An opportunity encounter led Lucia Medek to take up the reason for animal advocacy in Richmond in a serious manner.
Ms. Medek found a pit bull-type canine residing chained up in a yard a couple of blocks from her home. The canine had restricted shelter and was underfed. Unable to face the circumstances he lived in, Ms. Medek would sneak into the yard to feed him periodically.
Eventually, Ms. Medek managed to get the canine out of that yard with the assistance of native rescue teams and animal management. The canine, whom she renamed Salem, lived the remainder of his life in consolation with Ms. Medek earlier than dying at age 7 from an aggressive type of most cancers.
The expertise, Ms. Medek says, left her with an consciousness of the poor circumstances some pets stay underneath that she grew to become dedicated to addressing.
“This experience opened my eyes to the fact that countless animals were living in my city, lonely and suffering, hidden away from view with little to no help available to them,” Ms. Medek says. “We use Salem’s story and his inspiration to be ‘light in the dark’ for animals that are suffering due to lack of care.”
The lack of care often is because of house owners not having the sources to supply the fundamentals for his or her pets, together with provides, shelter and medical care, which may be expensive.
That’s the place Salem’s Light, the nonprofit Ms. Medek co-founded in 2019, is available in. The group works to construct a community of group sources for pet house owners, from low-cost veterinary care to free provides corresponding to meals, collars and canine homes.
The aim is to enhance the lives of animals by way of group outreach, schooling, advocacy and proactive spaying and neutering.
Ms. Medek believes the expertise of getting a pet and constructing a relationship with a four-legged member of the household is a deeply precious one.
Pets, she says, “are the true meaning of unconditional love. Animals live in the moment. They don’t worry about what happened yesterday, hold grudges or worry what tomorrow brings. We can learn a lot from that.”
While the pandemic has left Salem’s Light unable to host many group occasions, Ms. Medek stays hopeful that the nonprofit will have the ability to present vaccine clinics and comparable outreach packages sooner or later. In the meantime, the group continues its work, with volunteers coordinating advocacy and schooling efforts and group donations used to fund veterinary care and the constructing of canine homes.
Ms. Medek has a number of adopted pets and foster animals in her care. They present her with a way of affection and companionship that she says is reassuring and motivating in her life and work.
“They remind me tomorrow is a new day, no matter how wonderful or horrible the current one is, that another is coming and that I need to live it to the fullest,” she says.
Meet a buddy and advocate for mankind’s finest associates and this week’s Personality, Lucia Medek:
No. 1 volunteer place: Co-founder and president of Salem’s Light.
Occupation: Registered nurse.
Date and place of origin: Aug. 22 in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia).
Where I stay now: Richmond.
Education: Bachelor of science diploma in nursing.
Salem’s Light is: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of bettering the lives of animals by way of group outreach, schooling, advocacy and proactive spaying and neutering.
When and the place based: Founded in 2019 in Richmond.
Co-Founder: Clair Tetrick.
Salem’s story: I discovered Salem accidently. He was residing on the finish of a heavy logging chain hooked up to an previous jukebox in a dusty, soiled yard a couple of blocks from my home with no shelter, meals or water. I simply couldn’t overlook about him. I used to sneak into the yard to feed him and produce him presents. It took me greater than a yr to get him out of there, with the assistance of native rescue teams and animal management. Salem grew to become “my little buffalo” and lived the remainder of his life with me in my dwelling, on a mushy mattress, beloved, heat, dry and fed. He had doggie buddies and hiked the paths across the James River. Salem handed away from an aggressive most cancers at age 7, and I’m satisfied it was, partly, because of lack of care throughout the first few years of his life. This expertise opened my eyes to the truth that numerous animals had been residing in my metropolis, lonely and struggling, hidden away from view with little to no assist obtainable to them.
How Salem remains to be inspirational: We use Salem’s story and his inspiration to be “light in the dark” for animals which are struggling because of lack of care. This may be because of intentional mistreatment or, extra typically, house owners that lack sources to supply primary provides, shelter and/or medical care to their owned and beloved companion animals.
Salem’s Light and group outreach: We use a “boots on the ground” method by going into and dealing instantly with our group to determine wants and make contact with animals in want and their house owners.
