Michigan Retired Greyhounds As Pets Resources
REGAP Website: http://rescuedgreyhounds.com/
REGAP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MI.REGAP
1. What was your first experience with animals that had an impact on you?
We always had animals when I was growing up, usually more than one. I still remember the first dog I was old enough to take for walks. It was a Border Collie named Tippy and I weighed only about ten pounds more than him at the time. Animals, particularly dogs, have just always been a part of my life and having them around just seems normal to me.
2. When, how, and why did you first get involved with the animal welfare/rights movement?
I started volunteering with greyhound rescue groups shortly after adopting my first greyhound, Perry in 1995.
3. What are your favorite types of animal advocacy activities? Why? (i.e. lobbying, letter-writing, petitions, volunteering, protests, etc.)
As chair of the Advocacy Committee for Michigan REGAP most of my duties these days involve researching issues related to greyhound racing for use in advocacy materials, reports and media information packets. I do still enjoy “getting out of the office” occasionally though, and recently participated in a protest of the Skechers Superbowl ad at a local mall. I also enjoy engaging industry representatives in the comments section of newspaper articles and in comments on blogs.
4. What animal issues are you most passionate about?
Ending greyhound racing, of course, but I’m also concerned with animal experimentation, CAFO’s and spay neuter issues.
5. What current animal-related issue or campaign has caught your attention, and why?
Currently the Skechers Superbowl ad is front and center both here in Michigan and nationally. This Saturday (January 28) Grey2k has called for a national day of protest. Over 110,000 people have signed a petition asking Skechers to kill the ad, and protests are taking place in front of Skechers stores all over the country.
6. How do you address animal issues within your career?
I teach a Service Learning class at MSU. We have done service projects with Humane Societies, local animal control offices, and various breed rescue groups over the years.
7. What advice do you have for someone looking to become a more active animal advocate?
The opportunities for advocacy are much more open and varied today. The internet can bring stories related to animal rights issues right into your home from anywhere in the world, and online commenting can allow for letters to the editor, or comments on news stories in just about any publication around the planet. It is much easier to stay informed and to participate in the ongoing conversation today than it ever was.
8. What book, quote, photo, video, story, etc. have you found most inspiring/has inspired you?
Two books have shaped my thinking. Animal Liberation by Peter Singer and Domination: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Skully. I consider them to be must reads by anyone serious about helping animals.