Friday, August 19, 2011

New Blogger On The Block, That's Me!

Today, I read a post on a blogger's facebook page. He complained that although he wrote from his heart today, his post would mostly likely not receive much traffic. It isn't the first time I have seen this person complain about his blog going unread. I guess, I would like to ask him if he was blogging to make money or just to speak from the heart? If you're blogging for money, low traffic would be an obvious concern. But if you're writing from the heart, then what difference does it make if someone reads your blog or not? I have to admit the first couple days I looked at the stats on my blog quite a bit. But you know what? I don't care if people read my blog or not. It's something I want to do, and it involves a passion of mine, and that is animals, especially dogs and cats. I don't do it to get noticed. Is that what blogging is about? To be noticed? I remember when blogs first came out. Yes, I am that old. I thought it was just an online journal or diary where someone wrote about their personal life. I think it evolved into something much different than what it was originally. Who knows, that might be wrong. Anyway...
I am a new blogger myself. If you have any tips or hints for me I would love to hear from you. I am sure you know my passion, as it is pretty much the title of the blog. I try to speak up for the cats and dogs in my area that have no voice. Now, my area is pretty small and there is nothing I can do about that. But what I can do is share what knowledge I have learned along the way and share experiences that some may not have had the opportunity to go through. For example, I am attending the Great Shelters Conference in Ohio on September 10, 2011. I hope to bring back some great information from that conference. Then, a little later, I plan on attending the PetPoint Summit in Chicago which is, I believe, the best microchip company out there. Then. in October, I am attending the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Conference in Las Vegas. I truly hope I will have more knowledge to impart to those around me and to those who follow this blog. To tell you the truth, speaking with people about what I learn is much more enjoyable to me than writing. I know I speak better than I write!
So, all of you bloggers out there. What's your advice for me? What do you think? Do you even read this? Any tips that will help improve my blog? Thank you, and have a really awesome Weekend!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mixing Faith and Animal Advocating

Mixing my love of animals and my faith in God has been a struggle for me lately. It's no secret that my faith in Christ is the most important thing in my life. But I often ask myself, why I am I putting so much time and energy into advocating for animals and not advocating for Christ? I think I have arrived at an answer to this question.

In Genesis 1:28, God said that we would have dominion over all the animals on this planet. But what does dominion mean? I read quite a few commentaries on this passage and none of them explained it very well. In order to acquire a deeper understanding, I thought I should discover what the original Hebrew word used in this passage was.  My research led me to the Ancient Hebrew Research Center. They publish an E-magazine called "Biblical Hebrew". My research confirmed what I initially thought, and I am by no means an authority on the bible. What I read really made sense to me and put my desire to advocate for animal welfare in a different light. The information I found is from their May 2006 issue.

The word subdue in Genesis 1:28 is “kavash” in Hebrew. Kavash is a verb that  means “to subdue”. However, the meaning of kavash is broader than subdue and so it is important to have a more complete picture of the Hebrew word. The noun form of this word is "kevesh" which means a footstool or a place where one places their foot. The verb kavash literally means to place your foot on the neck of your conquered enemy and signifies the submission of the conquered to his conqueror. Figuratively, this verb means to bring a people or nation into submission (Num 32:29). This word can also mean to bring under control (Mic 7:19). Incidentally, this is the same word we use today when we say "put the kabash on it" which means to make an end of something or to "subdue" it.

While the word kavash means to subdue, there is another word used in the passage that may further explain God's command. The Hebrew word  for "to have dominion" is the verb "radah." Our normal understanding of "having dominion" over another is to rule over them but this idea is found, instead, in Hebrew in the verb malak. The Hebrew verb radah is related to other words which mean descend, go down, wander and spread. This verb literally means to rule by going down and walking among one's subjects as an equal.

The use of the two Hebrew verbs "kavash" and "radah" implies that man is to rule over the animals as his subjects, not as a dictator but a benevolent leader. Man is also to walk among his subjects and build a relationship with them so that they can provide for man and so that man can learn from them.

Have a relationship with them? Walk among them? Learn from them? Nothing could be more true when we are talking about animals that serve us as our companions. Yet, the continued mistreatment and slaughter of these creatures continues.

So, getting back to my original thought, why am I giving so much time and energy to advocate for animals and not Christ? The fact of the matter is, I am advocating for Christ while I advocate for animals. I am seeking truth and justice for the animals he told us to learn from. I may not discuss Christ all the time while advocating but I honestly think people can see a difference in how I approach the subject. I believe people can see a difference in the way I speak or write about advocating for animals. The fact is, I will speak about Christ if I am prompted. But since I feel so compelled to work for justice concerning companion animals, I truly believe that this is my calling and my mission in this life. I may not know why I have been called to speak for animals in this lifetime but I surely will find out in the next. So for anyone who thinks I am spending too much time on animals, my question to you is what do you fill your time with and, if you believe in God, how does it relate to what you're doing with your life?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Time is Running Out

