty.
We work to reduce suffering and to create meaningful social change for animals by advocating for sensible public policies, investigating cruelty and working to enforce existing laws, educating the public about animal issues, joining with corporations on behalf of animal-friendly policies, and conducting hands-on programs that make ours a more humane world. We are a leading disaster relief agency for animals, and we provide direct care for thousands of animals at our sanctuaries and rescue facilities, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and mobile veterinary clinics.
We celebrate pets, as well as wildlife and habitat protection. We are the nation’s most important advocate for local humane societies, providing shelter standards and evaluations, training programs, a national advertising campaign to promote pet adoption, direct support, and national conferences. We operate a Humane Wildlife Services program in the D.C. metro area to provide homeowners and businesses with humane and effective solutions to conflicts with our wild neighbors. We promote scientific innovation by driving the development of humane alternatives to replace harmful animal experiments. The HSUS publishes All Animals, a membership magazine, and Animal Sheltering, a bi-monthly magazine for animal sheltering professionals.
We confront national and global cruelties through major campaigns targeting the barbaric practices of dogfighting and cockfighting; abusive puppy mills where dogs are treated not like family but like production machines; the worst cruelties of factory farming in modern agribusiness such as confinement of animals in crates and cages; inhumane and unsporting hunting practices such as “canned hunts” of captive exotic animals; the suffering of animals in experimentation, including chimpanzees and pets; the slaughter of American horses for export to foreign countries where horsemeat is considered a delicacy; and the clubbing of baby seals and other animals for the commercial fur trade. Our track record of effectiveness has led to meaningful victories for animals in Congress, state legislatures, courtrooms and corporate boardrooms.”
Littleman was loved, and protected and will be missed more than I can explain.
Hug your pets, and have a lovely weekend!