After winning second place in a speech competition this past April, WHS volunteer Ashley McEntee donated her winnings to help our DC animals and programs. This is the speech that moved the judges, and we hope it will move you, as well. Thanks for your help and hard work for DC animals, Ashley!
Charity Speech by Ashley McEntee -
I walk through two locked doors, past the cats nursery, to a narrow hallway with a white board.
More names have been added to the board this week.
Every time we erase one name, we add three more.
Maggie Moo went home last week, but Manny, Malachi, and Septima are still downstairs.
The couple that seemed ready to adopt Benny, a majestic blue dog, never came to pick him up.
As I start to clean the dishes, fold the laundry and stuff Kongs full of peanut butter, a number of emotions sweep over me.
Disbelief, disappointment, and helplessness are usually what surfaces.
As I pick up the last Kong, the chew toy that my dogs look forward to getting every night before bed, I run out of peanut butter.
I go to replace the empty jar, but the cabinets are bare.
Donations have been scarce this week so tonight they will have to go without their comfort toy.
Saddened by this, I promise them that I will bring more next week.
As I start to sweep up around the shelter, a WHS staff member brings in a new dog.
They name her Brownie.
Brownie was picked up by a Washington Humane Society Officer in NE this morning.
They found her tied to a backyard fence with no food or water.
The Officer did not know how long she had been there.
But we did not need to know; it was obvious it was long enough.
Scars replaced her beautiful brown fur along the sides of her body.
Her back bone jutted out to such an extreme we can count her vertebra.
Instead, I’m greeted with an onslaught of kisses.
Not just kisses, but welcome pawing and a little howl hello.
A simple reminder of why I do this.
Why I and over 300 volunteers dedicate our time to these animals and this organization.
The Washington Humane Society will house 10,000 dogs throughout 2013.
The animals within these halls are safe while here.
No countdown to find a home,
No impending doom if they do not.
Like many volunteers, I bring my own rags, dog toys, and peanut butter.
However, what I cannot bring is the money so desperately needed to buy medicine for animals like Brownie.
Brownie needs vaccines, doctor visits, rehabilitation training, and dental work for her shattered teeth.
It will take $3,000.00 and months of work before Brownie becomes available for adoption.
Now multiply those efforts by 30,000.
WHS is not only a safe haven for the once loved and forgotten pets but they are also active members within the community.
WHS helps to beautify DC parks, and pioneers animal cruelty laws.
They also use their rehabilitated animals to teach at risk youth the importance of responsibility and companionship.
It takes a lot to run a community and Washington DC is no different.
All of you have made this community your home while attending classes here at American University.
DC has opened their arms to you.
What I’m asking you to do is to donate to this community that has taken you in.
There are a number of selfless causes being advocated for here today.
Even if you decide that another charity needs your money more than the WHS - I still want to encourage you to visit one of their shelters.
I want to encourage you to donate your peanut butter, your old rags, but most importantly, your time.
I want to encourage you to give back to our community.
I want to encourage you to come meet Brownie.
If you know anyone looking for a pet: a dog, a cat, a rabbit or even a turtle.
Please have them contact one of the WHS shelters.
We have animals ready to be loved
Maybe even Brownie.
URGENT – WHS has many adoptable dogs, cats and kittens, including bottle-fed kittens and moms with litters, who urgently need caring foster homes. All you need is a little extra space in your home and a big heart. Can you help? Visit www.washhumane.org/foster OR email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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