Crusades and Passions

  Notes from the nearside

Bob reports that I very often say “Hold on” even when he is in his recliner and shortly thereafter, I tell him “Let’s go!”  before he’s dressed and while he is still sitting in his recliner.


It’s hard for me to hone in on one special cause I’m passionate about; I have many.   I’ve always supported animal welfare; such as supporting no kill shelters, animal rescues, and whenever possible, educating the public how animals are mistreated at puppy mills, pet stores, and breeders (they are sometimes puppy mills).  I went as far as having my own dog rescue for over 26 years; my husband and I rescued 7 small dogs with special needs. We miss our dog family; Frank, Wylie, Gomez, Charlie, Miguel and Morticia. I’ll give you some factual information regarding puppy mills I pulled off the web below. 

Another cause that’s close to my heart is child abuse and neglect. I haven’t been able to take my first step in helping my local community yet; it’s always been emotionally difficult for me!  I hope to be an advocate sooner rather than later.

I’ve never understood abuse at both ends of the life spectrum: Children and Elders. I always felt a passion for caring for the elderly from a very young age.  My mother and grandmothers kindness rubbed off on me.  I worked in several nursing homes as a teenager. Both my husband and I have volunteered at many Alzheimer’s/Dementia homes over the years. Bob felt good about helping but started to recognize himself in the faces of his peers.  Likewise, I loved it up until I started having my own cognitive problems; then, I saw myself in the Alzheimer’s patients.

A neat little story about my great aunt Helen. My mother cared for my father’s aunt Helen while she was very sick; she had cancer through her body and was given 3-6 months to live.  Our family didn’t want her last few months to end in a nursing home or hospital.  Because she was afraid to sleep in the dark, I became her roommate. Some nights, I would tell her stories until she fell asleep.  aunt Helen was a devout Irish Catholic and she kept telling me she wasn’t ready to die yet.  She would say her prayers and rosaries much of the day and at night between her soap operas like, “Days of our Lives” and game shows like, Let’s make a deal”.  She went back to her Oncologist for a 3 month check-up after moving into my parent’s home and they took more scans.  The doctor met with aunt Helen, my grandparents and my parents; he gave them the great news, “ALL of the cancer is GONE!” There was no denying this was a crazy MIRACLE.  Her prayers came true. I wish I could bottle a cancer treatment that includes game shows and soap operas.  It was clearer than crystal that my father wasn’t happy; it meant his aunt was going to live in his house longer.   Aunt Helen was his house guest for another eleven years. She became a permanent member of our household.  I loved her; and since we shared a bedroom, she taught me about the power of prayer and faith.  My mother had such a big heart to have her live with us; she loved Aunt Helen as well.  I believe now that she was there for a reason.  I think of her often and think of her miracles very often; I now know miracles do happen.

Now getting back to animal abuse and neglect. The Humane Society of the United States has released its seventh annual Horrible Hundred report, a list of 100 problem puppy mills and puppy brokers in the United States.  For the seventh year in a row, the report says Missouri just in my back yard has the largest number of puppy mills (22), followed by Iowa (13), Pennsylvania (12), and Ohio (8).

According to PETA,” Studies have shown that violent and aggressive criminals are more likely to have abused animals as children than criminals who are considered non-aggressive.  Because abusers target the powerless, crimes against animals, spouses, children, and the elderly often go hand in hand. Children who abuse animals may be repeating a lesson learned at home; like their parents, they are reacting to anger or frustration with violence. Their violence is directed at the only individual in the family who is more vulnerable than they are: an animal”. 

The picture with child abuse is fairly ugly as well.

The 11 facts below are based upon data from

  • Approximately 5 children in the United States dies every day because of child abuse.
  • 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually abused before they reach age 18.
  • 90% of child sexual abuse vicims know the perpetrator in some way. 68% are abused by a family member.
  • In 2012, 82.2% of child abuse perpetrators were found to be between the ages of 18-44, of which 39.6% were recorded to be between the ages of 25-34.
  • Boys (48.5%) and girls (51.2%) become victims.  There is no gender discrimination.
  • 2.9 million cases of child abuse are reported every year in the United States.
  • Children who experience child abuse and neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a juvenile, 28% more likely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violence crime.
  • About 80% of 21-year-olds who were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder.
  • 14% of all men and 36% of all women in prison were abused as children.
  • Abused children are less likely to practice safe sex, putting them at greater risk for STDs. They’re also 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy.
  • who will show you we

Animal abuse

Animal abuse is the infliction of suffering or harm upon animals, other than humans, for purposes other than self-defense. More narrowly, it can be harm for specific gain, such as killing animals for fur. Diverging viewpoints are held by jurisdictions throughout the world.

Elder abuse

Elder abuse is a type of harm to older adults involving abuse by trusted individuals in a manner that “causes harm or distress to an older person.”[38] This definition has been adopted by the World Health Organization from a definition put forward by Action on Elder Abuse in the UK. The abuse includes violence, neglect, and other crimes committed against an elderly person and their forms include physical, mental, and financial abuses as well as passive and active neglect.[39]

Emotional abuse

While there is an absence of consensus as to the precise definition of emotional abuse, it is classified by the U.S. federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act as a form of mental injury.[40] The typical legal definition, particularly in the area of child welfare, accepted by the majority of U.S. states describes it as injury to the psychological capacity or emotional stability as evidenced by an observable or substantial change in behavior, emotional response or cognition.[41]


Neglect is a passive form of abuse in which a caregiver responsible for providing care for a victim (a child, a physically or mentally disabled adult, an animal, a plant, or an inanimate object) fails to provide adequate care for the victim’s needs, to the detriment of the victim. It is typically seen as a form of laziness or apathy on the form of the caregiver, rather than ignorance due to inability; accordingly, neglect of a child by and adult with mental disorders or who is overworked is not considered abuse, although this may constitute child neglect nonetheless.

Examples of neglect include failing to provide sufficient supervisionnourishmentmedical care or other needs for which the victim is helpless to provide for themselves.

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