Advocacy

“ Going on two years and a board member of this wonderful organization, I am doing what I have wanted to do all my life… This is where I want to be and what I want to do."

My blog today is not about being a foster, or an adopter, or even a volunteer for this phenomenal organization, Goldens Without Borders. My journey started about years ago with what I soon realized was the darkest place on this planet. The dog and cat meat trade in China. (DCMT) I knew about some of the of the atrocities going on in China, but it is the kind of thing you do not want to fully believe. 

Upon connecting with several people on Facebook who were also following China, specifically the DCMT, I soon plunged into the darkest, most miserable hell hole on earth. Pictures and videos of some of the worst acts of torture imaginable. You want desperately to look away, but you know if you are going to be part of this advocacy, you need to know the truth. Images that will forever be embedded in your brain. Images that are truly your worst nightmares.

With the contacts now made through Facebook and what I had learned about the horrific and barbaric DCMT, I needed to do more. But doing more proved to be difficult. Who could you trust? So many organizations who claimed they could save these poor animals and of course there was always a donation involved. I probably signed 100 petitions a week all targeted to the Chinese government. Then, when you here that some of these petitions would reach hundreds of thousands and some even a million signatures, your heart soars thinking that this certainly will make an impact. I later realized it all fell on deaf ears. These governments were not interested in shutting down these markets and in a lot of cases became combative to those groups who traveled to those places to see if they could somehow make a change. Advocacy always got more intense around a month before the Yulin festival in June. Lots of protests here in the US and across the world, along with more petitions were plentiful.

In January of 2018 I learned about an H.R. Resolution written by Congressman Vern Buchanan andAlcee Hastings. The federal Animal Welfare Act would be amended to ban knowingly slaughtering, transporting, possessing, buying, selling,or donating dogs or cats (or parts of them) for human consumption. Believe it or not 44 states in our own country made it legal to slaughter andconsume a dog or cat. I was determined to jump on this band wagon. I became immersed with other fellow activists. This was one petition I knew in my heart could work. I had a team of whose job it was to private message other activists around the country to sign a petition that would be going to D.C. in April 2018 by a handful of activist leaders. My team alone secured over 12,000 signatures. Every day we posted on Facebook, to Congressman, Congresswoman & House of Representatives, to urge the house to pass this resolution. We made phone calls leaving hundreds of messages daily. The activists made a great impression in D.C. The good news was on September 14th 2018 the TheDogandCat MeatTrade Prohibition Act, 2018, was passed.Making it illegal in the 44 states to commit this heinous crime. A fine of $5,000 and a jail sentence would be imposed to anyone violating this act. In another resolution, sponsored by Republican Vern Buchanan & Democrat Alcee Hastings, urging the governments of China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, India, and all other nations to adopt and enforce laws banning the dog and cat meat trade. China is at the top of the list, slaughtering more than 20 million dogs per year. 

Along with this advocacy I was still able to help a small rescue bring dogs from China who were in filthy conditions just abandoned and forgotten. Many in laboratories being cut open for no reason other than to learn how to suture an incision. Veterinary schools used stray dogs as a teaching device. We had a sole angel who kept an eye on these labs and took all those dogs that would just be left to die. Those who needed further medical attention would get what they needed and then we would get them loving homes in the US. This angel is still rescuing and saving dogs daily. 

Unfortunately, I was forced to take a year’s break due to illness. When I was ready to get back to whatever haha… I had heard about lots of Golden Retrievers who needed out of China. I followed the Facebook posts andwhen I discovered these dogs were coming to Las Vegas, I was beyond excited. I was not quite ready to be in the volunteer mode, due to physical limitations but I waited patiently until I was needed. Hosting an adoption event for the last of the many, many dogs who had already been adopted. It was a huge success, and I was just getting started. As they say “The Rest Is History” 

Going on two years and a board member of this wonderful organization, I am doing what I have wanted to do all my life. Well except for owning acres and acres of land and hundreds of dogs andtons of animals. This is where I want to be and what I want to do. I love Goldens Without Borders. 

-Margo Rogat, BoardMember

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