Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Please Help Simba Find A New Home


While neither this blog nor my Facebook page are for crossposting animals in need, this is a personal plea from me.  As you read, you will understand why I am posting this.

On June 7th, my husband and I went to the local humane society to walk and love on dogs.  We spent about 2 hours or so, and gave attention to 6 or 7.  They were all great dogs, and we enjoyed the time spent with them.  While I liked them all, and think they would make great family members for the right person or family, there was one who truly touched my heart that day.

I was sitting in the shade alongside the main building when my husband brought him out.  I knew immediately he was a Pit Bull.  He walked sedately as my husband led him to the grassy area to stretch his legs.  As had become our routine, after walking the dog my husband brought him over to me to love on.  His name is Simba.

I called Simba over and he willingly came.  As I reached out to pet him, he surprised me by getting close, then tucking his head under my chin and into my shoulder.  I put my arms around him, holding him and talking softly to him.  After several minutes, he pulled back a bit.  Imagine my surprise when he placed his paws gently on my shoulders and started giving me wet kisses!  I continued petting him and talking to him.  He enjoyed the attention so much, as if it had been a very long time since anyone had given it.

Simba is about 3 years old.  He’s light brown with pale blue eyes.  He is shedding badly, and is underweight, but nothing a bath, brushing, and TLC can’t take care of.  Simba is tall – when we were sitting he was at least a head taller than me (I’m about 5’4”) – so there may be some mix in him.

Simba is a gentle giant, and like all shelter animals, deserves a home of his own.  He was obviously someone’s pet at some point in his life.  Whatever circumstance brought him to the shelter has not diminished his affection, gentleness and behavior.  He is very well mannered, and basically ignores other dogs while out walking.  I have no idea about cats.  I have no further information other than what I have written in this note.

Simba was the impetus for my writing I Have a Dream.  He touched my heart in a way I was not expecting, and when his picture disappeared from the shelter website the next day, I was heartbroken.  I feared that he had been killed because Pit Bulls are so discriminated against, his condition wasn’t the best, and Alabama shelters are completely full since the April tornadoes. 

Since that day, I have not gone back to the shelter, or even called, because I was so afraid of what I might find out.  I love animals, and I know each time I visit one of the dogs or cats I gave attention to might not be there.  I know it would hurt for a bit because I hate the idea of kill shelters and that our local humane society is one.  I know it would hurt because a sweet animal had been killed.

But because Simba touched me so deeply, the thought of him being killed brought me a sense of despair I wasn’t expecting.  I checked the shelter’s website daily, praying that it was a database glitch.  I prayed that he had been removed because his owner had reclaimed him, or he had been adopted.

On June 20th, my prayers were answered in part.  Simba was back on the shelter’s website!!  When I saw his picture, I felt a deep sense of relief and happiness; tears of joy were in my eyes.  While he had not been reclaimed or adopted, he was alive.

Now I need to help find Simba a good home.  While a furever home is preferred (as it is for any shelter or rescued animal), finding him a good foster home and getting him out of the shelter would be a start. 

I would foster or adopt him myself if I could.  Circumstances do not allow me to. 

Tears have filled my eyes as I have been writing this.  That is how strongly I feel, and how deeply Simba has touched me.  Please help Simba get out of the shelter and into a good home.  He will be a wonderful family member for some lucky person.

Thank you for reading this.

Animal ID – 13185830

Shelby Humane Society
381 McDow Road | Columbiana, AL 35051

If you are interested in learning more about Simba, please e-mail Sara ( and list Simba’s name and ID number in the subject line.

Why Am I Here, and What Am I Going to Do About It?

Originally posted on my Facebook page 6/20/11.  I am posting it here so that if you have not visited me on Facebook, you will have a feel for what this is all about.

I created APAA after more than a week of pensive thinking, but without giving it a whole lot of thought.  My heart was heavy from all the postings about animals in need, news stories, and the like.  My bout of thinking was brought about by a Pit Bull I met at my local humane society.  The initial result was my I Have a Dream note originally posted under my personal profile, and a copy resides in APAA’s note section.

I spent Friday, June 17th, putting APAA’s page together in-between taking care of our pack and other things.  I was so intent on getting this page put together, I didn’t stop to think about what its purpose and goals were.  I tossed together a quick “About” and “Description”:

A place of networking for animal welfare, rescue & advocacy.

