Monday, November 22, 2010

A little monday morning musing

I love my best friend.   I met him nineteen years ago this week and over the years our friendship has evolved into something more supportive than many spouses share.  We have shored each other up through the sadder life events and shared the joy of the sweeter ones.
It really is frosting on the cake that between the two of us we very likely know how to make / grow / build or fix anything we could possibly think of.  While its not the reason we are close, over the years we have both saved a lot of money by being able to dip into our joint skill set pool.
Its one of the reasons the military places such a premium on teamwork.   Centuries of experience have taught them that it is the most efficient and effective way to get any job done.
Which is why it is such a delight to see signs of this popping up in the animal rescue world.   Last week, I was thrilled to see the Petfinder rep for the Yarmouth SPCA promoting a fundraiser for Clare Feral Friends.  Their auction was a huge success ... no doubt in no small part from the boost.
Even better  ... efforts like this have a positive impact on the reputation of all parties involved.  In realspeak .. while it is not the original objective .. it is Very Good Public Relations for groups to support each other.
Last month .. the whole PACS team came down to the Valley to attend a HART fundraiser.  ( The subject of how the founder of PACS is trying to build better relationships within the cat rescue community is a really neat subject deserving of its own post on another day :)
Even better ... the kind folks running the online auction to fundraise for Atlantic Small Dog Rescue have been very generously sharing their auction with other rescues.  Last week they helped Second Chance Terrier Rescue fundraise for a good dog in need.  This week the proceeds for their auction will go to HART.
Best of all are the groups who share their own success and accept adoptables in from other groups who either don't have the space or the resources.  As with so many other things, SHAID has led the way with this and for years have been bringing in dogs from Metro.
Being No Kill does attract support and adopters, hmmm?   
Nor is SHAID alone in this now.  The LA Shelter up in Amherst has done well enough that they are often able to bring dogs in from other groups as well.
Being on a better path has also allowed the society to help others.  The Metro shelter has been bringing in dogs from the Yarmouth and Cape Breton Branches.  They have been able to take more owner surrenders and certainly deserve bragging rights for the way things have turned around.
Of course, they are blowing their own horn by publishing their stats online.   Are they legally obliged to?  Of course not ... but taking that first step towards transparency has played a significant role in their journey towards No Kill.
In fact, their adoptions are such a success now that they were able to very generously offer ..  both in writing to HRM and verbally to the contractor to accept any and all pets from the tiny little new pound. 
And before the keyboards catch on fire ... for a municipality that is home to well over half the province's population to have sixteen half or eight full kennels for dogs and eight kennels for cats is an incredibly optimistic number that seems to bear no correlation to the statistical history available from the society.  So yes .. I will call it tiny.
Remember the bold optimistic spirit at the end of March this year when the press and public were able to tour the new facility.
The owner was quoted as saying that " its vision was to change the way the people think about the city pound by providing exceptional animal care and a service the citizens of HRM will admire and respect" 
How were they going to do that with such a small pound?  On my friend Joan's blog, she quotes the manager as saying that they want to work with local rescues to adopt out animals that come in through them and are suitable for being adopted out - .
The reason that successful businesses research existing data before engaging in new ventures is  ... as our history teachers used to preach ... to avoid repeating mistakes that have already been made.
There is nothing in the existing historical data to suggest that transferring pets out to other rescues was a viable option.  Based on statistical data from the previous year, the number of dogs transferred to other rescues or groups for an eight month time period would equate to 12 dogs.
How many have been transferred?  To date,by asking all my rescue contacts,  I have only been able to find 15 dogs that have been transferred out to other rescues.   In all fairness it should be mentioned that SHAID was asked once, but at the time of the request already had a full house.
In a world where every rescue in the province generally has a waiting list of a dozen dogs for every available slot, this shouldn't come as any big surprise, hmmm?  Even worse, everyone I've been speaking with in rescue says that they are encountering the highest rate ever of owner surrenders and abandoned pets this year. 
No surprises there ... we've lost a couple of thousand jobs just here in the valley this year and are not alone on what sometimes seems to be a sinking ship.
What about Metro?  To date , they have been "taking in unidentified cats from them that were brought to HB or the Emergency Clinic injured, typically as a result of being hit by a car, with HB covering the vet treatment costs and us handling the adoption side." ... but that this has not been a large volume.
How many dogs have been transferred to Metro?  Zero. Zip.   How many requests have been made to Metro?  Nada.  Nothing.  Not a single one.
Is this a problem?  Only if any dogs are dying.    If everyone is getting adopted... if the number of dogs killed for behavior/health issues is under ten percent ... then its no big deal.  Clearly there is no need for the very generous offer of help from the former contractor.
Adoptions are the key to No Kill success and these days there is Always room at the Metro inn ... especially for dogs.  If for whatever reasons, the new facility has chosen not to avail itself of the standing offer of help, that simply means that Metro will be able to broaden their horizons and help other spca's in other provinces.
But of course, understand that this is all sheer speculation without anything but historical data to work with.   Based also on a constant ratio between impounds and reclaimed by owners.
What time is it?  It is always time to remember that teamwork is the best way to save the animals.  And as my old drill Sgt used to say ... anyone who thinks there is a "me" in team has it all backwards.
Its amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit   Source unknown

1 comment:

melgeo126 said...

Good post, like usual!