Friday, June 12, 2009

The Real Mission (Reply) -- New York City

(Picture Left: -- A dog named, "Pat" on shelter Euth list today. Have no real place to send this older Shepherd mix, but pulled her anyway. She has the same name as I do.)

Karyn Writes: I've been a dog and cat owner my whole life, but even so, have learned so much by reading your blog. Enough to persuade my husband NOT to breed the border collie he bought before we were married. And enough to persuade my husband that the next dog we get will be from the shelter; not from a breeder. Your blog has ripple effects that you might not even be aware of... it would be a shame if you discontinued it.

Reply: I want to first thank you for taking the time to write and show support for this questionable venture.

Many times I ask myself if writing on here is just to "vent" personal frustrations or if it actually serves any positive purpose?

But, even if just one thing written results in a shelter or rescued dog or cat finding a truly loving home or someone deciding to neuter their pet, then it indeed springs forth some positive result.

I thank you for sharing how this journal (and presumably other things) has helped to open yours and your husband's eyes to more enlightened choices with animals.

One of the things we have to face up to in shelter and rescue work, is that desire and try as we may, it is simply not possible to save every loving cat or dog that is dying either in our shelters or on the streets.

That is a very sobering (and depressive) reality and it is one particularly drummed forth during the "dog days of summer" as we watch shelter kill lists literally skyrocket and shoot off the charts.

It becomes harder and almost impossible to rescue new animals, as we cannot find homes for the ones we already have fast enough. We begin to think:

"For all the efforts made, it has not made ONE bit of difference in the overall and big picture! We can never save the animals as fast as they are being dumped!"

Its like being trapped between a rock and a hard place. -- There is little room for any maneuverability or movement.

We read the various "Alerts" every night and scout the Euth lists, fully knowing there is little if anything at all we can do.

As written the other day, I have lost the motivation to keep up with the blog because there is little of "good news" to report.

How do we, after all, find the "silver lining" in the 47 cats or 29 dogs that are going down today in the local shelters?

Maybe, we only try to save one.

And then pray to God, that there is still some "miracle" out there for that one dog or cat you've decided to "pull" but have no place for.

Or, perhaps (and better yet) to realize something you said has prompted or inspired some one else to go save a dog or cat.

If the latter, then such is the true "miracle" because ultimately, it is hearts and minds we have to ultimately influence and change if ever there is be true "hope" to turn the shelter situations around.

It's like the old adage: "Give a man an apple, he will eat for a day. Teach him to farm and he can eat forever."

Rescue is like that, too.

Severely limited, unless the knowledge learned from it is properly distributed, shared and most of all, received and accepted.

We may, after all rescue a thousand animals. But, if the knowledge obtained from those experiences dies with us when we go, then we have failed in our most important mission: that of positive teaching and lasting change that ultimately saves many thousands or even millions of lives long after we, as individuals have exited this planet. -- PCA

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