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Who hears the fish when they cry?
Goldfish Sanctuary

Information on Membership

Our Mission: To improve the quality of life for goldfish everywhere. We maintain that the life of a goldfish is precious, that like all creatures, the goldfish is worthy of respect and deserves to live a healthy life under the care of responsible, loving caretakers. We pledge to oppose misinformation and maltreatment wherever we may find it, in this way helping to ensure that where we have passed, the goldfish will be able to live out his potential in happiness and in dignity.

We are looking for knowledgable, compassionate people to join the Goldfish Sanctuary and assist with our mission. It is our primary goal to create a network of people throughout the world who can offer information on humane petstores, advice on good care, and find homes for goldfish who have none. We need writers for our newsletter, people to create fliers, and people to hold meetings for goldfish owners. Whatever your talent, whatever your motivation for seeking membership, we need your help! Following is a listing of options for membership:

GFS Member: This is a generic term used to describe any person who has joined the Goldfish Sanctuary.

GFS Sympathizer: Sympathizers form the backbone of our organization. The Sympathizer is a person who has pledged herself to the task of educating herself and others as the the proper care of goldfish. The Sympathizer is the GFS in the world, our human eyes, ears, and hearts. When a wrong is being done to goldfish, the Sympathizer is not silent. The Sympathizer seeks to improve life for fish through education and compassion. All Sympathizers must take a special oath called the Sympathizer's Pledge of Honour.

GFS Contact: Contacts provide the Headquarters with important information about the state of goldfish in a given geographical region. For example, the Contact will provide information on which fish stores in an area are most humane, and will also be able to provide the number or location of the nearest vet who can help with goldfish problems. Contacts are also occassionally responsible for assisting in the placement of homeless fish.

Chapter Member: The Chapter Member assists the local branch of GFS by arranging meetings, contributing to letter-writing campaigns, assisting in the placement of homeless fish, or maintaining a Sanctuary for homeless fish in his own home (at the discretion of the Chapter Head). Exact duties of the Chapter Member are determined by the needs of the chapter.

Chapter Head: The Chapter Head is responsible for keeping track of and maintaining the organization of activities undertaken in a specific geographical area. Any GFS chapter members in the area must consult with the Chapter Head before undertaking any substantial GFS projects. The Chapter Head may hold meetings, create fliers, organize letter-writing campaigns, maintain a Sanctuary in her home for homeless fish, or any other number of functions as determined by the needs of the chapter. The Chapter Head keeps clear documentation regarding membership in the area, and activities undertaken by the GFS in that region. Chapter heads are responsible for ensuring that all members follow the GFS bi-laws in good faith.

The State of the Goldfish: Goldfish are too often treated in an inhumane fashion. People forget about them, ignore them, and allow their tank conditions to become downright unlivable. It is not uncommon to hear about fish being flushed. I heard an account of a frustrated person throwing a fish out a second-story window. Fraternities still practice the barbaric ritual of swallowing goldfish. A person I talked to offered to sell me a tank. When I commented that it had fish in it already, he said, "Don't worry, I was thinking of dumping them all in the driveway anyway." This kind of total disregard for the lives of goldfish is what caused our organization to form in the first place. Unlike dogs and cats, for which people have some conscience (and at least they will deliver these animals to a local shelter) goldfish are more often flushed or plain ignored when the owner becomes tired of caring for them. First of all, most people are not aware that a place exists to help them place the fish they are no longer able to care for. People rarely even think about offering fish for adoption. As a result, we have many people interested in adopting, but few actually placing their fish up for adoption. Why is this? Part of it is the mindset on the part of the owner that it is not worth the effort. Part of it is the fact that people just don't know that options are available. Options are available. It is our mission to educate people about this fact, and to recreate in the public awareness a sense of the true worth of goldfish life. It is only through education (of the goldfish's needs, habits, and worth) that this goal will be achieved. The Goldfish Sanctuary has a growing network of good people who are dedicated to this very goal. We are seeking representitives in all areas to help us with the education about, and placement of, goldfish. We accept members in all capacities.

Other Capacities: We also require writers for our newsletter and web-page, experts to provide information on fancy breeds, and adoptees who would like to be placed on our waiting list (in case fish suddenly become available in their area). If you would like to contribute a special skill, or you have your own ideas for how you can help the cause of goldfish, please contact us and let us know.

This is Something I Want to Do. How do I Join? To join in any capacity, you must contact Goldfish Sanctuary Headquarters in Rochester, New York. You must explain what capacity you would like to join in, and why you wish to join. If you are joining as a Chapter Head, you must also give an account of your experiences with goldfish. If there is no chapter in your area, you may join as a Contact, Sympathizer, or you may start a chapter in your area. Sympathizers must state their agreement with the Sympathizer's Pledge of Honour. Chapter Head Candidates must state agreement to the GFS bi-laws. Don't forget to include your name, address (or e-mail address), and the city/state/country you wish to represent.

How Much Does it Cost to Join? Membership is free. Members are entitled to receive an e-mail copy of our newsletter which is put out regularly. A hard-copy is available to members who send a SASE to the Goldfish Sanctuary HQ.

Chapters exist in all sizes and are involved in all number of projects. The Goldfish Sanctuary provides for any level of commitment, from a one-shot contribution to involved campaigns. We need your help!

My information is ready! Who do I contact? Please contact The Goldfish Sanctuary. Allow 7 - 12 days for processing.