Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Pet Care Pet Care

Street dogs of Philippines – Help needed!

The Dog is supposed to be Man’s Best Friend, if the dog gets a good person to look after him then life is good but unfortunately this is not the case for most of the dogs in the world.

I have seen all kinds of dogs living in many different kinds of conditions. Some are so well pampered that they do not really know that they are still dogs, others are looked after very well and are a very important part of the family. Some are only useful to the owner as long as he can make money from them and some are just living on their own as nobody really wants them. All around the world, many dogs get lucky and are really treated well, they get the best food, regular medical checks and inoculations, their own bed to sleep on and even clothing to match that of the owner.

With this article, I am not saying that the Philippines is worse than anywhere else for the poor treatment of dogs as there is terrible abuse of dogs happening in the developed countries, but a major difference is that in the developed world there are strict laws to protect the unfortunate animals – while here in the Philippines there are laws, but like many laws here, they are of a very low priority to the government agencies.

As you drive around the streets of Manila or anywhere in the Philippines, you would see many dogs roaming around looking for food. Most of these dogs belong to someone but unfortunately their owners doesn’t care about them, they had been abandoned because the owner got a new pure bred dog, sometimes a dog who belong to a poor family is luckier because they are given table scraps and their family are not abandoning them, everything is still on a case-by-case basis. I also know some rich families who adopt dogs from the street, so I guess social status is not the basis of being a responsible dog owner. If dogs are not fed at home, then it’s up to the poor dog to find food for himself; he can eat dead animals, and rotten food which has been thrown away by people.

Many of these dogs get very badly treated by people who throw sticks and stones to drive the dogs away. Many small or young dogs are forced by hunger to compete with the bigger street wise type of dog who gives no mercy regardless of size so many of this kind of small dog gets open wounds which can easily get infected because nobody will take care of the injuries or treat them. Its so sad to see a dog with a skin disease which has caused all the hair to fall out and in many cases the skin goes pink. These dogs are constantly scratching and open up wounds on their skin as the itching is totally uncomfortable. Because of infection these dogs usually do not survive and their dead bodies can become food for other starving animals so the infections can be passed on to others.

In some cities, there is animal control… who will take dogs if they are roaming in the streets, and if their owners will not get them, they will be destroyed in 48 hours. There are even speculations that, the said animal control or dog pound are selling the dogs to illegal dog meat traders, though it has not been confirmed yet. Some syndicates are getting stray dogs, so that they can sell their meat. It is illegal to eat dogs in the Philippines, but just like any other law, some people can get away with it. Luckily, we have Animal Kingdom Foundation, a UK funded animal shelter, who rescue dogs from illegal dog meat traders.

Before I end this article, I would also like my readers to know that even homeless people are capable of loving dogs, and it only proves that those who have less can give more.

Friends, I want you to meet Mang Rudy. He lives in a push cart with 16 dogs and 2 cats. For me, he is luckier than those who have big mansions, massive money on their bank account because Mang Rudy has best friends who will never abandon him no matter what.

Blog post by Kristine –

If you want to support Indonesia’s rescue groups here are some links:

1. Animal Kingdom Foundation– it is an organization rescuing dogs that are supposed to be butchered.


2. Island Rescue Organization– it is based in Cebu and they are rescuing street dogs.


3. CARA – it is a no shelter facility group, who help street dogs and cats.

4. AARRC– it is located in Kalibo Aklan, founded by a Dutch National.


5. Philippine Animal Lover’s Society. —- It is a group of people, who work through networking using facebook to save street dogs.

Website: donation details here.

Facebook link: Philippine Animal Lovers Society

Related posts: Oscar – A Street dog of Istanbul – Romania’s Street Dogs

Advocacy and Activism Animal Welfare Groups and Rescues Created for Rescues and Non-Profits Get informed and Educated Interviews on Interviews on

Get involved in animal welfare! – Interview with Debby from Generation Wags

Debby Hartten has created a platform to educate and inform the public about opportunities in animal welfare and rescue: Generation Wags. I met Debby through PackPeople and I liked her unique ideas of getting people engaged in pet rescue. Debby is a dedicated animal lover, and the founder of several programs supporting animal rescue, including the education of children to get involved and take responsibility. Her motto is:

Opening doors and minds for rescues through education, awareness, 
and engagement.

Her website contains tremendous information about projects, health, care and safety tips. We want to introduce her new business idea ‘Generation Wags’ to our online audience today, and share her thoughts regarding pet overpopulation and more.

How and when did your personal adventure with animal welfare begin?

My personal adventure with animal welfare began a few years ago, although I have had rescue dogs most of my adult life. As a real estate agent I incorporated rescue related efforts into my business through donations to rescues for transactions, along with a holiday drive Warm Hearts Happy Paws. WHHP will be entering its fourth year, and donation boxes are placed a number of pet supply stores and veterinary offices to gather needed items for numerous rescue groups in my area. Limited in what I could do as a realtor I started an online store Adore That Dog and other initiatives in the past year to make more strides. Generation Wags, my new e-zine, will hopefully serve as a place for dog and cat lovers to gain helpful information, along with learn about the issues along with fabulous efforts taking place nationwide to affect change. While there are so many challenges before us, it is encouraging and inspiring to learn about how many people are working daily to make a difference.

