Editorial By Zuzana Kukol,  www.REXANO.org
Las Vegas, NV, July 20, 2007–I have been a private animal owner most of my life. My involvement with animals got more serious about 20 years ago with Doberman dogs and captive reptiles, and over 10 years ago with captive big cats.

Our enemies, extreme animal rights (AR) activists groups, are getting stronger and more successful at passing bans regarding how many and what species or breeds of animals we can keep, and often mandating forced sterilization of domestic pets. With Internet becoming more popular, the number of all kinds of animal organizations is increasing and our enemies are becoming stronger and more efficient.
It doesn’t matter if you only own one hamster, horse, domestic dog, or cat, these unfair bans will eventually affect us all, since we all have a common enemy: extreme AR groups whose final agenda is no animals in captivity, no meat on our plates and no leather good in our houses. They want to remove all animal and human contact.

I was full of hope that maybe this AR threat will be a wake up call for all animal owners affected by these unfair bans to unite and fight together: http://www.bloggernews.net/18102
 Even though just like with AR groups, the number of pro animal ownership groups is increasing, they are not being efficient enough to stand up to the AR threat.

What I am unfortunately seeing is elists  full of catty cat fights, mostly unproductive and concerned more about groups’ elections and personal egos, preoccupied about who will be on the BOD and who is whose friend and who is sleeping with whom, instead fighting for our cause: protecting our right to keep any animal of our choice.
What I am witnessing is very few people working hard, while the rest/majority  are just apathetic to what is going on, thinking the ‘others’ will do the work and fight for their rights. Too many that used to fight also give up when they themselves get grandfathered or exempted, not seeing AR will eventually come for them too.

Animal rights groups are mostly well paid “professional AR”. Not any different than paid lobbyists, this is their paid job and they have free time after they leave the office, plus, they do not have animals to take care of like many of us do.

Yes, we are outnumbered when it comes to the millions of dollars and time AR have, but instead of looking at excuses why not do something, it is time to look for reasons and ways how to fight effectively, for free or almost no cost, put your passion for your animals into hard work.
Redirect the cat fight energy and time into being constructive rather than destructive within a group by infighting, which wastes time and weaken us all by attacking our own. Stop concentrating on personal dislikes and concentrate on the common cause, to win the war against AR and uninformed legislators.

The problem I see nowadays is there are too many animal groups, too many BODs, too many presidents, but not enough great leaders and soldiers to get the work done.
Animal welfare and owners’ rights groups needs to get the name recognition like PETA  or HSUS have .

For free or almost nothing you can write your own  news, with your own quotes on many Internet forums and blogging news sites such as Blogger News http://www.bloggernews.net/.
Articles on these services register as current news on Google search engines within hours or even minutes, for free or very little, all it takes is some time and little effort to write.
There are also many press release outlets with different price ranges to reach the media editors.

To save money posting ads, we need write articles for magazines, from AFG (Animal Finders Guide) all the way to Cat or Dog Fancy. This way you get few pages of free advertising that would otherwise cost  few hundred to thousands.

This approach works very well for REXANO (www.REXANO.org, Responsible Exotic Animal Ownership) I recently co-founded with Scott Shoemaker. It is a free web resource designed to give facts-based research material to private owners of exotic animals to fight unfair legislation.

Also, get to know your local politicians, from commissioners thru state representatives to the federal level, and if possible try to meet with them in person to educate them about what is really going on (http://www.rexano.org/HSUSAustFrame.htm) and why all these AR ordinances and bills are wrong, unfair and often unconstitutional.
Too many groups I have seen are becoming a big ineffective bureaucratic behemoth, like a government, too many BOD members, too many committees, too much administration and no effective or organized legislative action going on.

Year 2007 brought too many mandatory spay/neuter and anti exotic animal bills and bans to many states, localities and even federal level. In too many cases AR have been winning and responsible animal owners losing their rights to keep the animal of their choice.

It also takes too long for many groups to write and approve press release, it should take no more than 1 or 2 days, after that it is no longer news, (especially when commenting on hot events, like tiger attacks) , in order to minimize the damage most of the media is doing with their sensationalized stories.

It is time for pro animal owners’ groups to write a position and mission statement and get them BOD approved. In addition, write a cookie cutter press releases relating to different events like AR do, and if unfortunate animal attack or injury or new bill happen, just insert name/location/date, and press release can go out the same day the event occurs, since the text as well as few BOD members quotes have been pre-approved by group’s BOD.

If we continue the trend of doing nothing noteworthy  in legislative area and having mostly complacent BODs who are happy with their titles but refuse to earn it, we, animal owners,  are going to be extinct soon and we have only ourselves to blame.

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