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July 12, 2010

The Wisdom of Words and Animals

Animal advocate and HSUS supporter Patricia Haddock says quotations inspire her work and love for animals

  • Patricia Haddock with Stanley, one of her sources of inspiration. P. Haddock

Longtime animal advocate Patricia Haddock has another love beside family, friends, and the animals: quotations.

When prompted to name a favorite author, she readily responds with a quote from J. Allen Boone's Kinship with All Life:

“Whenever you are humble and willing to let something besides a human be your instructor, priceless wisdom will be shared with you."

Like Boone, Haddock finds wisdom in nature, in animals, and in the interconnectedness of all things. She's learned to listen for it and act on it and says her life is so much richer for it.

Working with animals has been a particularly rewarding path. Twenty years ago, Haddock began by volunteering at one of the first no-kill shelters in her native Northern Virginia.

“We had so many dogs (and cats) in need there," she recalls. "We volunteers spent every weekend taking the animals for long walks, brushing them, or often just sitting with them and sharing time and love." Haddock adds, smiling: “The famous quote from The Beatles, really is true: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” Even back then, when I was a busy real estate broker, the time I spent helping the animals was by far the most rewarding thing I did each week.”

When Patricia and her husband Ed relocated to the beach region of Delaware, the major life change wasn’t easy, at first. Haddock says, “But once again, helping the animals helped me find my true place in life. 'Leap, and the net will appear' (John Burroughs) was in our case literally true. We 'leapt' across the Bay Bridge to an entirely new life!"

For Haddock, helping animals now means organizing and staffing information booths at local town fairs and festivals.

“At these local fairs, it's really rewarding to pass out a brochure to someone who may have never heard about factory farming, for example. I talk to everyone, we share good, light-hearted conversation and they walk away a little more knowledgeable than before. It's empowering for everybody…and fun!” she adds.

Haddock takes her advocacy online, as well, to the Facebook group she formed called Delaware Votes for Animals. Most nights she posts (and crossposts) the latest animal news, often just linking to The HSUS posts so that friends of friends—and possibly hundreds more—can read them. 

“Absolutely no one does a better job at protecting all animals, not just the dogs and cats, but our birds, wildlife, and farm animals. The HSUS has the broadest vision—looking beyond our present point in time to a future when long-ingrained types of abuse will be no more. And The HSUS gets big results. Ed and I are proud to be members of The HSUS Legacy Society, so that when we pass on, we know the lifesaving work for the animals continues."

Asked which quote she finds most inspiring in her day-to-day commitment to help animals, she laughs. “It would be hard to pick— I like so many. But I keep a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson on my desk. It reads: 'Be yourself...your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that.'”

“I love that,” Haddock states with clear conviction.“It reminds me that each one of us can find the strength and the peace that is within us, and use that to go out and help the animals.”

Patricia Haddock lives in Georgetown, Delaware, with her husband, 3 adopted one-of-a-kind dogs, and one wonderful cat.

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