Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unsung Heroes for Our Times: Animal Advocate Judy Ambrose

Judy Ambrose and her 20-year-old cat, Lily

Many of us have heard a clarion call and we are doing what we can to combat climate change, the use of toxic chemicals, habitat loss, factory farming, pet overpopulation and more. My series on Unsung Heroes for Our Times continues with Judy Ambrose, Executive Director of the Neponset Valley Humane Society in Norwood, Massachusetts. Having witnessed first-hand the needless suffering of cats (including ferals), dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and other companion animals, Judy has made it her life’s mission to serve as an animal advocate, educator and rescuer.

Judy has felt a kinship with animals since she was a little girl and possesses an innate ability to understand their needs. She also has an amazing ability to match pets and prospective adopters. Many marvel at the sense of destiny they feel when Judy makes these introductions. And if animals are sick or in need of special care, Judy never hesitates to do what she can to get them well or make their last days as comfortable and peaceful as possible.

Over the years, I’ve been privileged to observe Judy caring for many animals. Her calm energy is soothing and healing. I can never forget her tenderness with rabbits when she served as manager of a shelter that took in many pet rabbits, so often discarded once their owners tire of them. Sadly, pet rabbits are also frequently abandoned in the woods where they have no hope for survival.

I recall a large Chinchilla rabbit named Jack that Judy took under her wing. He had a mellow, sweet temperament and was just a lovely boy in every way. I watched as Judy smoothed out a soft blanket for him to sit on, lay fresh greens down for him to eat and gently caress his cheek. That rabbit felt so safe and secure in her presence. And because he was able to enjoy the safety and peace of a warm, quiet and cage free room, his personality shone through, and he was quickly adopted by a little girl and her family who truly appreciated how special he was.

In today’s society where companion animals are all too easily abandoned or quickly euthanized in overcrowded shelters, Judy Ambrose is a Unsung Hero for Our Times.

More about the Neponset Valley Humane Society and Judy's outstanding efforts there in my next post.

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