It’s Father’s Day weekend! This is a great weekend for us to honor the guys who make our lives and our families complete. Our dads are the ones who keep us safe, provide for us, give us direction and sometimes correction.
But in my case, my dad, Van VanDeWalker, who is the most awesome dad a rescued boy could have, doesn’t seem to give me much correction even if I deserve it. He just mainly gives me love, hugs and treats. I kind of like that, too. It’s a whole lot better than the correction thing.
But that’s how guys that love animals are — kind, understanding and compassionate. And there are a lot of good men out there who are helping homeless animals now.
I’ve noticed the number of men actively involved in animal rescue, adoptions, helping lost pets find their families, helping injured animals and lobbying for legislation that benefits animals appears to be growing. In the past it seemed there were mostly fabulous ladies in animal welfare. But now the guys are stepping up to help in great numbers, too. Even on my Facebook page there are an increasing number of wonderful gentlemen who help search for lost pets or help vulnerable animals however they can.
There are men who go into dangerous places to use humane traps to catch scared animals either lost from their families or abandoned by others. There are men who climb tall, towering trees to save trembling kittens from meeting disastrous endings. There are men who help transport homeless pets to other states for adoption so they can have a chance at a new life.
There are caring men who work behind the scenes in animal welfare helping in an administrative capacity. In fact the remarkable men who serve on the board of my nonprofit animal welfare group, Central Georgia CARES — Mr. Jeff Battcher, Dr. George McCommon, Mr. Buddy Pope and Mr. Mike Twibell — are continually developing strategic plans to improve conditions for animals.
But these admirable men don’t stop with just conducting business to benefit animals in a board room. They actually roll up their sleeves and do hands-on work to help animals, like vaccinating pets at a reduced cost for families that need a break or putting up kennels to get tethered dogs off chains or delivering food so pets won’t go hungry.
The list of what I’ve witnessed men doing to help animals is long and impressive. It also is encouraging and refreshing to know how much they care and how much they’re willing to put forth the effort to make a difference.
These men serve as sort of surrogate dads for animals that have not known a lot of love in their lives. They are strength, courage and tenderness all wrapped up in a beautiful, compassionate package.
On behalf of all the homeless, hungry, lost or suffering animals, you have shown kindness to in the past and will in the future. To the wonderful men who help animals, I say a heartfelt Happy Father’s Day!
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