ripple effect graphicWe don’t live in a vacuum. What we think, feel and do creates an energy that generates a ripple effect, just like a pebble dropped in the water.

If that energy and the actions that go along with it are positive, the ripple effect generated will make a positive difference.

Even though shelters are filled with dogs that have been abused, neglected or abandoned, volunteers who spend time with the dogs create a ripple effect by just being there: the dogs are able to exercise and play, other people become interested in volunteering when volunteers talk about their experiences, the past becomes a dim memory for dogs that have been through terrible experiences because volunteers and staff are committed to replacing fear with love, dogs find themselves in the company of people who care about them, people read about dogs posted on the shelter website and they make a donation to the shelter or perhaps adopt a dog.

Look on the internet for images of people helping dogs. You’ll see photos of everything from a truck driver stopping traffic so he can pick up a dog on the road to a man saving a drowning dog. People see these photos, read the stories, think positive thoughts about the dogs and people involved, and are inspired to pay it forward given a similar situation.

People read about the dogs taken in by Old Dog Haven or perhaps another rescue group and they make a donation, decide to foster a dog, or at the very least become more aware of what can be done to help senior dogs in need and they pass the word on to other people.

The simple act of hugging your dog sends out loving energy that creates a ripple effect.

All over the U.S. local laws and ordinances regarding chaining dogs are changing because more people are willing to give voice to their concerns.

Pet stores are beginning to partner with shelters rather than buying dogs from puppy mills and individuals are becoming more willing to adopt from shelters and rescue groups rather than buying puppy mill dogs.

The Humane Society of the U.S. is actively working to decrease and eventually end the use of dogs (and other animals) in testing, research and teaching by promoting the development of innovative and effective alternative methods.

Dogfighting is a felony offense in all 50 states, and it is a felony offense under federal law as well.

There’s still much that needs to be changed in the last four examples, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t represent dogs in need by being their voices. What one individual or organization does makes a difference and that difference becomes more than just a single act because the positive energy generated spreads like a ripple effect.

Be a part of the ripple effect. Or better yet, be that pebble dropped in the water.

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