Does Animal Welfare Matter?

If you’re connected to me on LinkedIn, you know what I do for a living.  If you don’t know, then suffice it to say I work with people who are in crisis.

Sometimes what I face makes me very angry.

Sometimes it makes me cry.

Love shouldn't hurt
Love shouldn’t hurt

As an objective observer, I can often see how the current crisis could have been averted. The most common roadblocks are misunderstanding, miscommunication, and a lack of support.

In many ways, I see the same roadblocks hindering us from being effective advocates for animals.

Cat in the basket
Bubba in a basket

We are quick to tell people what to do, and slow to listen to what they have to say.

We are quick to condemn and slow to offer a helping hand.

We have a long list of people to blame for the problems instead of focusing on solutions.

The Animal Welfare Blogger Challenge
I am sad that few of you chose to take the challenge

Why do we act the way we do?  In my case it usually boils down to me feeling overwhelmed and insecure.

And when I feel those feelings, I come up with all sorts of excuses why I should just stay in my safe little cocoon and not choose to take action.  I’m afraid. I can’t afford it. I don’t have time. I don’t want others to make fun of me or berate me for not taking the “right” stand. And then there’s my personal favorite- I don’t think it’s right to be concerned about animals when so many people suffer.  I have been guilty of using each one of these and more.

Sometimes I think, with all this infighting within the animal welfare community, why should one even bother?

We are a movement in crisis. We are being attacked by shadow organizations fronted by puppy mills and animal agriculture. Our voices compete with businesses who want us to spend our money, which they will donate a percentage of to charity, but don’t ask us to think about the problems they claim to want to fix. We live in a world that continues to allow mass breeding of companion animals with impunity and mass exploitation of wild animals. All the while, we sit on our hands and argue about the best way to train our dogs and the best food to feed them.  

So why do I keep writing this silly little blog in the voice of a goofy dog and angry cat, trying to evoke in my readership an epiphany? Maybe because somebody needs to.  And with enough of us somebodies calling for positive action, change WILL come.

Will you join me and be a positive voice for change?


Here’s your daily reminder to vote for Rumpy in the World Spay Day Pet Pageant!  I can’t stress enough to you the importance of your asking your friends to vote. This is about getting them to think about the importance of spay/neuter, and asking them to vote does just that! Plant those seeds!

36 thoughts on “Does Animal Welfare Matter?

  1. I love your blog and you do touch many people, please do not feel it is for naught. I have three rescue cats. I wanted to be a vet, but I couldn’t dissect animals in bio…I chose to get an D. So I try to help the ASPCA and my local shelter, but I will be the first to say that yes, it is probably not enough. Know that there are people who do care, we may not always write but we relish your blog! Besides Rumpy and Bubba are in our hearts now! Keep the faith, lots of love, Emily

  2. Jen, u r an angel! Rumpy, DeDe & JB are the burr that rubs & reminds us, there are still things to be done. (a good burr of course) when I see what u accomplish, I know we can all do our small bit too! love ur furry family! xoxoxoxo

  3. I have an idea of what you do for a job and that would be really tough, I am sure it gets under your skin a lot and the same with animals but most likely, just when you are down the most something good usually pops up.

  4. We also love your blog…We do our best by being friendly to all the doggies, cats and other animals that we see. We may think we are not doing enough and we probably arent, but there are alot of us out here just doing a little bit every day and that should count for something. We DO CARE and we LOVE Animals!!!
    Alex, Trish and Penny

  5. I haven’t written anything for the challenge, but I have read most of the posts connected to it and they have all made me stop and think – they’ve all highlighted things that I hadn’t considered before.
    And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been affected by them.

  6. You are amazing to deal with people in crisis and then advocate for animals. *hugs* it is an important movement that needs help. What you are doing makes a difference. Those who are commenting giving excuses don’t understand. It takes one person to notice something is wrong. As pet parents we know things are not as they should be in shelters and want change.

  7. I like your blog very much , I’m pondering now about things that I never noticed before – Thanks for inspiration and motivation ;o) …and I’ve voted for the one and only cookie-saurus like every day ;o)

  8. Jen I have always admired your blog , of course I love Rumpy and his lovable house mates and occasional visitors. Your voice has always come through loud and clear. I know I wrote a couple of poems last year ether as a dog or in how I perceive a dog might appreciate it I shall re post them today and maybe I shall try think like a cat!
    Thank you Jen for being there for people in crisis and from Rumpy and the Crew thank you for looking after them!

  9. My birthday today. What a wonderful present. Jen, you keep speaking out. You’re a voice in the silence, a light in the dark. A little birthday candle. paw-waves.

  10. You’ve just described the whole world. It’s all this way – scribble out animal, write in something else, and you’ve got the same thing in another equally difficult, painful and frustrating struggle all over again.
    It’s great when people who have that kind of strength and passion speak out. But not every one responds to the same prompts. Not everyone will sign up on the same line. But to do your bit by being true to yourself is all we can to do.
    Things are changing, in all kinds of ways. Look at how different it has become just in our lifetimes. There is real change happening. And I know it’s not fast enough or effective enough for many who are suffering now, but imagine what another lifetime could do. It might even stop the infighting…ROFL 😉
    Wishing you luck 🙂

  11. You are are inspiration! I am sure you don’t know the extent of the good you do through inspiring others (who may not let you know). I didn’t enter the challenge because I felt my contribution couldn’t compare to what others do. Yeah, I know it’s a weak excuse.

