Posts Tagged ‘Humane Society’

Chimp Charities

I hope the holiday season has moved on gracefully, finding you inspired for the New Year.

During the holidays, we tend to spend a lot of time reverting to childhood memories, and sometimes childhood actions. Some of my favorite Saturday mornings in the gold-and-orange shag carpeted family room at home, when I was a kid, were spent watching Tarzan movies. I was obsessed with the idea of talking to animals, but knew I could never be as stuffy as Dr. Doolittle…swinging from the trees was much more my dreamstyle. A sad bit of news came over the holiday season. The chimp, known as Cheetah, who starred in the Tarzan flicks with Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O’Sullivan, passed away at the presumed age of 80 years (since the news, there has been lots of controversy about whether this was the actual animal performer from the films of the 1930s, whether chimps can possibly live to 80, and more…but that’s not the most important point, here). Cheetah had been living at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Florida, for the past 50 years.

What is important, to my mind, is the awareness of the opportunities to volunteer with primates in sanctuaries. Orphans, rescues, surrendered pets and laboratory animals…all of them find protection, rehabilitation, and nurturing care at sanctuaries across the United States (and, of course, there are plenty of international organizations doing this important work as well.)

The Humane Society lists several US primate protection facilities that rely upon volunteers like you and me. Check some of these out if you are looking to do a little animal activism in 2012 (links below are to the volunteer pages on their websites, for more information):

Center for Great Apes in Wauchula, Florida, needs volunteers for ape care, enrichment and stimulation activities, office help, fundraising, and groundskeeping.

Chimp Haven is in Keithville, Louisianna. They need volunteer help with special events, education/school programs, sanctuary care, community awareness, and advocacy.

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest of Cle Elum, Washington, is looking for you to help with habitat maintenance and construction, and kitchen help.

Chimps, Inc. in Bend, Oregon, is reaching out, hoping you’ll want to dive in and assist with animal care, enrichment, drivers, maintenance, office & mailing, or fundraising and special events.

Primate Rescue Center in Nicholasville, Kentucky, is looking for volunteers to work directly in the care and rehabilitaion of more than 50 primates.

Save the Chimps of Fort Pierce, Florida as well as Alamagordo, New Mexico, use volunteers for preparing meals for the chimps, maintenance and cleaning/laundry, enrichment, and gardening/greenscare for the facilities.

Suncoast Primate Sanctuary (where Cheetah lived out his days) in Palm Harbor, Florida, is an all-volunteer-run organization, where you can help with animal care, as a docent, or administratively in the office.

Loud Holidays and Pets

I hope you’re planning a great holiday weekend. Remember what is festive and ooooh- and ahhhhh-inspiring in us with enormous and percussive explosions of pyrotechnics is enough to make most dogs and cats become terrified. In higher numbers than almost any other day/night, this holiday sends them running from the safety of home looking to escape the chaos. The Fourth of July poses a tremendous problem for household pets, and runaway numbers skyrocket like fireworks that have our attention held rapt. Be sure to take any precautions you can to make sure your pets feel comforted and safe amid the noise and fire hazards. We celebrate independence on this weekend, but not the independence of our pets from our homes.

Since so many more animals stray on this weekend than most (also at Halloween), when you are not picnicking and partying, maybe you can look at your calendar to find some time to volunteer at an animal rescue shelter near you.

The ASPCA is one of the largest and best known programs in the country, and they have several suggestion for how you can help at your local shelter (and, of course, if it is time to expand your family, adopt a rescued pet!)

The Humane Society can get you set up at one of their facilities in your neck of the woods, and like all organizations devoted to the well being of pets, would love to have the help.

Do Something has a quick-read article about volunteering at a shelter near you, and makes it easy for you to take steps today.

