Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Another way of measuring ... the value of the ounce of prevention

I love being able to come back from a chilly hike on a crisp morning ... knowing that the fire is all laid and will only need a match to start warming us up.
Of course anyone unfamiliar with wood heat wouldn't realize that there's a lot more to it than that.  Before the nice dry wood made it to the wood cupboard in the house, there were many hot buggy days stacking the wood outside to dry ....and then many more hot sticky days putting it in the garage.
It sounds like a lot of work but actually I take the easy road because my wood already comes here cut and split.  I long ago learned that getting wood in eight foot lengths that had to be sawn and split was actually just as expensive by the time I bought the beer for my buddies :)
Is it a lot of work?  You bet!  But if I have learned one thing in fifty-six years it is that anything worth having is worth working for.
And THAT is why I go on and on like a stuck record about the need to get to No Kill Nova Scotia.  That .. and the fact that its as normal as the blue sky out there for a mother and a grandmother to try to create a better community.
Its also a darned good reason to continue to nag about animal control.  To talk about what it is ... and more importantly, to talk about what it should and could be.
It comes as quite a surprise to folks to realize that most of the legislation and changes that make life better for the animals do double duty by creating better communities. 
Anti tethering legislation protects children from the dangers of unsocialized and untrained dogs.   Its just a bonus that it also reduces nuisance behaviors like late night barking and promotes public health by reducing the amount of unhygienic unpicked up poop
Legislation to ban the traffic of living breathing sentient beings in the free online ad sites is consumer protection legislation.  I truly wish with all my heart that certain rescues and shelters would STOP advertising there as they are only lending a thin veneer of respectability and lending strength to the argument that the whole business is acceptable.    Not to mention the notion that it completely voids any credibility by any of the participants when they complain about the problems caused by the site
But I am ... as I often do ... wandering afield here in my meandering way.  How would changes to animal control create better communities? 
  • TNR programs do more than manage feral cat populations .... they reduce both the health risks that are posed by unvaccinated cats and the nuisance behaviors associated with unaltered cats.  More importantly to the number crunchers ... TNR programs also save money because they reduce the number of animals that are impounded and killed.  
  • Low Cost / High volume Spay Neuter clinics are the only effective way to slow down the annual river of stray and abandoned cats.  Its absolutely no different than when residents in any area press their council rep for a traffic light so that they can get to work on time in the morning, eh?   Its just just frosting on the cake that sustained support for such programs will in time reduce the amount required to maintain them.
  • Pet retention programs .. at the risk of stating the obvious ... are the best way to prevent homeless pets.  Pets I might add that overburden every animal control facility in the province.    Investing in free dog training workshops, emergency veterinary assistance and even pet food banks all save money in the long run.
  • Think Lost not Stray !  Instead of talking about the high number of aggressive dogs that are impounded remember that lost pets are hard wired to respond in ways that seldom correlate to temperament tests.
  • And of course the most valuable tool in the animal control arsenal is to reevaluate how they do business with impounded animals.  In this day and age, when so many can barely afford to feed their pet, to charge high fees for reclaiming unlicensed pets is not going to encourage owners to step up to the plate.  Far better, and cheaper,  to implement a lifetime licensing program for altered and microchipped pets.   If that was accompanied by a "free ride home" program for first time offenders it would greatly reduce the unmanageable workload most municipal AC's are faced with.
It was a lot of money to buy my wood last spring.  It was a lot of work to stack it and put it away.  But without all of that there would be no chance of a cozy fire as we speak.
What time is it?  Its always time to remember the truth of the old adage... that an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the "first time free ride home" idea.........