Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Wonder of Earth and Sky

Nature. Wilderness. The wild. The great outdoors. No matter what you call it, it's beautiful. And it's outside.
We often underestimate the beauty, power, and amazingness of Nature. It's awesome. And natural beauty can be found in your backyard, found in a bird flying through the city, anywhere. We often close our minds and hearts to this.
Beauty is everywhere, if we would just look for it. National Parks are good examples. They show that people and nature can be in the same place, together, and not be entirely competing. Just step outside sometime and enjoy it.
I admit that I'm guilty of staying on the computer instead of playing outside. But I never stop appreciating nature.
By polluting we mar that beauty. And that we definitely should not. People often ask, what's in it for us if we stop polluting, wating electricity, and wasting water? The truth is, Earth sustains us. If we continue to pollute, waste, and destroy, we will ALL suffer the concequences. Dirty air makes us sick. Lack of water is bad for obvious reasons. Electricity is not endless. This destruction is caused by us.
But we do more than that. We ruin amazing veiws.
You may be thinking now; I thought this was an article on Nature's beauty. Why am I reading about pollution?
The truth is: It all comes down to the same thing. We cause the ruin of so much. Please protect our Earth mother, and all those veiws that make you say "Wow.".

Note: We do NOT own the pictures in this article.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Shelter Animals And How To Help Them, by Silvia Phenora

You've probably been to an Animal Shelter sometime in your life. Passed by all those longing faces, begging you to let them out, let them lick your hands, or maybe purr and cuddle.
Maybe you asked the staff to let one out with you, just for a short time. But chances are, you put them back.
There are many animals at shelters. Not just dogs and cats. I volunteer at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona(HSSA). I mainly work with the cats, and our family fosters kittens(more on fostering later).
A while ago HSSA had a three-day event called the Furbaby Fiesta. All mixed-breeds were free(no adoption fee), and all purebreds were half-off.
My mother and I worked with the cats, telling people about them and handing them adoption applications if nessesary. Nearby, in a separate room, the "pocket pets" were kept. And that brings me to my point.
Shelters aren't just about cats and dogs. They save any kind of pet, reptiles, rodents, birds, cats, dogs, etc.
Below: Rufus, a rat that was at HSSA.

I even got to witness the adoption of Snowball and Fiver, two Ferrets. (See below pic)

Below: Snowball and Fiver

So anyway, about fostering... It really touches animals lives. Yes, it can be hard to let them go at the end of the foster period. But without being in a foster home, these animals wouldn't have lived. Many of the animals that end up in foster homes are too scared to be adoptable, are too young to survive in the shelter(some kittens we had for three days came to a veterinarian just minutes old, with the umbilicle cord still attached), or have to recover from wounds. If you can't adopt, consider fostering.

About rescuing an animal: At kill shelters, sometimes an animal will be listed as a "rescue". This means that animal, for whatever reason, has less "time" left at the shelter than other animals.
If you can adopt a rescue animal, all the better. But it helps all the animals in the shelter if you adopt any. By doing do, you make more room in the shelter for others.
My uncle and aunt foster dogs, and rescue them too. They often have two rescued dogs at a time, three if fostering.

About volunteering: Volunteering is a great thing to do. You can help out by walking dogs, handling cats,  
cleaning kennels, advocating for animals during events, and more. By volunteering, you can help immensely. You don't have to stay all day cleaning the shelter or anything. All it takes to touch a life is just sit down for a while with a lazy rat in your lap, throw a ball for that high-energy dog that hates being cooped up, stuff like that.
Shea volunteers at Homeward Bound(previously known as Addison County Humane Society).
Note: Each shelter has an age limit on certain things. For example, if you want to directly handle animals at HSSA, you have to be 15. Please respect such rules.

About donations: With most shelters, all funds come from donations and the money from adoption fees. That is why it can be expensive to adopt. The shelter depends on that money.
Some shelters lower the adoption fee on certain animals(such as those with a cold), to increase their chances of getting adopted. Other shelters(such as HSSA) do events where animals have lowered adoption fees.
If you can't foster, adopt, or volunteer, at least donate. Every penny counts.

And now, here is a picture of a wonderful pet that got adopted, Fred.

Below: Fred the Cockatoo