Why animals? A question I have been asked many times. Why don’t you care about human beings or children, a statement that has been made by many…
The thing is I love human beings just as much and I believe that if our planet and wildlife survives and thrives then so will we as a human race. I believe that animals have done nothing to deserve how WE treat them, and it is us, the human race, who mistreat, torture and kill them. Do they do that to us? No, they don’t and because of this it is our responsibility to change for us and for them. And I feel it’s my responsibility to be there voice.
As Mahatma Gandhi said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
I started a journey a few years ago and began wanting to do something so I looked for any organisations doing volunteer work and eventually found the amazing folk at JustOneThing365. I was shocked to learn that a lot of people I know do not understand that the word KILL comes before the word SHELTER. Many people like to believe that dropping an animal off at a Shelter means that it will be safe and re-homed. The sad reality is that’s often not the case. The reality is that most older animals don’t find new homes and get put down and yet the public do not or will not see this reality.
In December 2019 JustOneThing365 got a whole group together to take treats and donations to shelters in Johannesburg and treats were also given to the amazing staff at these shelters. This was a truly beautiful and terribly sad day. From hearing an announcement to get a dog ready as he was going home, to seeing the most beautiful Pit Bull who has clearly been abused his entire life cower as you walked towards his cage. All the animals there just want to give and receive love and isn’t that the one thing that human beings always want…. love? But many of us just throw this love away or drop it off at a shelter.
As sad as it can be helping and volunteering at a shelter it is also uplifting and so good for the soul. It also makes you realise that people need to adopt and not shop if they’re looking for a pet and in doing so you don’t only get a loyal and loving family member you end up saving a life.
As South Africa goes into 21 days of Lockdown and in week 2 you just want to get out and go for a walk or a run and see your friends, family and loved ones just imagine what it’s like for an animal in a cage because it’s not just 21 days for them, sometimes it’s all they have ever known and this is something I cannot accept which is why I will always try and help. I hope you will too.
Article contributor: Aurelie Stratton
EVENT: Santa Paws, 24 December 2019