Thursday, October 13, 2011

On following the whole recipe ....

I love being able to put on a cozy fire when it is cool and damp!  What's not to love?   It is cozy and cheerful .... cheaper than most 'conventional' heat .... and to be perfectly honest there is nothing more comforting for my arthritis!
It is also great exercise!   By the time I put a piece of wood in the stove, it has been in my hand at least four or five times ... and that is with going the 'lazy' road of getting it in cut and split!
Wood heat is like so many other things in life.  While many folks like the concept, it is the practical bits that turn them off.  It is not as easy as turning a thermostat ... it IS a lot more housework ... and it involves a LOT of physical work.  
Rather like No Kill, eh?   Nobody wants to sound heartless and say that they 'want' to kill homeless pets.   So instead they muddy the waters a bit by claiming that No Kill simply isn't realistic.  That there are not enough homes.  That perhaps someday it will work ... but that change takes time.  That it might work elsewhere, but not here in Nova Scotia!
Chief among the objections is the claim that No Kill is not cost effective.  That shelters and municipalities simply do not have the resources to save every homeless pet.
Why would that be ... when No Kill has been around long enough to have a successful track record?
To begin with, there is still a great deal of confusion between the concept of No Kill and shelters and groups that are not killing.    To be perfectly honest, there are very few groups and shelters in this province that are actually killing any adoptable pets in their charge.
Does that mean they are No Kill?   Not unless they are following the whole No Kill Recipe!    Without aggressive adoption programs, they are simply creating sanctuary for a chosen few and leaving all the others out in the cold.
Aggressive adoption programs are a critical component of the No Kill Equation.   Straight, sweet and simple, there is no way around that one.   After all, each and every pet that is adopted in a timely fashion frees up that rescue slot for another.    
It is also important to remember that sustained sheltering costs for individual animals are not more economical because behind every adopted pet is a kind heart who can potentially become a supporter of the shelter or group.  In realspeak, this means more adoptions equals more volunteers and donors.
Even better, each and every adopted pet becomes an ambassador for pet adoption.   Every friend, family member, coworker, neighbour and now social networking pals will find out first hand how wonderful the pet adoption experience can be.
Best of all, offsite adoption programs reach out to pet lovers in the best possible way ... with the adorable adoptables themselves!   Why did pet stores cling to selling puppies for so long?  Because it drew families into the store, of course! 
Providing people with the opportunity to meet adoptable animals is the very best 'advertising' that shelters and groups can engage in.   It is even more effective than reducing the adoption fees!
Does that mean that it is a waste of time to use either Petfinder, Adopt a Pet or Rescue websites to list adoptable animals?   Of course not!   In this virtual world,  there is an invisible customer base doing their research online before heading out to shop.  The shelter or rescue will ONLY see these people if they have listed the pet of their dreams!
When people interested in bringing home a new family pet peruse the Petfinder listings, most 'adoption rookies' will assume that the only available pets are the ones listed.   Even worse, when some groups fail to list any online, adopters either assume that there are none available or that there might be something 'wrong' with the ones that are :(
Worst of all of course is the simple fact that the really great homes will only be 'in the market' for a pet every fifteen or twenty years.   They take wonderful care of their pets and keep them for life, eh?  
What a shame to miss out on such golden opportunities by overlooking the fact that most folks are not familiar with how the animal welfare world works!
What time is it?    It is always time to remember that it is poor logic to complain that Nova Scotia is not ready for No Kill if the full recipe is not being followed!

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