Your children’s program, WAGS kids, help kids make a change and learn about responsible pet ownership. How do you encourage children to make a change in animals’ lives?

I encourage children to get involved in helping in a variety of ways. My program Read For Rescues is a reading based program where kids get pledges for books they read (hopefully including some about pet rescues), and then use some/all of the money to donate to a rescue group they choose. While I sell a starter kit it is not required. I designed it so any child, anywhere can support any rescue. Read for Rescues is really a jumping off point for kids to get engaged in other ways from holding drives to collect blankets and toys to actually making toys for shelter pets or drawing pictures for shelter kennels, etc. Older kids can get involved with advocacy and even think about careers related to animal rights and more.

You also offer opportunities to companies to become a corporate WAGS Paw Pal. Tell us a little more about it.

My Wags Paw Pal program is a way to encourage companies to take even small steps to help support rescues. Most companies have staff who are pet owners, but most don’t give a second thought about how they can help improve the future of rescues. Companies can use this to their advantage to create team building activities such as volunteering for rescues, having donation drives in the office, adding rescue messaging to their email signatures, dedicating holiday parties to raise funds for rescues, or even have matching sustaining donations to rescues.

In general, why should people adopt from a rescue and what are the benefits?

The benefits of adopting a rescue are phenomenal! What better feeling is there than to give a loving home to animal that, through no fault of its own, is homeless. What most people don’t realize is that even if you are seeking a puppy, or a purebred, you can still find a rescue that matches what you are looking for, although you need to be patient finding the right one. And also people need to be aware that shelters and rescue groups have different adoption rules, so find one that works for you! But find one.

Can you share your thoughts on pet overpopulation in the U.S., and euthanasia?

Education is the key to getting control on overpopulation. Spay and neuter is essential, and we must find a way to get that message to communities and governmental bodies to help tackle this issue. Unfortunately, many areas where overpopulation is of the greatest concern are ones that are not finding humanitarian ways of dealing with the strays and surrendered pets. Many people don’t realize that gas chambers for example are still being used in areas to put animals to death. And that there are shelters that have one way tickets in. We can do better and we must! Euthanasia I believe is an unfortunate reality but should only be used in circumstances where an animal is dangerous and can’t be rehabilitated, or instances of injury or severe illness. It should not be a form of population control. There are regions in our nation that actually have a shortage of rescue pets for adoption. While there are issues to be overcome, we must find a way to work on a national level to get rescues in need of homes to those who are open to adopting them.

If you could give pet owners one piece of advice what would it be?

Realize that pet ownership is a big responsibility, but well worth it. Respect the life that you have taken into your home, add love and nurturing. You won’t regret it!

What is your personal goal?

To make a real difference in helping to raise awareness about the issues leading to homeless and abused pets and get people ENGAGED in creating change. Even as a lifetime dog owner I wasn’t fully aware of them myself. We need to get creative in tackling the problems. So much is being done, but so much more must take place. I believe we are seeing positive momentum of rescues groups becoming more organized and coordinated in their efforts which will go a long way.

Do you have pets of your own?

I have a rescue mixed breed dog (of course), and a purebred Pomeranian that my daughter purchased after a run of having several older rescues that had major health conditions that we had lost over time. A rescue will always be part of my life.

Links to Debby’s websites and programs:

Generation Wags –

Facebook: GenerationWags

Wags Marketing –

Facebook: Wags PR & Marketing


Advocacy and Activism Animal Stories Articles Get informed and educated Pet Care

Animal Welfare in the Philippines – Tina’s love for animals

Tina with one of the rescued Pitbulls

From guest author: Kristine Vicencio

Kristine is an animal advocate and guardian in the Philippines. She just started a blog to raise awareness about animal welfare in the Philippines and to share her stories – and we at PackPeople believe that her idea needs to be shared and supported! Thank you for reaching out, Kristine.

Here is her first article for PackPeople: 

I never thought that maintaining a blog would be challenging. First off, I do not have a camera or a mobile phone with a camera, therefore I cannot record memorable experiences that I can blog. But then again, I remembered the main reason why I decided to blog: I blog because I want to make a difference, I blog because I believe that I have something to say. I blog because I want to.

Bipp bipp the dog with two legs and Bianca

And then, I was able to meet the epitome of animal lovers in the Philippines. Her name is Tina Alviar Agbayani. Well, I met her on Facebook, and I was inspired by her since day one. Maybe you are wondering why I consider her the epitome of animal lovers in the Philippines -Tina is not only a mother to her children, she is also a mother to her dogs, chinchilla, turtle and iguana. All her dogs are rescued from different animal shelters, and that is one thing that I love about her. She can actually buy purebred dogs, but she preferred to save lives. I can say that she is one of the kindest mothers on earth, because she is teaching her children how to treat animals with respect. I am sure that having a quadriplegic dog is not easy; some people will just abandon a dog with this condition, or worse, they may even euthanize her. But not Tina. She decided to keep Bianca and gave her a chance to live like an ordinary dog.

