mom2nomads

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Archive for the tag “PeTA euthanizes”

PETA’s Farce of an “Adopt-a-Thon.”

So PETA is holding an “adoption event” at its Bea Arthur dog park for itself and eight shelters/rescues. On the surface this seems to be a positive thing — an opportunity for area shelters and rescues to get animals who are available for adoption out into the community and, hopefully, into some forever homes. The problem, however, is that while PETA claims to operate a shelter it does not. A shelter is a place where animals who have already been betrayed by someone in some way can find, well, shelter. Rescue. Protection. Advocacy. Love. Hope. A shelter is not a place with a 1% adoption rate. A shelter is not a place where killing is not only acceptable but encouraged. A shelter is not a place that, when asked what kind of actions are routinely taken in order to find animals it takes in forever homes, answers “no comment.” A shelter does not hire a high priced lobbyist to defeat an animal welfare bill. A shelter does not employ people who swoop onto a porch where a beloved dog is sitting, steal her, and then kill her. Despite the fact that PETA took in 2,626 animals in 2014 it is not a shelter. Why? Because it only managed to adopt out 39 of those animals. in 2014 PETA took in nearly 52 million dollars. I absolutely understand that PETA has a much broader stroke than animal rescue but if it can’t allocate enough of its resources to do better than to find forever homes for 39 of its animals then it has not earned the title of “shelter.”

So what is wrong with this “adoption event?” What is wrong with “a fun way for Hampton Roads families to meet some of the wonderful dogs” who “desperately need homes?” On the surface, nothing. In reality, a lot. PETA’s participation in this event, its hosting of the event, is a farce. It is a desperate act by a desperate organization. It is yet another way that PETA is attempting to legitimize its title of “shelter.” And the actual shelters who are participating in this, as wonderful as they may be individually, are merely contributing to the farce and inadvertently promoting an organization that has the killing of companion animals as its standard operating procedure. Real shelters standing arm in arm with PETA gives the impression that they are one and the same. I’m sure that is PETA’s intention because they are masters at molding the narrative. But PETA is not one of them. PETA is not a shelter. It is an organization that justifies killing the vast majority of animals that it takes in. And real shelters standing in solidarity with the killing machine of PETA is just a travesty. Hold the event, give the animals who desperately need homes a chance, but hold it somewhere other than on the grounds of PETA. Because those grounds are soaked in the blood of animals who were betrayed. And that is not where real shelters should be.

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Molding the Narrative

Yesterday I wrote an entry about Mary Tully’s blog piece about me. One of the things Ms. Tully was seeming to imply with her piece is that Douglas Anthony Cooper has, possibly, lost some faith in me. Mr. Cooper decided he needed to set the record straight on that and he wrote, in part, this:

For the record: I remain utterly convinced in Ms. Harper-Troje’s scrupulous honesty; nothing in her account strikes me as anything but rigorously accurate.

She responded to Mr. Cooper and several comments, back and forth, followed. Then, poof, they disappeared. So Mr. Cooper opened another discussion, which also seems to have disappeared.

This is the trick PETA and PETA apologists use: mold the narrative. If something doesn’t fit their version of the truth, or if the discussion has gone somewhere they don’t like because truth has been revealed, or if someone challenges them, the solution is simple. Delete it. Block them (both PETA and Ms. Tully have blocked me on Twitter and PETA has blocked me from commenting on their FB page). Which shows me that they are afraid of open, honest dialogue. So they do everything they can to mold the narrative to what they want people to believe. There are a lot of comments on my blog that are either not factual or just flat out rude towards me. I was asked by several people why I don’t delete them and I completely understand why someone would wonder this. Nobody likes to see nasty things written about them, it’s not fun. And why leave misinformation up? My philosophy about misinformation is this: I trust that anyone who really wants to form an opinion about this will do their research and research will reveal both misinformation and truth. My philosophy about personal comments is this: folks can call me every name in the book, they can spew lies either about me or about PETA, I don’t care. And my reason for not caring is twofold:

1. Their opinion of me means nothing.

2. I know I’m telling the truth so their lies, also, mean nothing.

This is me, again, channeling the honey badger. Because, really, what does it matter? If I know I’m telling the truth people can say what they like and it doesn’t change the truth. Period.

