By Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane Association
With grandchildren always on our minds—and our beloved pets at our ankles—grandparents are the front line of defense forAmerica’s most vulnerable. Fully 6 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren to be concerned citizens who care about making a more humane and compassionate world.
We at American Humane Association have cared about that since our founding in 1877, when our signal efforts to stop child workhouses and abuse were just the start of our work that has driven most major legislative efforts for improving the lives of children. Today, our Front Porch Project® works nationally to do what generations of grandparents have long done in their communities: notice the children in the neighborhood and step up to respond to signs of child neglect or abuse.
We also focus on acts of kindness involving animals. We provide Animal Assisted Therapy programs to help kids in cancer wards, and have just launched the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards™ (herodogawards.com), a national search to identify and honor the extraordinary acts of ordinary dogs. As part of this effort, on September 8 we will be honoring the heroic dogs of 9/11 in a specialNew York City tribute hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and Victoria Stilwell with a special appearance by our national “spokesdog,” Rin Tin Tin. A special awards gala announcing the top American Hero Dog will take place in the fall inLos Angeles and will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel.
Part of our work is to repay the kindness and love we receive from animals. After 200 mph tornado winds devastated Joplin, Missouri, our Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ team drove our 82-foot “Rescue Rig” to the scene, where they worked 12-hour shifts to rescue and shelter more than 1,000 animal victims of the tragedy. But we can only do so much. Do we drive the rig where water is rising and people and pets will be soon overtaken, or do we rush to where wildfires are forcing evacuations? Our donor events—and donations online—will help us buy and equip another $2 million Rescue Rig and put it to immediate use to save thousands more innocent lives. With weather experts forecasting a ferocious hurricane and storm season, we’re extending our hands (and paws) on americanhumane.org .
You can always reach us at 1-866-242-1877, and we invite grandchildren to join you as you demonstrate kindness. Together we can create kind and caring communities for our children and our beloved pets.
Videos to view
• “No Animals Were Harmed”: about animals working in films
• Dr. Robin Ganzert discusses the mission of American Humane Association on Pet World Radio