Tina, Bianca and Seb the other amputee dog

Tina is teaching her children the value of compassion, and she is a good example of a responsible parent. Imagine, she was able to take good care of her children, she was a mom to her dogs and to other creatures in her household, and she is even volunteering some of her time to animal shelters. Tina deserves to be in my list of “Dog People of the Month.” She is indeed an inspiration to all. Because of her, I was able to realize that dog lovers should not expect animal shelters to do all the rescues and stuff, there are times wherein we need to step up, and do things on our own. Animal Shelters will not be able to save all the stray animals, but if all dog lovers will stand as one unit to accomplish a goal, then nothing is impossible.

About Kristine: I used to be an animal shelter volunteer, however because of the nature of my job, I was forced to quit. But because I am really passionate about making a difference in the lives of animals, I decided to blog about my passion. I live in the Philippines, and in our country animals are considered as the last priority of our government.

Though we have animal shelters, they do not rescue dogs. Well there are times they do, but most of the time, they don’t. They have this maximum of 30-60 dogs per shelter. There are even times where in, if there is a dog in need and we call the animal shelter, they will not do anything. So, to help the dog, we will use Facebook to disseminate information and will ask the nearest person to the dog’s location to rescue it first, bring it to the vet, while we will contact our animal lovers group all over the world to ask for donations. As of now, we already have 10 rescues, and 4 have already been adopted.

I blog because I wanted to raise awareness regarding the proper way of becoming a dog guardian. I would also like to raise funds so that i can put up my own no kill animal shelter, it’s kinda ambitious but i believe that if a network of people who have the common goal will work together then nothing is impossible.

I have just recently learned that Mandaluyong City has put up their own Animal Shelter, and they also need all the help that they can get, if you are located near Mandaluyong, please be kind enough to visit the dogs and provide some help.

Pictures was taken from Tina Alviar Agbayani’s Facebook account :). If you have any questions regarding my blog, feel free to email me at akvicencio(at)

LIKE Kristine’s Fan Page on Facebook here. Visit her blog ‘Everything is better with dog’s hair’ here.

Fun Stuff and Pet Companies Get informed and Educated Interviews on Non - Profits Uncategorized

Kids get involved! – PEP's new program is looking for little stars [Video]

Event today – News at PEP: Erica Callais is the founder of the Pet education project in Shreveport, Louisiana, a non-profit organization dedicated  teaching kids ins & outs of responsible pet ownership.

Each month children who have made a positive impact on the lives of animals in their community or pets in their home are nominated. Winners of this award are granted a special PEP! prize package and will be featured on the Pet Education Project’s website.

Take 6 minutes to watch the news in her latest video chat with Rufino. Learn about the PEP-Squad, PEP’s upcoming events and news.

Show your support and LIKE PEP on Facebook. Meet the PEP Squad now! You want to learn more about PEP? Check our full interview with Erica.

Interviews on News

PackPeople’s Top 10 Interviews in 2011

The year is almost over and Rufino and I have had unbelievably interesting, funny, informative, serious and educational interviews since May 2011, a series we started to address the lack of information available to the public, as well as to honor the work of the rescue groups and non-profits dedicating their time and passion to helping animals. We also shared information about artists, pet business owners and some really unique pet-related business ideas.

All in all it has been a great year – and we are very fortunate and happy to say that we’re supporting animal welfare and doing what we love. We want to thank everyone who took part in our interviews, whether written, on the phone or via video. It’s a great pleasure to have met and shared time with you all! ~ Yurda & Rufino.

Let’s look back and reflect:

  • 44 Audio Interviews
  •   9 Video Interviews
  •   6 Written Interviews
A total of 58 Interviews in 8 months. Our first interview was with the French Bulldog Rescue Network and our last one for this year was with Dogs 4 the PAWS.
Rated by the Facebook likes, Twitter tweets and Facebook shares on social media platforms these are your top 10 Interviews:
  1. Rescuing Dogs from Lab Research – Interview with Beagle Freedom Project’s Gary Smith
  2. Grey Muzzle Dog Rescue 
  3. Rescue Chocolate 
  4. Pit Bull Rescue Central
  5. Dogs Deserve Better
  6. Pet Portraits Artist Ashley
  7. French Bulldog Rescue Network
  8. Chako Pit Bull Rescue
  9. Downtown Dog Rescue
  10. Pets for Patriots
Here is the full list of all interviews: May – December 2011 ~ Enjoy!
We want to thank Soundcloud for their great support in 2011. This awesome podcasting tool and their user-friendly interface made our work easy and effective. Thumbs up for Soundcloud!
Articles Interviews on News Uncategorized

PackPeople's Top 10 Interviews in 2011

The year is almost over and Rufino and I have had unbelievably interesting, funny, informative, serious and educational interviews since May 2011, a series we started to address the lack of information available to the public, as well as to honor the work of the rescue groups and non-profits dedicating their time and passion to helping animals. We also shared information about artists, pet business owners and some really unique pet-related business ideas.