The narrative mold is always based on either out right lies, or things that have enough of an element of truth that their entirety seems believable, or they are verbal slights of hand meant to distract from the real issue. Miss Tully’s blog about me is full of all three of those things. But why delete comments that challenge you if you know you are telling the truth? Any lie that someone writes or says means nothing. And I find if I just let people speak or write their lies then, eventually, they’ll either run out of steam or shoot themselves in the proverbial foot.

From the very beginning I have asked people to do their research, think critically, make up their own minds. I’m not the only one who has revealed PETA’s practices towards the animals they take in, there is evidence of it in other places, what happened to Maya the chihuahua is just one example. My biggest frustration is that I know there are many other former CAP employees who know the truth and I cannot understand why not one has come forward. All it would take is one or two more people to stand up and let the truth be heard. One or two. That’s it. I know it’s scary, I know it’s intimidating but, I swear, I will have your back and so will many, many others. Remind yourself of this:

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

To be clear, I am not saying PETA is evil. Despite the assertions of Ms. Tully and some others, I am not a PETA hater, I have no bones to pick with them. I hope CAP goes on to continue to do the great field work it does. However, that work should not include the killing of animals. That is evil. I believe that and so do a great many other people.

In the interest of folks getting the full picture, I’ve decided to post the screen shots of the deleted comments on my blog so anyone who wants to read them can do so.

MaryTullyDialogueComplete

Screenshot

Just Call Me Honey Badger

A few days ago blogger and PETA apologist Mary Tully wrote a blog entitled “The Curious Case of Heather Harper-Troje.” Since I don’t read her blog I didn’t notice that she’d written about me until someone kindly sent it to me on Twitter. I intend on writing a lengthier blog about what she asserted both in her piece and in the comment section of her blog when I get a bit more time — I’ve got some things to say about it. One of her main assertions, both implied and more overtly stated, seems to be that I am lying about PETA. My response to that is twofold:

1: I’m not.

2: I don’t care if she thinks I’m lying.

My initial objective was to write the truth in order to begin to make amends to Black Boy. That’s it. And I feel I have at least started that process. The fact that people were open to listening to me, and open to believing me, is something I am very grateful for. Partly because so many people have been supportive throughout what has turned out to be a longer and more difficult process than I had anticipated — I could not have kept speaking up without the people who have had my back. And partly because I want people to know the truth about certain practices in which PETA engages. It is my hope that whatever I’ve added to this ongoing dialogue has made an impact.

But I know there are certain people who will never believe me, for whatever reason. And I know there are people who know I’m telling the truth but will continue to call me a liar because they want PETA to be able to continue doing what it does, which is kill the vast majority of animals it takes in. My bottom line is this: it is not my job to refute Ms. Tully’s assertions that I am lying. I hope that anyone who is on the fence will carefully examine all the evidence available and think critically about it. But that’s up to each individual.

At the end of the day Ms. Tully, or anyone else, believing me has no impact on my life.  I have nothing to personally gain from any of this, my only reward is knowing that I’ve done the right thing and that, hopefully, it’s helped. But, either way, my life goes on. I keep running, I keep finding joy in all the same things, I help my kids navigate life, I snuggle with our youngest (he still loves to snuggle with mommy and I am soaking that in until it’s no longer the case), I have dates with my husband, my dog still greets me like it’s his birthday and Christmas all rolled into one when I’ve been away for the afternoon. And, hey, I got to watch the Boston marathon today and be reminded of the greatness of the human spirit and, despite the annoyance Ms. Tully has caused me, that beautiful and positive experience is far more important to me personally than her lies. Life goes on, it will continue to go on. No matter how many distractions Miss Tully tries to create, no matter what lies PETA cooks up about me. Life goes on and, at this point, I’m all about the attitude of the honey badger — and that’s good.

Important Information on Virginia’s SB 1381: No Time to Waste

The following is a piece By Douglas Anthony Cooper that was just published in the Huffington Post about Virginia Senate Bill 1381.  You can find it here but I’ve put the entire piece in my blog because this is so important and so timely. We don’t have any time to lose, the vote is tomorrow. Lobbyists, and the large organizations they work for, should not get to dictate what becomes law in our democracy, the only way to prevent this is to act. Please, if you are a Virginia voter, contact your representative and tell ask them to vote in favor of SB 1381, the contact information you need is in Mr. Cooper’s piece. The time is now.

