Taking steps to protect animals

Few associations are as negative as those that come to mind when one hears the words commonly associated with the plight of homeless animals.

When we think of stray animals, we think of starvation, disease, euthanasia, abandonment. When we think of owner-relinquished animals, we think of betrayal, insincerity, irresponsibility, neglect. When we think of backyard breeders and animal hoarders, we think of filth, animal cruelty, selfishness, complete disregard for life.

It is difficult to fathom that within our community, many animals are treated as nothing more than narcissistic supply. With millions of healthy animals being euthanized daily in the U.S., we are in a crisis.

In DuPage, we have animal shelters, rescue organizations, adopters, fosters, donors, philanthropists and people who care about animals. We have many opportunities to become involved in animal welfare.

DuPage Animal Friends is an all-volunteer organization that promotes and supports initiatives at DuPage County Animal Care and Control. We are known for our positive relationship with the shelter staff, for the critical care funding we provide to animals residing in the shelter, and for the innovative programs we provide to once-homeless animals.

Under the direction of Barbara Hanek, and with a generous grant from the Brooks McCormick Jr. Trust for Animal Rights Law and Policy, we are the grateful recipients of a mobile veterinary unit. One of the many functions of this vehicle will be to provide a mobile clinic for free spay/neuter services to animals in need.

This represents a philanthropic initiative, as we are proactively reducing the number of animals that find their way into a shelter because of abandonment. The funds we raise will be used to equip the vehicle with medical supplies.

One way we will raise money is by participating in the DuPage Human Race. The race represents giving, it represents challenge, it represents the fostering of goodwill, and it represents the opportunity to raise funds to facilitate positive change.

The DuPage Human Race represents new beginnings, dreams coming true, and empowerment. The DuPage Human Race represents the opportunity for all participants to make a contribution, because together we can make a difference.

We walk Saturday with love in our hearts for our animals, for our donors, for our shelter staff, for the animals that come into our circle of influence, and for those who show goodwill toward animals.

Please look at our race page to learn more about the stories of some who have benefited from our programs. Please come and meet us, please join us, and know how much your support means to those dependent upon humans - homeless animals.

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