  12. It’s never easy to do the right thing and many times with animal welfare issues (and various living creatures) it feels like I’m a salmon swimming upstream…as you write here….we are not alone in this. Just keep leading by example (Jen) Rumpy – even if one person is moved to swim upstream with you, it’s more than when you started.

  13. It makes me upset when someone tells me I shouldn’t worry about animal welfare when there are so many other ‘worthy’ causes out there. Just because the world has a lot of problems, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t voice the ‘small’ issues. I can only fight one battle at a time. So I choose the one that matters to me personally. They’re not ‘just dogs’. They are God’s creatures and they need our voices.

  14. My mom has loved animals since she was little and has been always with companion animals, however your blog posts made her realised the importance of those companion animals more, so we truly appreciate of you! 🙂

  15. Very well said.

    I believe the same characteristics help human and non-human animals–listening, compassion, withholding judgment, commitment, open-mindedness. And helping people helps animals. Helping animals helps people.

    So keep spreading the word.

    And take a moment to look back to see how far we’ve come. In 1970, more than 20 million animals were killed in shelters. Now it’s still an awful 2-3 million but what an improvement! More people are training their dogs. More people are preventing unwanted litters.

    Progress feels slow but it is sure.

  16. Hi Rumpy I did a post about a mistreated dog. and I have posted your photo on my page with a link to yours I really hope it can spread awareness on animal problems. chin up Jen you are a

  17. OurGirl can’t remember how she first met Rumpy, DeDe and the kitty gang, but it was several years ago and she’s followed the blog, the FaceBook and the Tweetie ever since. She’s loved you and your menagerie for a long time, especially after you took good care of Malachi and gave him a forever home. Everyone needs friends in their corner…she will always be there for you!! Love & proud-of-you purring from RainbowCatsx8

  18. Yes, how we treat animals DOES matter. Because those who show no respect towards animals usually show no respect towards any living thing; be it a tree, a river, the air or another human being . My pets have all been rescue animals and are always spayed/neutered.

    I had friends who decided they loved a certain breed of dog, bought 2 purebreds and decided to go into the breeding business. When I asked them weren’t there already enough animals on this planet who needed and did not have a loving home – they looked at me like I was insane.

    I have retreated from that friendship because I feel so strongly about this issue. I don’t want to align myself with people so ignorant and selfish.

    By the way, I vote for Rumpy every day!!!!:)

  19. I really don’t know how you do what you do for a living, and when it comes to the horrible things people do to innocent, trusting beings like children and animals I wonder how we ever evolved without killing off all living things and ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we ever stop, or that we don’t recognize the good among all of us.

  20. I voted a long time ago, can we vote every day? I absolutely understand the sadness you feel and the loneliness of fighting hard for justice in an unjust world. But, it is people like you, with heart and passion, that make the world a better place. Don’t be sad. When people let you down, you have your furries to cuddle. And people will let you down, and disagree, and be stupid and ignorant. Keep your perspective on what this work means to you – what it fills in your soul – and you will be OK. Thank you for doing the hard work. Kiss a wet nose. – Lorian (the human @ DogDaz)

  21. I have used all of the excuses you quoted above except one. That is the one re feeling guilty about helping animals when there are so many people hurting in the world.

    My philosophy is that we are supposed to be stewards of the earth…we have a trust and a responsibility to OTHER PEOPLE to make sure that the earth and ALL its creatures are cared for to the best of our ability. This is not being done. This is sooo not being done.

    Some people feel good about helping other people. It is their niche. Others feel good about helping animals. That is THEIR niche. And mine. I give as much money as I can to animal centers…there are so many of them. I click on the Animal Rescue site. And I click on the human help sites too.

    My biggest contribution is a weekly column at our local online newspaper. It is about my three dogs. I write it in a humorous way to try and wake up the feeling of kinship and appreciation of animals by the average person. If people stop thinking of dogs as being “just dogs,” for instance, then they might be kinder to them. My column, called “Puppy Dog Tales,” is doing quite well. I keep my fingers crossed 🙂 Educating people about animals is an important key.

    Thanks, Jen and Rumpy, for being leaders in this field and encouraging us all to reach out, stretch, and do our best for our beloved animals.

  22. Yes, animal welfare does matter and thanks in huge part to RumpyDog, I have gained a deeper understanding of the different issues (and some controversies) in this cause which is closest to my heart. Keep at it, Jen, and big thanks! 🙂

  23. A society that doesn’t help the weakest and most vulnerable among them isn’t very civilized.
    Anyone who’s seen the conditions of a puppy mill, or animals kept for fighting can’t easily turn away.
    Struggle on -keep writing

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