Over the years I’ve seen so many people approach rescue with their hearts bleeding and only hoping to do the right thing. In fact, one thing I see over and over again is people starting their own non-profit rescue organization in an attempt to do it better than the others. It is always their goal to do more than the next guy, but this often times comes back to bite them in the ass.
I don’t think there’s a person who starts a rescue that doesn’t have the purest of intentions, but the separating between rescues is very disturbing. Everyone in rescue is scrambling to get the small amount of money that is out there, and it’s getting more and more scarce. I hear it from friends that they get completely bombarded from every angle asking for donations. The issue remains, “It’s us against them.” Municipal shelters could save more and more lives with the help of everyone who wants to do more; but by aligning themselves outside of the shelter these rescues choose to divide (and not conquer). In an overwhelming attempt to keep afloat, many of these rescues end up not being able to take the animals that are in the most dire need of rescue: the sick, the old and the behaviorally challenged. I get calls and emails asking for temperament tests on dogs to see if they are dog friendly and handleable. If they’re not, they are often cast over by people who really want to, and should, help. It is THESE dogs that need rescue. Shelters should not have that tough of a time adopting out manageable, healthy pets. But, and this is where we will ruffle some feathers, so many rescues take only adoptable pets in hopes of placing them in families that “they” see fit.
This is where the “funnel theory” comes into action. With the amount of pets coming into our nations shelters everyday (they go in the top of the funnel), the pets going out the front door of the shelters (that would be the bottom of the funnel) don’t even out. The hole on the top is too big for the hole on the bottom.
What our nation’s homeless pets need is advocacy and education. We need people to understand that pets are a lifetime commitment, dogs (in particular) need training and people need to be held accountable for their actions. It’s not ok to dump a pet, it’s not ok not to train a dog. If people have to obey traffic laws when driving, why shouldn’t people have to obey pet laws when owning pets. These people ruin it for everyone and cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of shelter pets.
If we can get together and educate the public, work with shelters on adoption programs that work, training shelter dogs, fair assessment tests, marketing dogs for adoption, public education on training and spay and neuter as well as proper pet custodianship, we will be closer to solving he problem than imaginable.
When I founded Bound Angels it was my goal to provide a service that no one else did, and to this day we still provide that service: education and awareness for our nations shelter pets. We’ve provided hundreds of temperament tests, thousands of educational handouts, humane education campaigns as well as marketing campaigns all free of charge to rescues and shelters. I hope that more and more people will join us and take advantage of the lifesaving tools we make available to save those that need us most.
If you’d like more information on how Bound Angels can help your shelter, please take a look at our resources available and contact us.
founder / executive director