After recently attending the Best Friends No More Homeless Pets Conference in Jacksonville, FL, I realized that I owe a debt of gratitude to Best Friends – and to San Jose Animal Advocates – for helping me get involved in animal welfare. Both groups have helped me grasp the complexity and urgency of saving lives: reducing the homeless pet population, increasing fosters and adoptions, implementing TNR (trap, neuter, release), improving shelter environments, changing policy and practice through education and fact. Both groups have encouraged involvement without judgment or anger, but with hope and optimism. Both groups have emphasized community and partnership – between people and organizations, cities and states. Best Friends’ new call to action sums it up perfectly: together, we can “Save Them All”.
We’ve included links to many of these resources on our SJAA website – information on: losing or finding a pet; low-cost spaying and neutering; emergency vets in San Jose, wildlife rescue; low-cost vaccines; dog rescue; fostering or adopting a pet; trainers; and more. You can find help and information on many other websites, including bestfriends.org, the national Humane Society website and the local Humane Society Silicon Valley website. Conferences, like the Best Friends events, are great opportunities for education, networking and inspiration.
The journey to becoming a more active animal advocate has touched me in ways I didn't expect. I've had the opportunity to help pets in need – a gift in and of itself – but I've also learned how to be a better guardian for our own pets – the cats we’ve adopted, animals we’ve fostered and placed – and pets we will help in the future. Together, we can save them all.