All in all it has been a great year – and we are very fortunate and happy to say that we’re supporting animal welfare and doing what we love. We want to thank everyone who took part in our interviews, whether written, on the phone or via video. It’s a great pleasure to have met and shared time with you all! ~ Yurda & Rufino.

Let’s look back and reflect:

  • 44 Audio Interviews
  •   9 Video Interviews
  •   6 Written Interviews
A total of 58 Interviews in 8 months. Our first interview was with the French Bulldog Rescue Network and our last one for this year was with Dogs 4 the PAWS.
Rated by the Facebook likes, Twitter tweets and Facebook shares on social media platforms these are your top 10 Interviews:
  1. Rescuing Dogs from Lab Research – Interview with Beagle Freedom Project’s Gary Smith
  2. Grey Muzzle Dog Rescue 
  3. Rescue Chocolate 
  4. Pit Bull Rescue Central
  5. Dogs Deserve Better
  6. Pet Portraits Artist Ashley
  7. French Bulldog Rescue Network
  8. Chako Pit Bull Rescue
  9. Downtown Dog Rescue
  10. Pets for Patriots
Here is the full list of all interviews: May – December 2011 ~ Enjoy!
We want to thank Soundcloud for their great support in 2011. This awesome podcasting tool and their user-friendly interface made our work easy and effective. Thumbs up for Soundcloud!
Animal Welfare Groups and Rescues Breeds Interviews on

In Praise of Golden Retrievers – Interview with Sandy from GRCGLA Rescue

We found The Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue while we were looking for breed specific rescues to interview. Holli Pfau’s interview had led us to Golden Retrievers and we wanted to learn more about this very popular breed and GRCGLA Rescue’s challenging work in rescuing, helping and rehoming Goldens. GRCGLA Rescue is a non-profit organization founded in 2001, operates in 6 Southern California counties, has taken in over 3,500 Golden Retrievers since 2003 and has around 40 dogs for adoption right now.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Sandy Diamond, President of GRCGLA Rescue, and learning more about the temperament and qualities of Goldens. We’re grateful to share about their program Project Taiwan as well as what you should know if you are thinking of starting your own rescue, sanctuary or foundation. Also, Sandy shared her perspective on rescue work and what they need the most for their mission to continue helping Golden Retrievers. If you want to foster a Golden over the holidays – or beyond – please contact:

Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue – Sandy by PackPeople 

Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles Rescue


Twitter: @grcglarescue

Facebook: Golden Retriever Club of Greater Los Angeles RESCUE

Sandy recommends the following to our audience:

Book: Love Has No Age Limit by Patricia B. McConnell, PhD and Karen B. London, PhD

Journal: The Whole Dog Journal subscribe at

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you for making an impact!

iTunes News: Get PackPeople’s interviews as a Podcast!

[nggallery id=64]

Advocacy and Activism Interviews on Puppy Mills

Product Testing Alone Kills Over 14 Million Animals Annually: Interview with Animal Liberation Front Activist Ann

Learn how you can help stop animal cruelty with basic steps in daily life. ALF – Animal Liberation Front – consists of small autonomous groups of people who carry out direct action (direct action is explained in the interview) according to the ALF guidelines. Activists work anonymously, either in small groups or individually, and do not have any centralized organization or coordination. ALF is a nonviolent campaign and carries out direct action against abuse in the form of rescuing and causing financial loss to animal exploiters.

The ALF’s short term aim is to save as many animals as possible and directly disrupt the practice of animal abuse. Their long-term aim is to end all animal cruelty and suffering by forcing animal abuse companies out of business.

We’re honored to share with you our written interview with Ann, who shares her insights, knowledge and efforts with ALF’s mission: “To help the world’s masses emotionally connect the animals they abuse for food, clothing, and product safety to the domestic companions they love”. This is such a powerful topic, and we would like to give our audience a basic understanding of ALF’s actions.

How and when did your personal adventure in animal activism begin?

There was no specific event that led me to become an animal activist. I learned about animal rights from my older sister who was a vegetarian solely out of compassion for animals. Even though we fought like sisters on most subjects I accepted her logic about animal rights. That logic is in a slideshow here.

Activists take many different paths to the accepting the animal rights philosophy. For some it is gradual and evolution. For others there is an epiphany. Musician Paul McCartney tells the story of looking a window with his wife Stella and seeing a sheep and it just dawned on them that the sheep had a life. Author Alice White (“The Color Purple”) was eating meat when she had her epiphany and she spat out the meat.

Do you operate worldwide?

Yes, in over 100 countries.

You take direct action to help animals – what does that mean exactly?

