123. Organizer Envisions a Safe, Humane Chicago, and Beyond
Cynthia Bathurst, Ph.D., believes you can’t have a safe neighborhood if it’s not humane for its humans and animal residents. As head of Safe Humane Chicago and co-founder of D.A.W.G. (Dog Advisory Work Group), she started in her Lincoln Park neighborhood, with a global vision for humane communities worldwide.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
At an early age she honed her analytical mind with science and mathematics, then plunged into literature, narrative and rhetoric, adding skills in persuasive writing. When problems confronted her community in Chicago, a compassion cultivated in childhood mobilized her to act on her understanding of how deeply life and companionship matter.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I grew up with animals, friends and a loving family, knowing that animals, compassion and helping others was crucial to everyone’s life. On a Chicago community policing ride-along, Cynthia witnessed a former neighbor die. The transformative experience drove her to organize Safe Humane Chicago to address violence, abuse and neglect of humans and animals.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“One does have to have an ethic and a spirituality about life. Being able to see the impact of my own pushing ahead on other people and groups of people—seeing them move ahead on what they want to do—is what drives me. In Buddhist terms, it’s being a Bodhisattva.”
On Her Bookshelf
On November 13, 2015, Safe Humane debuts a coffee-table book with all proceeds benefiting Safe Humane’s programs, thanks to sponsors and the pro-bono work that went into it.
The book tells the stories of 20 of the hundreds of animals who have entered Safe Humane’s Court Case Dogs program.
A Ruff Road Home: The Court Case Dogs of Chicago, by Susan Russell and photography by Josh Feeney
To learn more or order your copies, visit http://www.safehumanechicago.org/programs/court-case-dogs
Connecting With Cynthia Bathurst
Facebook: Safe Humane Chicago
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