All too often in rescue you can forget the big picture because of the homeless dog or cat someone has brought to you, you’ve picked up on the road, or, as in our case, we rescue from the local municipal shelter or add to our waiting list (currently 34 dogs and 78 cats are on our owner/surrender list).

This past weekend I read Wayne Pacelle’s Humane Economy. It made me step back and look at where we are and where we need to go.

Now before you start bashing an organization you may not like (Humane Society of the United States – – HSUS), please continue reading.

Certainly the chapters devoted to the plight of homeless dogs and cats were the most relevant to PAAS.

However, what HSUS has accomplished and/or are working on is making a difference in the lives of chickens, cows and pigs as well.

Go to their website (www.humanesociety.org)- – in the search button type in Puerto Rico.

It is a real life example of how to make a huge impact on a seemingly hopeless situation.

In addition, their success working with corporations to agree to changing how they raise millions of chickens from cage raised to free range is a good example of progress in the world of corporate farming.

Each of us, when we work together, can make a significant impact. The challenge is to set aside our differences, look at the big picture and agree on a few vital issues.

Examples: vegan vs meat lover, barn cats vs house cats only, outside dogs vs inside dogs.

IF we agree to disagree on issues like these, then we can move forward to the reality those of us in rescue face every day – over population, spay/neuter, vaccinations and micro-chips – – almost universally agreed on by anyone who has ever worked in rescue.

I plan to closely follow the progress in Puerto Rico, attend the HSUS workshop for shelter employees and work with local law enforcement.

To date, 700+ law enforcement officers have been trained on animal cruelty, abuse, dog fighting, cock fighting and puppy mills.

The week of June 6 – 10, 35-+ shelter employees will attend all-day workshops to learn how to work hand-in-hand with law enforcement and how to recognize compassion fatigue.

Cesar A Miranda Rodriquez, Secretary of Justice for Puerto Rico said: “Our children see how we treat these beings. They can learn to love and care for them or to mistreat them. So if we want a better society tomorrow, we need to build it today.”