When people see an injured animal on the street, they often will say, “Oh, poor little doggie, I wish I could do something, but it’s OK, someone will help him, I’m sure.”
Wait, who is that someone? They are not even referring to animal control. They need “someone” to, at the very least, call animal control. Or, because many people are aware of the grim fate of most animals who end up in the pound, they may not consider it as an option. To them, picking up the animal and taking him to a veterinarian is out of the question. Most passersby move on, feeling sad for the animal but forgetting about it by lunchtime.
Then there are people who do something about it. They are not necessarily the employees of large animal rescue organizations, but often are volunteering for grassroots rescue groups. They are in the same boat as those who walk away from the animals in need of help, with their own set of burdens in life. Yet, they stop and help.
If there is a little girl living next door to you, and if you know that her parents are beating her, would you ignore it just because their doors and windows are closed and you cannot see or hear her cry? No, you wouldn’t. Knowing that the girl is bruised and bleeding, you would do something. Why not show the same compassion and care for all living creatures?
If each person becomes the “someone” even once in a blue moon, there would be that many more animals helped, and rescued, from dire situations.
When one says, “It’s not my responsibility,” ask him, “Whose responsibility is it then?” It is everyone’s responsibility as a member of our society and a citizen of our planet. If we all stop looking away and do our part, each of us can make a difference — for the animals, and for ourselves. Then you will see there is no difference between you and people whom you call “rescuers” because there is no specialist in compassion.
Marie Atake is Founder & President of Forte Animal Rescue and a former Commissioner on the Board of L.A. Animal Services.