3 Ways You Can Lend a Helping Paw this Animal Advocacy Day

The famous civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was once quoted saying “Never, ever be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake”. The ASPCA founded National Animal Advocacy Day on April 30th in the spirit of this principle, so we can speak up on behalf of animals, who otherwise don’t have a means of their own to protest inhumane or abusive treatment. I’d like to share my own story with you all, as well as some tips on how anyone can lend their voice to this important cause!


  • Here is a great place to tell your unique journey towards becoming an animal advocate!

    • What does animal advocacy mean to you?

    • How did you get where you are (this can be a personal story about a pet or volunteerism)

    • Why should people care about animal rights?


There are countless non-profits dedicating their time and resources towards fighting for the safety and happiness of innocent animals. Here are a few of my favorites- check them out, and let me know what others you support as well.

Best Friends Animal Society


Situated on the Utah-Arizona Border, Best Friends Animal Society is the largest no-kill animal animal shelter in the United States. With a mission to “Save Them All”, through minimizing animal homelessness and eliminating all kill shelters, the organization has set the standard for animal advocacy. Best Friends believes in joining forces with like minded organizations, communities, and individuals to make this dream a reality.


Animal Welfare Institute


Founded in 1951 to combat animal experimentation, the AWI has since expanded to address areas of animal suffering like factory conditions, the trapping industry, and marine life preservation, among many others. With net assets exceeding $11 million in the 2017 fiscal year, the AWI puts around 90 percent of its profits back into its programs, which means that a donation towards them has a more direct impact on animal welfare.




Based out of San Francisco, WildAid was formed in 2000 to fight the illegal wildlife poaching industry, most notably the ivory trade, which is a multi-billion dollar a year criminal industry. The organization receives nearly $290 million dollars a year in donations, and has successfully helped to broker ivory bans in heavy trading cities like Hong Kong and in countries like Taiwan and the U.K. WildAid encourages people to avoid buying wildlife products, and hopes to protect fragile land and marine ecosystems by educating the public on the environmental dangers of poaching.

So, you may be asking yourself: How can I have an impact? Even though many organizations do receive donations and volunteer assistance each year, every single voice adds to the conversation, and helps to further the sort of change that animals still desperately need. Check out some of the tips below for how you can get involved with animal advocacy in your community!

Pick a Spin Class with a Purpose.

Donation based exercise classes and fitness events are becoming a growing trend nowadays. Whether it’s yoga, cycling, or a charity 5K, participating in events like these are a great way to connect with like-minded people in your community, break a sweat, and donate money to a

great cause. Just make sure to check out the organization you’re donating to thoroughly to make sure that your donation is going to be put to the best use!


Start a Fundraising Campaign.


Any individual dollar counts, but it’s always great to be able to donate your time by planning a non-profit fundraiser of your very own. Creative ideas like holding a silent auction, car wash, or trivia night are a great way to engage your community in a non-traditional way. Who knows- you could end up starting a local tradition that equals a much welcomed annual contribution to a non-profit.


Leverage Your Expertise.


Are you a graphic designer, musician, educator, or scientist? Do you have a particular skill that you feel would be valuable for a non-profit’s effort in spreading the word or gaining patrons? Try donating your time and expertise to the cause. You could make flyers for their latest event, hold group discussions, or lead mentorship efforts- the possibilities are limitless. Don’t sell yourself short- send a message to your favorite charity organization explaining who you are, your background, and how you feel your experience can help their efforts. They’ll be glad to have you.

Animal advocacy shouldn’t begin and end on April 30th. Add your voice to the cause by sharing your favorite charities and fundraising tips in the comments below, and spread the word to your friends on social media!


Here are two kittens we rescued and found homes for. They were a little feral at first but within a week or two had warmed up to people quite a bit. Their names are Simon and Theodore.




Thanks so much for visiting!  Feel free to leave a comment.  I'd love to hear your rescue stories or ways you believe we can help animals around the world.




Happy Mother's Day to ALL Mothers!

 After reading many beautiful and heartwarming articles written by mothers and daughters about Mother's Day, I wanted to share some of the photos and stories of animals I've seen around the world taking care of their young.  Some of you know that I've been involved in animal rescue for many years and have a soft spot in my heart for all animals.  I am always amazed at how protective and caring animals are of their offspring.

  I really wanted to write a post in honor of all mothers and especially those that are often overlooked on Mother's Day each year.  If you have pets you are a mother they could not survive without you!  I wrote a similar post about animal mothers and their offspring for Mother's Day a couple of years ago.  One of my readers was very grateful that I had posted it.  Sadly not humans have a mother at all or one that they are close to. 

My husband and I have also taken in several stray pregnant cats.  We found homes for all of the babies and mothers including the seven orange ones in the second photo down.  We actually kept the mothers - Princess (the black cat) and Peaches (orange cat) for ourselves. 

