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From 3 July 2005 Issue

Those Colorful Rubber Bracelets
By Michelle Rivera - MichelleRivera1@aol.com

This just in! The Jacksonville Humane Society has decided to jump on the bracelet bandwagon and are offering the bracelets in your choice of three colors: red, black and blue with the words Spay, Neuter, Adopt printed on them. You can visit their site at http://www.jaxhumane.org/petcetera_specials.html or by e-mailing them at bandwagon@jaxhumane.org .

These bracelets are everywhere! We see them on the grocery store clerk, the nurse in our doctors' office, our veterinarian, kids, teachers and grandparents. They are worn by everyone, black, white, brown, tall, short, old, young, fat and skinny.

What started out as a fundraiser for the Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" campaign against cancer has spread like wildfire across our country. The peace movement has a light blue one, the domestic violence movement has a purple one, the breast cancer awareness crusade has a pink one.

A few months ago I wrote to the nice people at Animal Rescue Site and asked them if maybe they could come up with one for us animal people. They obliged by designing a lovely purple bracelet with paw prints and the words Animal Rescue Site stamped into the rubber. I was thrilled to go to their site and purchase a few dozen to give to all my friends. At $1 apiece, it was such a bargain!

I did get a few letters that were generated by that article. In one, the writer noted that the purple color was already taken by "gay pride" (I thought they had rainbows??). I knew that the purple was already taken by domestic violence, but I felt that we could share since companion animals are frequently the proximate or intended victims of domestic violence. Another writer advised that she and some friends had allergies to rubber and wondered if maybe they made on in metal. They certainly do! They are fashioned after those popular Italian Charm bracelets and have purple paw prints stamped into the links. Very nice.

The money goes to help animals in shelter via the Animal Rescue Site. A word of warning, however, I have seen the bracelets for sale at Exxon, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, K-Mart and other retail outlets and I hope that people who buy them at these places understand that they are not helping any specific cause when they buy them from such places. They are simply following a fashion trend that is a bastardized version of the good works that these bracelets purported to represent, so buyer beware!

Go on to Help The Caged Birds
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