The simplest of Internet searches will yield lots of local results too, so you can jump in with the community-based animal rescue and rehabilitation programs that serve you and your neighbors. Whether you are walking dogs or playing with cats, helping feed, caring for infant animals, assisting veterinarians, staffing an information booth at a local fair or adoption day, or any of the many other ways volunteers can help, just think of the introductions that fill hearts to near bursting, and the reunions you can help facilitate when a family has lost, then found, their beloved pet.

Travel for Good: Humane Society International

You’ve long known about the good work being done at animal shelters in your home town and across the US, but may not have been aware of the global reach of the Humane Society International. Confronting cruelty in countries around the world, the Humane Society is the premier advocate for animals…and now they are sponsoring travel programs. Launched today, Humane Travels gives you a chance to tour international sites where important animal protection programs are going on. Your travel fees help support the local animal protection groups while your vacation experience creates for you, memories that will last a lifetime. The inaugural trip is to South Africa in January, celebrating wildlife and spotlighting grassroots programs dedicated to the animal kingdom. Travelers will voyage to the SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary, home to hundreds of rescued animals, including lions, wild dogs, hippos, giraffes, elephants, warthogs, zebras, ostriches and many, many more, during a six night/seven day vacation. Other safari experiences and game drives round out the vacation at pretty high end tent camps and lodges, including visits to nearby Kruger National Park. Once you’ve got the Big 5 under your belt, future Humane Travels world excursions are planned for Bhutan, Canada, and Guatemala, where HSI is working hard.

Olympian Giving

As the Vancouver Olympic Games move toward their finish this weekend, it’s fun to look at some of the charitable support these winter athletes have given to causes near to their hearts. As new faces and names become known to a larger audience, whether draped with a medal or not, with more attention comes an opportunity for greater reach for causes, so expect even more athletes to lend their name and support to causes in the wake of the Games.

Ice Dancers Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto create charity skate shows that support organizations American Cancer Society, and The American Red Cross.

Gretchen Bleiler, the Olympic Snowboarder, works with the National Resources Defense Council.

Freestyle Skiier Emily Cook is an active supporter of Right to Play.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, silver medalists in Ice Dancing, spend huge amounts of time off-ice working with The American Cancer Society, The Humane Society, March of Dimes, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Figure skater Rachael Flatt partners with Reading is Fundamental.

Chad Hedrick, Bronze in Long Track Speed Skating, works with the Special Olympics of Texas.

Snowboarder Lyndsey Jacobellis does some truly creative work with the ASPCA, even starting her own program, Hats 4 Hounds.

When Todd Lodwick is not training for Nordic Combined, he’s tirelessly supporting Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, his commitment strengthened by his son, Finn, who has been diagnosed with epilepsy.

Evan Lysacek spun gold in Figure Skating, and his work with  Ronald McDonald House (where he is a celebrity board member), and Make-a-Wish Foundation is equally precious.

Julia Mancuso takes the glory of her double silver medal victories in Alpine Skiing to her work with WWF Climate Change.

Steve Nyman, Alpine Skiing, helped build an orphanage in Haiti prior to the earthquake, and works with Team Darfur, and A Child’s Hope Foundation.

Bronze medal Bobsledder Erin Pac supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Noelle Pikus-Pace, when not on the Skeleton track, works with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Angela Ruggiero, of the US Hockey Team was the Director of the New York Islanders Project Hope, on the advisory board for  the Women’s Sports Foundation, an athlete ambassador for Right to Play, an advisor to Moms Team, and a member of 350.org.

Johnny Spillane who competes in Nordic Combined, works with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Silver medal Snowboarder Hannah Teter gives proceeds from her Maple Syrup company, Hannah’s Gold, to a Kenyan village, Kirindon, she has adopted and for which she helps provide water, AIDS education and support of AIDS-afflicted mothers, and economic stability.

Figure Skater Johnny Weir is active with the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, and UNICEF.

Snowboarding sensation and double gold medalist, Shaun White, just put his autographed board up for auction with Rachael Ray and her foundation, Yum-o!

More inspiring inforation about celebrity charity giving is found every day at Look to the Stars.

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