“PETA would like you to believe that tomorrow’s crucial vote in Virginia isn’t about them. It’s about all those shelters that open their doors to dogs and cats, and then kill almost every single one. Never mind that PETA is the sole “shelter” that fits this description.

No, the bill isn’t about them.

That’s why PETA is the only group to have hired a lobbyist to quash this bill. That’s why PETA is the only group screaming about just how terrible this bill will be for innocent creatures.

Their lobbyist, Stephan Haner, is good. I mean that: he’s a pro. Note how he opens this letter to the delegates who will be voting: “Okay, we get it — people dislike my client PETA, for a whole bunch of reasons. But base your opinion on the truth, not a pack of lies.”

Nice, huh? Yes, these are lousy people, but you and I — adults — are capable of rising above such sentiments, and judging wisely. And, predictably, the next paragraph introduces… well, a pack of lies.

Bill 1381 “seeks to prevent any private shelter from practicing euthanasia.” Sayeth our lobbyist. Which is an interesting opinion, if you find rank garbage interesting.

Nobody is trying to prevent the practice of euthanasia. The bill does not oppose euthanasia, and neither does any advocate that I’ve ever met or heard of — including those that describe themselves as “No Kill.” Euthanasia means mercifully ending the life of an animal who is sick and beyond cure: generally in pain. Killing — as opposed to euthanasia — means ending the life of an animal just because it happens to be alive. The bill would deter shelters from doing the latter.

And don’t kid yourself: this bill is aimed at one shelter in particular. It aims to shut down PETA’s grotesque slaughterhouse: their “shelter,” which has killed over 33,000 pets. Yes, lots of shelters in American kill unnecessarily, but PETA’s kill rate puts them in a special category. They are a machine.

“So, let’s talk about it,” says their lobbyist. Okay, I’m all for that. Let’s talk.
“Of the 3017 animals it accepted in 2014, almost 2868 were surrendered by their owners.” Right. I have no reason to disbelieve this. It’s probably correct — or mostly correct. What is almost certainly not correct is this: that all of those owners wanted those pets put to death.

People surrender animals to shelters hoping, for the most part, that they will be re-homed. Often they explicitly request this. PETA kills these pets anyway.

Don’t believe me? We have abundant information, including the recent testimony of a whistleblower, who worked at PETA fifteen years ago: “I was told regularly to say whatever I had to say in order to get people to surrender animals to me: lying was not only acceptable, it was encouraged.” And often what was said was this: that PETA would be adopting these animals out.

This courageous whistleblower, Heather Harper-Troje, recounts one litter of puppies: “They were surrendered by their owner — I picked them up. We were supposed to find them homes, but they were all euthanized.” And this is simply one anecdote: “I never had an owner tell me they wanted their animal killed.”

Perhaps that testimony is too old for comfort? Perhaps PETA has reformed its vicious ways? Well, you’re welcome to conclude this, except that an employee was videotaped recently — just this November — stealing a perfectly health pet from a porch in Virginia: a little girl’s dog, which was killed almost immediately afterward. PETA’s lobbyist describes this as “a terrible mistake.” I’d certainly agree with the “terrible” bit. Theft is rarely a “mistake.”

Frankly, nobody decent could possibly conclude that PETA has become a more reputable outfit — not after reading this fully documented report: “PETA’s Secret Slaughter of Kittens and Puppies.” (Warning: the photographic evidence will turn your stomach.)

So, I’m glad we’ve had this little talk, Mr. Lobbyist. And I am truly impressed by your rhetoric. What worries me is that the delegates representing the people of Virginia will be equally impressed. And that would be a disaster for animals.

If you’re a Virginia resident, contact your delegate. The vote is tomorrow. You can find out who represents you on this page: “An Urgent List for Virginia Voters.”

You can arm yourself with the actual facts here: “SB1381: David and Goliath scenario to protect Virginia’s dogs and cats.”

Tell your delegate that you’re on the side of David. That you agree with Virginia’s elected senators, who have already passed this bill on your behalf. That you’ve done some reading, and spent some time with your beloved animals, and have decided that Goliath and its lobbyist don’t speak for you.”