My goal is for APAA to be available to ALL rescuers and animal advocates needing a place to promote their notices for animals in need, transports, events, articles, and more. I want APAA to be a place of information and sharing for anyone who cares about animal welfare.

There is nothing wrong with either my about or description on the face of it.  However, they are very broad, and over the past few days, I realized:

1.    There is no way for me to keep up with every posting from every animal welfare page I like.
2.    There are already plenty of crossposters who share and spread the word.
3.    Because of #2, many posts show up multiple times in news feeds as people share.
4.    That I need to be more focused if I am going to truly be effective as an advocate.

This is not to say that crossposting and sharing is not important because it is.  Shared posts have brought awareness to issues; resulted in animals being rescued, fostered or adopted; and have brought attention to news articles, websites and blogs with information.

Each animal advocate has to make a decision in regards to which direction their advocacy will take.  Some will volunteer with local shelters and/or rescues.  Some will crosspost and share.  Some will educate.  Some will work on improving animal welfare legislation and/or shelters in their state.  Some will run rescues or sanctuaries.  Some will donate money as they are able.

There is no way one person can do every possible thing as an advocate.  Each possible avenue of advocacy takes time and effort, which must be balanced with home, family, and work.

Since writing I Have a Dream, I have been giving thought to that dream, as well as to what may be going on at my local shelter.  I will admit that I have many things I would like to address.

I have been asking myself how I can best serve my desire to be an animal advocate.  Part of that is asking myself what I do best.  But I also need to be able to give time to our pack, my family and home, myself, and to the tiny, new business I am trying to get going.  This means that I can’t spend all day on the computer every day.  Maybe some days depending on what needs to be done, but definitely not every day.  And it is so easy to spend all day on the computer trying to keep up with all the animal welfare posts and sharing.  I don’t even want to count the number of articles, blogs, notes, etc on my “need to read” list.

So it has become clear to me that I need to become focused, to take my advocacy in a direction that I (and my family) can live with, as well as meshing my skills/abilities, advocacy desires, and my dream.

Skills / Abilities
·         Research
·         Writing
·         Teaching
·         Crafting
·         Logic, thinking and reasoning
·         Idea generation and bouncing
·         And probably more that I may or may not be able to put to use

Advocacy Desires (aka Goals)
Raise awareness AND educate regarding various animal welfare issues including, but not limited to:
·         Breed specific legislation
·         Responsible and appropriate animal welfare legislation
·         Animal abuse and cruelty
·         Spay/Neuter
·         Shelter Reform, including no-kill communities
·         Make monetary donations to rescues and animal welfare organizations
·         To be a voice for the animals
·         To volunteer as I am able

To actively work toward the above when and how I am able:
·         Letters and emails to elected officials
·         Notes here on this page; I may start a blog for articles.
·         Perhaps eventually offering outreach education programs
·         Selling items I make to raise money for animal welfare
·         Helping transport animals, working events, or volunteer work I can do from home

Advocacy Dream
To create a dog sanctuary as “roughed out” in my I Have a Dream note.  Most of my advocacy desires are a part of my dream.  So by working on the desires I listed above, I also work on my dream.  While I may never be able to create the sanctuary, elements of it will live through my advocacy.

To become focused and to carry out my advocacy desires means redefining what APAA is about:

·         It is about animal welfare and advocacy.
·         It is available to anyone who cares about animals and their welfare.

·         It is not a place to crosspost animals in need.  There are plenty of other pages where this can be done much more effectively, and is a part of those pages’ purpose.  If you need ideas of where, please look through my list of likes.

·         It is a place where rescues and other animal welfare organizations can send me event information, and I will add it to my calendar.

·         It is a place of education and awareness concerning animal welfare, including pictures, videos, notes, articles, and the like.

·         It is a place to discuss animal welfare issues.  I’ve installed the Facebook Discussion app for this purpose.  It doesn’t mean you can’t comment on anything; it is more to be able to discuss something without it becoming lost in the page scroll. 

None of this is intended to be any sort of affront to any animal advocate.  But I’ve realized that if I don’t place some limitations to the page, and if I don’t become focused, there’s no point in APAA.  I cannot do it all.  I must make choices in order to not only achieve my goals, but to also honor and respect my other responsibilities.

Thank you for understanding.