Give the gift of compassion this holiday season

Posted by Pia

A fellow animal lover recently provided me with one of the most valuable resources for gift giving that I have ever received! She gave me a link to a list of charities that do not support or utilize animals in their research.

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Beagles are often bred for and used in animal research because they tend to be passive, gentle and kind.
Axel is anxiously awaiting adoption in Northridge California- can you help?

1 Beagles are often bred for and used in animal research because they tend to be passive, gentle and kind. Axel is anxiously awaiting adoption in Northridge California- can you help?

Many are surprised to learn that cats like Gypsy are used a great deal in bio-medical research. Sweet Gypsy hopes to get a loving home soon! She is in N.Y., N.Y.

2 Many are surprised to learn that cats like Gypsy are used a great deal in bio-medical research. Sweet Gypsy hopes to get a loving home soon! She is in N.Y., N.Y.

Mikey is an example of the millions of mice used in research.  Sadly, most of the animal protection laws exclude the protection of mice like Mikey. Mikey is up for adoption in Brooklyn, N.Y.

3 Mikey is an example of the millions of mice used in research. Sadly, most of the animal protection laws exclude the protection of mice like Mikey. Mikey is up for adoption in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jack Frost needs rescue ASAP.  He is such a love. You can adopt him at Animal Care and Control in NYC- but you must act fast!

4 Jack Frost needs rescue ASAP. He is such a love. You can adopt him at Animal Care and Control in NYC- but you must act fast!

Queeny dreams of finding a forever home- she is in Port Washington N.Y.

5 Queeny dreams of finding a forever home- she is in Port Washington N.Y.

Rabbits are often use in cosmetic and toxicity testing. Daphne Dulappe is wanting a loving home. She is in Holbrook N.Y.

6 Rabbits are often use in cosmetic and toxicity testing. Daphne Dulappe is wanting a loving home. She is in Holbrook N.Y.

Hamsters like Mario and Luigi (Abingdon, MD) are used a great deal in invasive research as well. These guys would welcome a safe and loving home.

7 Hamsters like Mario and Luigi (Abingdon, MD) are used a great deal in invasive research as well. These guys would welcome a safe and loving home.

When we are each out and about looking for meaningful gifts or just choosing between brands at the grocery store, it is quite natural for the sensitive individual to opt for a brand that supports a cause over one that does not. This is typically indicated by a colored ribbon of some sort on the packaging.

While I am all for companies taking part in bigger-picture issues, I am aware that these efforts are also in the service of boosting product sales- which is certainly fair.
That said, I wonder how many of us read the small print or really know what the donation is in fact going towards.

The good news is that we have choices when it comes to what our dollars support. I strongly believe that we each 'vote with our dollar.' So I much prefer to vote for things in keeping with my ethics if possible. But that is not always an easy task as it involves staying informed and asking questions that we may not even know to ask.

The list of Humane Charities makes it super easy to get answers quickly. This informs our choices and makes the products we buy and the gifts we give, a true reflection of what we mean them to convey. It doesn't get much better than that!

The list is searchable in many ways as well. One can look for charities to support based on type of ailment being researched, geographic region, etc. I recall one time when a friend asked me to donate to support a walk she was doing to raise funds for breast cancer research. I wanted to honor the recent loss of her mother and support her efforts- but I wished to do so in a manner that did not go against my own beliefs.

A search of the Humane Charities List revealed names of companies/charities that engage in progressive and humane research for this dreaded disease. This gave me an easy way to stay aligned with my wish to reduce the suffering of animals- something that I know is near and dear to many of us. By making a donation to a humane charity, I was able to help those I wished to help and avoid hurting those I do not wish to hurt.

Whatever one's beliefs are about certain issues, it is nice to have choices and to be aware of them before taking action. This empowers each of us respectively, in our efforts to contribute to the 'greater good' we each wish to help manifest.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and humane holiday season.

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Click below for Info. on the adoptable companion animals in our photo gallery:
Axel
Gypsy
Mikey
Jack Frost
Queeny
Dafne DuLappe
Mario

Some additional resources for humane gifting:
http://www.aavs.org/shoppingGuide.php
http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.aspx

P.S. This post is dedicated to my dear friend Cheryl Murphy who, refusing to dissect a cat in her physical therapy training program, instead researched other methods of learning the material. In turn, she educated her entire class on equally effective but humane methods of learning. Go Cheryl!

Comments (7)

  • Dr. Pia,
    You are always the best at helping find forever homes for our friends. I hope many people think of bringing new family members into their homes. You're the greatest.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    With the weather becoming colder, many animals without shelter are in danger of dieing. When Daddy and I walk before going to bed, I often see a stray cat. It comes close but will not get any closer than 15 feet to Daddy. I see this cat so often that I don’t even try to give chase anymore. Daddy says that I am being a “good boy” for not chasing. I feel so sorry for animals which can not get out of the cold; it was down to 17 degrees night before last and 20 last night. At 24 degrees, Daddy said that a walk was out of the question this morning. Maybe later on in the day. I’ll keep my paws crossed.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Dr. Pia, I clicked on and saw the 'kids looking for homes, of course having 3 rescued Beagles, and 3 cats and a very old horse, tears came to my eyes.

    I wish we could do more right now, but my husband has cancer, so times are abit tough. Perhaps a small donation as a Christmas present for my husband.

    You know we adopted another Beagle last January. Matt ahd just gone through his first chemo a few days before, and on the way home he began to feel sick. Well Grace sat on his lap the whole way home with her head on his shoulder. She is always at his side as well as the others. Thank you for the article. Respectfully, Teri

  • Thank You for the Humaneseal.org link I was looking for something like this as we are not exchanging gifts but using the money to make charitable donations. I was sad to see some of the well named organizations that had X on them, this will make a big difference for me.
    Yes it is nice to have a choice!
    My prayer today is that every pet featured here find a forever loving home...even that cute little mouse, it also has a right to live.
    Thank You Dr.Pia...
    Your friends, Delia and Kitty

  • Hi Dr. Pia, Thank you once again for a very important blog post about how to help ALL of our beautiful, friendly animal friends find forever homes with people who truly care about them. An article in the Seattle Times stated that "more than 60 pet stores around the Puget Sound area have signed a pledge to support local adoption agencies and direct dog enthusiasts to responsible dog breeders rather than selling puppies in their stores. They signed the Humane Society of the U.S. pledge to increase the public's awareness of puppy mills. For those who want to adopt a puppy this holiday season, the Academy of Canine Behavior in Bothell, WA is hosting an adoption event on Sunday with hundreds of dogs up for adoption." How terrific is that?!! Hope there is great success there! Thanks again for sharing. Jan

  • Thank you again Dr. Pia for your hard work in finding all animals a home. This is one of the great challenges that we humans must take: Creating the research technology where animal research will no be allowed. We can and must do this.

  • DEAR PIA - YOU HAVE HELPED HUNDREDS OF ANIMALS FROM CALIF. TO THE EASTERN BORDER OF THE U.S. AND ESPECIALLY IN NEW ORLEANS AFTER KATRINA - YOU SET A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE FOR THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND YOU CONTINUE TO DO SO BY THIS NEW "BLOG". THANK YOU,
    SHEILA (CHERYL'S MOM !)

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