Donating To The Animals In Need

There’s a battle brewing and it is not terrorism or presidential politics.  This conflict centers on our domesticated pets and is generating heated debates, controversial laws and impassioned pleas for help.  On the surface, the welfare of America’s pets seems to be at the center of the battle, but are there deeper, more sinister motives?

The images are designed to enflame our anger and tug at our hearts.  Severely matted dogs, wounded cats, and emaciated horses linger on the television screen and in our minds.  Throughout the ninety second infomercial, celebrity voices plead with us to open our hearts, and our wallets, to save these poor creatures.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has spent more than fifty years standing on the front lines in the battle against animal cruelty.  From raids on “puppy mills” and animal hoarders to helping enact legislation for more humane conditions at farms and feedlots, HSUS considers itself the largest and most effective animal protection organization in the world.  So, with such a positive agenda, why would anyone criticize their efforts?

Critics of HSUS claim that the tear-jerking commercials mislead animal lovers into donating $19 per month that is then used to fuel questionable lobbying efforts, pay six figure salaries and fund yet more infomercials., a watchdog website dedicated to “watching the Humane Society”, issued a press release detailing a survey in which more than 70% of respondents believed that HSUS is an “umbrella organization for local humane societies”. Not true.

Beyond that, more than 60% of surveyed adults believe that their local animal shelter is actively associated with HSUS.  59% believed that HSUS used “most of its money” to provide care and support at their local humane organizations. Again not true.

The FAQ section on the HSUS website says “local humane societies and SPCAs are independent entities and are not run by the HSUS.”  Furthermore, HumaneWatch has evaluated IRS forms from HSUS and found that less than ½ of 1% of donated monies went to the care of dogs and cats in local shelters.  The total returned to local shelters was less than $500,000 for 2008 out of $100 Million dollars raised!

More than $2 million went to the Californians for Humane Farms, a political committee that was the driving force behind controversial Proposition 2.  Production animal experts say the bill is fraught with unintended consequences. They claim it is a law based on emotion and not science, and one that has the potential to cause a dramatic rise in the cost of food and put many farmers out of business.

Some agricultural groups believe that this type of law is merely a stepping stone towards removing meat from our diet.

The Humane Society counters HumaneWatch claims by stating that they “provide direct care for thousands of animals at our sanctuaries and rescue facilities”.  What is left unsaid is that these five facilities are focused on the care of wildlife and animals “rescued” from circuses, zoos, farms and laboratories.  While HSUS does not run an actual shelter, it does provide funding for many spay/neuter organizations.

Even local animal shelters and humane groups are often left wondering about the motives of HSUS.  Some small shelters have been overwhelmed with animals after well-publicized “raids” by the HSUS and feel that the Humane Society should offer more financial support.

After an amazing bust of an eight state dog fighting ring, the Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO), along with many other local groups, ended up caring for the 450 dogs rescued that day.  But, in spite of receiving extensive media attention and using images of one of the dogs as a fund-raising initiative, the HSUS did not initially contribute any monies to the dogs’ care.  Finally, after an outcry on many pet blogs, $5,000 was given to one of the rescue groups.

Still, as an animal protection organization, HSUS has done much to help criminalize abuse of animals.  Their legislative efforts have helped pass animal protection bills in almost every state.  Their lobbying and legislative experience enables them to take on larger animal welfare concerns beyond the reach of local groups.

But, critics are increasingly concerned that HSUS is transparent with how donations from millions of animal lovers are being spent.  Many who donate to HSUS see their local shelter struggle financially to care for the homeless and stray pets in their community.  They believe their donation to HSUS is going to help those animals.  Instead, it appears that the bulk of American’s donations fund efforts to make laws based on emotion rather than fact and, of course, for more fundraising.

If you wish to help your local shelter give to them directly where you know your money and your time will be used to help pets in your community.  Talk with your veterinarian or local shelter manager about what groups have the biggest needs and how you can help.  It’s the best way to insure that your donation will have the biggest impact!

You can also go down the adoption route which I have done and it is a great alternative and feels great to do so, my cat now has a great big cat condo which she loves so be sure to think about your options and help the animals that are in need.

How Much Education is Required To Become a Registered Nurse?

As you consider job opportunities in the health care, a registered nurse is a popular and rewarding option that will offer you security and mobility. Before moving forward with any program of study, it is best to be prepared. You need to know exactly what is in store for you on the road ahead and if you have the motivation to pursue a career in the challenging field of nursing. The first step is to have an understanding of the time that is involved in your course work to prepare you as a registered nurse.

How Much Education is Required to Become a Registered Nurse?

In order to become a registered nurse, you need to begin with a high school diploma or its equivalency. Laying the groundwork with courses in science and mathematics is a good place to start in order to provide you with some of the prerequisite knowledge that is key in your training. The next step is to pursue an advanced education. While a licensed practical nurse, the most basic type of nurse, could receive adequate training in as little as a year, your training will be more complex. You can become a registered nurse by pursuing an Associate’s Degree in nursing in two years. You will study liberal arts and coursework related to nursing, including nutrition, anatomy, microbiology, and nursing skills. A practical portion of your studies will emphasize clinical experience as you complete your coursework by actually participating in the field of nursing. You will observe nurses in action, continue your training, and have hands-on experience. In order to become licenses, you will need to take an exam in nursing that meets your state’s requirements.

Taking Your Education to the Next Level

If you are aiming for entry to the field of nursing as soon as possible, an Associate’s Degree is adequate. However, a Bachelor’s Degree will provide you with more opportunities in the field, offering you an increase in pay and more mobility. In your four years of course work, you can choose to specialize in a particular area, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or oncology, allowing you to be placed in a position that matches your area of specialization. Your studies will be more in depth and you will be provided with more clinical experience when you choose to pursue a four year program. If you have already received your Associate’s Degree to become a registered nurse, you can opt for Bachelor’s Degree programs that have been streamlined to accommodate your previous studies.

Going a Step Further in Your Nursing Career

As an additional option, you can choose to earn a Master’s Degree in nursing, which typically takes another two years of schooling. A Master’s Degree provides you with more advanced studies that can place you at the highest level of nursing. You can take on the role of a leader or be a mentor to other nurses, becoming involved in training opportunities for those who are new to the field. You can expect an increase in salary and many more options for placement when you have achieved this level of education in the nursing field. A Master’s Degree will allow you to choose where you want to go and what type of nursing position you wish to have once you are entering the field. Many nurses begin with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree and acquire experience on the job before earning an advanced degree. In the end, it will be up to you as you determine what type of degree you are willing to pursue and what you can afford.