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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

A Rare Breed of Love and Other Inspirations

Published 08/06/08
By Sandy Haynes, Grassroots Coordinator

I love being inspired. And that’s just how I felt recently at the Taking Action For Animals conference in the Washington, DC area. I was there representing Born Free USA united with API at our exhibitor’s booth throughout the weekend, and had the privilege of talking with many people who are making a difference all around the country for a cause they care passionately about — the welfare of animals.

And whether they were a new or seasoned volunteer, or a long-time staff member of one of the many organizations represented at this event, most had stories of moments they first took action to stand up for those who can’t speak for themselves, or of why a particular animal issue matters to them and what they are doing about it — and all are excited about dedicating a part of their life to help animals.

That impresses the heck out of me, as does the sheer number of ways people were putting their passion into action. It reminded me that all it takes is an issue you care about, and the follow through to do something ... anything at all ... proactive about it ... no matter how small you may think that action is.

There were a lot of great speakers there too — including Born Free USA united with API’s own Nicole Paquette and Adam Roberts, who got rave reviews from people who frequented our booth. And if you’re not already familiar with her, Rory Freedman, author of the best-selling Skinny Bitch and Skinny Bitch in the Kitch, was raw and real and a whole lot of un-politically-correct fun. And her books rock!

My heart was also touched by Jana Kohl, who was there with her rescued dog Baby, and her book, A Rare Breed of Love, that tells Baby’s story (and Jana’s) and the mission to bring an end to an issue that I’m particularly passionate about — puppy mills. Jana and Baby have even been touring the country in a specially wrapped bus covered with photos that include Barack Obama holding Baby. Talk about taking your message right to the top!

And an unexpected treat was getting to meet Jarrod Cooper of the Oakland Raiders, who’s moved through a colorful past into a present and future helping the animals of Oakland, through his volunteer work and his founding of a non-profit — Help Code 597.

All in all it was a great trip, that left me feeling fortunate to be surrounded by many talented, passionate, and inspiring people — and hoping that everyone can find the animal issue that inspires them the most and take some sort of action on it immediately. Because I believe that is how change happens, with one action, one seed sown, one step at a time.

Blogging off,


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