Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Bailiwicks of Rescue (New York City)


(Picture left: "Daisy" -- Rescued many months ago, but still languishing in boarding, despite being a beautiful, healthy and loving Retriever/Chow mix.)

As expected, it was a very slow holiday weekend. Well, except for the couple who came to see one of our dogs (Leo) in boarding, wasted almost two hours of a volunteer's time, said they wanted to adopt and then later called to say their landlord wouldn't allow.

One wonders why people like this couldn't check with the landlord BEFORE they called rescue supposedly seeking to adopt a second dog?

People sometimes criticize rescues and some shelters for asking many questions ("third degree") before either showing animals for adoption or doing actual adoptions.

Our experience over the weekend is one of the reasons why.

Because, if we didn't ask the questions we would constantly be wasting time with people who, for one reason or another, are not in actual position to adopt -- or, we would be adopting out animals only to see most of them returned a short time later.

It is truly amazing how many people call pet adoption agencies BEFORE checking with landlords, roommates, spouses and lovers. Its downright ridiculous how many people contact shelters and rescues immediately BEFORE going on vacation, painting their houses or moving. Do such people really expect adoption agencies to "hold" animals weeks or months until the "adopters" get their act together? It seems only common sense to contact shelters and rescues when one is actually READY to bring home a pet.

Then again, whoever said that common sense was really "common?"

But aside from inconsiderate time wasters, the past week or so has been extremely slow in terms of adoption inquiries at all.

This is very scary in terms of the number of dogs we have in long-time boarding.

I am now very reluctant to put any dogs in boarding situations as it seems more and more like a "black hole." -- Once going in, it seems they rarely come out.

I believe the biggest reasons for this are two-fold:

First of all, those people really serious about adopting a dog generally go directly to shelters and pick one out. However, those people demanding "guarantees" of perfection in a pet or simply toying around with the idea of adoption are more likely to call rescues.

Secondly, many people like the idea of "saving" a dog or cat's life. These people will respond to what I call, the "11th hour desperation ads." i.e. "Please Save Lucy! She has only 24 hours to live!"

Because most rescue groups are "no kill" and because most of our animals are either in foster or boarding situations, we are not in position to lie and say our pets "only have 24 hours to live!"

Such pleas only work for animals in euthanizing shelters and whose lives are thus, literally on the line. In many cases, the pleas actually work to find an animal a last minute foster or adopter.

However, in those cases where the 11th hour desperation pleas don't work, the rescue is often faced with the decision of whether to send the dog to a boarding facility. This is especially true if the rescue has already committed to the animal either by rescue from the streets or promising an animal control facility that they will "pull" the dog or cat.

But, as said, boarding can be like a "black hole" for rescued animals.

Because the bottom line is that once having been "rescued" most people no longer feel any concern or sense of urgency for animals available through rescue groups and no kill shelters. The animals are presumed to be "safe."

What most people don't realize is that in order to continue rescue and taking in animals, rescue groups and no kill shelters have to be able to move the animals they have.

Otherwise, "rescue" and "no kill" simply becomes synonymous with the "warehousing" of animals. The dogs or cats may be "safe," but they lack the sense of security, human bonding and affection that is so important in terms of their ultimate happiness, peace, balance and welfare. -- PCA

8 comments:

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Abagale said...

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Betty

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Betty

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