Thursday, August 30, 2007

Leona Helmsley Leaves 12 Million Dollars to Dog


I completely understand how Leona Helmsley adored her dog - many of us love ours deeply, too. I just wish she would have shown her love for all dogs, or even all animals, in general in her will, and not just her own particular dog. Imagine how many pets could have been spayed and neutered for that amount of money, or how many dogs could have been saved from the evils of dogfighing. Her little shih tzu will not know the difference between a diamond-encrusted collar, and one bought from Target. I hope the brother she appointed to be her dog's caretaker, will keep other animals in mind as well. What is good for the animal kingdom, is good for one cute little spoiled pooch.

Nancy J. Cronk

Monday, August 27, 2007

Comparing dogfighting to other evils misses the point.

I think it is a sad commentary that we, as a culture, our using the Vick story to compare "What's worse?" "What's worse", we ask, " carelessly fathering illegitimate children, or dogfighting?". "Dogfighting or rape?" "Dogfighting or racism?" "Dogfighting or hateful nationalism?" "Dogfighting or (fill in the blank)....?"

Dogfighting is one more piece of evidence our country is in need of a spiritual transformation (please note I said spiritual and not necessarily religious). Animals are sentient beings - they feel pain, and they suffer, just like we do. They are not more important, or less important than human beings, but like human beings, they are important, too.

Every major faith teaches its followers to be responsible stewards of animals and the Earth. Please help us get the word out that caring for animals, just like caring for people, is an important part of just being a decent person and citizen. If we make this a priority, there will be no more dogfighting horror stories, and no more pointless comparisons of evils. Let us all rise, together, to be better people than we are today, shall we?

Chaplain Nancy Cronk

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Animal Chaplains Teach Us To Love Animals On World Animal Day

Animal Chaplains Teach Us To Love Animals On World Animal Day
From the Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains

In what will look like a scene from the popular family movie, "Evan Almighty", dozens of Animal Chaplains around the world will bless hundreds, perhaps thousands of animals in many different settings on October 4 2007. At a pet cemetery on the east coast, to a city park in the desert, to a sandy beach on the west coast, they will walk in on four paws, fly in on a harness, and slither in on their bellies.

That day is World Animal Day, a day dedicated to honoring, blessing, and protecting animals all over the world. World Animal Day was founded at an ecologist's convention in Florence, Italy in 1931 as a way of highlighting the plight of endangered species. Since then, it has grown to encompass all kinds of animal life and has been widely celebrated around the world. October 4th was chosen as World Animal Day because it is also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic Church holiday which is often celebrated with an annual "blessing of the pets". Churches and synagogues in many faiths traditions have adopted "Pet Blessing Day" or "World Animal Day" in increasing numbers every year.

The Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains prepares for World Animal Day by referring its members and visitors to the official World Animal Day website. The site provides ideas and resources to individuals, families, community groups and congregations everywhere. People can post their pledge for volunteering at a World Animal Day event. In addition to blessing pets, volunteers will work at animal shelters, zoos, rescues, and other nonprofit organizations. Dogs will be walked, cats will be brushed, horses will be groomed, and fish will enjoy freshly cleaned tanks. Donations will be given to animal welfare agencies, and pets will be adopted. School children will collect pet food to be donated to charities, and bake sales and car washes will be held as fundraising events. Veterinary clinics will hold free spay and neuter days, or may offer to vaccinate pets at no charge. All over the world, on the very same day, the well-being of animals will be on the minds of millions of people.

Founder and Chair of Animal, Chaplain Nancy Cronk, feels a day honoring animals is very important at a time when the headlines speak of animal cruelty such as athlete Michael Vick's alleged ties to illegal dog fighting. Animal Chaplains would like everyone to know that every major faith endorses the responsible stewardship of the earth and all of its creatures. "Deliberate harming of animals is in direct opposition to teachings in all of the major world faiths. Caring for animals is our global spiritual responsibility."

For more information about The Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains, go to To get involved on World Animal Day, go to

(Permission is granted by Animal and the Interfaith Association of Animal Chaplains to post this article in full, or to use the information to write your own.)