There have been many wonderful things happening lately to celebrate accomplishments, set new goals and establish relationships. And the really neat thing is all of these activities have brought together people who genuinely love and care for animals.
The first and obviously most special event to me is my dad, Van VanDeWalker, was honored by one of my best friends, Sen. Miriam Paris, for the work he did while at Macon Animal Control.
Sen. Paris has been a loyal animal supporter as long as Ive known her, which is practically my whole life! She always allowed CARES and me to come to City Council meetings to promote my pound pals, and she helped me any way she could to take care of them.
Sen. Paris and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle recognized the job my dad did when he established the first ever Pardon Week where no healthy animal was euthanized at Macon Animal Control. My dad put Macon on the map with Pardon Week since no other shelter in the whole country had ever done that before.
So Sen. Paris presented the commendation to my dad at CARES recent statewide meeting. I was really proud, and so was everyone in the audience. I could tell because they all stood up and clapped for my dad for an eternity.
Speaking of the statewide meeting sponsored by CARES, we had an incredibly powerful, informative and inspirational meeting of folks from across the state to learn how to work together to help animals. We had great speakers and folks who lobby on the state and national level for animals.
We heard from a great speaker about ways to effectively educate kids about being kind to animals. We know how important it is to teach young kids so we can raise a generation of people who will appreciate all Gods creatures.
We heard from Georgias representative from the Humane Society of the United States. CARES actually sponsored another state workshop for the Humane Society of the United States a while back that also was well attended.
And we heard from a fantastic veterinarian from Atlanta who had an incredible story to tell. He had an inspirational message of how you never give up even when the deck is stacked against you.
CARES has some exciting new goals in development and will be rolling those out soon. And in typical CARES fashion, they will be big, they will be historic and they will require me to work like a dog.
But thats OK because everyone has a purpose. CARES purpose is to make a difference for animals everywhere. And they remind me of my favorite quote from The Help.
You is kind. You is smart. You is important.
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