Creative Volunteerism: Quantifying the Issue

I was thrilled to receive an email from Sandy Shephard today, a volunteer with Angels’ Arms Rescue in Mobile, Alabama. She told me about their unique approach to raising awareness about euthanasia in their community. I think this photo and press release says it best:


Drivers will be stunned by the visual image along Highway 90 West in Theodore, AL.  Angels’ Arms Rescue has created a memorial of 8,450 small white crosses to represent every animal killed in local shelters last year.

 The event was created to bring attention to the ongoing problem of euthanization due to overpopulation.  According to organization volunteer Sandy Shepard, “the purpose of the memorial is to spread the message that every life matters.”

 Volunteers will be on-site at 5731 Highway 90 West on Saturday, October 8 from 2pm-4pm, to discuss solutions to this ongoing community problem.  Rescued pets and their families will share their experiences and homeless pets will be available for adoption.

 According to renowned wildlife expert, Jane Goodall, “Only if we understand can we care.  Only if we care will we help.  Only if we help shall they be saved.”

Bravo, Angels’ Arms. 

I hope that other rescuers consider this effort and whether or not you could do something similar in your area. People simply can’t ignore this, and the impact will surely be far-reaching. Like we always talk about in business school – if you can quantify your message, it tends to really bring it home. Angels’ Arms have certainly put the euthanasia issue in terms people can understand.

Side Note: 

I was told by Sandy that they printed out and used some of our humane education documents for the event. Of course I was thrilled! I hope that if you have a humane education event coming up, you will also consider making some of these documents available for people.


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3 Responses to Creative Volunteerism: Quantifying the Issue

  1. kelbel says:


  2. Hi Kyla,

    This posting in a graveyard is certain a very creating way for raising awareness of this hugely inhumane issue.

    However, I think that mere awareness is not nearly enough. We should also have much more rigid laws about breeding animals all over the United States. I’d then like to see that such laws are earnestly enforced and that penalties for those who break them be very severe.

    We’ve done enough talking. We now need to take real action.


  3. Kyla Duffy says:

    The post isn’t in a graveyard – they BUILT the crosses to represent all the dogs who died in their local shelters that year. It’s a great effort to get people aware of the problem. I agree that legislation helps, but the real key is to get consumers to change their habits. Bringing attention to the problem this way is an effective means of raising awareness. Only people who know about and understand the problem can change their own behaviors, encourage others to change behaviors, and vote for legislation when it is presented.

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