Don’t Let PETA Fool You, SB 1381 is a Good Bill

Tonight I saw an “Action Alert” from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals urging people to ask the Virginia House of Delegates to vote against SB 1381. Let’s look again at what SB 1381 does: “Clarifies that the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent adoptive homes and facilitate other lifesaving outcomes for animals.” Sounds like the definition of a shelter, right? But, apparently, PETA needs it to be clarified, and then put into law, that a shelter should exist to rehabilitate and re-home animals. As the law stands now, or, rather, the loophole of the law stands now, they are free to kill the vast majority of animals who come into their shelter. This law would prevent their ability to do that.

What makes me most angry about this “Action Alert” is that it is cynical, it demonstrates they will stop at nothing to push their agenda. And it takes complete advantage of well meaning people who look to PETA as a beacon of animal welfare, and who trust the organization to tell them the truth. They are counting on that trust. Don’t let them fool you. Unlike PETA, I am not asking you to take me at my word, I am saying if you have any doubts at all do your research, figure out where you stand, and then do something! I trust in the integrity of this bill, I trust in what is right. So I trust, when you do your research, you will support this bill and you will make your voice heard.

I haven’t heard of other shelters in the area opposing this bill. In an article by Arin Greenwood for the Huffington Post, Tabitha Frizzell Hanes with the Richmond SPCA states this:

“The current wording of the definition has been interpreted to create a loophole under which the PETA facility in Norfolk operates as a private animal shelter but without the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals. Over the past decade, as save rates at private shelters across Virginia have risen and euthanasia rates have fallen, the PETA facility euthanizes the animals it takes in at a rate of about 90 percent.

“It is out of step with the progress being made for our state’s homeless animals for a private shelter to operate not with the purpose of finding animals adoptive homes but almost entirely to take their lives.”

Ask yourself, if other shelters are supporting this bill why is PETA opposing it? Why did it hire a lobbyist to fight it?

I’ve been accused of doing this to seek attention, so I hesitate to post the interview I did with WVEC TV in Virginia but I’m going to because it is my testimony. It is the truth.

Interview with WVEC

This “Action Alert” is a lie. What they’ve written in it, their “concern” for smaller, private shelters, is a lie. It’s all done in the name of protecting the status quo at PETA–to kill the vast majority of animals they take in. Don’t let them fool you, and don’t let them stop you from taking action. Go here for a list of all Virginia delegates and their email address, and then contact them. Make sure you put in your subject line that you support SB 1381.  We are obligated to speak for those who can’t, and together we can create a change that will benefit vulnerable animals who are counting on us. Their lives depend on our action, plain and simple. So, ACT!

Virginia Voters, Keep Up the Momentum!

I’ll be happy when this blog can go back to its regularly scheduled programming of writing about the places we visit, raising kids overseas, and the occasional political rant but, until that can happen, this is the track we are on.

Virginia Senate Bill 1381 has conquered one more hurdle, this time in passing the House Agricultural Committee. It was close, 12-10, but it happened. Friday is go time, that’s when the bill is before the House. I am urging Virginia voters to contact their delegates and ask them to support SB 1381, briefly tell them why this bill is so important. If you’re not sure who your delegate is you can go here. And I’m asking folks to go further by contacting all members of the House of Delegates and do the same, you may not be one of their constituents but you are still a Virginia voter, you can find the list here.

I know that we can sometimes wonder if appealing to our representatives makes a difference, but it’s what we’ve got, and if we all do it then we’ve got a powerful weapon, one we need to use. If we do nothing then we’ve let the lobbyist working on behalf of PETA win, we’ve let the status quo of killing adoptable animals win. So let’s move forward, folks, and fight for the animals who cannot fight for themselves. We’re in mile 11 now, and we never give up on a run.

An Urgent List for Virginia Voters

Virginia’s SB 1381 passed the House Agriculture Subcommittee yesterday afternoon, but just barely–4 Y-3 N. On Wednesday it will go before the full Agriculture committee, if it passes there it will go before the full House on Friday. To remind, SB 1381 “Clarifies that the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent adoptive homes and facilitate other lifesaving outcomes for animals,” it closes a loophole that needs to be closed. If this bill passes any private facility that calls itself a “shelter” will not be able to kill the majority of the animals it takes in, it will instead have to re-home them.

