Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Casual Philanthropy

 I did a good thing.

About a month ago Oscar's Law and The Paw Project were able to provide enough evidence to the South Australian RSPCA to warrant a raid on an Adelaide Hills puppy farm. Over one hundred dogs and cats were rescued, including pregnant animals and a callout was placed on the Oscar's Law Facebook page for donations of blankets, food, medical supplies etc to assist the foster carers of these animals. Most of the drop-off points were in the outer suburbs and being inner city and wanting to help (and having seen other requests for inner suburbs drop-off points) I offered the shop I work in as a location.

The store was listed as a drop-off location on Thursday about midday, by early Friday afternoon we had this:

Plus a few more garbage bags of blankets and towels.

So much stuff collected in just 24 hours that it wouldn't all fit in Debra's (the amazing woman who started Oscar's Law) car so she took the more important stuff (food, flea treatment) and crammed as many blankets in as possible before heading back over to Adelaide for the de-brief.

The amazing team of life-savers and the donations they collected

That left 4 bags of towels and blankets in my storeroom. I offered to drop them to a rescue organisation as Oscar's Law no longer had an urgent need for them. I was about to call Lort Smith when it occurred to me that Ted's rescuer might need them. She did.

I had wondered what this person might be like. During Ted's adoption we had only ever dealt with his foster-carer on a face-to-face basis. The only contact I had with his rescuer, Mme Magic Paws, was through text messages when I sent a picture of Ted and a phone call to check about his heart worm treatment status. I had imagined her to be about 50-60, independently wealthy and in semi-retirement. The reality was quite different.

Mme Magic Paws lives in a modest house in an outer suburb, she drives a hatchback (allowing room for crates to transport animals) and she is late 20s to mid 30s at the most (I am a terrible judge of age so Mme Magic Paws, forgive me if you are 22 and you ever read this). I was quite shocked that somebody around my age had the selflessness to turn away from a money-making 9-5 job to survive on the tiny bit of money leftover after she pays vet bills and food bills for hundreds of animals. Since December 2012, 145 animals have been rehomed by Magic Paws and those are just the ones that were posted to the Pet Rescue website. That really is a phenomenal effort.

Anyway, I dropped off the towels and a week later returned with some more towels and a donation of food, some from me and some almost-expired food from my local pet supplies store (I have a feisty, growing working dog, I am there all the time) and a promise of more to come.

I felt really good about myself.

Then I got to thinking about the Casual Philanthropy that some of us indulge in from time-to time. Casual Philanthropy is a Good Thing, don't get me wrong, it is better than doing nothing at all but I just feel bad when people like the folk from Oscar's Law and Magic Paws do so much. Not to mention all the other fabulous unfunded organisations that Make A Difference. If I took all the hours of the day I spend on Facebook and watching TV, admittedly only 2 hours but it is time I don't terribly enjoy, and put it into Making A Difference for people or animals or unrecognised amoeba then potentially how much better could these lives be.

Does anybody else feel like this, like they are wasting their lives with self-serving pursuits?

If you have some spare dosh from your 9-5 and can help these super women rescue more babes like my Ted then look up Oscar's Law and Magic Paws Animal Rescue and make a donation.

And NEVER EVER BUY AN ANIMAL FROM A PET SHOP. I will rant further on this another day


  1. I know exactly what you are saying sometimes I feel really good when I donate money and then I am like well some people do really good things all day every day, I shouldn't be so proud of myself for donating a bit of cash! Those people deserve alot more kudos.
    Pet store animals make so so sad - its awful seeing them cooped up in the little glass boxes :(

  2. I am also very interested in this wine store with no wine...

    1. Sadly the little glass boxes aren't the half of it. Stay tuned, I will have another rant on this subject soon.

      Argghh- the wine store with no wine. Basically the owner of the business doesn't pay his bills so my job involves spreading a very small range of booze over a very big store and answering customers enquiries with increasingly creative stories as to why we don't have what they are after.

      It is a good name for a book though.


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