Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals, especially for animals who are suffering; for animals that are overworked, underfed and cruelly treated; for all wistful creatures in captivity that beat their wings against bars; for any that are hunted or lost or deserted or frightened or hungry; for all that must be put death. We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals, and so to share the blessings of the merciful.
-- Albert Schweitzer
Since 2008, The Purr Project hosts an annual panel discussion on animal abuse in April – “Anti Cruelty Month”. The event is attended by legislators, law enforcement, and animal advocacy groups both local and national. Animal cruelty remains more of a widespread problem than we all recognize. Not only is society dealing with the high profile cases that we have all heard about: a sports star who fights pit bulls, or the local person who hoards 50 malnourished cats in a filthy house, but cruelty also involves cases not covered in the mass media and cases that deal with animals not always thought of as pets. Another aspect of the animal cruelty issue deals with the idea that that those who perpetrate violence against animals often go on to perpetrate violence against people and against the broader society. This progression of violence from animals to people is called, “the circle of violence”. As we follow this circle of violence we see how animal abuse and cruelty can affect us in a tangible way.
One way that The Purr Project can help is by educating others. Our goal is to (1) reach youngsters through proven programs about anti-cruelty in an effort to prevent the onset of unwanted behavior, (2) provide information, and support to the community at-large about animal advocacy and the circle of violence, and (3) provide academic and unbiased information and support to governmental agencies, municipalities, enforcement, and the military on the circle of violence and the physical and psychological relationships between animals and humans.
This is indeed a lot for a small organization such as ours to handle, that is why we have teamed up with others like the ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, and the American Humane Society, Yale University, Quinnipiac University, as well as local and state agencies, to insure that our academic modeling is sound, our facts are true, and our conclusions are non-biased, non-partisan, and useful
The questions that we try to answer are those questions that are sometimes least asked. We will not spend our time revisiting many of the often-asked questions such as the benefits of animals in the laboratory. There are literally hundreds of academic papers written on the subject both pros and cons. There is a drive in many laboratories in fact to discontinue the use of animal subjects wherever possible.
Starting small, the institute does three things: One is the “The Purr Project Times”, a monthly newsletter for students. The newsletter will contain feature stories, columns, and other helpful information but most importantly the subject matter will revolve around anti-cruelty and anti-violence. The newsletter is staffed by students, produced by students – for students. The Purr Project has partnered with New Haven Public Schools. to distribute The Purr Project Times.
The second project (starting soon) is the “Purr Project University”. Once a month (to start), the Purr Project will conduct “classes” that will be open to the public. Taught by a member of the veterinarian led education staff, the classes will run about 1½ to 2 hours long. Topics will cover all types of animals and many different subjects like: socialization, destructiveness, aggression, new pet ownership, reptile care, small animal healthcare, etc. A small fee may be charged for these classes.
These endeavors are going to require substantial investment of all sorts. The institute would like to extend its hand in reaching out to the world community. If you have an idea, facts, or other information that we need to know, contact us. And yes, we always need volunteers and donations.