On Valentine’s Day, Open Your Heart for Animals. Help Me Help the ASPCA.
Pictured above, our kids, Preston and Pele.
They eat real food, run, play and have a very nice life.
Sadly, so many other dogs and cats live a life far from ‘nice’.
In years past, when I’d write a post for Valentine’s Day, it would typically be about how to make a healthier version of a decadent dessert, or perhaps tips on how to balance out that glass of wine (or two or three) with the rest of one’s meal so as to not disrupt one’s macro nutrient profile too abruptly.
But this year, I’m taking a different angle.
I’m focused on something else, a cause very close to my heart: animal welfare.
When I was a student at USC, I got heavily involved with dog rescue. I hadn’t planned on it, it just happened.
Because I just kept finding stray dogs.
It was 1994 and I was a 19 year old student with no disposable income and no clue as to how dire the situation really was.
Back home where I grew up, call it any town USA, a safe place for kids to grow up, about 50 miles North of Manhattan, if there were ever a stray dog, you’d simply take him or her to the shelter where he or she would stay until adoption.
Not so much.
Any dog who ends up in a shelter in LA County has only a 1 in 3 chance of getting out alive, according to an article in the LA Times (1).
Some more alarming statistics:
- Close to 50% of the 72,000 animals brought to the six Los Angeles County shelters were killed by lethal injection in 2014.
- The number of cats killed is particularly high — about 70% of felines brought into the Los Angeles County system were euthanized in the same year (by the way- the term euthanasia, in my opinion, is a bit out of context here, given that many of these cats and dogs are not suffering; many are simply put down because there’s just not enough room. Remember, euthanasia is the ‘painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma’.)
There I was, finding dog after dog with no means to support them nor place to board them (a stray dog, or any dog for that matter, is not exactly a welcome guest in a student’s living quarters!)
So I took the very first one, who I named Henry, to the closest vet I could find where I paid for him (using a credit card) to be neutered and stay until a space opened up at a Doberman Rescue I found in Sun Valley.
Then I found another, a mutt who I named Lily, and did the same.
One after the other but fortunately, it was right around the time I connected with a woman at USC who was a grad student, compelled to do something about this situation.
She founded a group within the college campus, called SC Paws and collectively those of us who joined were able to support one another, volunteer and, once faculty began to come on board, find foster homes.
Yet while there are organizations such as these, the stray problem is still a huge issue, which is why I’ve decided to reengage my involvement with this cause so true to my heart.
The ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of rescue, adoption and welfare and has worked tirelessly for over 150 years to put an end to animal abuse and neglect (2).
Will you help me support their work?
Of course, Beautycounter is cruelty-free; their official statement on the site is as follows: “Beautycounter does not test any of our products on animals nor do we ask others to do so. We have our own manufacturing facility; we contract with several independent formulators, who also do not conduct animal testing.”
Click here to shop for your sweet heart, shop for yourself and most importantly, to shop for an animal in need!
All month long, you can also donate online by clicking here to land on my campaign.
Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!