Posted by: petsweekly | January 28, 2011

The Top 25 Champions for Animals

Who is your animal hero?

There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in the animal world, but let’s end the week by recapping an article by PetSide, a website that I normally really like. But their recent post made me rethink how much…

Last week (or sometime around then), they listed their take on the Top 25 People of 2010.  The people who made the cut range from Ellen (a wonderful animal advocate) and Oprah (who can change the world with an off-the-cuff comment) to Debi Boies (Pilots and Paws Founder) and Luke Robinson (who walked 3,200 miles to raise money for K9 cancer).  In fact, I was pleased to see that many of the people on this list probably do deserve to be on the list.

But then I ran across #10. A name I never, EVER want to see associated with animals. I’m guessing you know who I’m referring too…

Yep, none other than the infamous Michael Vick.

The man who cruelly tortured, beat and killed dozens of animals through electrocution, drowning, shooting and hanging.  The man who operated an interstate dog fighting ring with a special home designed to host fighting dogs. The founder of Bad Newz Kennels. The man who.. well – you know the story.

And now, my little rant before we get to the real subject of this entire post.

Don’t get me wrong… I believe in forgiveness – I had better believe in forgiveness or I would be in a lot of trouble.  But IN MY OPINION, there are certain things that are just so twisted, so cruel and depraved, that I can’t imagine saying ten Hail Marys or spending a few days in lock-up is sufficient enough punishment to atone for their sins. There are certain crimes that I believe qualify as “unforgiveable sins.” These things include child molestation, child abuse, murder, torture, rape and yes – animal abuse and cruelty.

They’re unforgivable because there is no way for the victim or assailant to “come back” from them.  The crime will always define the victim, it will always be a part of who they are, and there is no way they can ever let that part go. And let’s face it, once an assailant has delved that deep into sadistic behavior, there is no coming back. They will always have the propensity for it, they will always have something twisted and “off” about them that allows them to do it again. Seems to me that letting Vick become a spokesperson for pit bull advocacy is a bit like allowing  Dahmer to become an advocate for vegetarians.

Sure – Vick “paid his dues.”  He did his time. Whatever…And yes, I’m sure there are a lot of people who will take issue with me on this issue (mostly football fans, but they probably don’t read this blog anyway) and that’s fine. More power to you – we’re all entitled to our opinions.

But today, I want to focus on a way to remedy this situation.  PetsWeekly wants to create a new list of the 25 Top Pet People of 2011.  Actually, let’s call them Champions for Animals – that sounds a little more distinguished and fits the benevolent nature of man (and woman) that we’re looking for.

Your Assignment: Nominate a person that you believe should be included in the Top 25 Champions for Animals. They don’t have to be involved in the physical rescue of animals – although it’s fantastic if they are. These people might be inventors, business people, musicians, lawyers, writers, laborers, government officials, photographers, rescuers, whatever…  It could be someone who cares for wild animals, dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, fish or horses. We want the “unsung heroes” of the animal world.  The only rule to qualify is that they have to do things on a fairly regular basis that contribute to the betterment of our pets lives.

I’ll compile the names and we’ll all vote on the Top 25, but at least this way everyone will get some recognition. We’ll put them up on Twitter and Facebook as they are nominated for some extra recognition.

Then we will figure out how to do something special for each of them. I don’t know what it will be yet, but we’ll make sure it’s something brilliant and fun and deserving of them – just to let them know we all appreciate their work.  Let’s keep it limited to individuals, Pack.  I know there are some amazing rescues out there, but let’s face it – they wouldn’t be as successful without the many individuals who volunteer their time, money and support! We’ll try to do a rescue list in April sometime.

Post away! We want to hear about all the deserving people here… I’ll give you until March 1, 2011 to respond. Then we’ll begin compiling and voting and work some kind of brilliant article to post on PetsWeekly.

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Responses

  1. Wow–tough choice here. I’m assuming we can only pick one?

    I’m going local, lol.

    Bethe B. — she’s been doing Schnauzer rescue for years now and has helped many, many dogs. A few months back, she found a stray boxer/pit mix. After trying to find her a good home, she decided that there just isn’t going to be anyone who will appreciate her the way Bethe does–so she’s keeping her! She does all of this rescue work while she’s taking care of her nearly 93 year old mother!


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