A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Nov 19, 2010

I Don't Want to Use the Word Poop so You Read This

It is once again that time of year when philanthropy and shopping occur at a fever pitch. Securing deductions for the end of the tax year and holiday shopping help charities fund their programs for the year to come. Outright donations, shopping at our marketplaces, or simply making a donation in someone's name all help your spcaLA. It is also important to research and donate wisely. Nothing upsets all of us more than hearing a person say "I gave to your national office" when, in fact, there is no such thing. Both the donor and your spcaLA feel sad as it is the animals in our community who rely on your gifts.

Your spcaLA created an at risk youth anti -violence program that is being used nationally in states like Oregon, Kansas, New York and Georgia, and internationally in Europe, Australia and Canada.  Piloted, and ongoing in Southern California schools, we work with youth, using shelter dogs, to teach them conflict resolution, anger management and empathy.  Empathy is the cure for violence against animals and people. This cure began here, with your spcaLA.

Your spcaLA has a domestic violence program that assists victims who need to leave a violent situation, but won’t if they have to leave a pet behind. We have assisted victims  from as far away as Florida because no other spca has such a comprehensive program. It began here, with your spcaLA.

Your spcaLA developed a comprehensive shelter management software program that is being used throughout the United States and Ireland.

Your spcaLA has a state of the art disaster response unit that responds locally to fires, floods and earthquakes as well as to out of state disasters as requested.  We were there during Hurricane Katrina and were one of only 8 first responders called upon to assist in Texas in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Did you know that every SPCA in the country is a separate legal entity despite confusing commercials and advertising campaigns? The New York spca was the first to form in America in 1866 and so aptly named itself. Your spcaLA opened its doors in 1877. Throughout the country different spcas were allowed to form as the laws in each state so permitted. However, only one spca solicits donations away from all the others under the illusion that they are an umbrella entity that sends funds to non existent chapters.  (It is the same with any humane society not based in Los Angeles.)   Funds sent to such outfits are not mandated to support the animals in our community based upon the zip code of the donor as is the case with many disease charities. Though there are now complaints, inquiries and investigations into the ethics of such fund raising tactics – the responsibility ultimately lies with you, the consumer/donor, to know where you are donating your hard earned money despite attempts to confuse you. spcaLA applauds work that is carried out on behalf of animals anywhere in the country and hopes that you can afford to donate to multiple organizations. Your choice must still be an informed one. 

Your spcaLA actually has a local, national and international footprint with boots on the ground serving animals that need us.  In these trying economic times it is particularly critical that we work together, and educate others who are confused about where their funds are going so we succeed in our mission. 

So please, give if you can and shop early an often! Happy philanthropy season!   http://spcala.com/

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