by Noa from Lod
"Her mission is to rescue. Her hope is that one day she will not have to" ~Unknown
What are the characteristics of a hero? A simple question yet very challenging to answer, for there is no absolute definition of a hero- a hero is in the eye of the beholder. Although every answer differs, some common heroic characteristics include fearlessness, courage, selflessness, and bravery. There are many people in the world who have the heroic traits I mentioned, though not all of them are heroes. Having heroic traits is not enough- It's what you do with them that truly matters. During life, the choices we make and the actions we take are the ones that build up our personality and make us who we really are. Therefore, I don't think that the making of hero should be based on the shallow traits we were given by sheer luck, but instead by what we choose to do with them. I find a true hero to be one who takes action and uses his own gifts and traits to help those who are less fortunate; those who are inferior to him; those who are unable to help themselves. I think there is no better fit to my description of a hero than Riki Bassry, the CEO of an organization called "SOS Pets".
Riki Bassry, who is now 63 years old, was born in Israel. She has been an animal lover ever since she can remember. As a child, she always had a soft spot for pets (especially dogs) and she used to rescue them (with the help of her dog's vet, Dr. Zeev Shiner) before she had her own shelter. Apart from being a caring dog owner she's a loving wife and mother of 2 children who show the same devotion to pets as she does. From what I understand Riki is a very modest person- she runs her organization behind the scenes, without making a fuss about it or expecting to gain fame from it. I find this an admirable quality that proves her commitment to be truly genuine.
During her lifetime, Riki has done many good deeds: she has climbed trees and rooftops, jumped into garbage ditches, crawled under cars and put herself through other dangerous situations in order to rescue lost animals. Out of the many deeds, there is one that seems the most heroic - the founding of the shelter "SOS Pets" in 1978. At the time there was only one dog shelter in Israel. It used to put the stray cats and dogs in cages and euthanize the poor creatures due to lack of available space. When Riki applied to volunteer there she was horrified by the conditions the animals had to suffer, and because of her objection to those conditions she was turned down by the secretary there who told her that if she didn't agree with the shelter's concepts she should make her own- and that is exactly what she did! She created a shelter that's based on foster families who take care of the pets. This makes cages and euthanasia unnecessary, since there are always foster families who can provide a living space for the pets. The pets' living conditions in the foster homes are ideal since they provide the lost pets with a real "home" environment and prepare it for the time they get adopted.
I think the achievement Riki has reached is greatly heroic for she has done exactly what I expect a hero to do- she used her voice and her ability to make a change to help those who are greatly in need of it, those who are incapable of speaking up or shielding themselves. She stood up for what she believed in and she took action that saved the lives of countless cats and dogs, whether from death or from a terrible life spent starving on the streets. I believe that she's a savior of pets and humans as well; for pets are known to reduce their owners' blood pressure, improve their immune system, and generally make their owners happier. As well as helping animals, Riki encourages people to volunteer and to become pet saviors like herself. I can personally say, as an animal lover who cares for their rights, that Riki has truly inspired me. I greatly admire the effort she's been putting into helping animals and I hope to have the same devotion to the matter in my own life.
Page created on 6/3/2017 6:01:26 PM
Last edited 7/4/2017 5:52:50 PM
The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.
- SOS Pets Israel was founded in 1979 by Riki Bassry and has been since working tirelessly for the welfare and rescue of thousands of dogs and cats.