Check out a special guest post from recording artist Malea McGuinness — then learn how you can help animals while treating yourself this holiday season!
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”―Mahatma Gandhi
This quote was relevant when it was first said and is just as relevant now. We are evolving, but perhaps not as quickly as we could be.
Animals have always had a deep place in my heart, even during times in my life when I was unable to have pets. Maybe in some ways I have identified with rescue animals because I myself needed to be rescued early in my life.
When I made my transition from Broadway actress to singer/songwriter, I started volunteering at The Amanda Foundation, a rescue group in Los Angeles. This is really where I was exposed to all the animals who came in from shelters, puppy mills, dog fighting, etc. I learned how important it was to spay and neuter, as The Amanda Foundation was one of the first rescues I knew of to have its own spay/neuter truck. I also learned about the importance of tagging and microchipping your pets. [Learn more about why Petfinder believes all pets should wear collars and tags.] I also learned that one person can make a difference, and I was so fulfilled seeing animals go off to their forever homes, knowing that, in a small way, we volunteers had helped them on their way.
When I became busier with my touring schedule, I started working with different animal foundations and societies around the country. My experiences showed me that I could best help by raising money and awareness for this cause, by doing my music and being an animal advocate.
My latest song, “Give,” has to do with the season of giving. It reminds me of this time of year five years ago, when a dog named Oscar came into The Amanda Foundation just as we were closing, right before everyone was going home for the holidays. He was 10 years old, a Pit Bull mix with a brindle coat, and his owners didn’t want him anymore — he was too old for them, they said. He was crying and I tried to console him by taking some warm blankets out of the dryer and wrapping him up and putting him in my lap. We just hung out there in his kennel until I had to go home. I adopted Oscar a few months later. He had a special talent: He could make anyone — even the most vehement anti-dog person — a dog lover.
There’s so much to be grateful for this holiday season — it’s been an eventful year for me, giving birth to my daughter Grace a few months ago. We as humans have the power to help so many who need our help. I wrote this song, “Give,” while on my “Save A Life Adopt A Pet” tour last year. While traveling across the country I had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring people who give whatever they can to help animals. And like I say in the song, “We’re all in this together.”
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