July 2, 2013

How To Change the World With a Few Balloons & a Marker. ~ Kristina Peterson

Somewhere along the way, I heard the story about the starfish stranded on the beach.

Everyone who works in animal rescue has heard it. Basically, it goes:

A little boy was walking along the beach and came across hundreds of starfish stranded at low tide and dying in the hot sun. He began to pick them up, one by one and gently put them back in the higher waters offshore.

His father said “There’s hundreds of them, you can’t save them all. I’m sorry son, but what you are doing won’t make a difference.”

The little boy continued on and quietly whispered to each starfish as he put it back in the water,

“It makes a difference to this one.”

Most of the dogs in the photo above are rescues—saved from the streets or pulled out of high kill shelters. There are literally millions of dogs (and cats) out there just like these ones. And it can feel overwhelming, like standing on a sandy beach surrounded by millions of starfish.

You want to help, but maybe you can’t foster or adopt or spare the hours to volunteer with a rescue organization each week. It’s okay—everyone is busy and everyone has to take care of themselves before they can begin to take care of others. But there are simple things you can do right now.

How to help in 3 easy steps:

1. Consider donating a small, small amount to your favorite rescue.

$10, $5, even $1 when multiplied by lots of donors really does help. I used to keep a change jar made from a recycled 1 gallon water jug at my desk. Co-workers would drop their change in and every week or so, I’d take the money in the jug to the local animal adoption at the pet store.

The lady who ran the rescue told me that our little water jugs totaled over $800 at the end of the year—that’s a lot of dog food.

2.  Leave a couple of bowls of fresh water out in areas where you see or suspect there might be stray animals.Fresh water is difficult for strays to find, especially in hot weather.

3. If you see a stray animal, consider calling a local rescue to see if they can help.

Sometimes we don’t see because we don’t want to see, but this simple act can save a life.

I’ve been watching this video for about a year now. It always reminds me that even if you can’t do much, you can always do something.

“I Am Here” An Urban Intervention To Make The Invisible Visible.  

“Estoy Aqui” means “I am Here” in Spanish. The words written on the balloons are, “Do Not Mistreat Me”, “Do Not Abandon Me”, “Scratch My Neck”, “Give Me Love”, “Hug Me”, “Play With Me”.

This video’s message was recently translated into english by the folks at Amazing Animal Rescues—you can find it on their Facebook page.

Violeta Caro and Philip Carrasco are the two Chilean college students who had the idea to create a way for people to notice the animals they walked by everyday. They did not have the resources to rescue the dogs or start a spay/neuter clinic.

They couldn’t fix the problem but they found a beautiful way to use their skills and the tools they did have to raise awareness and try to get people to pause and think about the animals that share their city.

(By the way, the ribbons, string and balloons were safely removed from all the dogs by the filmmakers.)


Kristina Peterson is a film production refugee. After 15 years as a yoga student, she took her first teacher training in 2010 from Annie Carpenter in Venice, California. She now resides in the south where the mosquitoes are bigger and the bourbon is sweeter and she teaches yoga when she can, works on films that touch her heart and studies history because she hopes to avoid the mistakes of the past.



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{Photo courtesy of: BarkATL}

Ed: Bryonie Wise

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