This page has nothing to do with ghosts, but it is about something that is very important to all the members of GHOSM. This page is about animals. All the members of GHOSM are pet owners and each and every one of us is completely in love with our pets and we treat them as family members. Unfortunately not all animals are as lucky as our pets.

First and foremost, please let me assure that animals do have souls. Over the years the members of GHOSM have encountered the spirits of many animals, including cats, dogs and ferrets. I believe most of these animals stay here after death because of their love for their owners and also to help their grieving owners cope with their loss. I was visited by two kittens that I had rescued and raised in my home until I was able to find them a permanent home. At the time I was visited I did not know why I was seeing the spirits of kittens in my home but later I found out that both kittens had passed away. As soon as I found out about the deaths of the kittens I never saw them again, so I think they were trying to tell me they were okay and I also believe they were trying to prepare me for the terrible grief I experienced upon learning of their deaths.

If you are affected by stories of animal abuse, as I am, you may want to skip the next few lines. The other day I visited a local news website and the first thing I saw was a picture of an abused cat. While this cat was confined to a cage it was doused with a flammable liquid and set on fire by two teenage girls, who laughed as the cat screamed in pain. I am sorry about being so graphic but I want you to be aware of the terrible things that have been happening to helpless animals. During the past week I have read of four different cases of animal abuse and it has affected me deeply.


Some ideas on ways to help animals.

I am a volunteer at a local animal shelter, and while this work hurts my heart I feel that the heartache it brings me is outweighed by the good work that is done to help neglected and abused animals. It is very difficult to see the look in the eyes of the animals who are hoping to find a home and to be loved, and if I had my way I would bring each and every animal home with me. Since that is not possible I try to help them through my work as a volunteer. I would like to share with you a few ways you too can help.

The company I work for is open to helping non-profit groups, so five years ago I wrote a proposal asking for permission to start a charity to benefit animals. My proposal was approved and my charity has been going strong ever since. If you feel that your employer would agree to something like this you might want to approach them and offer to start your own animal charity.

One of the ways we collect money for the animals is to put receptacles around the building to collect pop bottles and cans, which may not sound like much but adds up. We also hold an annual raffle of items donated by friends and co-workers. We provide our co-workers with a wish list from the shelter we sponsor, and in order to enter the raffle our co-workers have to purchase an item from the wish list or donate money so that we can shop for them. Every other Friday is payday and "Jeans for Charity" day. We are not normally allowed to wear jeans to work, but on Jeans Day we can wear jeans if we donate $3.00 to one of our charities.

We have also sold candy bars and rubber bracelets to collect money for the animals.
I realize that these things need to be approved by the company where you are employed, but if you are interested in helping animals please do not be afraid to approach someone in your H.R. department to ask if you can start your own charity for animals.


A different view on helping animals.

Unfortunately I have had problems with a few of my co-workers who do not see the need to help animals when there are so many people in need of help. These people run wonderful charities at work which are aimed at helping people, and I support each and every one of these charities. I am not trying to take anything away from people in need, but an animal cannot go to the government for help if they are hungry or homeless, and they cannot go to the church on the corner to ask for help feeding their babies. Animals are completely at our mercy and cannot help themselves, so if we do not help them no one will, it's that simple. I will never understand people who would begrudge an animal a meal or safe haven. Have you ever looked into the eyes of a dog and seem the unconditional love there? Have you ever held a cat and listened to him purr because you are giving him love and attention? How in the world can anyone think that animals are not worthy of our help? All these animals want is food, a home and someone to love them. Is that too much to ask?


Animal neglect and abuse.

The next thing I would like to talk about is animal abuse and neglect. Please, please, report any signs or neglect or abuse that you see. If you notice that your neighbor's dog is left outside without food, water or shelter please report it to your local authorities or an animal shelter in your area. There is nothing wrong with letting a dog out for short periods of time so that he can answer the call of nature, but an animal should not be left outside for extended periods of time without food and water. If a dog is an "outside" dog he needs a warm, dry dog house and plenty of attention from his owners.

If you see an animal left outside in very hot or very cold weather please call someone and make a report. Please do not take the attitude that it is none of your business because it is everyone's business when an animal is suffering. If you are afraid to make a report then ask a friend or family member to make a report If you see an animal left in a car in hot or cold weather please report that too. When you visit a pet store please check the food and water in the animals' cages and do not hesitate to speak to a store employee if there is an animal without food or water.


Adopting an animal from an animal shelter.

If you are looking for a pet please go to an animal shelter in your area and give one of these deserving animals a home. I am not saying there is anything wrong with buying a pure bred dog or cat, but if you do not have your heart set on one particular breed of cat or dog please give an unwanted cat or dog a home. Almost all of the pets owned by GHOSM members were adopted from animal shelters or were strays that were taken into our homes.


PLEASE spay or neuter your pets.

Unless you are a cat or dog breeder please spay or neuter your pets. It does not make sense to bring more unwanted animals into the world when it can be so easily prevented. This might cost you a few dollars, but I believe this is part of being a responsible pet owner. If you adopt a pet from an animal shelter most of these animals are fixed before you take them home. If the animal is too young to be fixed at the time of adoption the cost of spaying or neutering at a later date is usually included in the price of the animal.

If you purchase or adopt an animal and you find that the animal is not right for your family please try to find a new home for the animal. If you cannot find a good home then please, please take the animal to an animal shelter where it will be taken care of until it finds a new home. The animals we take into our homes are domesticated and cannot fend for themselves, so dropping off or dumping an animal somewhere is pretty much a death sentence. Why would anyone do something like this when there are so many places to take an animal where it will receive food, shelter and possibly a new home?


Laws regarding animal abuse and neglect.

I do not believe the laws regarding animal abuse are strict enough and the laws that we have are not enforced often enough. I believe that people who abuse or neglect animals deserve more than a slap on the wrist, they should be prosecuted to the full extend of the law. Unfortunately the full extend of the law is not much when it comes to animal abuse, so even when an animal abuser serves jail time the length of the sentence is always far shorter than it should be. Why are these cruel, evil people let off so easy? I have always said that I do not believe in evil spirits, just evil people, and to me, these people are truly evil.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.  Our hope is that this might encourage even one person to speak out in the future if he or she encounters animal abuse or neglect, and if that one person saves even one animal then we have accomplished what we set out to do.

Thank you again, Robin Lemkie & the members of GHOSM

On a happier note, we have posted pictures of our pets that we would like to share with you, along with wildlife pictures taken by GHOSM members Tom Lundy and Russ Lemkie.











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