I am urging Virginia voters to act. We know that PETA has hired a lobbyist to work towards defeating this bill, we can’t let that happen. I’m posting an Action Alert from No Kill Hampton Roads, please act on it as soon as you can, we’re down to the wire here.

ACTION NEEDED TODAY!

SB 1381 passed the House Agriculture Subcommittee yesterday. Vote was 4-3. It will be before the full House Ag committee tomorrow, Wednesday morning. So, please contact your delegate and House Ag committee members today.

1. Contact your Delegate and urge them to support SB 1381 and request support for this bill from fellow delegates on the House Ag committee.
http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/

2. Contact each House Ag committee member and urge support for SB 1381.
(FYI Delegates Poindexter, Knight, James & Keam voted in support of this bill yesterday in the Ag subcommittee and the no votes were from Morefield, Orrock & Marshall)

The House Ag committee has 22 members and for your convenience their email addresses are listed below and also a suggestion of what to say:

Dear Delegate:
As a Virginia, I urge you to support SB 1381. This bill clarifies the language for what constitutes a private shelter in Virginia. It includes that a “private animal shelter” means a facility operated for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes and facilitating other lifesaving outcomes for animals. Surely this is something we all want our private shelters in Virginia to strive for, the best outcome for each and every companion animal.
Thank you.

DelEScott@house.virginia.gov
DelLWare@house.virginia.gov
DelTWright@house.virginia.gov
DelBOrrock@house.virginia.gov
DelDMarshall@house.virginia.gov
DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov
DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov
DelJEdmunds@house.virginia.gov
DelTWilt@house.virginia.gov
DelJMorefield@house.virginia.gov
DelMWebert@house.virginia.gov
DelMRansone@house.virginia.gov
DelMFariss@house.virginia.gov
DelJMiller@house.virginia.gov
DelRBloxom@house.virginia.gov
DelKPlum@house.virginia.gov
DelDBulova@house.virginia.gov
DelMJames@house.virginia.gov
DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov
DelMKeam@house.virginia.gov
DelALopez@house.virginia.gov
DelRSullivan@house.virginia.gov

Why Would PeTA Hire a Lobbyist to Defeat a Bill Intended to Help Animals?

In Virginia tomorrow Senate Bill 1381, which has already passed the Senate, will go in front of the House. This bill “clarifies the purpose of a private animal shelter is to find permanent and adoptive homes and facilitate other lifesaving outcomes for animals.” If SB 1381 passes it would mean that PeTA, which states that it has a shelter (and, therefore, has to meet the legal guidelines for animal shelters), would have to shift from killing the majority of animals it takes in to finding adoptive homes for them instead. The way it would most impact PeTA is clearly stated in this article by Arin Greenwood at the Huffington Post:

“The current wording of the definition has been interpreted to create a loophole under which the PETA facility in Norfolk operates as a private animal shelter but without the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for animals,” Tabitha Frizzell Hanes, of the Richmond SPCA, writes on the shelter’s blog. “Over the past decade, as save rates at private shelters across Virginia have risen and euthanasia rates have fallen, the PETA facility euthanizes the animals it takes in at a rate of about 90 percent.

“It is out of step with the progress being made for our state’s homeless animals for a private shelter to operate not with the purpose of finding animals adoptive homes but almost entirely to take their lives.”

The purpose of an animal shelter is rescue, killing the vast majority of animals that come into a shelter is not part of rescue. Apparently, PeTA wants so badly for this bill to fail that it hired a lobbyist whose aim is to make sure that the bill fails, as outlined in this latest piece on the Huffington Post by Douglas Anthony Cooper. Quoting Mr. Cooper,

The bill seemed certain to pass in the House, as the Senate approved it 33-5. That certainty has evaporated with the revelation that PETA has hired a famous lobbyist to urge Virginia Delegates to vote nay. VPAP (The Virginia Public Access Project) has reported that Stephen D. Haner has been retained by PETA to lobby politicians in the area of “all matters related to the operation of private animal shelters in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” (VPAP is a non-partisan institution aimed at keeping Virginia voters informed.)

