Every living thing (humans, animals, nature) on earth is for its continued existence depending on other living beings. There is thus a mutual dependency. Therefore taking responsibility for others is a logical step in ensuring your own survival. In addition, every living being is equally entitled to the use of the earth. To be able to survive one will have to adopt an open attitude to the other and where necessary help and support the other.
This is the premise of my way to deal with life and is the main driving force in my work for AFP. Stray Animal overpopulation is a problem that is created by people and that continues because of people. The fact that stray animals are also mistreated, persecuted and slaughtered by the same people makes it even more ironic. I believe that most of the stray problem stems from ignorance, poor economic conditions, misinformation and outdated traditions.
Education is therefore an important priority in our approach. Important here is that this is done from a respectful attitude and that we pay attention to local views and ideas. Another important focus is that we look for solutions on the spot. We like to work with local organizations, veterinarians, trainers etc. In the first place because in this way money can be earned in the countries themselves and secondly because scale-up and continuation of the approach is more likely.
The road to positive results will be long but I am also convinced that when we support each other and work together much will improve for the stray animals.
For this we need to connect, collaborate and share our knowledge. I invite everyone who is working in the world of stray animals to join our umbrella organisation as a member or a partner.
Isabelle Sternheim July 2012
Link to interview with Isabelle by Canis Bonis
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