Down to Zero
The First Coast is full of animal lovers striving to achieve a time where there are “no more homeless pets.” Jacksonville had a sneak preview of becoming a no-kill community last fall. To achieve no-kill status, a shelter must reach a save rate of 90 percent. For the first time, the city achieved a no-kill rate of 92.1 percent in November 2012. It marked a milestone for the animal welfare community in Northeast Florida.
Best Friends Animal Society, located in Utah, is an amazing sanctuary that has taken a special interest in the progress Jacksonville is achieving. Jacksonville, with support of Best Friends Animal Society, is raising awareness of the importance of saving our four-legged friends. This year marks a powerful time to get involved with animal welfare through high-profile events like Strut Your Mutt, a large dog walk and fundraising event being held in September at Riverside Park, and the annual Best Friends conference being held at the Hyatt in October.
The road is long for achieving continuous no-kill status month to month, but the time is right to get involved helping to achieve that goal. If you've always dreamed of helping animals, now's the time to take action. To continue achieving a down-to-zero status, the shelters and animals need all the help and support they can get. The city is making strides toward achieving no-kill status forever by continuing to raise awareness of adoption and spay/neuter through education, large adoption events and outreach programs.
For resources to help keep your pet or to find a forever companion, please visit Animal Care & Protective Services, the Jacksonville Humane Society and First Coast No More Homeless Pets. Attend Strut Your Mutt for a fun-filled day with your furry friend or the Best Friends conference for a weekend of inspiration to help pets in our community and across the nation. Together we can make this city the best place to live and visit for both people and animals, a place where there are truly “no more homeless pets.” If you are interested in attending, donating or supporting either event, please visit strutyourmutt.org or conference.bestfriends.org.
What the …?
Looks like I picked up a copy of the Auto Trader by mistake. I realize that advertisers pay the bills, but 30-odd pages (yeah, I counted) of cars?
I often wonder why the working poor don’t unite over issues that would improve their lives and make America a better place. Raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing access to the health care system for the working poor, and punishing white collar crime.
Then I pick up a copy of The Florida Times-Union and there's the answer staring me in the face. In a story featured a few weeks ago, a man named Willie Collins, aka Aquarias, was visiting with some kids at a Boys & Girls Club. His message: You can be anything you want to be. Though well-meaning, I had to wonder whether Collins was much aware of some socioeconomic trends in America since the 1980s.
Since then, wages are stagnant, the wealthy are more so than ever in our history, and the highest portion of people are living below the poverty line since the early 1950s. These problems can all be fixed, but it is going to require citizens who are not lost in their own personal fantasies of fame, wealth and glory.
I can’t help but wonder how different things might be if every time some important person made a speech to kids, they just skipped the flowery platitudes and instead told children that if they worked hard, took their responsibilities as citizens seriously, and took an interest in their community, the world could be a safe and equitable place for everyone.