Melanie Sue Bowles— founder-director of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary and the author of three books—provides a brief overview of the work she’s done at the sanctuary for nearly 25 years, as a prelude for discussing a momentous Facebook she had recently written. That lengthy post lamented the ugly frustrations of fundraising that Bowles has experienced over almost a quarter century, and then the piece widens out to reflect a broader exasperation, announcing that Proud Spirit will not only scale back its fundraising measures (though there are still 47 equine mouths to feed), but altogether halt its rescue and advocacy efforts. Bowles describes some of the circumstances that constituted a cumulative impact—as well as a last-straw moment–that led to this multi-faceted decision. In response to my noting that one of the reasons I was struck by Bowles’ Facebook post—and felt it would be instructive to discuss on the show in various ways—is that she is not some disorganized newcomer in over her head expressing frustrations, but a 25-year veteran doing so, she discusses possible remedies to the fundraising dilemma. Using a listener email as a jumping off point, Bowles elaborates on the supreme challenges and travails of operating a sanctuary, not strictly speaking about Proud Spirit, but more broadly offering a cautionary tale—especially when a sanctuary fails &/or its operator calls it quits, meaning other sanctuaries, often already overcrowded, then feel the pressure to accept the newly homeless animals from the defunct facility. Bowles outline what the future holds, personally and professionally, in light of the changes she announced in that Facebook post. (www.horsesofproudspirit.org)
ALSO: I spoke briefly with Susannah Sherman, one of the organizers of the then-impending 10th annual ThanksVegan Feast, the huge potluck vegan dinner held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa. Sherman explains there would be 100 dishes offered in the ThanksVegan buffet, and upwards of 350 attendees were expected at this year’s event. (http://tampavegthanksgiving.com)
COMEDY CORNER: Andy Ritchie’s “Balthazar” (http://andyritchiecomedy.com) The day after we offered this small tribute to Ritchie, he passed away.
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Frank Sinatra’s version of “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square”
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animal advocacy, Facebook post, horse rescue, horse sanctuary