BeTheChangeForAnimals.com hosts a Blog the Change event each quarter. It’s an opportunity for bloggers to report on their experiences helping animals, request support from their readers, and inspire others get out there and make a difference.
January’s Blog the Change found Karen at DoggieStylish questioning the impact we can make by blogging about animal causes. She was frustrated by her efforts to educate people about puppy mills, only to have them proceed with their ill-conceived plans to purchase a pet store puppy. Her post motivated Mel at No Dog about It to drop what she was doing that day and join a protest at the a Petland selling puppies. After reading both their posts, I committed to finding a local cause at least once a quarter and spend a day volunteering. (Thanks the push, Karen and Mel!)
Volunteering requires a bit of research on my part because we travel full-time, without a schedule – so I never know where I’m going to be a week or two in advance. Last weekend we were in Little Rock, Arkansas and a few minutes on the Internet uncovered a great cause – a Cheap Shots clinic hosted by the Humane Society of Saline County.
These drive-thru events offer rabies and annual boosters vaccinations for dogs and cats and bordetella vaccinations for dogs at just $10 per shot. I arrived shortly after noon, when the event was scheduled to begin, and the cars were already wrapping around the stadium parking lot and into the street! I introduced myself and asked one of the volunteers what I could do to help. She pointed me to Ann Sanders, the event’s coordinator, who pointed me in the right direction and I jumped in pre-filling forms, directing traffic, and answering any questions I could.
We were supposed to be done at 4pm, but the lines were still so long! At 5:15 we’d finally gotten the paperwork for the pets in the last car. They were likely waiting for another 45 minutes before they reached the front of the line where the veterinarian, Stacy Johnson, DVM, was administering the shots.
I spoke to Ann after the event and she estimated that more than 400 animals had been vaccinated and around 1,000 shots had been given. WOW – I knew we were busy, but that’s a lot of dogs and cats! Ann said that the bad economy and the power of Facebook had combined to make the event so successful. Most of the cars contained multiple pets – some as many as ten. Ann said it’s likely these animals don’t see a veterinarian regularly and many of these people may not otherwise have been able to afford to have their pets vaccinated.
Two things struck me during the afternoon:
My message to you is don’t be afraid to get involved – even at the last minute. I was warmly welcomed and thanked many times for coming to help out. If you’re in the area, the Humane Society of Saline County will be offering another Cheap Shots clinic on May 14th at their facility in Bauxite, AR. If you’re not in Arkansas, perhaps you can help organize this type of event for your community. Whatever you do, don’t wait – it feels GREAT to get out and help!
BUT FIRST – check out the links below and see what other bloggers have been doing to Be the Change for Animals!
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