“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”
John Grogan – Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog
The picturesque streets of Weston, Missouri were filled with costumed, canines and their people on Saturday, July 9th. The event drew pups from throughout the Kansas City area to Weston to celebrate the dedication of our quadruped friends and to support the ASPCA.
The ASPCA or American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1866 by philanthropist and diplomat, Henry Bergh. Bergh’s passion for animal protection was born from a diplomatic stint in Russia in 1863. In Russia he was struck by the way that work horses were nearly beaten to death by their drivers.
Inspired by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in England, Bergh successfully sought backing and formed the first chapter of the ASPCA in New York. He served the role of president for the remainder of his life.
In the beginning the ASPCA focused on the treatment of livestock and even the design of a mechanism to pull trapped livestock out of excavations. over time Bergh’s efforts extended to dogs, cats, cockfighting and even carrier pigeons. Bergh was empowered with the ability to arrest animal abuser and take them before the police magistrate.
Though Bergh and his work was welcomed by many, including literary greats like Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson whose character development was influenced by Bergh, he was also perceived by many to be a meddler. PT Barnum of Barnum Bailey Circus and Bergh had an ongoing rift concerning Barnum’s treatment of the animals used in his shows. Interestingly, PT Marnum served as a pall bearer at Bergh’s funeral.
The work of the ASPCA crossed over party lines and even influenced religious doctrine. In 1873 Bergh’s speech encouraged the Episcopal church to require priest to address the issue of animal cruelty once a year.
Bergh’s work through the ASPCA was not limited to the protection of animals. He was also credited for the removal of a child from the care of a cruel foster-mother accused of enslaving, beating and starving her foster child. This act led to the enactment of New York state legislature to charter a new organization, The New York Society for the Protection from Cruelty to Children, which was run by Bergh.
Today the ASPCA focuses on placing homeless pets, providing medical care to abused and neglected animals, the rehabilitation of abused animals, helping to provide spays and neuters nationwide, helping to create laws that protect animals and animal rescue.
There are a number of ways that individuals can support the ASPCA including volunteerism and donations. However, communities, places of business and even wedding parties can help offer their help in fundraising. Those opportunities can be researched by visiting the ASPCA fund raising site.
In addition to funds raised for the ASPCA, Weston welcomed local animal advocacy groups to offer education about breed specific adoptions like MoKan Greyhound Adoption. MoKan Greyhound adoption works to find homes for ex-racing Greyhounds.
Missouri Pit Bull Rescue was also present and accompanied by three sweet friends who are available for adoption.
Bourbon is a 2 or 3 year old pittie who loves kids and kisses. This big necked fella loves romantic walks in the moonlight, cuddling under the stars and a shared drink or two from the communal water bowl.
Not to be limited in any way at all, Splash (age 2-3) enjoys all of the 5 Languages of Love leading with Physical Touch with a close second of Quality Time. Splash is also more than happy to be showered by gifts, being offered words of affirmation and of course loves to be served. Splash is simply a lover-pie willing to share love with the right somebody.
Ebony, also age 2 – 3, is a relaxed lady who enjoys the simple things in life. She can be content staying in to watch a movie on television or going for a run in the crisp morning air. Ebony is ready for love and will be a devoted companion for life.
The Weston Dog Parade was a welcome sight to behold. Fun was had by all who viewed and participated. A big thanks to Weston’s Chamber of Commerce and to shop owners who extended their hospitality. It was a great day to witness the dedication of our four-legged “best friends” and to meet new friends.
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
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