If you know me, you know I’ve always been deeply passionate about animals and their well-being. It’s because of this passion that I got involved with American Humane nearly a decade ago. It’s one of the most visionary and effective animal welfare organizations in the world, leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society.
To serve on the board of American Humane has been one of my greatest joys and I wanted to highlight a few of their amazing programs to show you the great work they have done over the past year – even with the challenges of the pandemic – and continue to do for animals and humans alike.
Feed The Hungry COVID-19 Relief Fund
One of American Humane’s primary focuses has always been on animal rescue, with new programs being offered based on what’s happening in the world and where help is most needed. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, American Humane set out to not only rescue animals, but to assist the shelters that take care of so many animals. Like other small businesses, shelters are struggling to maintain care and basic services for their animals. With thousands of animals being left without homes and many shelters being unable to the necessary supplies for the increased number of rescues, the Feed the Hungry Covid-19 Relief Fund is able to also provide support. The fund not only helps to keep the lights on, but also provides basic resources such as food and supplies, to these shelters and animals. https://www.americanhumane.org/initiative/feed-the-hungry-fund/
As we know, dogs can have a healing and therapeutic effect and many people have service animals to help through their daily struggles. But for veterans, the strong bond between animals and humans, can be life changing. As part of American Humane’s overarching Military Initiative, the Pups4Patriots™ program rescues qualified shelter dogs and trains them to offer the best possible assistance for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Research shows that specially trained PTS service dogs can reduce stress and anxiety levels, mitigate depression, ease social reintegration, provide comfort, and restore confidence in affected veterans. https://www.americanhumane.org/initiative/pts-service-dogs-for-veterans/
American Humane Scholars Fund
Veterinarians are incredibly important as they keep our pets happy, healthy, and part of our families for many years. But did you know that fewer than 3 percent of all veterinarians in the United States are African American? In order to try to close this gap and build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive new generation of medical professionals, American Humane started the “American Humane Scholars Fund” to support students of color in their goals of becoming veterinarians. An inaugural grant of $40,000 was awarded to the historic Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, the only veterinary medical professional program located on the campus of a historically black college or university in the United States.
“American Humane’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is rooted in nearly 150 years of progressive work that has built the humane movement in this country and around the world,” said Von Scott, American Humane’s Committee for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion chair. “With the help of a new generation of humane heroes such as these promising new champions for animals from Tuskegee, we can change not only lives . . . we can change the world.” https://www.americanhumane.org/press-release/building-a-more-diverse-equitable-and-inclusive-new-generation-of-veterinarians/
“Escape From Extinction” Documentary
As an animal lover, it’s important to educate myself on issues facing animals all across the globe and learn what I can do to help. Thankfully, American Humane has created a documentary called “Escape From Extinction” – a moving film that examines the work of the major zoological organizations that are racing against the clock to preserve millions of species on the verge of catastrophic extinction. These critical efforts may be among the last, best chances to save them.
I highly recommend seeking out this important and exceptional documentary – it certainly helped to remind me why I am involved with American Humane in the first place (plus, it’s narrated by Helen Mirren)!
While this award-winning film is not available to stream yet, please keep your eyes peeled and check out the trailer in the meantime: https://www.americanhumane.org/program/escape-from-extinction/
My work with American Humane has brought such joy and purpose to my life over the years, and I am grateful every day to support the wonderful work that they do. I’ll keep you posted on more of their latest efforts throughout the year!