Heartfelt thanks to all of the 70 or so folks who bid on the Michael Vick notes on eBay, and special thanks to television writer and producer Carol Leifer for making the winning bid at $10,200—a contribution that will augment our already robust anti-dogfighting efforts. My HSUS colleague Chad Sisneros picked up the abandoned notes after Vick delivered a four-minute statement on his guilty plea and left the podium.
Liefer is obviously a very special person, and she had an inspired motivation in joining the bidding for the Vick notes.
After we notified her last Friday of her winning bid, she wrote us back in short order. "We are already proud members of the Humane Society of the United States. And when we saw that ALL the proceeds of this note were going to you guys, we jumped on it," said Leifer. "Michael Vick ironically never made the most important apology—the one to the animals themselves. ‘Dogs have suffered’ is the only talking point he left out on that note. So this note is for our 18-month old son, Bruno. For him to keep over the years and to show him that the mark of a man is not what you achieve as a sports star, but the kindness and compassion that lives in your heart."
Her comments swell my heart. With members like her, it’s clear that our cause and our goals are on the march.
Our professional staff are tremendous—now about 600 strong and working in the domains of companion animals, farm animal welfare, animal research issues, wildlife, and so many other topics. But our strength also derives from members, who are ambassadors for our cause in every community in the country. It is their support and their engagement on the issues that gives me the greatest hope for lasting change for animal protection.
We have 10 million individuals on our mailing list, and more than a million of you who are online advocates. Together, we are a powerful force for the good when we act in unison.
I want to throw out a challenge to every member. Please take the time to study our website, to learn about the issues, and to seize opportunities for engagement and involvement. I wrote about engagement opportunities last week, and I hope you’ll consult the list and plug in each and every way you can. If each member steps up his or her involvement, the pace of change will hasten dramatically.
Thanks Carol Leifer for supporting our work and being the model of an engaged and passionate member. May your involvement inspire others. And tell Bruno we say hello.