“Direct Action” has the reputation of dramatic zealotry, yet it is often quieter than this stereotype. If you’re working against hunger, direct action might be giving someone a meal. If you’re working against homelessness, it might be taking over an abandoned house and making it livable. If you want to end animal cruelty, it might be saving the life of an animal whose eyes you have been looking into — often with the feeling that that animal is looking to you to help them.

In what business sectors are animals abused and which are the biggest of these industries?

Estimates, in the approximate order of the amount of abuse in the only the United States:

1. Factory farming (including fur) – over 10 billion (plus 10 million fur animals)

2. Animal testing (medical, product testing, and education) – 100 million in US laboratories, in everything from burn and starvation experiments to weaponry testing and space research. Another 14 million plus are killed in product tests.

3. Blood sports – hunters kill more than 250 million animals per year

4. Animals used in entertainment.

You have a section where you shed light on Animals Used for Entertainment. Some families will not like the idea that they should not go to the zoo, circus or a dog/horse race. What’s wrong about it?

Most animals, like humans, have hard-wires desires to create and be with families, and do certain natural things. Being denied these opportunities makes them unhappy (even though they might adjust to captivity just as a human slave might). Each activity has its own examples. Here is a short two-minute example.

Do you have numbers regarding how many animals get killed every year in research labs?

Animal testing (medical, product testing, and education) – 100 million in US laboratories, in everything from burn and starvation experiments to weaponry testing and space research. Another 14 million plus are killed in product tests.

You enlighten people to become vegetarian and vegan on your website. Why should people stop eating meat or even stop drinking milk?

You will be healthier, you will not be responsible for the exploitation of vulnerable beings, and the planet will be healthier. A short video, “Why Vegan?” is here

Would you describe an average life of a cow or a pig raised to end up displayed at the supermarket?

The 2003 movie “Earthlings” describes it much better than words:
More information is here.

To many people, what you do and your activism might be scary. What type of personality joins a organization like yours?

The spectrum of direct actions, and the people who take them, can be divided roughly into four categories: personal actions, proselytizing, organizing, and civil disobedience. Consider first personal actions. Here are some of the personal actions you can take in support of AR:

  • Learning — Educate yourself about the issues involved.
  • Vegetarianism and Veganism — How to become one
  • Cruelty-Free Shopping — Avoid products involve testing on animals.
  • Cruelty-Free Fashion — Avoid leather and fur.
  • Investing with Conscience — Avoid companies that exploit animals.
  • Animal-Friendly Habits — Avoid pesticides, detergents, etc.
  • The Golden Rule — Apply it to all creatures and live by it.
  • Proselytizing is the process of “spreading the word”. 

Here are some of the ways that it can be done:

  1. Tell your family and friends about your beliefs.
  2. Write letters to lawmakers, newspapers, magazines, etc.
  3. Write books and articles.
  4. Create documentary films and videos.
  5. Perform leafletting and “tabling”.
  6. Give lectures at schools and other organizations.
  7. Speak at stockholders’ meetings.
  8. Join Animal Review Committees that oversee research on animals.
  9. Picket, boycott, demonstrate, and protest.

Organizing is a form of meta-proselytizing–helping others to spread the word. Here are some of the ways to do it: 

  1. Join an AR-related organization.
  2. Contribute time and money to an AR-related organization.
  3. Found an AR organization.
  4. Get involved in politics or law and act directly for AR.
  5. The last category of action, civil disobedience, is the most contentious and the remaining questions in this section deal further with it. Some draw the line here; others do not. It is a personal decision. Here are some of the methods used to more forcefully assert the rights of animals:
  6. Sit-ins and occupations.
  7. Obstruction and harassment of people in their animal-exploitation activities (e.g., fox hunt sabotage). The idea is to make it more difficult and/or embarrassing for people to continue these activities.
  8. Spying and infiltration of animal-exploitation industries and organizations. The information and evidence gathered can be a powerful weapon for AR activists.
  9. Destruction of property related to exploitation and abuse of animals (laboratory equipment, meat and clothes in stores, etc.). The idea is to make it more costly and less profitable for these animal industries.
  10. Sabotage of the animal-exploitation industries (e.g., destruction of vehicles and buildings). The idea is to make the activities impossible.

Raids on premises associated with animal exploitation (to gather evidence, to sabotage, to liberate animals). It can be seen from the foregoing material that AR activism spans a wide range of activities that includes both actions that would be conventionally regarded as law-abiding and non-threatening, and actions that are unlawful and threatening to the animal-exploitation industries.

Most AR activism falls into the former category and, indeed, one can support these actions while condemning the latter category of actions. People who are thinking, with some trepidation, of going for the first time to a meeting of an AR group need have no fear of finding themselves involved with extremists, or of being coerced into extreme activism. They would find a group of exceedingly law-abiding computer programmers, teachers, artists, etc. (The extreme activists are essentially unorganized and cannot afford to meet in public groups due to the unwelcome attention of law-enforcement agencies.)

“One person can make all the difference in the world…For the first time in recorded human history, we have the fate of the whole planet in our hands.” –Chrissie Hynde (musician).