No. 1 aim or challenge for Salem’s Light: To alleviate the struggling of undesirable and/or improperly cared for companion animals.
Strategy for attaining aim: Outreach, schooling, advocacy and spay and neuter.
Top three areas to coach pet house owners: The causes to spay and neuter companion animals; the significance of proactive well being care, corresponding to vaccinations, heartworm, flea and tick prevention and correct dietary consumption for companion animals; and the necessity for satisfactory shelter all through the seasons.
Resources Salem’s Light offers: Funding of spay and neuter surgical procedures; help with veterinary care; help with correct, secure sheltering by constructing canine homes or providing crates to convey animals inside; supplying primary provides corresponding to meals, toys, collars and leashes; adoption info and help; and schooling by way of media retailers or talking/displays to colleges and the group.
Why pet possession will not be for everybody: Companion animals require cash for correct care and time. We want to coach ourselves on the tasks of pet possession. During totally different phases of our lives, we could not have the area or skill to look after sure sorts of animals. A big, younger, working breed canine must be exercised and be in a house that has area. An residence could not at all times be one of the best match on this state of affairs. Rentals or home-owner associations could have restrictions on breeds or sizes. Animals want and thrive on companionship, and dealing typically out of city or lengthy hours could make this troublesome. Small youngsters have to be monitored with animals each for the protection of the pet and that of the kid. Animals want meals, toys, beds, leashes, collars, vaccinations and at occasions emergency care, amongst different issues. We must be ready for these prices to maintain our animals pleased, wholesome and secure.
Pets are irreplaceable as a result of: They are the true that means of unconditional love. Many research have proven the optimistic results on psychological and bodily well being. Animals stay within the second. They don’t fear about what occurred yesterday, maintain grudges or fear what tomorrow brings. We can study quite a bit from that.
Salem’s Light companions with: Local animal welfare teams, native municipal shelters, low value spay and neuter clinics, veterinarians, faculties, companies and anybody who shares in our beliefs and has the need to enhance the lives of the animals in our communities.
Ways to change into concerned with Salem’s Light: We depend upon volunteers for our community-based initiatives. Opportunities for involvement embody outreach initiatives, vaccine clinics, advocacy and schooling efforts and administrative help. Donations of provides corresponding to canine and cat meals, leashes, collars, toys and blankets at all times are wanted and welcome, together with financial donations that can fund veterinary care and the constructing of canine homes.
An ideal day for me: Knowing we have now helped an animal keep in a house with their lov- ing house owners after they feared they could not have the ability to hold their pet due to an absence of a sources. Sometimes it is so simple as fixing a gap in a fence or suppling meals or vac- cines after an proprietor has discovered themselves coping with a sud- den monetary hardship.
What I’m studying about myself throughout the pandemic: Being a hermit is fulfilling generally.
Names of my fur infants and the unconditional help I obtain day by day: Where do I begin? Demi, Zucchini, Gilbert and Willa are my very own canines, and Ernest, Baloo, Nigel, Bucky and Chico are my foster pups. They make me snort each day. They know after I’m unhappy or anxious and simply want a snuggle, kiss or heat, furry physique subsequent to me. They get me up and transferring, even on the times I might quite not. They educate me accountability, forgiveness, unconditional love and kindness. They remind me tomorrow is a brand new day, irrespective of how great or horrible the present one is, that one other is coming and that I must stay it to the fullest as a result of we by no means know what number of extra we have now to be collectively.
Something I really like to do this most individuals would by no means think about: Sew.
Quote that evokes me: “Men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”
Friends describe me as: The unluckiest fortunate particular person on the earth.
At the highest of my “to-do” checklist: To be sitting within the cool, salty water of the ocean.
Best late-night snack: I have to be craving salt as a result of the one factor that involves thoughts is sea salt and vinegar kettle chips.
Person who influenced me essentially the most: My little sister. Life not too long ago dealt her a hand that will have taken many down. She by no means had a doubt in her thoughts that she was going to make it by way of. The energy of optimistic pondering and a refusal to be knocked down.
Book that influenced me essentially the most: “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupréy.
What I’m studying now: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: seventh Edition by The American Psychological Association.
Next aim: Finish grad college!