The Bridge to a Better Life for Animals

By Suzanne Gassner

In a world of fast-paced, high technology, there seems to be a loss of connection with animals and the world we share. You rise to an alarm clock, turn on the coffee, blow dry your hair, dodge traffic, sit at a computer entering data, rush home, microwave dinner, turn on the TV and reset the alarm clock for another day. And then you hear the story. A dog is cruelly chained to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged nearly a mile “to teach it a lesson” or a kitten is stuffed inside a mailbox and set on fire “for fun.” Have we become a society that is so indifferent to the plight of another creature that there is no time to get involved?

I don’t think so!

Growing up in a world that bombards our senses with acts of violence and disrespect makes it easy to become desensitized; even to the point of feeling we cannot make a difference. As Director of Education for the Humane Society of Missouri, I am often asked “How can you care so much for animals. Aren’t people more important?” My passion for the welfare of animals does not diminish my concern for people. Just the opposite is true. I know that the problems which affect animals are a direct result of people. To solve these problems we need to reach people. This is where our humane educators are called into action!

Humane educators begin to turn the tide of detachment by connecting feelings. Children who are taught to be kind to animals become more considerate in their dealings with others. Becoming children of broader sympathies enhances the well-being of the child, the school, the neighborhood and community at large.

These are lofty goals. Our humane educators meet this challenge with a barrage of talents, creativity and life experiences. In our fast-paced world of text messaging and instant gratification, our humane educators are taking the time to help children connect to the needs of an animal. In doing so, the eyes of thousands of children can turn from TV and videos to the needs of the innocent and voiceless. What a meaningful contribution to the world we all share!

Wanted: Humane Educators to Teach Children and Adults Kindness Toward Animals Humane education is THE KEY to preventing abuse and neglect and as a Volunteer Humane Educator, you would play an important role! For more information contact jklepacki@hsmo.org.