Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Just Want to Help Animals

How many of us started out in the field with the simple, straightforward goal of just wanting to help animals? I recall starting out at sixteen as a volunteer, walking dogs for 3 hours every Wednesday after school. I would mop out the cages and refill the water bowls, leaving the dogs exercised and more comfortable, at least for the moment. At the end of my shift I would head to the subway, exhausted, but feeling great. It was a visceral feeling of satisfaction, of having done a good thing. I was helping animals.

As my understanding of animal welfare issues grew and my career developed, my roles changed. I began to see that helping animals often gets complicated. Staffing, funding, resource issues. Mission conflicts. Board of director struggles. A disconnect between the reality of the issues and public perception. Legal loopholes. Too many animals, not enough time. Sometimes the work of the day seemed far removed from helping animals.

But I’ve come to realize that writing a policy memo or holding a departmental meeting can be key to ensuring positive progress. The contributions made outside the arena of direct animal care are an integral part of effecting positive change for animals.

Some days we need to gain satisfaction from walking a shelter dog. And some days we need to be fulfilled by writing a program grant. Both are important. Both help animals.

-Liz Clancy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your blog regarding "i just want to help animals" should be an eye opener to young people who believes in the cause and plan to pursue a career in animal care.