By Randy N. Warner

I’m confused. Over my 58 yrs on earth, I’d always heard that approximately 1 in 4 people support animal protection/rescue in one form or another. So, with the $4billion Americans spend annually on local and area animal control programs along with local and national non profit rescue organizations, I cannot understand why we are continuing to kill nearly 8 million healthy and adoptable dogs and cats in this country each year. Obviously, our current route is taking us nowhere. We need more people to get up and help with humane education in there area.

In the 50’s and 60’s Americans faced a growing problem of litter along our highways and rivers. So, a comprehensive education program was established and those behind the effort kept it going. Soon thereafter, we no longer saw litter along the roads and in our parks. Trash cans were distributed everywhere people were. It worked. Similarly, with recycling, smoking cessation and other societal issues that were not as we liked.

So, if we can put a man on the moon, why is it that we can’t seem to find a large national organization that truly views humane education seriously. Yes, I know the HSUS has a whole department for humane education and pass out kids magazines to schools. I’ve seen these publications and they are a complete and total waste of the words ‘education’. They are way too soft spoken and never really hitting on the direct issues or causes of our problems. EVERYONE in the industry touts their humane education programs and efforts, but for those of you who actually take a moment to see just what it is they are doing towards humane education, it pretty much stops after they put it on their websites. Truly – how many of you reading this have ever gone to the HSUS or SPCA website to read about humane education? Certainly no young people have ever done that, with the exception of those who already see the problems, but that is the equivalent of preaching to the choir. We need to address tomorrow’s decision makers and do it NOW!!!

Some disheartening facts: The Arizona Humane Society received a grant for $50,000 some years ago with the promise of getting humane education into every school in Arizona. Well, I’m sorry to report that they spend all the money and only were successful in visiting 17 schools nearby in the Phoenix metro area. That is a total failure in my eyes. But, this is what the large animal organizations do for humane education.

Of the top 26 industrialized nations, we spend more per capita on animal related costs and programs than any of them. Not surprisingly, Americans also kill more animals per one thousand residents than any other nation. That is just horrible.

So, it boggles my mind to see the rescue organizations continue to spend millions on saving the dogs that are homeless today. Not a thought nor a dime spent on trying to curb the problem through education so that the next generation won’t continue killing these poor souls unnecessarily. They are simply working their tails off cleaning up yesterday’s mess. Of all the tax exempt efforts to rescue dogs in 2009, they all were only able to rescue and re home fewer than 25,000 dogs. This still leaves 7 million, 9 hundred and 75 thousand dogs who died that year. At some point in time, we must all make the decision to stop exhausting our energies and resources that place their focus on only cleaning up yesterday's messes and to decide we want to see solutions that will protect the animals yet to be born as well. We must not lose perspective of our collective goals. We must expand our horizons to choose those campaigns that will help us to accomplish the most and save more animals in the long run.

THIS IS UNNECESSARY!!!! Everyone is qualified to speak to a group of 4th graders on the points everyone seems to agree on. So, why not recruit a team of volunteers who focus on the school nearest to their home. If we were to reach every young person attending a school or youth activity just once per year with only a single presentation lasting 45 minutes, we could easily see a drastic and noticeable reduction of lost lives within our lifetime. The general population in this country literally has no idea that this is happening, nor do they see the error in their ways. Everything has become so ‘sugar coated’ and politically correct, we no longer are made aware of the tragedy’s playing out at every dog pound in the country.

So, for those of you who are reading this and nodding your head in agreement, why haven’t you gone to your neighborhood school and address the students? has 1,000 pages of research articles, lesson plans, project suggestions and more, to help you prepare. ALL AT NO CHARGE EVER!!!!

REMEMBER THIS: In 2010, adults in this country made decisions that ultimately resulted in the unnecessary killing of over 8 million healthy companion animals! This is based on simple ignorance. Our children could make better decisions for the future if only given the proper information on which to base their decisions. We must only show them that 21st Century CARES!

The Primary function of 21st Century C.A.R.E.S. is to promote and support humane education in schools for our youth through character development, project suggestions, community service, lesson plans and other outreach programs. By expanding the parameters of what people think they know and showing what many refuse to see, we can see an end to animal abuse and pet overpopulation in our lifetime. It is clear that the problems will not be solved by the large animal organizations, but, by thinking outside the box on the local level. 21st Century CARES provides the building blocks to implement your own humane education programs & to begin making changes in your area. With over 1,000 pages of lesson plans for K-12, troubled and at risk teens, humane religion & research articles, we'll help you keep this idea alive!!!

The animals who exist today are a very tiny percentage of the animals who will be abused and ultimately killed in coming years and decades. Paying excessive attention to those who suffer today is condemning millions more to suffer the same fate - simply born from human ignorance - and yet another blow to the failing animal welfare and animal rights movement's ultimate goals. We can't begin to win the game if only part of our team understands the rules. These animals are DYING for humans to learn how to work smarter and not harder! Humane Education is the best...... no, it’s the ONLY means we have of accomplishing these goals!