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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Animal Kinship Ministry: An Interview with Rose Tingle

According to the Humane Society of the United States, four million cats and dogs…about one every eight seconds…are put down in U.S. shelters each year. In addition, they estimate that six to eight million cats and dogs enter shelters each year. And that doesn’t even begin to describe the issues many animals in the wild face, and not just in regions experiencing some kind of crisis like the Gulf of Mexico, where so many species are currently suffering in the wake of the oil spill.

An animal lover her entire life, Rose Tingle recently decided there was something she could to help animals in her community. She started an Animal Kinship Ministry at the Center for Spiritual Living, Capistrano Valley (CSLCV), where she has been a member for many years. Her ministry educates people and helps support animals in her area.

In addition, the group has had fundraisers to support several animal rescues, including a horse rescue and a wildlife rescue. In April, they invited the Humane Society University to conduct their workshop on Compassion Fatigue for people in animal care and rescue at CSLCV. And in January, they assembled spiritual leaders from multiple faiths to conduct a group blessing for the animals at the Orange County Animal Shelter.

Shelly Rachanow: What gave you the idea to start an Animal Kinship Ministry?

Rose Tingle: I was inspired by a series of articles which appeared in the magazine published by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest animal sanctuary in the U.S. The series began with an article, “The Kindness Revival: Why don't churches preach compassion for animals?” I approached our minister, Dr. Heather Clark, and she was open to another opportunity to serving our congregation and the community, so I organized a team of volunteers and our Animal Kinship Ministry was created.

Shelly Rachanow: How can people do more to help animals in their community?

Rose Tingle: Spay and neuter their pets. Adopt their pets from shelters or animal rescues. Studies indicate the majority of pets are obtained from family or friends. People need to realize that when they allow their pet to breed, their offspring may eventually wind up in a shelter. Approximately 50% of dogs and 75% of cats that come into a shelter are euthanized. I would never take the chance.

Shelly Rachanow: What's the most important thing you want readers to know?

Rose Tingle: As Marc Bekoff, author of The Animal Manifesto states, “Some people ask, 'Why are you working for animals when there are so many people who need help?' ... Caring for animals doesn't mean caring less for humans. Compassion begets compassion. When we learn to be compassionate to all animals, that includes humanity.”

Shelly Rachanow: And last, the "If Women Ran the World Blog" question for everyone: What would you do if you ran the world?

Rose Tingle: End “factory farming.” Capitalism does not have to allow animal cruelty. And animals at shelters should not have to pay with their lives just because they are homeless. I think most people are compassionate, so it is just a matter of education, awareness and prayer. It does not matter whom you bestow compassion upon, animals or otherwise. We all benefit.

To be added to Rose’s email list so you can learn more about educational elements and issues that affect all animals, contact Rose at roselite@comline.com.

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