Examples of other actions, from writing to protesting, are here: – Get full list here.

ALF operates mostly in the underground and some of your actions are non-violent – but still, some are not legal. Why get activists arrested?

Men and women have demonstrated throughout history that laws can be immoral, and that we can be justified in breaking them. Those who object to law-breaking under all circumstances would have to condemn:

  • The Tiananmen Square demonstrators.
  • The Boston Tea Party participants.
  • Mahatma Gandhi and his followers.
  • World War II resistance fighters.
  • The Polish Solidarity Movement.
  • Vietnam War draft card burners.
  • The list could be continued almost indefinitely.

Conversely, laws sometimes don’t reflect our moral beliefs. After World War II, the allies had to hastily write new laws to fully prosecute the Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg. Dave Foreman points out that there is a distinction to be made between morality and the statutes of a government in power.

It could be argued that the principle we are talking about does not apply. Specifically, the law against destruction of property is not immoral, and we therefore should not break it. However, a related principle can be asserted. If a law is invoked to defend immoral practices, or to attempt to limit or interfere with our ability to fight an immoral situation, then justification might be claimed for breaking that law.

In the final analysis, this is a personal decision for each person to make in consultation with their own conscience.

“Certainly one of the highest duties of the citizen is a scrupulous obedience to the laws of the nation. But it is not the highest duty.” –Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. President)

“I say, break the law.” –Henry David Thoreau (essayist and poet)

As a citizen, how can I take action in daily life?

In addition to what was previously mentioned, here are some tips:

  1. Internet opinion polls–Expense: 5 minutes to read and vote. Gain: Our follow-up on the opinion polls that we thought were meaningful revealed the websites considered them ‘for fun’ to ‘attract web traffic’ and ‘not deemed scientific’. No course of action was changed. Your time is better spent with e-mail campaigns (below).
  2. Letter writing / e-mail campaigns–Expense: 10 minutes to cut, paste, hopefully modify (if you have time), print, and mail. Gain: Our follow-up shows that many industry leaders, judges, and politicians count each letter, frequently respond to the individual who sent the letter, and many of them change their course of action. Many admit to being unaware of the AR Activists’ perspective. Time is well spent if the issue is important to you.
  3. Answering questions from people who are seeking AR information. This is tricky. My first answer should be brief to evaluate the intent of the person and not to to overwhelm them. I have inadvertently overwhelmed people in my enthusiasm to share my knowledge. After I have answered their first question, what next? Now I judge whether they want info, or they want to argue (see 4, below). If they want to argue, I nod politely and save my breath for cooling my soup. And few people can make a lot of changes to their lives. When I have seen long-term change in folks, here is how the discussions started:
  4. Vegetarian/Vegan health–many people have a positive reaction to the facts in books like ‘Diet for a New America.’

  5. Hunting/Fishing–if you tell someone about the evils of factory farming and they still eat meat, logically it is hypocritical to be concerned about someone who hunts. At least hunters aren’t having someone else do their killing. Wait for them to ask.
  6. Entertainment–Zoos, circuses, rodeos, etc. Save this for when you learn they are attending such an event.
  7. Factory farming–share some info about beef, pork, and chicken. It might help them stick to their new veggie diet.
  8. Animal testing–it is surprising difficult to get folks to change their shopping habits, which include grabbing the same old products without examining the box. It sometimes helps to tell people they can save money and help animals by buying ‘generic’ brands. These are usually copies of the same product the major companies make.
  9. Debating with opponents of AR–This will frequently begin with someone asking for information (see 3, above). You might as well spend your time talking to yourself. In 15 years the only folks who approached me with an attitude and then actually listened and discussed issues, were folks who calmed down immediately when presented with a cool response. If they remain argumentative and don’t care about your first several answers, they won’t change. Even if one did, it is not a statistically reasonable way to allocate your time. Your knowledge of AR is a valuable resource. Don’t waste it.
  10. Demonstrations–In this age of the media sound byte, demonstrations that get news coverage further the awareness of the masses, who, for the most part, are not evil–just uninformed.
  11. Donations to AR organizations–There is clout in numbers. Support them, but be aware of organizations that consider animal welfare to mean protecting animals for hunters. Stay with the big orgs unless you’ve done your homework.

How can I join the efforts and mission of ALF? Who should I contact?

The ALF is a “decentralized organization” with “self-proclaimed” members who follow the credo/guidelines listed here. It has no official members and no official leaders. It is probably easier to think of the ALF as a philosophy in which the major tenet is that animals should not be “property” with which humans can do whatever they wish.

You may find animal rights groups by Googling “Animal rights” or “Vegan” and “Meetup” and “Your city”.

One thing you can do is help to eliminate the bottleneck in liberating animals (the bottleneck is finding good homes for them). We do our best, but sometimes we have to take them to no-kill animal shelters. Most no-kill animal shelters are full and short of funds. Volunteers do all that they can. You can directly help animals by donating either time or money to these shelters. There is a list of these shelters on our website. Shelter – List

We love the quote: “You’d never force your best friend to drink shampoo. So why buy from a company that would?” Can you name some companies to avoid, if we do care and want to take action?

