February 2, 2012
I was first asked to be on the Board of Directors of American Humane Association as the organization took a stance against breed specific bans, At that time I had testified against BSL. But the fit turned out to be far deeper. In my view some organizations have become overzealous and truly have veered from what the American public (meat eating and vegetarian alike) deem reasonable. To that end, American Humane Certified program is the oldest, largest, and fastest growing monitoring, auditing, and certification program in the country ensuring the humane treatment of over 135 million farm animals. But American Humane doesn't advocate that people eat meat or don't - these should be individual choices. Fact is animals are used in food production, so let’s do the the best we can for them. There haven't been many disasters which American Humane’s famed Red Star Emergency Services hasn't been on-scene, saving countless animals. The work these workers do on the scene is truly inspirational. I am in awe. In conditions which most people have left for safety, our workers move in with first responsders. Red Star is on the scene to save animals, sometimes literally diving into water, searching through rubble of crumbled homes or simply climbing a tree recover a cat or doing what it takes to roundup horses. Red Star is considered the gold standard among those who rescue animals in emergency conditions and disasters, and their heroics are stuff movies are made of. Speaking of which if a movie has included 'animal actors' for decades, American Humane is famous for the tag line 'No Animals Were Harmed.' I've been on-set - I can tell you as a certified dog and cat behavior consultant, no animals are harmed is more than 'a line,' it's true. Our professional reps on-set may be the only advocate the animal actor has....There's a bridge between children and pets - and American Humane's funded research for years has helped us to better understand this intrinsic link. In 2011, American Humane helped more than 125,000 military families, elderly people, children with cancer, and others through our Animal-Assisted Therapy programs, bringing comfort and healing to those in greatest need and over 500,000 in the past 3 years. Learning additional benefits of animal assisted therapy is something American Humane is studying, including one project (funded by Pfizer) which is currently also helping victims of pediatric cancer. You can't get 'cooler' than that. If American Humane only helped animals, for all this organization does - that might be enough....But child protection is an equal part of the American Humane mission. I am honored to be on the Board, as employees (American Humane touts a lean machine – so VERY hard working and dedicated employees, each and every one) are there for the heavy lifting, and all of us invigorated by a CEO/President who inspires ...What’s most inspiring though: One family I am thinking of who lost their home in a flood, but were panicked not accounting for all their family pets, who were recovered by American Humane and who continued to keep them safe until a place could be found; or the U.S. veteran who became increasingly depressed and demonstrated anger whenever people attempted to help – until he met an animal assisted therapy dog who “broke through” in a way a mere human could not or a family who simply adopted a kitty cat for their autistic child, as a part of American Humane Association’s support for Adopt a Cat month.
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MY ROLE:Board Member