Philanthropy: Love of humanity
Keegan Spera July 2018
I worked full-time at an animal shelter for over 6 years and worked as a Senior Manager in Strategy, Research and Development for the ASPCA for 5 years. I now work for Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at University of Florida and for the Million Cat Challenge. Every day I faced the challenges of trying to help animals who enter the shelter world, or are in danger of entering the shelter world, regardless if I was at the shelter or not. My position at the shelter wasn't directly caring for the animals; it was caring for the humans. My data and research didn't always center around animals. It's easy to forget that in order to help the animals, we have to care for the people first. It's easy to "hate people" and it's very common to those whoe are drawn to the animal field because they are "animal people", meaning they love animals and hate people.
We have to change this mindset.
We're never going to see a difference in animal welfare if we continue to blame and hate. We need to support, educate, provide resources, and love. Show compassion. Show empathy. Why are we so quick to judge? Why do we continue to let the disappointment of story after story drive us? We should focus on what we can DO with those stories--what positives came from each story. What we can do next.
It's no wonder many people lump all of those in the animal care field into a negative category: extremists. Those who categorize have faced judgment and skepticism upon entering a shelter; they heard the distrust and disappointment in the voice when they spoke to someone on the phone at the shelter; they heard story after story that may hold some truth in part, but, overall, are tainted with a negative experience. It's sad.
What can we do to change this?
"Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will."
"Once you start replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."
Thoughts from Keegan to provide fuel for the drive in her quest to affect positive change
Adopted from Pet Helpers!