This question can be answered best by visiting the following link, which will link you to shopping guides by BUAV, AAVS, Peta, and others. These organizations maintain the most current cruelty-free shopping guides.–ToDo/Shopping/Shop-index.htm

AR deals with Animal Rights and ELF is the Earth Liberation Front. Do you all work/operate together?

No. ALF cells don’t even operate together. provides tremendous information about animal rights. Your AR Orgs section lists important links, one of which fits perfectly with a favorite topic of ours: The No-Kill movement. Is there anything in you’d like to share with us about this?

Our No-Kill Animals Shelters list is arguably the most important contribution of our website. In the last decade we have received thousands of emails from folks who had animals for whom they were desperate to find homes and for whom they were considering animal shelters. Most of them were unaware of the variation in policies of animal shelters. Our No-kill Animal Shelters list starts an important discussion with them.

Can you describe an experience that has particularly moved or inspired you?

Nothing compares to the joy one feels when an animal they have observed being abused is freed from torture.

What would you say is your personal goal?

Happiness. And the path to that goal is best stated in a quote by Helen Keller. “Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

My “worthy purpose”, of course, is making lives better for any being in my power.

Do you have pets?

Yes, I have some rescued animal companions. A parrot is always trying to help me with my typing.

If you could give pet owners one piece of advice what would it be?

Most of them have read this, but it is worth repeating the 10 commandments for a pet owner:

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me–it is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, remember nature gave me weapons that I could easily injure you with, but I choose not to hurt you.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.

9. Take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old.

10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it” or, “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for ME if you are there.

Which websites, books or movies would you recommend to PackPeople?


  • A Bird Shall Carry the Voice – by Leigh Farris
  • Aftershock – by Pattrice Jones
  • All Creatures of Our God and King – by Teri Wilson
  • An Eagle Named Freedom: My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship – by Jeff Guidry
  • Animals and Cruelty and Law – by Noel Sweeney
  • Animals and Why They Matter – by Mary Midgley
  • Animal Factory – by David Kirby
  • Animal Liberation – by Peter Singer

Get the full list of Animal Rights Literature here.


Get the full list of movies here and music here.

Spreading the word can help save lives! If you liked the interview please share it with your community by clicking the Facebook and Twitter icons at the bottom of this article or feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

iTunes News: Get PackPeople’s interviews as a Podcast!



Cool and Fun Stuff Pet Care

When dogs turn into artists – A fun event in N.Y.

Dog Art Night – A fun Event with creative dogs

Our friend Jenna Dreher from Pet It Forward (, a website that helps pet owners save money by booking and paying for pet care online, hosted Dog Art Night at Animal Haven in SoHo on Saturday, Oct 8th. Learn more about please watch Jenna’s video interview.

The sold out event was a huge success, giving pets and their people the opportunity to unleash their inner artist by creating individual “Abstract Paw Paintings,” “Make Your Own Dog Tag Art,” and all the pups at the event had a chance to add their helping paw to paint a large scale canvas “Paw Painting” that is now for sale on to raise money for Animal Haven Shelter.  The event was attended by some local dog celebrities including Doggie Moms of NYC star Erika with her dogs Cubby and Ginger.

Rescue Chocolate founder, Sarah Gross, set-up a human’s only chocolate store for the event to raise money for Animal Haven.  We recently interviewed Sarah, learn more about her business idea here and listen to her audio interview. And New York City pet photographer Marshall Boprey took tons of great photos during the event.

We want to thank Jenna for reaching out. The pictures are too cute.

[nggallery id=53]

Get informed and educated Interviews on services used by 3000+ rescues and shelters – Interview with Richard Saffell is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which provides services to help the community of Animal Welfare Organizations work more effectively.

Many non-profits and animal welfare groups are based on the help of volunteers and donations and are in need of technical support when it comes to their websites and their data management. provides very useful and functional tools and services to the animal welfare community under very fair conditions. Designed for Animal Welfare Organizations and shelters, provides such technology solutions as free and low-cost websites, data management, domains and email services. This unaffiliated, volunteer-driven, non-competitive organization works with like-minded organizations to help animal welfare organizations, volunteers and pets.

We all know how huge social media’s impact is today, and many rescue groups and pet-related businesses use this excellent tool to get the word out – about their work, adoptable pets, events, news and products.’s Facebook iFrame/Application and free pet adoption portal, which you can easily implement into your website, are just two of many great services this organizations offers.

In this written interview Richard Saffell explains how animal welfare organizations and shelters can use the services of to improve their websites, their work and their effectiveness.


Twitter: @rescuegroupsorg


We’re very excited to learn more about – how and when did your personal adventure with this cause begin? was started in 2002 when the founders noticed the need for a low-cost, data driven website service for animal rescues and shelters. Too many volunteers were either forced to learn HTML and web technologies, or be completely dependent on a webmaster or web expert to maintain their organization’s website. So we started so that even the most computer illiterate rescue/shelter worker can have powerful and time-saving services.

