I’m a Guardian

March 21st, 2013 by Guardian Campaign


Do you ever feel as though no matter what you are doing to help animals, it’s never enough?
By Carlyn Montes De Oca

I’ve spent the last thirty years leafleting, protesting, signing petitions, writing letters, phoning legislators, embracing a cruelty-free lifestyle, and volunteering thousands of hours walking shelter dogs and rehabilitating them. I’ve often asked myself, “Can one person really make a difference?”

By shifting our mindset and language away from thinking of ourselves as animal “owners” to “guardian,” each person can influence greater levels of respect, responsibility and compassion for those who hear their words and see their actions. This one simple step has offered me greater hope, renewed my passion and inspired me towards the change I want to see in the world for our animal friends.

The words we use are powerful. Words such as “love, peace and freedom,” have impacted societies and changed them for the better. “Guardian” is that kind of word. To be a true guardian means to reach into our hearts and allow for a deeper and more meaningful connection to form between ourselves and the animals who share our world – a connection that will most positively affect their lives and transform our own.

A study by Dr. Pamela Carlisle- Frank and Joshua Frank found many benefits for animals when people consider themselves animal guardians instead of owners. For example, guardians are more likely to spay/neuter their animal companions and less likely to abandon or relinquish them; a vital point if we want to see an end to the deaths of so many adoptable animals in shelters and on the streets.

We are in the midst of a ground-breaking paradigm shift but we need everyone onboard. Our animal friends do not have the luxury of time so starting today, please commit to using the word “guardian” when speaking with friends, family, and other members of your communities. If you haven’t already, please view and share the video “I’m a Guardian” with your children, grandchildren or anyone else who you feel will benefit from its message. And I invite you to join the Guardian International Page and connect with a rapidly growing network of Guardians on Facebook.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of animals and please continue to do so with courage and with passion.  As the mindset of society changes so will the attitudes, court decisions and our laws.

We can make a difference.  Our words do matter.  Please make yours heard.
If you would like additional information on the Guardian Campaign, or for specific ways that you can help, please contact IDA Founder and President Emeritus, Elliot M. Katz, DVM.

Your participation would be of great help.

Thank you so very much.

125 Responses to “I’m a Guardian”

  1. March 22, 2013 at 4:45 am, Jo-Ann Harris said:

    Just think what they world would be like if everyone change their mind set with one little word. Cruelty would be vanquished in the blink of an eye.


  2. March 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm, Jane Giard said:

    Carlyn, I was very moved by your beautifully written piece about being a guardian to our animal fiends/companions. You are so right. i would like to take this concept one step closer to America;s mustangs that are systematically being headed toward extinction due to the efforts of the BLM and Bob Abbey and former head Ken Sallizar. What more do people have to hear/ the mustangs were protected since 1972 and now they are being removed and either held captive until death, or sent to horse kill areas namely in Roswell, NM, Canada, and mexico.


  3. March 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm, deborah said:

    You are an angel. All life is worth saving. My husband and I rescue Chows from shelters. They are gentle and very sweet. They do not “show well” at the shelters. We must stand up for these precious animals that have become victims in this society. Thank you Carlyn!!


  4. March 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm, leannwalters said:



  5. March 21, 2013 at 10:44 am, Laurie said:

    I would like it if animal abuse was a mandatory felony. First time, every time. Period.


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