“Pet shelters are packed while pet owners grapple with high costs. By Axel Turcios, AP, March 21, 2023
Shelters are filling for a multitude of reasons, including a lack of vets and as pet owners’ home and financial situations change.
Rising economic costs have made it difficult for pet owners to keep animals they adopted during the pandemic, and for rescues to pay for their care.
While the national animal shelter intake numbers are still below pre-pandemic levels, many animal welfare organizations, like the Animal Care Centers of New York City, are struggling with capacity challenges, with more animals coming into the shelters than leaving. They say one of the causes of the rising numbers in shelters is that they are staying longer at the sites.
“As they stay inside the shelter longer, it’s not great for them mentally or physically, and many of them will break down,” said Katy Hansen, director of marketing and communications at Animal Care Centers of NYC. “They’re stressed, so they’re not showing well to potential adopters that come in. We went from an average length of stay of eight days pre-pandemic to now we’re at 13 days.”
The Shelter Animals Count database released a report in January 2023 that shows nationwide shelter animal intake was 4% higher in 2022 than in 2021, though still lower than it was in 2019. This report also revealed that the number of animals leaving shelters remained flat in 2022 versus 2021, meaning space for animals in shelters is shrinking.
“I think this is a great time to reach out to your local shelter and see how you can help,” Caceres-Gil said. “Even if you cannot adopt an animal right now, there are many resources, there are many other ways that you can help, volunteering in becoming a foster parent.”
According to the February Consumer Price Index, year-over-year pet food is up 15%, and pets and pet products are up 12%. The ASPCA estimates that the average annual cost of a dog is $1,391, while the average annual cost of a cat is $1,149.”
On this day in 1941, Virginia Woolf committed suicide by drowning in the river behind her house. She was feeling the return of massive depression. She wrote a love letter/suicide note to her husband. Her writing was often controversial and, so it might be expected, that even her suicide note would be misquoted, misinterpreted and misjudged.
Today’s senryu: Those vs. These Terrible Times
life can be cruel
inside and outside our mind
stop judging – be kind
There’s an excellent piece by Maria Popova on The Marginalian website that provides an explanation of how “self-righteousness is the enemy of compassion.” And, as might be expected, the “self-righteous” ones include so called “Christians” and “journalists.” This piece also recommends the book, Afterwords – Letters on the Death of Virginia Woolf, edited by Sybil Oldfield, (c) 2005, Rutgers University Press
The percentage of Americans without religious affiliation, often labeled as “Nones”, is around 20-29% – with people who identify as “nothing in particular” accounting for the growing majority of this demographic … (See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_the_United_States)
Alain de Botton’s TED talk Atheism 2.0 (see text at docs.google.com/document/d/1usIBKFP9SMqH922EYsTkt9gABxVyT-SRR3mMub0wnio/)
Re-reading Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., (c) 2012 Author’s Official Authoritative Edition, I was reminded that it was time to “raise my sights” from choosing joy to choosing enlightenment.
While both joy and enlightenment are in the “extraordinary outcomes” pinnacle, why stop at joy when there are still two higher vibrations levels available?
Today’s senryu: Levels of Consciousness
getting past my self
we perceive a greater truth:
May we all be happy, productive, without stress and synchronistically extraordinary.
Sometimes people find compassion practice the easiest entry to practicing mettā more generally. As Thanissaro Bhikkhu said, compassion is an extension of mettā that we feel when we encounter suffering. When we are confronted with suffering, especially in person, compassion (karunā) is a natural response, and if we give it space, it will grow. This can be experienced in every day life, but also if we seek out situations to support those in need: incarcerated people, support groups for people with mental challenges, people in aged care or hospice, even animal rescue and rehabilitation. All of these can inspire us to set aside our own petty concerns and listen patiently to others, with an open heart, whether they are talking or not.
The sense of presence that we can develop with mettā or karunā comes from devoting ourselves to observing and listening to others in a complete way…
“World Day of Metta takes place every year on March 22. The occasion is one to remind humans about love and acceptance for others and themselves, while also taking a moment of quiet introspection. Metta is a principle under Buddhism that encourages all people to practice unconditional love and benevolence for all beings in the universe. Organizers of this holiday request that people everywhere contemplate, meditate upon, or pray to offer Metta to all living beings in the world. Regardless of your faith, take this day as a chance to reflect on the power of love that can change the world.
HOW TO OBSERVE WORLD DAY OF METTA
Show kindness and love – The whole point of World Day of Metta is to introduce yourself and others to the principle of Metta. So, do what you can to be more loving and accepting of others around you.
Engage in active introspection – Take your time to think about why you struggle to open your heart and mind to the world. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help in the process.
Practice self-love – Metta is about unconditional love and acceptance for all living creatures. That includes you so extend yourself some kindness.
WHY WORLD DAY OF METTA IS IMPORTANT
It shares culture – The holiday encourages people to explore a culture that’s not their own. So go on, broaden your horizons and learn about how someone else lives.
The world needs more love – With the world the way it is, we need all the love and acceptance we can foster. It aims to foster a kinder world and that’s pretty amazing.
It encourages growth – While the principles of Metta may seem difficult and unreasonable they are worth the effort. They teach us empathy and understanding which aims to make us better people.”