What does it take of us to help an animal in need? A bit of time, perhaps, and some inconvenience. We’ve helped one animal to suffer less. This small victory does not have a widespread impact, but it certainly changes the world for that one animal.
It’s easy to bypass an animal in distress, a lost dog, a stray cat, injured creature, a starving animal. It’s easy to turn away and to assume that others will do something. Most of us don’t do anything. It requires giving of ourselves or our time in some small capacity, and we’re busy, busy, busy. I believe that each time we turn away, some small portion of our humanity is eroded.
Years ago I made an agreement with myself: when I see an animal in need, I will do whatever I can to remedy the situation. I’ve found that “whatever I can do” is generally more than I had originally thought. This has led me to capture stray dogs and humanely trap stray cats and deliver them to the SPCA, to gently instruct children and others in kindness to animals, to intervene when I see human cruelty to animals, to become a vegetarian, to inconveniently arrive late at meetings when I’m rescuing an animal. I sleep better at night for all this.
My dream is to have a widespread impact on humane treatment of animals. If each of us engaged in some small gesture of kindness, of help toward animals, so much suffering could be reduced. Will you join me?
Valentina was found wandering the inhospitable streets of Puerto Rico. In an act of unthinkable cruelty, someone had covered her from the neck down in hot tar and set her loose to suffer. But Valentina was lucky; someone spotted her.
GreaterGood.org was born out of a desire to make a real difference—to connect people who want to help with people who are on the front lines in adverse situations. We work with over 150 charity partners worldwide, and operate several of our own on-the-ground programs to ensure your donation has maximum impact. Together, we can make a world of difference for people, pets, and the planet.
When emergency cases like Valentina’s come up, when disaster strikes a community in the U.S. or abroad, when biodiversity hotspots are threatened by development; when shelters are crumbling and schools are in desperate need of supplies, you can rest assured that your donation to Help Where It’s Most Needed is supporting meaningful programs that affect real, positive change.
Puerto Rico Animals pulled Valentina from the streets. With emergency medical funding from GreaterGood.org, they prepared for the agonizing process of removing the tar from her fur and skin. Afterward, she was practically a new puppy! We are thrilled to report that not only has she fully recovered from her ordeal, but she’s also been adopted into a loving forever home.
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Click here to help dogs like Valentina
Despite some of the strictest animal welfare laws in the world, thanks to its ancient spiritual philosophy of ahimsa (non-harming), India teems with animals on its streets, particularly dogs. With each litter born on the streets, canine overpopulation worsens, leading to malnutrition, untreated injuries, and the spread of disease, especially rabies.
Vishaka Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (VSPCA) works to reduce the overpopulation of street dogs. In cooperation with the local government, VSPCA vaccinates against rabies and spays or neuters loose dogs. VSPCA’s veterinarians use sterile techniques, pre- and post-operation pain control, and gas anesthesia when possible.
Unlike pet dogs which owners bring in and take home after the operation, street dogs need to be humanely caught and kept for several days while they heal from their surgery, then brought back to the same place for release. This is a very specific practice that has to be done absolutely right — dogs haphazardly released into the wrong neighborhood can be killed by other resident dogs.
VSPCA’s program is one of the most advanced in India, and sterilizes an average of 40 dogs a day when operated by four veterinarians. All these dogs are vaccinated against rabies, and their ears are notched for identification and protection.
VSPCA is a growing and struggling operation that also provides emergency animal care and shelter. No other similar services for injured street animals exist in the area.
You can help VSPCA in its vital work. This Gift That Gives More™ vaccinates and spays/neuters a street dog in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.