In light of the attacks on our country,
I've doubted whether I can persuade you that we need donations,
but our funds have swiftly dropped and I must try.
In one way or another, the terrorists have affected us all. Those
of us who have not lost a family member or loved one grieve with
those who have, and an unfamiliar concern for our safety invades
the familiar surroundings of our daily life.
People have given generously to help those directly victimized.
Money cannot bring things back to the way they were, but the hundred
of millions of dollars raised will make the hard road ahead a
little less impossible to face. Those whose families and lives
have been shattered know at least they are not alone. Americans
have demonstrated a resounding spirit of togetherness, a country
united against a hateful intruder.
In contrast, the suffering of animals on the streets goes on
without reference to terrorism. Their misery hasn't changed although
to some it may seem so small now as to be insignificant. Now as
before, we can ignoe their pain without consequence in our own
What animals endure has no impact on the activities we pursue;
conscience may play a role, but easing the hardships of those
one does not see presents no urgency. Except on rare occasions
their faces don't make the news though by the thousands they walk
the shadows of our streets.
Recently I gave Alice a ride to the auto repair shop to pick
up the alley car. We were nearly there when Alice shouted, "Pull
over, he's hurt." To the right of the interesection in the
middle of the road was an injured Canadian goose on his back.
He was terrified. He kicked his webbed feet in the air and wagged
his head across the asphalt.
Cars thundered by him without slowing down; driver after driver
passed him by. Everyone saw him, no one stopped to help. I had
already committed to a left turn in the far lane of a busy intersection
during the morning rush, so I had to do a series of quick left
turns to get in position.
Using my car as a shield from traffic, I pulled to a stop in
the center of the road with the goose lying in front of my car.
I handed Alice a blanket (one of several in the car for emergencies
such as this) and she gently wrapped the injured bird in it and
brought him back to the car.
Worthy and magnificent yet so terrified and in pain -- did he
know we were trying to help him? Wrapped in a soft blanket on
Alice's lap he took his last breath. Only God knows how long he
lay injured in the road or how many people drove by, stone cold
impervious to his suffering. A voice deep in the soul that calls
those of us doing this work called on us that day to help him
too, one individual at the moment of his greatest need.
In the alleys our scope is much wider of course. Thousands of
animals depend on us to be out there six nights a week. Every
year we expect donations to fluctuate (summer usually brings the
thinnest stretch), but we're experiencing a genuine financial
crisis. So, please extend your compassion to include those whose
faces you'll never see, whose weary footsteps will not cross your
path; creatures whose misery will never burden you. A financial
contribution to Alley Animals will provide us the means to go
on doing what we do. For showing a compassion that asks no return,
may you be richly blessed.