Sharing a post does not mean you’ve done your part
Lots of people like animals. But what is the definition of like?
According to Webster, to like something is to enjoy it or get pleasure from it. So you can like animals but that does not mean you would protect them, look out for their well being, etc.
To advocate by definition is to publicly support a particular cause of policy. That is why in rescue you have to come to the frustrating conclusion that many people who say they like animals will not necessarily do anything to help animals.
There is a defining difference. Which is also an answer to many questions raised by rescues as to why they struggle financially or with any resources to save animals, when they appear to have so many followers and supporters. The rescue has to ask themselves why these followers and supporters are there.
Are they there to advocate or are they there because they find pleasure and enjoyment from animals?
We save many horses that their owners found great pleasure in but had no desire in sparing the animal any suffering or injury sustained during the moments of enjoyment and pleasure. Hence why some of the horses we have or had, are ready to be euthanized at less than 10 years of age, and have ended up with us because they were thrown to the slaughter pens when their owners could not have enjoyment and pleasure with them anymore.
I watch people squeal with delight on pet sites handing hundreds of dollars to yet another backyard breeder to get that cute puppy. People trip over each other on the pages saying, “interested” or “messaged you” in the comment section of the post from the back yard breeder, then have no problem paying a ridiculous amount of money.
Meanwhile an animal sits in a pound or shelter for months waiting each day for people to walk by the cage and maybe give it a family. Only to be disappointed that no one came today to say they were worth taking home let alone paying half of what these same people just paid the backyard breeder. Or worse these forgotten animals are led down the hall to have one last hug and then be given lethal injection. Like a criminal on death row that was proven not guilty years down the line. Or the people who say, “oh I only want a puppy or kitten”.
A cat or dog that is only a few months older than that kitten or puppy, has now grown full size, but is no longer cute and adorable even though they are fixed and ready to be homed. So many people dismiss them and go right for the infant ones that will most likely never see a vet to be spayed or neutered, and will see their kittens or puppies up on the pets sites again the next year.
While more squeals of delights from people to take the free cute kittens or the people who like animals pay hundreds of dollars to the irresponsible pet owner for not fixing their animals to buy their puppies. A reward for not doing what is the moral and ethical thing to do.
The people who are doing this are not people who advocate, they are people who like animals. They get pleasure and enjoyment out of it and that is EXACTLY why they do what they do with an animal, or for an animal. It is an entitled thing and not anything to do with the animal.
These are the issues a rescue and people as an animal advocates need to take a hard look at. If we can find that code to crack human greed and want, and get the people that like animals to become advocates, well then, can you imagine how much suffering could be wiped out? One can keep hoping and striving for that. I know for sure, I will be.
Many people do not like my bluntness. However being popular is not my mission. Saving lives is.
Betty Jean Matthews B.A.A. S.S.W., is the Founder of Stuck in the Mud Animal Rescue. She is a mother, an author, an entrepreneur, social service worker, and an advocate for a wide variety of causes. She and her daughters have been featured in Woman’s World Magazine, international news media, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, CTV News, CBC and Global News as well as other local newspapers, television and radio stations including various social media, for their contributions to animal welfare and community involvement. Betty Jean writes a column under the name “Blunt Betty” which is featured on Social Media Morning She lives near Ottawa Ontario with her two daughters. You can write to Betty Jean by clicking here or visiting her blog at Stuck in the Mud Animal Rescue