You offer services like Data Management and Website Services. You help and support with Web Site Service, Email Marketing Service, Voice Mail Service, Domain Name Service, set up pages for organizations on Facebook and more. Who can sign up for your services, what are the requirements?

Our most popular service, the Pet Adoption Portal, is available to any organization. Many of our other services are available to non-profit organizations only, or those organizations that are in the process of obtaining their non-profit status. We provide services primarily to the US and Canada.

It sounds like you are an insider – has the team worked or volunteered for animal welfare organizations? How have you learned about the needs of these organizations, to create your many services?

All of our volunteers currently or have recently volunteered with rescues and shelters in their area, in positions like cat and dog fosters, coordinators, and directors. Our personal experiences have played a large part in building our services and features. However, listening to the rescues and shelters that are using our services is critical to making sure we stay align with the community we are serving.

Some services are for free like the Pet Adoption Portal, which I personally love and we implemented it to PackPeople as well. Would you please explain the benefits of the free pet management tool.

The Pet Adoption Portal service is designed to save organizations time by posting their adoptable pets on as many adoption listing websites as possible. The organizations update their pets on their pet list, and we send them to hundreds of websites like, DogTime, ASPCA, Facebook, Petbond and Petfinder using the Sync App.

As I already mentioned, another service you offer is to set up Facebook organization pages. What are some mistakes organizations make with Facebook pages?

A static Facebook page just isn’t going to grow and become more active. The biggest way organizations can improve their Facebook pages is to provide regular posts and discussion topics on their Facebook pages.

Could you describe the importance of a properly working email service for animal welfare organizations?

Email is a the preferred method of communication for most organizations. The majority of rescues and shelters don’t have a dedicated phone line, and don’t want to receive phone calls at their homes. Our email hosting and forwarding service helps organization separate their rescue and shelter email from their personal email, and gives the organization a more professional appearance, especially when setup on a domain name the organization owns.

From my own experience, I know that most rescues have huge e-mail lists, but don’t know how to use them effectively. What are the benefits of using your service?

It’s really important to communicate with your community, but you have to keep an up-to-date mailing list for your newsletters, events — which can be a big hassle. The Email Marketing service does all of that work for you — the organization creates an email message, and visitors can sign-up for various email lists. The system also handles unsubscribing and tracking campaign statistics.

I’m curious, who is behind A bunch of animal lovers, developers and tech experts?

We’re all animal lovers. We all want to help rescues and shelters be more effective and find better ways to their work. Many of us have found a unique way for us to put our development, website and technology skills to work to help thousands of organizations.

Every animal welfare organization should join – what kinds of things do you do to raise awareness about your organization?

We have done minimal marketing for our services. We have relied primarily on word-of-mouth, which brings in the majority of our new users. We do send an occasional mailing, but for the most part we let our great services and support do the work for us.

Your website is extremely informative, with a lot of content. As an average web user, would I understand your services without being a expert?

All of our services are designed to be used by rescue and shelter staff that do not have computer, HTML or database experience. However, we also provide access to advanced features like advanced website styles, custom HTML, data imports and exports, etc.

How many members do you already have using your services?

We currently have over 3,000 rescues and shelters using our services.

Speaking non-profit-to-non-profit… how do you pay your bills?

Our income comes from private donations and our service fees — about 50/50.

Who can join your team? Can I volunteer?

We’re always looking for volunteers! We can always use help with website design, data entry and lots of other things.

What do you need the most for your mission – and how can people get involved?

The best way to help us with our mission is to encourage everyone to sign-up for our services. Most of our new rescues and shelters come from word of mouth. Our current users should take a close look at possibly upgrading to one of our low-cost services as well.

In general, why should people adopt from a rescue?

Many people don’t know that tens of thousands of great pets die each month in shelters and rescues across the US and Canada. The majority of the pets in shelters have been, or would be great family pets and companions. It’s a shame that people are buying pets at pet stores when all kinds of dogs and cats are dying every day. And typically a shelter or rescued pet is healthier than a pet from a pet store.

If you could give pet owners one piece of advice what would it be?

The animal welfare community needs your help. Get involved with a local non-profit organization — most are looking for help with all kinds of things from fostering, transportation and even board members. The work is very rewarding… everyone should get involved!

Do you have pets of your own?

I do. My family has a 15 year-old Chocolate Lab named Amber, and a 7 year-old yellow Lab named Rex.

Which websites, pet-related links or books would you recommend to PackPeople?

One of my personal favorite websites is And I would recommend that everyone read Nathan Winograd’s books, Redemption and Irreconcilable Differences.

By the way: Your values and ours are very similar – we have the same vision – we should work closely in the future! 

If you liked the interview please share it with your community and feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

iTunes News: Get PackPeople’s audio interviews as a Podcast!

[nggallery id=52]