My readers know I have been active in animal rescue groups. I was a cat foster for Tri Valley Animal Rescue (TVAR) for several years. A group of cat fosters split off from TVAR to form Safe-Cat in San Ramon.
I do not foster anymore, but I kept my four foster cats. I encourage everyone who is considering adding a dog or cat to your family, to try a shelter or rescue group first. I also discovered a new way to adopt an animal without actually having to bring the animal home.
On Sunday afternoon a postman knocked on my door. He was wearing a Santa hat and dropping off a package. I was surprised to see a him on Sunday. "You deliver on Sunday," I asked in disbelief. "Only packages," he answered.
Well it wasn't a Christmas gift, at least not from someone else. It was a "Certificate of Adoption," from Defenders of Wildlife. The Defenders of Wildlife website features 29 different animals, birds, and sea mammals that are available for adoption. The money for the adoption goes to habitat conservation for that "adopted" animal, support of the Endangered Species Act, and helping people and wildlife to co-exist.
I adopted an Elephant Group for $35. The package came with a Certificate of Adoption, a photograph of an elephant, and a booklet titled, "Kid Defenders, Wild Animals That Need Our HELP" with information on how to help wild animals, a section on different animals with outlines for coloring, and another section of word games.
I chose to receive the plush toy elephant, but you can refuse the plush toy and/or the Kids Activity Book, so that more of the money goes directly to helping the animals. A tag on the toy elephant's ear says, "Every animal and plant has a purpose on this Planet. Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Passion for conservation and preservation is what drives our mission. We appreciate your support!"
In addition to my Elephant Group, I adopted a Manatee Group as a gift for my brother-in-law. He loves manatees. Years ago when my mother lived in Florida, David and Alice and I visited Manatee Park in Fort Myers to see the manatees that came for the warm water discharged from the Florida Power and Light facility there.
Manatees love the warm water and they did not appear to be afraid of people standing nearby. Manatees are large, sweet animals. Some had scars on their backs from boat propellers. Tangling with motorboats is one of the greatest dangers to Florida manatees now.
Animal adoptions are available online or over the phone at (800) 385-9712 9:00 am - 6:00 pm EST, Monday-Friday. Defenders of Wildlife is a three star charity on Charity Navigator. Four stars is the highest rating, but three stars are very good and the rating is at the top of the range almost to four stars. So you can trust Defenders of Wildlife to put the money to appropriate use.