Blog the Change for Animals: Help People Doing Good, Do Better

Charm hops back into the tub to check on them.
Charm hops back into the tub to check on them.

Rescuing animals of any species can in very short order give even the most optimistic person a myopic view of all the cruelty that’s in humanity. From people who either unknowingly or willingly neglect animals to those who intentionally abuse, injure, torture or kill animals, being a rescuer means seeing more than your share of the bad things people do every day to defenseless, trusting beings.

Because we humans are responsible for the animals in our world, be they domestic pets or domestic farm animals or wild animals, I will always say that rescuing animals means rescuing people. Sometimes rescuing a person involves just a little bit of education and resources that they had no idea were available, and off they can go and care for their situation on their own, like people we find who are feeding stray and feral cats but not spaying and neutering them because they may not have realized the need, and more often not had the money or transportation to get the surgeries and had no idea there was such a thing as a low-cost clinic or TNR.

Meet Scarlett!
Meet Scarlett!

Often it means guiding them through that process whether it’s helping them trap a colony of cats and getting the cats the care they need from fostering kittens to TNR and setting up a feeding station and shelters for feral cats. After it’s all done, another person or persons know the best way to take care of a situation, they have resources and connections and can maintain and also help others.

Sometimes it involves skilled negotiation that doesn’t go as far as you’d like but still helps the animal, like convincing someone to stop keeping their dog chained up outside 24/7 through helping them build a run with a good winter shelter and clean water and food bowls and showing them how happy their dog is, but the dog still lives outdoors, even in brutal winters.

And sometimes there’s failure when a person refuses help or refuses to do what is recommended for simply selfish reasons and you know the animals will suffer, and there is nothing more you can do.

Unfortunately, sometimes the help you give to people is just to get them out of the way, even find a punishment for crimes they may have committed, and clean up their mess, like so many hoarding and abuse situations we read about.

It’s very easy to come to the “I hate people” mentality when people just keep doing horribly cruel things even with the efforts of so many people to stop them, lower populations of animals in danger, and often the law itself is not on the animal’s side or even works against the animal’s best interests. But if you let that anger at other people get in your way, that also gets in the way of helping people, and then you can’t help the animals.

A year ago at this time I met a group of caring people who were trying to get an increasing number of abandoned stray and feral cats in their neighborhood under control after a neighbor had moved away and abandoned three unspayed female cats, Charm and Scarlett, above, and the tabby cat below whose three black kittens we chased and finally caught. Through all of us working together and doing what we could several cats were spayed and neutered and several adopted to good homes, kittens were fostered and adopted, neighbors were organized and educated and a feeding station maintained at an office building for a few of the cats too feral to come inside. People are still keeping watch over the cats they see outdoors to determine their status: owned, abandoned or feral and a huge disaster of kittens having kittens this spring never happened. That is the good you can do to help those who are already doing good, do better.

One serious mama.
One serious mama.

Helping two people last spring who undertook to care for the three unspayed females in the neighborhood ended up in the spay/neuter of seven cats including two feral male cats and two intact pet cats, and the rescue and foster of eight kittens, all of whom would have gone on to reproduce through last fall and this spring resulting in at least three more litters with an average of four kittens each, or a dozen more kittens running around out there right now, and by summer of age to reproduce on their own. You can do the math from there.

Exploring after the changes.
Exploring after the changes.

Instead of this fate I surrendered Scarlett to the Western PA Humane Society where she was spayed and eventually adopted, the tabby female was absolutely feral but trapped, spayed and released to a caretaker by the two original people to contact me, Missy and Jen, and then we trapped her kittens and they were fostered and adopted out by Jen. Charm, below, instead of producing ever more litters of beautiful kittens from her tiny body to run around wild and pulling out large patches of her own fur from the stress of it all, was fostered by me after trapping her kittens; all the kittens were adopted to wonderful homes, and Charm went on to live happily ever after with a human who she, personally chose. It was a much better outcome, especially if you ask Charm.

Charm.
Charm today, living the good life.

