VOICES FOR ANIMALS
Voices for Animals is a Charlottesville-based group involved with preserving the welfare and well-being of animals both locally and globally. From the time that I got involved with the group in 1999 as a volunteer, it quickly became apparent how important the mission of the group is to its leaders and volunteers and how concerned they are with making a positive difference in the lives of animals – yes, animals. Those creatures who can’t help themselves. The ongoing spay/neuter program, Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival and other animal rights efforts are endeavors that the group takes on whole-heartedly, genuinely, and with extreme and selfless enthusiasm. Through the efforts of its dedicated volunteers, the group accomplishes a great deal, raising their own funds through grants and donation collection. Those funds are then wisely used to support their ongoing programs as efficiently as possible with minimal overhead.
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Voices for Animals is an all-volunteer animal protection organization that's been around since 1984. The reason for its long-term success is the passion and commitment of its volunteers. On a shoe-string budget, Voices for Animals accomplishes more than many organizations with full-time staff. It runs a feral cat spay/neuter program that sterilized and vaccinated nearly 1,200 cats in Central Va. last year. It coordinates the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival and Dog & Cat Adoption Fair, an annual event that attracts 5,000-6,000 people. It raises awareness of local and national animal protection issues, and inspires people to take action to create a more compassionate, humane world.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
I've seen a marked decrease in cats surrendered to the local shelter. I've seen people who were desperate for help sterilizing a group of cats receive help through the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter program, and I've seen healthy, nonbreeding cat colonies as the result. I've met people who became vegetarian or reduced their intake of animal products after attending the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, and dozens of dogs and cats from local shelters and rescue groups find forever homes at the adoption fair.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Make it larger and expand its reach. For the volunteer and financial resources they have, Voices for Animals accomplishes an amazing amount of direct care and advocacy for animals. It would be wonderful to see this organization grow even larger.