For seven years I helped run a low-cost spay/neuter program; it was a volunteer effort on my part. I was a passionate advocate for lowering the euthanasia rate at our county shelter “If you can prevent unwanted cats/dogs from being born, then we don’t have to kill them when they end up in the shelter.” I worked a full time job during these years also, became the Queen of Multitasking as I toggled between computers, organized volunteers, created awareness events, drove countless miles to speak to groups, cleaned crates, transported pets to the vet, became expert enough on statistics to speak before city/county council, woke up early several mornings a week to staff the front desk at the clinic. Every person I met was a potential volunteer, perhaps a donor. I subscribed to the newspaper just so I could skim it each morning, looking for opportunities to promote spay/neuter, calling a health fair that was advertised to see if I could put up a table also.
Now here in Upstate South Carolina, this wasn’t always a popular passion to advocate for. There were obstacles to navigate: true economic hardships, not understanding health benefits to pets of spay/neuter, casual attitudes to “getting rid of” unwanted litters, community ignorance of devastating statistics of the kill rate at our shelter and how affordable/accessible spay/neuter could lower those numbers, being seen as “intrusive” by the vet community. We developed common sense talking points and plans to overcome many obstacles. We did succeed in lowering our euthanasia rates, becoming a well respected community organization, and even coaxing a $10,000 grant out of our local county council. But always running through my mind were the frustrating questions “WHY is this so hard? WHY can’t people see spay/neuter as the solution? WHY don’t they care enough to help? HOW can they not do something?” It boggled my mind that more people weren’t supporting us, and it made me MAD that people actually opposed our efforts, subtly and overtly at times. It was MADNESS!
I say that to say this. I was unaware all the recent years of what was happening in my country with the government growth, the out of control spending, the veering away from Constitutional principles of both parties. I did nothing to protest. I abdicated my responsibility to hold my representatives accountable. I went along with it. If it didn’t significantly impact my life … well … whatever. Someone else was probably watching them. Doing the tasks/oversight/vetting that all citizens should have, including me. It was RIGHT THERE for me to see, I just didn’t bother. I was busy doing other important things. And in the same way that I internally ranted about the people who DIDN’T DO ANYTHING about my passion of affordable/accessible spay/neuter, I owe an apology to those patriots who have been warning for years about spending, corruption, government control of our lives, unwillingness of our representatives to listen to their constituents. But I’m paying attention now, and you have my word that I will work as passionately for this movement as I did those seven years.
(from my blog Ordinary Sway http://bourque77.blogivists.com/)