I had the great pleasure of hearing Wayne Pacelle speak Friday night at one of my favorite bookstores, Capitola Book Cafe. Wayne is the president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), one of a handful of organizations confronting animal cruelty on a large scale, nationwide and beyond. I wasn’t surprised at Wayne’s passion and dedication – I knew he was a champion for animals– but I didn’t know he was once just a boy who was crazy about animals. I didn’t know he was funny or that he was humble and easy to talk to. I didn’t know he wasn’t so different than you and me.
Friday night’s gathering was a book signing. Wayne Pacelle, in a book that’s beautiful cover features a tender exchange between a grateful child and a knowing dog, emphasizes the deep relationship human beings have with animals today and the surprising level of animal cruelty that still exists despite ours and their capacity to love. I’m just about to crack the cover of my signed copy of “The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them” and I’m sure I will be inspired all the more in my own quest to make a better world for animals. Wayne read a passage from a chapter devoted to the rescue of Hurricane Katrina animals and I immediately knew I would enjoy the writing style of this compassionate personality.
As Wayne Pacelle talked during the evening, I felt many feelings I’ve had about animals, animal rescue and animal cruelty validated. I also felt hope and pride. The choices I’ve made in my life reflect my values and being true to myself is the air that I breathe, it’s the life I lead, and I don’t do it selfishly. As God is my witness, I will make a difference for animals. There's a hero in all of us.
The local Santa Cruz SPCA received a grant in the amount of $5000 from Wayne Pacelle on Friday night. Lisa Carter, the SPCA's executive director and top animal welfare lobbyist, beamed alongside Wayne and also Jennifer Fearing, the HSUS's California Senior State Director. If you'd like to help animals locally, you can donate time, donate online or send a check to:
Santa Cruz SPCA
PO Box 3800
Santa Cruz, CA 95063