Rescue Review 2011
Change Change Change
Well another year has come and gone. I get older and time flies faster.
There does remain one constant in all of it, and that is dogs continue to need our help. This year was bad in that the economy has forced people to make choices. Some of those choices are sadly courageous. Do we feed our children and pay our mortgage or do we feed and vet our dogs. Never have I seen more dogs needing right here in our own state from foreclosures, divorce, job loss and moving. A reality is I hear those people on the other end of the phone sobbing for help.
We are blessed in that we continue to be supported by fabulous past adopters, vets, friends, other rescuers, ACOs and many times complete strangers practicing random acts of kindness.
2011 has brought with it a need to take care of our own. I am not saying that we wonít network out of state dogs in the New England/Tri-state area but letís face it charity and community start in your own back yard.
Itís a realization that the south has an overpopulation problem and that the north has become the solution. Well we just canít buy into that, or we in the north will be part of the problem if we keep enabling mass amounts to be transported (many times like sardines in a can) to arrive sick, scared, and contagious to our border. Many of you know that yes we do rescue out of the south. But did you know all these years itís been from a vet. Yes one marvelous man and wife team that does everything including the 2 week quarantine or longer so that no sick dogs enter carrying a dangerous contagion that could hurt your animal. Dr. J and his wife Jackie are still doing what they do and we still support what they have been doing for years. If he were to call this minute with a pregnant mom in need I would take her. Because itís done right and within state laws. Always was.
Speaking of LAWS! As of October 1, 2011 the interstate transportation and importing of animals is now state regulated and there are new laws regarding licensing, quarantine, disease control, and vetting. You have to be registered with the Department of Agriculture, the state of Connecticut and the Department of Charities if you claim to be a 501c3 non-profit. Within 48 hours of those dogs arriving they have to be back at a Connecticut state vets office being reexamined and receiving a State of CT Health Certificate. This makes a legitimate rescue's cost go up an extra 50 to 75 dollars per dog. Transport used to run approximately $100.00. This fee is now running $150.00 to $200.00 per dog. Plus the out of state vetting we already paid for (and pray it better be a honest vet that really performed said vetting).
Unfortunately rescue became big business over the last 2 years and like everything in life if a buck can be made or passed it will turn ugly. Many of you know I am honest to the point of being rudely blunt and the more money at stake the uglier it gets. And ugly it is. Rescue needed change and I will outright state I am in favor of some of the new laws and some are just idiotic. Laws are passed because many are tacked unto others and sail right through before many know what is happening. Such were some of these. Now we are in the tweaking process of fine tuning those laws to make them more effective and a bit more sensible. Either way the fees will not change and to operate per year it will cost $400.00.
HOW does this effect you? Well like everything else in life these days, it hits your wallet. Ours too. You come to a point youíre not so sure that rescue is the answer, while dogs die in shelters all across the country. Yes, rescuers can stem the tide but will they beat the sunami? Highly unlikely. So please hear a rescuer when they say what about such and such shelter they do a nice job or we heard there was a lovely dog at such and such. Check out the facility, see what vetting the dogs have had. See if they have been evaluated and temperament tested. Outright ask if you can have a trial period or a weekend slumber party and if there are problems will they take the dog back. Many will not. Also know the minute you leave that facility that the dog becomes your responsibility and also your liability should the dog do any harm to a person or damage to property. Average cost of a pound pooch $5.00. Shelters also give vouchers at a cost of $45.00 towards a spay, neuter and rabies shot. So for 50 bucks you could get a great dog, or not. Again let the buyer beware.
Petfinder.com is a useful tool also as many town pounds use this service as it is offered for free to them to advertise dogs that would go left unnoticed. Also know what we call cyberspace rescues use it too. A cyberspace rescue is one that looks fantastic on the web has no real physical address and no intention of ever taking a dog back once they dump it on you. Many of these rescues operate only to post dogs they never rescue or touch but can put up a sad story and plead for funds. My personal opinion on this is has always been clear. If you canít afford to rescue and care for the dog then donít. If we find out that a dog is much sicker than what first appeared we address quality of life, different treatments and ask outright will you hold the dog until we can do a fundraiser or ask certain supporters. Weíve done it but not with the threat of a dog dying. No we ask you go without a latte today or send a dollar as one dollar from one hundred people adds up. If no money comes forth then guess what, we go to our personal savings as we did it we own it. Been there, been broke.
FACT: Yes all dogs once in the system stand to lose their life but to be humanely euthanized is better than suffering a human who doesnít give a damn. A sad, heart wrenching truth. Some of that ugly we spoke of earlier.
In closing this is a rescuer telling the facts and the truth. As appalled as you may be that this is not the usual cheerfulness that I speak with make no mistake about one thing we will keep doing what we have always done, the best we can in good times and bad. We shall go with the flow of inevitable change and share our sunnier side and some of that old passion that still runs deep for one of the best things ever to walk this planet. THE DOG!
p.s. please read on to a more positive outlook for 2012.