I work in the Human Resources Department at the PETA Foundation, which I love. Knowing that I get to advocate for animals and also take care of my colleagues who advocate for them is rewarding and fulfilling. But I recently spent a day doing something that not many people will experience in their lifetime: riding along with a staffer with PETA’s Community Animal Project (CAP), the people who crawl under houses, sludge through storm drains, and face neglectful owners to save animals from suffering.
My day with CAP was eye-opening, to say the least. I knew about the work that CAP does in the areas surrounding our Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters, but seeing it for myself was an experience I will never forget.
In a rural area of North Carolina, we found a terrified dog who was forced to live under a trailer with no food or water. His “owners” (“guardians” are people who actually care for their animals) weren’t home, so we did the only things that we could do: We gave him food and water and left a note for his owners. We plan to check on him again soon. In another area, we found two dogs who were covered with ticks and supplied their owner with flea- and tick-control medication and instructions. We talked to a person who had a puppy living outdoors—the pup’s littermate had already been fatally hit by a car—and tried to educate him about how to do better for the surviving dog. Stories like these repeated themselves throughout the day as we visited more and more animals in need of help.
All of us can make a difference for animals in our own communities. We could offer to walk chained dogs and give their owners information about housetraining and bringing them indoors. Or we could offer to transport pregnant cats to a low-cost spay-and-neuter clinic. Much like CAP’s work, all our small acts together can add up to big improvements in the lives of a lot of animals.
Written by Kim Argobright