While researching the pets feature this issue, I was gratified and amazed to see the breadth and depth of the concern Minnesotans have for other creatures, be it their own pets or the many other animals in need.
Right in our own backyard, we have Now Boarding Pets, which will pamper your own darlings while you travel; Paws on Grand, with its celebration and wealth of adoption information; and Pins for Pets, raising funds for much-needed spay and neuter programs—attempting to avoid the killing of more than four million unwanted animals put down each year in the United States.
While the phrase “animal research” often has unpleasant connotations, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine has extensive research programs, the knowledge from which beneficially impact both animals and humans. Its expertise allowed the rare delivery and survival of twin foals in April, documented on www.cvm.umn.edu/newsarchives.
Others, like Tammy Thies, Director of The Wildcat Sanctuary, have invested years in helping abused and endangered animals.
Thies recalls her deciding moment: “The day I was at a photo shoot that had two tiger cubs is the day I vowed to find a way to ensure these animals would no longer be exploited or abused. I started advocacy work, and a few years later I began The Wildcat Sanctuary. Ten years after the initial photo shoot, we rescued Titan and Lilly [the owner had been killed by a third abused animal]. Titan and Lilly were those two cubs from the photo shoot, now 10 years old. This work had come full circle for me. It was bittersweet, knowing we were able to provide Titan and Lilly with a sanctuary to be wild at heart, but also seeing what they endured for 10 years. Helping an animal shouldn’t have to take a decade.”
Not a pet owner myself, I help in a small way by clicking daily on www.theanimalrescuesite.com. It only takes a moment, and it’s free. In the website’s own words, each click “provides food and care for a rescued animal living in a shelter or sanctuary. Funding for food and care is paid by site sponsors and distributed to animals in need at The Fund for Animals’ renowned animal sanctuaries….” What’s best, it adds, “100% of sponsor advertising fees goes to our charitable partners.”