Why would PeTA want so badly for this bill to fail that it hired a lobbyist in order to fight the bill’s chances of passing? PeTA stated that, in 2014, it provided “free euthanasia services for 2,454 dogs, cats, and other animals in just one area of the United States.” While many shelters offer a humane euthanasia service, I cannot imagine that the numbers of animals euthanized under this service at any given shelter are anywhere near what PeTA says it does. The implication of “free euthanasia services” means the owner of a dog, cat, or other companion animal brings their animal to PeTA for humane euthanasia because the animal is suffering, due to age or illness. My understanding is that this bill would not impact that activity, and my feeling is that they are fighting this bill so hard because animals suffering due to age or illness whose owners are asking for humane euthanasia is not the true explanation for PeTA’s outrageously high kill rate. The reason for the high kill rate is that animals who PeTA has surrendered to it for the purposes of adoption are never (or extremely rarely) placed up for adoption, rather they are killed. If this bill passes, PeTA would no longer legally be able to do that and things would get very tricky for the organization.

My Response to the Haters

Shill, hack, only doing it for attention, only doing it for money, naive, liar, full of shit, crackpot, coward, reeking of dishonesty, on and on. These are the fun-filled comments that are coming my way. Thankfully, the positive ones still outweigh them.

I was messaging with one of my best friends this morning and I told her that I was being accused of doing this for money, which is funny because I’ve been offered money for the publication of my blog in a journal, I replied that he should feel free to use the blog but that I don’t want the money. My friend responded with “Remember, they can’t discredit your words, all they have left is to try to discredit you.” This will be my mantra (thank you, R, I love you!).

Everyone who knows me knows my reasons for speaking the truth about my experiences at PeTA. And they know why it’s taken me this long to do it. I am not trying to “take PeTA down,” as has been the accusation. PeTA has done groundbreaking, revolutionary work in animal rights and none of what I’m saying is meant to detract from that. But I think it’s important to know that’s not the full story. And I think it’s important for the full story to be out there for a lot of reasons.

I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how I wanted to respond to the people slinging these accusations at me. I’m sure they’re hoping that they will insult me into submission and I’ll go slinking off to the sidelines licking my wounds. That won’t happen, and not because I’m itching for a fight (I’m really, really not, this whole thing is time consuming and energy draining) but because I stand by what I’ve written.

I look at this kind of like a long run (those of you who know me knew this was coming sooner or later). The first few miles are tough, intimidating, or just tiresome. Then you get two or three miles in and you’re cruising along, pumped up, feeling like you can conquer the world. At around the eight mile mark you start to feel tired, your muscles ache, you just want to stop because eight miles is enough, right? At the ten mile mark you refuse to quit, because you’ve given it so much already and you cannot back down now, you have to see it through. We’re at the ten mile mark, and I never give up on a run.

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The Legacy of Black Boy

Sometimes the most frightening things can turn into the most meaningful. Writing my blog about PeTA, was a painful and difficult thing, publishing it was scary. It was scary because I know what I’m potentially up against by speaking the truth about PeTA, I lived it. But I knew telling the truth had to be done and, once I wrote it, I wanted it read far and wide. I did a little research and found the work that Douglas Anthony Cooper has been doing to expose PeTA, I felt he was the one I needed to contact. My hope was that he would read my blog and know the best way to get the truth out so I sent him a Facebook message with a link. Over the course of many hours we communicated and I told him more about my experiences, it felt good to share these things, cleansing. Keeping them locked tight, shared only to those I most trusted, was like having a darkness living inside of me, some nasty companion I hated and couldn’t get rid of. I don’t consider myself to be absolved, but I’m on my way.

Mr. Cooper published a piece  on the Huffington Post about my experiences at PeTA. I’m nervous about it, for the same reasons I was scared before, but I’m also very grateful to him for telling my story. I want to honor the dog who saved me, I want Black Boy’s legacy to be one not only of setting me back on my path and helping me find absolution and self-forgiveness, but helping me make a difference in the lives of animals.

This morning I was reading my Twitter feed and I saw Black Boy’s name everywhere, it brought tears to my eyes. This is a dog who meant so little to the person who was supposed to love and care for him that she left him outside in a snowstorm to freeze to death while she sat in her house next door, safe and warm. But he mattered to me, I had come to love him, and if I could go back to that night and change what I did I would do it in a heartbeat, but I can’t. All I can do now is move forward and make sure that Black Boy’s legacy is one of redemption and change.

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