“Life is full of choices and living a cruelty-free life is the best choice I have ever made. There is plenty to eat without eating animals, plenty to wear without wearing animals and plenty of entertainment without exploiting animals. My choice is compassion. It is always in fashion.” — Leesa Rowland
1. What are the differences between a no kill vs traditional shelters? What are the laws in New York and other states?
No Kill shelters exist to hold and care for animals. There is no intention to exterminate or euthanize. Traditional kill shelters hold the animals for a few days or a few weeks and methodically destroy those animals held for the requisite time.
Most laws on the books in the State of New York pertain to Laboratory Animals. Protection of Laboratory Animals has been the subject of many political debates and proposed regulations. There are no laws that require general protection of companion animals and/or wildlife. Isolated laws addressing subjects such as service animals and carriage horses in New York City exist…but these are isolated examples.
2. How do you think the US can strengthen anti-cruelty laws and related penalties?
The US can enact an “Animal Bill of Rights” to outline and codify the rights of animals in this country. Many versions of an “Animal Bill of Rights” exist and have been submitted to Congress. We need the general public to step up and advocate change for animals. The kind of change we need most is a “change in attitude” toward animals and their living conditions. If the public will step up and endorse an “Animal Bill of Rights” conditions for animals will change for the better.
3. What do you feel are the biggest advancements made in animal law/policies in recent years?
Most efforts have focused on the “Animal Protection Act” which has spotlighted laboratory animals and service animals. There are many political interest groups involved in these subjects on both sides of the issue. Advancements occur each day with baby steps and personal recognition of animal rights. Take a look at the videos that are on the web about vivisection and factory farms. It will become obvious that we have done too little.
4. How important is the animal bill or rights and how will be enforced?
The notion of an “Animal Bill of Rights” is vital to public awareness of animal protection. We must broaden understanding and awareness of animal rights. Most people, young and old, have no idea of the kinds of cruelty and incomprehensible physical and emotional abuse that animals suffer each day. Animal Ashram will help get this message out to an unknowing public. The “Animal Bill of Rights”, if passed into law, will bring these issues to everyone’s attention in a definitive and enforceable way!
5. What does Animal Ashram plan to accomplish in its first year?
We have already revamped our website at www.animalashram.com and we have improved our ability to communicate with subscribers and rescue facilities. Our goal now is to take donations and contributions to create an endowment fund for future projects. Our business plan calls for at least 4 major donors in 2016 with contributions of $100,000 each. Because we are a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are tax deductible. Smaller donations are very important too! Our website is designed to take donations of $10 or more on a monthly or recurring basis. The more contributors to our cause, the more successful our mission will be…
6. How do you intend to promote enthusiasm and encourage participation in Animal Ashram?
We are networking everyday with shelters & rescue facilities & contributors & sponsors & individuals who have rescued animals. If we share specific stories about animal rescues on our website, people will see successful documentaries which highlight happy conditions for saved pets. We want to show joyful, loving, and caring rescues which result from a broader network of subscribers & donors.
7. How can Animal Ashram bring more awareness to animal cruelty in this country and in the world?
We have been planning a TV series dedicated to animal rights. We believe that stories about animals in distress and subsequent rescues can inspire viewers to become involved. We need more great success stories about animal rescues each week so people can come to respect animal rights and become proactive.
About Animal Ashram:
Animal Ashram provides grants and funding to worthy organizations and individuals offering sanctuary to homeless and helpless animals of all species. Animal Ashram respects and promotes the oneness of life and the principles of ahimsa. Our not-for-profit mission is to raise money for a variety of educational and public outreach programs, provide funding resources and raise awareness of equality of life among all living beings.
For more information go to: http://www.animalashram.com.