Everything we do, think, and feel is an integral part of who we are as individuals. Our professional life, personal choices, hobbies, our circle of friends, activist causes, and lifestyles are all a part of our true, whole selves.
How we prioritize and combine these many aspects of ourselves reflects what is important to us as individuals. Whereas some people get trapped in a web of wealth, power, prestige, and materialism, others experience joie de vivre.
What is truly important, we give our life for every single moment of every single day. Our confidence in our own strengths, abilities, and sense of resolve spills over into every facet of our lives.
For actress Lynn Spencer, taking the time out of her busy acting career and dedicating herself to saving the lives of animals is of paramount importance. “Their lives,” Lynn says, “are as precious as ours.”
“The amount of hours I put in weekly for this effort, which are a lot, is a constant challenge and a reminder to myself that I can and will do anything that is necessary to continue to save animals.”
Having left the acting industry for a number of years, Lynn started from scratch and began acting professionally again in 2006. “This same year, I started my journey as an animal rescuer.”
Through her hands-on trap-neuter-return (TNR) efforts, Lynn met Amy Kozell, the President of Angels of Animals, Inc., a nonprofit volunteer rescue and adoption organization in New Jersey that serves the tri-state area.
“The passion to save is equal to the passion to create,” Lynn says of the symbiotic relationship and the merge between her re-ignited acting career and her animal advocacy.
“There is an art to everything we do,” Lynn states. There is an art to rescue. Whether you are hands-on in the field crawling under a building, breaking into a window or door, or networking a plea or fundraising for money, the sense of urgency for the cause requires a level head, a calm demeanor, and a sense of peace.”
“Especially when performing hands-on in a field rescue,” Lynn adds. “I have trained myself in this approach and applied it to my everyday life and way of thinking.”
“Animals in need of tangible rescue are terrified. We step lightly, we whisper, we crawl gingerly, our brains scramble for ways in and out, in silence.”
“As an actor,” Lynn explains, “it is a great foundation to build characters upon. In essence, the art in which I save animals is beyond helpful to me in the art of creating my characters.”
As an animal advocate, Lynn is currently studying animal protection laws to become more involved in the use of animal actors in media. “There seems to be little protection for animals in film, tv and theatre, and their safety and comfort pretty much relies on the heart and integrity of the production itself.”
“There are times when animals should be a part of the story.” Lynn stresses, “They must be cared for with great respect and kindness.”
“Unfortunately, that does not always happen,” Lynn says referring specifically to the horse deaths that occurred and resulted in the cancellation of the HBO series Luck and the twenty-seven animal deaths in the making of the Hobbit Trilogy, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce and also garnered hundreds of millions of dollars.
On the other hand, Lynn cites three positive examples of handling animal actors. Her friend and fellow actress, Kat Scicluna, a Licensed Canine and Equestrian Sports Massage Therapist, took great care of the horses as a groom, wrangler, and an ECSMT in the Cinemax mini-series The Knick.
In the tv series, Unforgettable, rescue kittens from Angels of Animals were handled on set by Angels of Animals volunteer Christine Petritis. Prior to filming, Director Jace Alexander interacted with the kittens.
“The Knick did it right. Unforgettable did it right.” Lynn adds, “Pageant Pom Mom also got it right.”
Pageant Pom Mom, a SAG-AFTRA web-series is the brainchild of Lynn’s friend, actress Brooke Hoover. Lynn, Assistant Director and co-star in Pageant Pom Mom says, “The real star of the show is Precious, a senior Pomeranian who Brooke and her mom rescued years ago in Louisiana. I can tell you that Precious was treated like a Queen.”
As Lynn continues to grow and serve as an animal rescuer with Angels of Animals, she often joins efforts with other groups and causes.
“No matter how much work I get as an actor, no matter how busy I become,” Lynn says, “I will never stop my work as an animal rescuer. I will always be in the trenches. I will always be their voice.”