Do you think you have the power to change organizations like humane societies? Our local humane society has a board of directors that normally consists of 12 members. Those directors are voted into office by the membership of the humane society. If you are not currently a member of the Lakeshore Humane Society in Manitowoc, WI, I urge you to buy a membership for $35 and help change the way things operate. Membership secures a vote for you in the annual election on October 18, 2011. The thing is your membership needs to be purchased before August 19, 2011 in order to have the right to vote in the annual election. The current bylaws of the Lakeshore Humane Society state that you must be a member in good standing 60 days prior to the election. I think this is a fair rule. But we need you to act fast! You do not have to live in Manitowoc County, or even Wisconsin, to buy a membership and vote. You can live on the other side of the world and still be a voting member. How's that you ask? All that you have to do is request an absentee ballot, have it notarized and get it back to the nominating committee by October 18, 2011 (Please don't wait that long!). One thing I would suggest if you’re buying a membership from out of state, do not pay via PayPal. Use a check, money order or cashier’s check. Record keeping is not the best at the shelter. If you go into the shelter itself and pay cash, ask for a receipt. At any rate, you should receive a thank-you card from the Lakeshore Humane Society within a week of paying for your membership. Here is the link to the Lakeshore Humane Society Membership Form.

This election is important as 8 positions open this October. There are many issues at stake. The Lakeshore Humane Society needs an Executive Director. They need a director who does this type of work as their passion, not just as a job. There are many problems at the shelter that are not being addressed. I don't think the board needs to be involved with day to day operations but currently it is and it's not working well. That's where an Executive Director comes in. Currently the society is run like a secret society. The membership is not kept informed of what goes on. In 2002 the bylaws were changed by the board of directors and they voted out the quarterly membership meetings. This can be added back if a motion is made at the annual membership meeting on October 18, 2011. The membership needs to be more informed about what is happening to the animals at the humane society. Oddly enough, I received in the mail yesterday a postcard from an unknown sender that stated the following: "Lakeshore Humane Society Should Not Be Euthanizing Healthy Dogs & Cats! They Say You Don't Care? PROVE THEM WRONG 1. Purchase a Membership For LHS For $35 2. Purchase Before August 13th So Your Vote Counts! 3. Attend the Annual Meeting On October 19th, 2011 4. VOTE Out Old Ideas Leadership! 5. Vote For Progressive Leadership! MAKE YOUR VOICE COUNT AND BE HEARD!” That was it. A very pointed message. One I would say I agree with. So kudos to whomever had these made up and mailed out! I do want to point out, however, that the postcard has a few dates incorrect. You actually have up until August 18th to purchase a Lakeshore Humane Society membership and still be able to vote in the election. As well, the postcard had the election-day off by one day (It's October 18th). Of course, getting your membership early is always the better route to take.

At this point in time I do not know who is running for the board of directors of the society. But when I do, I will tell you. I will also tell you what my opinion is of each and every candidate. But remember, I will only be giving my opinion. Everyone has an opinion.

So, I encourage you to take the time and help turn the Lakeshore Humane Society around. Please, purchase a membership and watch my blog to find out who is running for the board of directors. This election could be determined not only by those who attend the annual meeting but by those who live anywhere in the world! As the postcard said, "MAKE YOUR VOICE COUNT AND BE HEARD!"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Punching, Punching a Dog

"On 7-18-2011 at 7:57 a.m., I heard a dog yelping. I looked outside my window located at 814 Madison Street to see a man kicking and stomping with his right foot on a dog’s head. My window is ten feet away from where the man was standing. The man had one dog on a leash and another dog off leash. He stomped on the dog’s head 3 times, and kicked the dog’s head twice. He then placed his knee on the dog’s side and began punching the dog in the head with his closed right-hand fist. He punched the dog in the head 6 times. I called 911 at 7:59. The man then began walking east on Madison Street.
The man approached the 8th and Madison intersection. He began punching the dog in the head again with his closed right-hand fist. I opened my door, ran outside and witnessed the dog yelping in pain again. The man pulled up violently on the dog’s collar, lifting the dog off the ground. I yelled at the man.
The man continued to walk east, while I gave his description to the 911 operator. Police arrived and located the man.
I spoke to the officer trainer and told him exactly what I had seen. The officer informed me the man was attempting to discipline his dog. I informed the officer that, in my opinion, it was clearly animal abuse. The officer said that since there was no blood and the animals looked like they have been taken care of, there was nothing he could do. I informed the officer that one of the dogs was not on a leash which is a breach of city ordinance.

The man has short, light brown hair and a slim build. He wore glasses, black shorts, a white tank top, black sandals, and no socks."

The following report was filed with the Manitowoc Police Department. As of this date, nothing has been done by either the police or the humane society. The individual who committed the abuse still owns this dog, and others. We would not tolerate this man’s behavior if he beat an animal in a zoo, but our society doesn’t consider abusing a pet much of a crime. Animal abuse gets a slap on the wrist in Wisconsin. Manitowoc Municipal Code 14.020(15) states: "No person shall overdrive, overload, maim, wound, torture, torment, cruelly beat or kill any such animal or, being the owner or having the care or charge of any such animal, fail to provide necessary food, water, or shelter for any such animal."

This really makes me angry and there is nothing I can do about it. So I will pray. That, at least, is in my control. I would ask you to pray as well. Pray for this state, pray for the people and pray for the animals. Things are not getting any better around here. Hopefully, and if charges are filed, I can give you an update on this incident. I am sure there are brighter people out there than me who know what to do about this. If I had room in my house I would pay this guy for his dogs. I know where he lives...