Finding help for Pulse Orlando shooting victims’ pets

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.
Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

Here’s a surprise. Politicians across the country — including both presumptive presidential nominees — have spent the better part of this week exploiting a national tragedy in order to advance their own agendas.

I don’t know about you, but frankly I find that sickening. I’m not kidding. It makes me want to puke.

On the other hand, there are plenty of people whose selflessness and generosity in the aftermath of the Pulse Orlando nightclub shooting is almost enough to restore my faith in humanity.

Judy Charuhas is one of them.

Helping The Pulse Orlando Shooting Victims’ Pets

According to an article in the Orlando Sentinel, Charuhas is in charge of a “local lost pets group.” In the wake of the mass shooting that reportedly left 49 dead and more than 50 injured early Sunday morning, she launched an effort to help the victims’ pets.

The Sentinel article details how she began by posting a message on the Winter Park Lost Pets page on Facebook. In it, she informed followers that the organization is “compiling a list of rescuers/services/people willing to hold/foster/adopt pets for victims and survivors of the Pulse Orlando shooting,” and encouraged people interested in helping to comment.

Not surprisingly, tons of people responded.

“I’ve got a huge list of resources,” Charuhas told the Sentinel. “We’re basically vetting them out and making sure these people can do what they say they can do. If anyone is willing to step forward, I’ll add them to my list.”

If you live in the Orlando area and you are interested in helping, click the link to the story above to find out how you can contact Charuhas directly. You can also visit the Winter Park Lost Pets page on Facebook for more information.

Friends and relatives of the shooting victims are also encouraged to contact local authorities, animal welfare and rescue groups about any pets in need.

Something Else To Think About

Whether it is the result of a natural disaster, a catastrophic accident or an horrific act of violence like the one that happened at Pulse Orlando, a tremendous loss of life is something that shakes us to the very core of our being. When it is sudden and unexpected, it is a stark reminder of both our vulnerability and our mortality. Anyway you look at it, it is something most of us would rather not think about, much less confront.

Nevertheless, most of us do make provisions for our loved ones in the event that something happens to us. We get life insurance policies. We make wills.

On the other hand, making provisions to ensure that our pets are cared for if we are critically injured or killed  is something that may not cross our minds. That doesn’t mean that it’s something we shouldn’t think about, or that there’s nothing we can do. You can learn more about the issue here.

As you can see, there are plenty of options. So whatever you do, please plan ahead. We owe it to ourselves — and our pets.

A plea for sanity

This vintage typwriter is our featured image.

“I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away…”

— from “American Pie” by Don McLean

Alexandra Bogdanovic
Founder/owner of In Brief Legal Writing Services, Alexandra Bogdanovic. Photo by N. Bogdanovic

I know it’s only Monday, but it’s been a hell of a week.

By now you know that a Florida gunman killed 50 people and injured 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning. The massacre is “the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history,” according to published reports.

In other news, late last week and again over the weekend, several media outlets published stories about the pleas for leniency in sentencing made by convicted sex offender Brock Turner’s parents. In and of itself that is not a big deal. What makes it newsworthy — and frankly unbelievable — is that not once do Dan or Carleen Turner express concern or remorse about what their little golden boy did. In fact, they were both too busy crying about how “the verdict” ruined their lives to acknowledge he did anything wrong.

What is even more disgusting is that these self-centered, narcissistic swines (for lack of a better description) got their wish. Their son, Brock, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus in January 2015, got only six months in jail and three years probation.

Elsewhere over the weekend, English and Russian soccer “fans” gathered in France, where teams representing their countries faced off in Euro 2016, the European Championship tournament. Unfortunately, troublemakers from both countries reportedly incited violence prior to and during the game.

Collectively, this is more than enough to make any sane person wonder just what the hell is going on.

Stop The World, I Want To Get Off

What is almost as disturbing as the violence itself is the reaction to it. In this case, I am referring specifically to the reaction that occurred in the wake of the Sunday morning massacre.

Media reports issued before all of the facts were known fueled speculation about the shooter and his motive. Politicians started mouthing off before all of the facts were known. People commenting on Internet stories about the incident resorted to trading insults, name calling, and generally carrying on in a completely disgusting and reprehensible manner.

Not that it surprised me. That’s what always happens after an incident of this magnitude. But that doesn’t make it right. Not by a long shot.

The time in the immediate aftermath of any tragedy is not the time to politicize the issue, nor is it the time to engage in the stupidity commonly seen on the Internet. Honestly, does screaming louder than the other guy or calling him names or insulting his mother really make anyone feel better? Does it do any good? Does it change anything?

I think not.

Enough Is Enough

The hours and days following a tragedy of this magnitude is the time to find compassion in our hearts and rally to help everyone affected. It is the time to offer what little solace we can for families and friends of those who were lost and those who were injured. It is the time to grieve for and with those now facing inexplicable heartache. It is time to respect their privacy, but it also time to give them a forum to share their feelings if they wish to do so.

We must give those who were injured space and time as they begin to heal. We must give those who lost friends and loved ones time to mourn.

Then — and only then — will there come a time when we must put our differences aside and have a meaningful discussion about the important issues at hand. We must find it within ourselves to put our egos aside and enter an open dialogue about terrorism, radical Islam, gun control, gun owners rights, homophobia and the hate that generally plagues this country.

It is crucial that we find some way to come together — and we can do it. We did it after 9/11 — and we can do it again. We must.

If we don’t, we are doomed. It’s as simple as that.