Humane Society launches "Kindness" Campaign over the holidays

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The Humane Society of Louisiana kicked off its inaugural "1,000 Acts of Kindness" campaign earlier this week, and the group hopes that hundreds of individuals from around the state or country will help it fulfill its goal of performing 1,000 acts of random kindness before the end of December.

The campaign was inspired by the recent actions of two individuals. The first event that was the catalyst for this campaign involved Tanya O'Reilly, a long-time Humane Society member and volunteer. A few months ago, Tanya was walking her dog in New Orleans when she heard a small tapping sound. She continued walking her dog and then turned around to investigate further. Tanya walked back to the place where she first heard the sound and looked up. To her surprise, she saw three bird feeders and one with plastic or glass in front revealed a hummingbird had been trapped inside of it and couldn't escape. She also noticed that a second hummingbird was perched close by, keeping the other one company.

Tanya knocked on a resident's door and told the woman who answered about the trapped bird. The neighbor was surprised and explained that she and her husband heard the same noise last night as they returned to their home from shopping. The woman's husband retrieved a long ladder, climbed the steps, unhooked the bird feeder, and carried it down. He then plied the top off the bird feeder and the hummingbird immediately flew up to be with the other hummingbird.

That story, according to Jeff Dorson, Executive Director of the Humane Society, made a profound difference. "Even the smallest act of compassion, thoughtfulness or kindness can make a big difference to those being helped," thought Dorson.

A few weeks later, a second incident made Dorson rethink how we can all make a bigger difference by taking a positive action, no matter how small or big. This second action, however, did require a lot of time, resources, and logistical support. A few weeks ago, the Humane Society received a call that a pregnant homeless dog was about to give birth outside on the cold wet ground in Kinder, Louisiana, in Allen Parish.

Asking a volunteer to drive seven hours round trip to try and locate a stray pregnant dog is no easy feat, but Marika Sadkowska, one of the Humane Society's go-to volunteers, agreed to make the trip. Several hours later, with the help of neighbors, Marika located the dog, "Brees", under a shed as she was giving birth! Marika and the local residents gently placed Brees in the back of Marika's car and she was eventually delivered to Mandeville Animal Hospital with her five puppies. Brees’ story was posted on the Humane Society’s social media channels and it has been shared hundreds of times.

"These two actions really got me thinking about how important it is to go a little or a lot out of our way to help animals in need. I wanted these two special rescues to be the cornerstone of something bigger, of something that hundreds and maybe thousands of people could replicate if given the chance and a little nudge," explains Dorson.

These two rescue operations led to the Humane Society's launch of its inaugural "1,000 Acts of Kindness" which the group hopes to repeat and grow each December. Those wishing to participate, simply have to post a picture or a brief narrative of what they did on the Humane Society's Facebook page: Each subsequent year, the Humane Society hopes to increase the number of participants and hopes to reach 100,000 or more within the next few years and have celebrities and community leaders participate as well.

The Humane Society of Louisiana is one of the largest animal protection organizations in the state and operates the Enoch J. Donaldson Sanctuary in Mt. Hermon, Louisiana. For more information, please visit its website at or its page on Facebook.

Contributed by the Humane Society of Louisiana