*******SupremeMasterTV**** – Shining World Compassion Award: International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Noble Canine Rescue. Episode: 1731, Air Date: 11 June 2011.
Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.
To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.
We save animals in crisis, wherever they are, individuals, populations being threatened by humans, by habitat loss, by natural disaster, IFAW’s there to save animals around the world.
Starting out from just a small group of concerned local community members who reached out to stop the cruelty of the commercial hunt for whitecoat baby harp seals on the eastern coast of Canada in 1969, the International Fund for Animal Welfare or IFAW has now become one of the world’s leading international animal welfare organizations.
Hi, my name is Kate Atema. I am the director of our worldwide companion animal dogs and cats protection projects here at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
We have offices in 15 countries around the world, but we work in more than 40 countries. We have 1.2 million supporters who support our work worldwide.
Are any of your staff members or volunteers vegetarian or vegan?
Many are. IFAW’s a supportive environment and we support our staff in the ethical decisions that they make.
With a large network of people dedicated to its cause, IFAW has been able to work with communities, government leaders, and other animal-loving organizations in countries around the world to address urgent issues relating to animal well-being and conservation.
IFAW believes that animal welfare works best when communities take responsibility. We provide expertise to help communities develop their resources and motivate them to protect animals and protect animals from cruelty around the world. We always make sure that when there’s an animal or a group of animals that need to be rescued, that we’re integrating with the processes that a community already has available on the ground.
What we provide is support, expertise and teams to come in and fill in the gaps that a community may have. Sometimes that means that they just need a little bit of assistance. Sometimes they just need funds. And sometimes they need a full-scale team to come in help them respond to an event, and so IFAW really tailors our response to where and when that animal requires assistance.
Since its founding, the International Fund for Animal Welfare has initiated programs to aid whales, elephants, dogs and cats, tigers and many other animals. The group goes to countries hit by disasters such as Haiti which experienced a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in January 2010. In the year following the quake approximately 68,000 dogs, cats, horses, cows, pigs, goats, and sheep have been treated for injuries or vaccinated to safeguard them from anthrax and other diseases by IFAW staff and volunteers.
We work hands-on to protect animals in emergency situations, in crisis, manmade and natural disasters. We also protect populations of animals and their habitats from cruelty and devastation.
How do you prioritize the rescue missions?
We divide our work into six programs. Dog and cat protection programs in primarily developing communities around the world, where they don’t have a lot of access to veterinary care. We protect elephants from the ivory trade and from habitat depletion. We protect whales and seals from commercial hunting, and also from habitat depletion, like ocean pollution and ocean noise.
We also have a unit that works hands-on to rescue animals in manmade and natural disasters. We rescue marine mammals stranded on the beaches, and we advocate to protect wild populations from the wildlife trade.
We asked Ms. Atema if she could share a touching story from a past IFAW rescue mission.
One story I’d like to share is the story of Joyce. We had dogs that were being rescued from the municipal dump in Cozumel, Mexico. One particularly touching story was Joyce, a dog who had been hit by a car. She had to have one leg amputated and the other leg was no longer usable. They did their best in Mexico, given what they had available, but they weren’t able to save it.
We found a caregiver in New York City (USA) who was as touched by her story as we were, and she took her in, and she’s covering her medical costs and she’s now gotten her some wheels.
And she also has fitted special doggy hot pants that she puts on her. She runs with her now, miles in Central Park every single day. And that dog touches everybody’s lives. Everyone is so inspired by her story and the story of hope, and people reaching out to save one animal at a time.
At the same time they were saving the vulnerable dogs in Mexico, IFAW was rescuing stray dogs from a summer “dog shoot” in northern Quebec, Canada and finding them new homes. Also known as “dog kill days,” a dog shoot is an absolutely horrific event that regularly takes place in some of Canada’s remote northern communities where homeless canines are thrown into trucks, taken to a dump and then viciously shot.
Could you tell us a little bit about the story about the rescue of three dozen dogs in northern Quebec?
This is a project that we’ve been working in for many, many years. We help communities learn to help themselves and their animals. In this case these animals don’t have access to veterinary care, which means that they can’t have their animals spayed or neutered. They can’t have their animals vaccinated without help, that’s where IFAW comes in. We’ve been working with these communities to provide veterinary clinics for many, many years. This particular community had made a lot of progress, and had ceased shooting animals for many years.
This year they came to us, some community leaders said that unfortunately the council had decided there were again too many dogs, and unless someone was able to help those animals would be shot. So IFAW stepped in to help.
Currently where are the animals now?
So the animals are in Canada as well as here in the United States. A number of groups heard about what we were doing and offered to help us, rescue groups across Canada, as well as a shelter in the outskirts of New York City, agreed to take a number of those animals, and a volunteer who has an airplane, actually helped fly a number of those animals down for us.
For taking quick action to preserve canine lives in northern Quebec, Supreme Master Ching Hai honored the International Fund for Animal Welfare with the Shining World Compassion Award. Kate Atema received the splendid crystal Award plaque on behalf of Fred O’Regan, President of IFAW, and also accepted a beautifully framed letter of thanks sent by Supreme Master Ching Hai. The following is an excerpt from the letter.
Dear Mr. O’Regan, It is with great pleasure and gratitude that we present to the International Fund for Animal Welfare the “Shining World Compassion Award.” This Award is presented in recognition of your humane efforts to care for and protect animals, and for your selfless devotion and boundless love which brings hope and brightens the lives of so many precious beings.
On becoming aware of the imminent cull, your organization supported the members of this isolated community with great sensitivity and expertise in helping them find a unique and workable solution that would address their safety concerns. Encouraged by your compassionate guidance and assistance, they even found the money to employ a veterinarian to prevent the problem from reoccurring. Bravo IFAW!
Your diplomatic and loving efforts are sure to reap a multitude of benefits and blessings – for the dogs, their new caregivers and the Inuit people. Thank you and may Heaven bless you abundantly!
For empowering communities with kindness and respect, for protecting the animals, for being their voice, and for your inspirational and dedicated example of love in action, we hereby applaud and celebrate the outstanding deeds of President Fred O'Regan, staff, volunteers and the warm-hearted supporters of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. With Great Honor, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai
Along with the Award, Supreme Master Ching Hai gifted her #1 international bestsellers “The Dogs in My Life,” “The Birds in My Life” and “The Noble Wilds” as well as her poetry book entitled “Pebbles and Gold.” In appreciation of their loving endeavors, Supreme Master Ching Hai donated US$10,000 to the group for veg food and medical care for the dogs.
We are so grateful for the donation of US$10,000. And simply put, it will help us save a lot more animals. Right now there is a rabies outbreak in one of the communities we work in outside Johannesburg, South Africa. Without our help going with teams of volunteers going door to door, six days a week, vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies, they run the risk of either being killed or contracting rabies which is a horrible, horrible disease. So immediately those funds can assist us in that emergency effort.
Once again our deep gratitude, Kate Atema, Fred O’Regan, and all other International Fund for Animal Welfare staff and volunteers for saving and protecting animals across the globe. IFAW’s benevolent programs are truly creating a better place for our animal friends and may your fine work continue in the years ahead with all of Heaven’s blessings.
For more details on the International Fund for Animal Welfare, please visit www.IFAW****
Kindhearted viewers, thank you for joining us on today’s program. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News, here on Supreme Master Television. May each and every one of us contribute to peace on our magnificent planet by practicing compassion daily.