Read the incredibly moving and inspirational story of Diane Glem, whose work is a true representation of what it means to be a voice for the voiceless.
Diane advocates and networks to save dogs in high kill shelters.
And as a proud member of Ruff Start Rescue, she has built a strong community of fellow animal advocates, who all share in her dream – which is to make a difference.
As an advocate I have always been interested in animal welfare and raising awareness about animal cruelty.
Even as a young girl, I cared for abandoned animals that I found in the neighbourhood and helped nurse them back to good health.
My mother was always supporting my efforts and would help me rescue the neglected pets that others turned away, and would help me find them a suitable home.
This is what has driven me to continue being their voice.
There are so many wonderful aspects of being a pet owner and it’s so important for me to be the best and most caring pet owner I can be.
To me, being a pet owner means nothing other than providing them with stability, comfort, good nutrition and most importantly, lots of love.
I believe pets give us a sense of what it means to care for something that gives back unconditional love.
They provide a gentle, peaceful sense of well-being and pets have been proven to lengthen the lives of seniors and the sick. And to me that says a lot.
I knew years ago that our shelters were filling up as people’s lives began to increasingly become busier and people didn’t have time for their pets.
In particular, senior pets.
Five years ago I installed Instagram and I started uploading photos of dogs sitting alone and scared in these shelters from Miami to New York and across the nation all the way to California.
I immediately knew I wanted to help make a difference.
As I became more involved I found myself connecting with more advocates that shared the same passion as I did, which connected me to shelters and rescues all over the United States.
This helped me develop an incredible system of connecting like-minded advocates, which in turn helps the shelter dogs we are trying to save, as we all support the same cause.
We achieve our goals by raising awareness through daily networking and working methodically on a particular shelter dog that has been put on the euthanasia list, which is not only stressful, but very time-consuming.
Many of us advocates that have been doing this for a very long time do this by reposting images of the dogs we are saving, emailing rescue centres, looking for foster homes and raising pledges for a registered reputable rescue to adopt the dog into their care.
I have a strong passion for senior dogs as I have cared for three, but sadly lost two this January.
But I continue to try to highlight the benefits of adopting a senior pet to people I meet and to my followers because they are house trained, tolerant, gentle and a grateful companion.
It’s exciting to get out into the community and share my passion with others that share the same beliefs as I do, and discuss volunteer opportunities with them.
As we move into the new year, I have loved seeing many rescuers continue their networking efforts by bringing awareness to the many healthy, beautiful and adoptable dogs that are just waiting to be loved.
I would also like to see food shelves for pets established, so low-income families are not forced to get rid of their pets.
Instagram: @dixie812 and @dixies.old.souls