Many people are willing to do their part with just a little education and guidance, and helping those honestly good-intentioned people follow through with what is best for the animals in question is always an antidote to the anger you may feel at other members of your own species. Focus on the good, and help the good do even better.

And this year's project, Bowie and her kittens, and the rest of that colony.
And this year’s project, Bowie and her kittens, and the rest of that colony.

This is “Blog the Change Day”

Blog the ChangeThis is the day we pet bloggers affirm that we are working for the good of all animals and show support for people helping animals in need each 15th of January, April, July and October. We write about a cause near and dear to our heart and hope readers share their comments and ideas. I couldn’t even begin to share all the rescue stories that pass by me every day from all the people out there on the streets who rescue ill and injured animals and provide spay/neuter and veterinary care for cats who are homeless through no fault of their own.

Read the good stories and the sad stories and know it’s all to do good for animals.


Read more Essays on The Creative Cat.
Read other entries in Blog the Change for Animals.


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All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.


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Weekly schedule of features:
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Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!
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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

15 thoughts on “Blog the Change for Animals: Help People Doing Good, Do Better

  • March 16, 2017 at 5:20 am
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    Very well said! Love the animals, especially for a cat, I think it is the one of the most abandoned animals in the world. I don’t know why. They didn’t know, how the important of the cat and this is so sad.

    Reply
  • April 17, 2016 at 7:31 pm
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    Great post! It took me a long time to coming around to realize the majority of people want to do what is best for their pets, they just don’t always know how. That realization has changed how I react to pet related situations in that I try to not shame people or make them feel they are evil. I just think that attitude ends up making the situation worse and the priority should be in trying to get the pet in a better situation(whether by improving where they are or moving them to a new one). It took me a long time to get there, it’s a hard shift when you are passionate, but I feel it makes it makes for better outcomes.

    Thanks for joining in Blog The Change For Animals!

    Reply
  • April 15, 2016 at 6:18 pm
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    Thank you so much for such a great post. Sometimes things don’t go the way we plan, but sometimes things work out wonderfully. Thank you for all you do.

    Reply
    • April 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm
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      I always say that doing nothing is a total failure, doing something, even if it doesn’t turn out as you expect, still makes a difference. Thanks for visiting, Lola!

      Reply
  • April 15, 2016 at 5:21 pm
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    Yes, as the saying goes: it takes a village. We did this not too long ago with a couple of kitties on the next block. I fed them a few times as did the neighbors but I knew they’d soon be reproducing. Enter the UCFCC who rounded them up for TNR. We prevented two cats turning into many as they were both female. There are angry people out there who will yell and throw things at us when we feed but there are good folks like the ones who helped Ramona and Betty.

    Reply
    • April 17, 2016 at 1:11 pm
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      Cathy Keisha, it’s a joy when you find someone who actually wants to help. That’s how we make that village!

      Reply
  • April 15, 2016 at 5:06 pm
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    this was a beautiful description of the value of ongoing rescue efforts. Thanks Bernadette!

    Reply
    • April 17, 2016 at 1:14 pm
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      Mary Beth, I’m still so glad to find people who are willing to help.

      Reply
  • April 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm
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    So nice to read such a positive story today. Sometimes when I’m confronted by all the cruelty and ignorance in the world that there are good folks doing some truly great – and simple – things. Thank you! Feral cats are near and dear to my heart since I live in a very rural area and deal with them daily. I do feed, trap, spay, neuter them and most often find homes for them. A few like my cat, Skeeter, have adopted me 🙂 Thanks for blogging the change for animals.
    Sue
    Be the Change for Animals
    Talking-dogs.com

    Reply
  • April 15, 2016 at 4:24 pm
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    Thanks for sharing positive stories. I agree that it is easy to get overwhelmed and be consumed by anger over the endless stories of cruelty and neglect. It is important to remember that there are caring and compassionate folks out there, too. A little light goes along way …

    Reply
    • April 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm
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      You’re exactly right Pip, and we should let our light shine. It’s a good lesson for anything we do, but especially when we help animals who can’t speak for themselves.

      Reply

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