Her Pet Project Is Animal Rights

Baby Boomers fondly will recall famous four-legged celebrities of our youth, like “Nipper,” the dog with one ear cocked to better hear “His Master’s Voice” on the old-fashioned phonograph, who became the mascot of audio and TV maker RCA. Or what about good ol’ “Petey,” with the distinctive “black eye,” who was best friend to Spanky and “The Little Rascals”?

They were adorable, friendly canines that fairly could be called “America’s dogs,” as Liz Peterson puts it.

Those Staffordshire Terriers are better known to most of us as pit bulls. They are banned in towns, like Denver, that have laws against owning a certain type of dog based on what it looks like rather than on any undesirable behavior it has exhibited.

Sign Up for E-News

Liz Peterson points out that pit bulls are wrongly “persecuted” as an innately mean or evil dog, which she says is not true, adding that the unfair reputation attached to them is the fault of abusive owners who breed them to fight as a sadistic sport. “Pit bull” is in fact a nickname, not a proper name like Schnauzer or German Shepherd. The actual breed is American Staffordshire Terrier.

When it comes to animal rights, Liz Peterson is the go-to expert in our area. “I can tell you about virtually every animal issue in the world,” she says proudly.

The Cortlandt Manor resident is founder and president of Dancing for Animals, which she describes as “a fundraising vehicle that gives grants to animal-loving organizations, educates people about animal welfare issues and inspires them to get involved.” Her knowledge extends to all kinds of animals, but Dancing for Animals concerns itself strictly with domestic animals.

Ms. Peterson takes a decidedly holistic view of the relationship between homo sapiens and non-homo sapiens: “I don’t believe as a human that I am superior to other species,” she says. “To treat them lesser because they are different speaks to the way humans treat other humans who are different. A large percent of human advancements are inspired by the skills of other species. We wouldn’t have airplanes without birds or sonar without whales or bats.”

The founder of Dancing for Animals is a professional dancer and dance instructor who raises money for her not-for-profit organization through dance-related activities. She uses some of the funds for her charity’s operating expenses, but disburses a lot of the monies to animal rights groups in the form of grants that average $250-$500. The money typically is used “to alleviate medical and food costs for the rescued animals,” explains Ms. Peterson.

A significant initiative Liz is particularly passionate about is the best practice of “Trap-Neuter-Return”—or TNR—for community cats. She describes it as a “humane way to stem the population of cats and take care of feral or community cats.”

A cat owner who decides to get rid of the pet callously may decide to abandon it outdoors, called “dumping.” The animals form colonies and breed.

With TNR, a mark is put on their ears (“ear-tipping”) to indicate they are not able to breed and are okay to leave in the colony. In some cases, animal control agencies (as in New York City) try to return ear-tipped cats to documented, managed colonies, says Ms. Peterson, but most city shelters in the U.S. do not have TNR programs yet in place. A high-percentage of community cats are feral and unadoptable because they are not socialized. Taking them to a shelter, she says, typically is a “death sentence.”

Liz says TNR stops breeding, prevents disease and curbs “nuisance behavior” by cats, such as fighting and spraying. It also saves municipalities money, because it is more cost-efficient than the outright killing of cats. She says that towns with TNR policies have lower euthanasia rates, adding, “It costs less to do the humane thing.”

Liz Peterson is constantly looking for ways to broaden her work and support system. “I’m hoping my organization will grow and I’ll be able to give out larger grants in the future. It’s one day at a time, but the grassroots organizations to which I give grants, small as they may be, it really does help.”

Dancing for Animals is registered as a 501(c)(3) charity with the Internal Revenue Service, which makes it tax-exempt. To be eligible for one of its grants, Liz Petersen requires that her beneficiaries also be certified by the IRS as 501(c)(3), which helps validate that the money she donates is being used as intended.

She is available to advise families, individuals and community groups about sponsoring fundraisers from which at least a portion of the proceeds are donated to Dancing for Animals or another 501(c)(3) charity with a comparable mission and credentials.

For more information, contact Liz Peterson, lizp@dancingforanimals.org; DancingForAnimals.org.

Bruce Apar is Chief Content Officer of Google Partner Agency, Pinpoint Marketing & Design, as well as an actor and a regular contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce the Blog on social media. Reach him at bapar@pinpointmarketingdesign.com or 914-275-6887.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


The DACA Dilemma and the Trick of the Trickle-Down Theory

Here is our very own Sen. Charles Schumer on the Senate floor last week: “President Trump has stood in the way of a bipartisan solution to DACA, a problem he created in the first place, and yet the president is in this dream world. He thinks, ‘Oh, I can blame Democrats for the impasse.’ As I said, only in the 1984 world where up is down and black is white could this be true.

Cuomo’s Frivolous Lawsuits Cost Us Money

Since Donald Trump became president, New York State has filed more than 100 lawsuits against the federal government. This includes those filed by both Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It does not include lawsuits filed by the City of New York. Most of them are political in nature, filed to please the plaintiffs’ voting base. In the real world, if we had filed ...

Big Brother Comes to Mahopac

High-tech, government-controlled, eavesdropping devices—listening and watching and prying into our everyday lives—are becoming pervasive. They are being positioned on the streets and highways we travel and they can be programmed to enter our homes and workplaces through the lenses and microphones of the PCs and smartphones we use.    

Of growing concern is the ...

Beautiful, 'Clean' Coal

After completing his first full year in office—an alarming year, at that— Donald Trump has concluded that climate change is not a significant national threat and that the sacred lands and waters of this country should be sold to the highest bidder. 

The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement; deregulated national landmarks; freed public lands for ...

I Love 'I Hate Hamlet'

Let’s face it, folks. Not everyone loves Shakespeare. Not even all actors. Andrew Rally is one of them. In fact, where there’s a Will, there’s a way Andrew will find to avoid acting in one of those famously timeless plays. And for good reason. Shakespeare tests, to the fullest, an actor’s mettle, and Andrew is strictly a TV actor.

He has just ended a star turn in the ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

I Am Woman, Hair Me Roar

When you have short hair, it is inevitable that you will spend an inordinate amount of time growing your hair out and then getting fed up and cutting it again. I have been down this hair-brained road several dozen times before, complaining for months until I am convinced my husband is going to cut it all off while I sleep just so he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about it one more ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 28, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Thu, March 1, 7:00 PM

Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers

The Kennedy Catholic High School Players ...

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Fri, March 2, 7:00 PM

Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers

The Kennedy Catholic High School Players ...

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Bazzo Needs to Get His Facts Straight

February 15, 2018

To the editor,

Once again Mr. Bazzo, in his Feb. 8, column cherry picks facts, ignores other facts, passes along lies and spins so fast to the right that it’s amazing he doesn’t drill himself into the earth.

Bazzo is correct—the economy is doing well, and we should give credit where credit is due. Thank you, President Obama for taking the economy from the brink of another ...

Artworks by Maria Angeles Hegglin at the Somers Library

February 23, 2018

Art Works by Maria Angeles Hegglin at the Somers Library
On display 2/20 - 3/31 

Maria Angeles Hegglin is a self-taught neo-impressionist born in Cordoba, Spain and now living in New York. Her oils on canvas present an idyllic sun-splashed vision of the world. She is a landscape painter whose work is notable for its subtle colors and tactile surfaces that she accomplishes with a palette ...