The monkeys that I saw at the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali we're so fun to watch.  The babies were so cute and well taken care of by their mothers.   I thought this mother was showing tremendous patience with her little one.Bali-345410_960_720
Bali-345410_960_720Here is a mother monkey feeding her baby what appears to be some coconut:
Bali-345410_960_720I saw many elephant mothers with their babies in the Serengeti National Park while in Tanzania:

Continue reading "Happy Mother's Day to ALL Mothers!" »

My Visit To Xcaret - Part 2

 Here is a view of the rivers that everyone can snorkel around the park in.  This was my second trip to Xcaret.  The first time it was in July and it was very hot.  Being able to explore the area in the water was very welcome.Wandering and searching island girl

 I am really not one too visit theme parks especially two days in a row, but Xcaret in Cancun Mexico is an exception.  As I discussed in my previous post HERE, this is not an inexpensive theme park but it offers so much.  I really do think that there is something for everyone at Xcaret.  Cancun has grown into a very large tourist destination and I really felt like I was getting away from all the people while getting to spend time out in nature with animals of all types.  The scenery was absolutely beautiful, the buffet lunch was excellent, and there are plenty of places to sit down and relax. 

Continue reading "My Visit To Xcaret - Part 2" »

Visiting the Royal Sea Aquarium in Curacao


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When I stayed at the Royal Aquarium Resort in Curacao,  guests had free access to the aquarium right next-door.  I haven't been visiting zoos or aquariums over the past few years.  I've been very involved in animal rescue for about a decade.  My husband and I have had at least 100 foster animals in our care during those years.  We also donate food, money and transfer pets when they need to be spayed or neutered or brought to a safe shelter.                                           

So truth be told if I had not had free access to the aquarium I probably would not have visited it while on the island of Curacao.  However I saw right away that the animals seemed very well cared for and I did do some research on whether or not aquariums and zoos are all bad.  Of course there are some good ones and some bad ones and as with most issues, there are two sides to every story. 

During my first visit to the aquarium, I saw one of the trainers talking to a family who really wanted a kiss from a sea lion.  She was adamantly telling the family that, "today was not a good day for the sea lions as they were not kissing and the trainers were not going to try to make them".  The trainer seemed to care more about the animals than what the people wanted to pay money for. 

I am still sure how I feel on the whole aquarium and zoo issue(s).  I do not believe animals should be used for entertainment or kept in captivity only for that reason.   That said, at this point, I don't see myself making it a habit of visiting zoos and or aquariums in the future.

As you can see from the following links there are some good reasons to have animals in sanctuaries as some are becoming extinct and need protection.  I certainly would not want my cats roaming free they are completely indoor cats.  Perhaps they would be less bored being allowed to go outside but they would not be safe from other predators, automobiles, and diseases. I realize that comparing my domestic cats to large marine life is probably not a great example, but some large animals do need protection for various reasons.

Mystic Aquarium - Animal Rescue Program

Vet Street - How Zoos and Aquariums Help Endangered Species

I did want to share my photos and thoughts.   I am curious to hear what your thoughts are on zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries. Please leave your thoughts and experiences in the comment section.

Most of these photos and other can be found on my Pixabay account.  Pixabay has hundreds of thousands of photos that can be used for free in a variety of sizes and you don't have to worry about getting in trouble as they are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.  Here is my account:  Mariamichelle' photos

Below is a baby sea lion nursing:
Untitled (1 of 1)-32The dolphins put on an amazing fifteen minute show.  There were several mother and daughter dolphins in the show.  The younger ones were still learning their jumps and stunts.
Untitled (1 of 1)-32I did pay twenty dollars for a kiss from a dolphin.  It stuck it's tongue out at me afterward!
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Untitled (1 of 1)-32The sea lions were equally as amazing!

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Untitled (1 of 1)-98The flamingos were as pretty as ever:
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Thank you so much for stopping by and please leave your comments below have a great week.

~  Michelle

I will leave you with a video of a baby sea lion nursing:



Happy Mother's Day to ALL Mother's Around the World!

Elephant-baby-278523_1280I am writing this post in honor of all mothers and especially those that are often overlooked on Mother's Day each year.  If you have pets you are a mother they could not survive without you!  I also wanted to share the love shown by some of the animal mothers' for their babies that I've seen around the world. The top photo is of an elephant mother with her baby that I saw in Tanzania at the Serengeti National Park.

My husband and I have also taken in several stray pregnant cats.  We found homes for all of the babies and mothers including the seven orange ones in the second photo down.  We actually kept the mothers - Princess (the black cat) and Peaches (orange cat) for ourselves. 

More elephants in the Serengeti:

Elephants-277329_1280A pride of lions in the Serengeti:


Monkeys in Bali:
Elephant-baby-278523_1280Foster cats:

Sled dog I saw in Alaska with her four day old pups:
Elephant-baby-278523_1280I hope all of you have a wonderful day regardless whether you are a mother or not.  Thank you so much for stopping by.  Take care my friends!