We close out Women’s History Month by recognizing some invisible heroines. This week, we celebrate women pioneers who help animals. Maybe they didn’t set out to change the world, but these women saved the lives of many animals, big and small.
We all know at least one woman who has devoted her life to helping animals. For example, in my community, Bay State Animal Cooperative is a safe, no kill rescue for animals. The non-profit is run by women who work to “reduce animal overpopulation and unnecessary suffering for companion, stray, relinquished and feral animals.”
BSAC has a warm place in my heart. It’s the place I where I found and adopted my furry boy, Oscar. He’s an older cat who makes a fine therapy pet for cats and people.
Throughout history, many women were dedicated to improving the lives of animals every day. Read more about the earliest pioneers.
Caroline Earle White was a writer and avid philanthropist from Philadelphia. In the 1900s, she was active in the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, at the time, the first organization of its kind in the world. Caroline created the Women’s Humane Society and opened the first animal shelter in America, the Morris Animal Refuge.
Ruth Harrison longed to be an actress in England. But when she learned how veal was made, the experience changed her life forever. In 1964, Ruth published her exposé on livestock breeding and animal machines. She worked to educate consumers about where their food was coming from. Ruth developed the basic standards of treatment for farm animals in Europe at the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes.
Frances Power Cobbe was an Irish writer and activist who founded the Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection. In the 1800s, live animals were used for experiments. Frances worked against the use of vivisection on animals. She started the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection which includes many areas of animal welfare today.
Women continue to save animals today in rescues, sanctuaries and shelters. Here’s a few more heroines dedicated to the well-being of animals.
Lorri Houston is the co-founder Farm Sanctuary and Animal Acres. Over 100 rescued chickens, goats, pigs, dogs and cats live on 26 acres at Animal Acres. This southern California shelter has tours, a gift shop and educational information about rescue animals. Farm Sanctuary is the country’s largest farm animal rescue and adoption network. Almost 3,000 needy farm animals have been saved since the 1980s.
Theresa Strader rescued a lovely Italian Greyhound named Lily from the puppy mill industry. Lily was the reason Theresa started the National Mill Dog Rescue. Lily was a puppy mill dog for seven years before Theresa found her. Over 8,900 puppy mill survivors were rescued by NMDR which also supports fostering, adoption, and volunteering. NMDR’s long-term goal: to end the cruelty of the commercial dog breeding also known as puppy mills.
Kathy Centala saw too many unwanted kittens and cats in her community. In the 1980s, she started bringing home stray cats and kittens. And soon after, the word about her her no kill policy quickly spread to other cat lovers in her neighborhood. Her Purrfect Pals shelter and sanctuary has adopted over 2,000 cats and kittens. The nonprofit has 15 offsite adoption centers around Washington state.
Toby Wisneski’s Leave No Paws Behind Inc. is a special place. This foster-based rescue group helps senior, terminal and end of life animals and pets with special needs. People abandon old and senior dogs because of the increasing cost of health care for their pets. LNPB’s vision is “no one would have to leave their companion behind due to a lack of basic needs.” Toby offers the Colby Rainbow Bridge Memorial Fund so that humans would not be forced to leave their family pet to pass away alone.
Lesley Irwin’s Animal House Shelter is a no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. One day, Lesley saw Kiley, a dog dumped out of a car, who was trying to dodge cars on a busy street. Lesley rescued Kiley and started AHS. Since 2002, the shelter has adopted out over 23,000 pets, supports fostering and provides other resources for pet parents.
Jennifer Smith saw many abused animals put to sleep. She made it her life’s work to “ensure that these animals got the very best medical care as well as unconditional love.” Noah’s Arks Rescue began eight years ago to encourage adoption of abused animals. Noah’s Arks Rescue specializes in emergency medical, surgical and rehabilitation for abused animals.
Grace Froelich founded Animal Rescue Inc. in 1976. She was forced to find a new home with her cat. Soon after, stray cats and dogs showed up at her door. Grace started ARI and the nonprofit has expanded into a 33-acre farm near the Pennsylvania/Maryland border, and a cattery in Baltimore. The shelter is home to 100 stray dogs and several hundred stray cats. ARI adopts out and fosters animals, and has a spay and neuter program.
I hope you enjoyed my blog…
Source: Pioneers of Change for Animals
Dr. Pet Mom
“You can always tell about somebody by the way they put their hands on an animal.”