Monday, December 1, 2008

An Urgent, but Necessary Plea


(Picture Left: "Goldie" Loving and gentle purebred Cocker Spaniel surrendered to Animal Control when former owners ran into "personal problems." A few days later on the shelter Euthanasia List. Rescued, but now languishing in boarding. This lovely dog in desperate need of responsible adoptive or foster home.)

EXTREMELY URGENT: As our national economy has taken a dramatic downturn in recent months, many thousands more pets are being given up to shelters due to financial and other hardships on owners. Common now among reasons for pet relinquishment is, "cannot afford." Other cats and dogs wind up in shelters when their owners become ill, are forced to move or lose their jobs.

The increase in animal intakes in shelters places burdens on the shelters, who then turn to rescue groups for help.

As a small rescue group working with Animal Control in New York City, we are besieged with constant pleas to save these dogs or those cats.

Unfortunately, rescue groups are also feeling the economic pinch and volunteer downturns.

It has become much harder to find willing volunteers to temporarily foster animals until the pets can be permanently placed. It is much more difficult finding adoptive homes. And it has become far more challenging to raise the necessary monies to support vetting and other care of rescued animals.

The lack of available fosters means rescue groups are forced to board many rescued animals when financially possible. Unfortunately, boarding, particularly over long periods of time becomes financially prohibitive.

Currently, NYCA has 7 wonderful dogs in boarding. Not only is the boarding of animals financially draining, but it is not the best thing for the dogs. Long term cage confinement can cause high stress in many animals resulting in possible later behavioral and adjustment issues.

But, even more than the financial stresses on the organization or possible emotional damages on the animals, there is the very real fact, that once filled in foster homes and boarding spaces, the rescue organization can no longer rescue NEW animals.

When rescue organizations are filled to capacity and cannot take in new animals, that translates into more animals going into city pounds and ultimately dying. City shelters are currently forced to "euthanize" an ever increasing number of loving and healthy cats and dogs simply because homes and rescue cannot be found for them in time.

A rescue organization that cannot "move" its animals either into foster or adoptive homes, cannot continue rescue.

Animal Control shelters who cannot move their animals into adoptive homes or rescue organizations are forced to kill otherwise highly adoptable pets on a daily basis.

Both of the above scenarios are happening RIGHT NOW, every day in New York City.

Shelters and rescues desperately need HELP -- especially help in the forms of responsible adopters and willing volunteer FOSTERS.

Even if you have one pet already, PLEASE consider taking in another on a short term basis until a permanent home can be found for the cat or dog.

In many cases, volunteer fosters can even choose a particular animal to foster.

Challenging times call for those able and willing to step forth to lend a helping hand.

Please call us immediately, if you are able to foster or adopt a needy and loving cat or dog or even just seeking further information:

(212) 427-8273.

Thank You in advance,

New Yorkers for Companion Animals
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1 comment:

skdean53 said...

How very true--shelters and rescues now are overwhelmed here in western PA, as everywhere. And people are giving up their pets in ever-increasing numbers due to financial hardship. I currently foster for my local Humane Society (but only one animal at a time, as I have 5 pets of my own at home already--2 large dogs and 3 cats). My current foster is a sweet and loving declawed cat who initially came to me due to a severe eye injury; possibly kicked in the head, but we'll never know for sure. Although the injury has healed, "Sabrina" has lost the sight in her left eye, which now appears cloudy and somewhat discolored. To make her prospects for adoption even worse, the vet places her age at somewhere between 8-9 years. Although advertised on the shelter website and Petfinder.com, and described as sweet and loving, and a lap-cat who would be ideal for an older person, we have not had a single inquiry into adopting her! So, although I am almost certain she has never lived with other animals, I am currently attempting to socialize her with both dogs and cats, but am coming to grips with the idea that she may be with me for a long, long time, if not forever. It seems no one wants to adopt an animal that is older, much less one who is not physically "perfect". And yet, if I had to choose another animal for my own home, I myself would choose an older animal whose personality traits are already known and who is already house trained. But the public, in their quest for "perfection", may have already made my choice for me, since with each passing week, it seems more likely that Sabrina will be staying with me forever.