We do not have a poverty line in Canada anymore. Does that mean we are all rolling in riches? Of course not! In bureaucratspeak it is now referred to as The Low Income Threshold, which here in NS is now $36,226. for a family of four! ( THe testy topic of how it now takes a gross household income of $71,154. to hit the (now) dizzy heights of Middle Class is a subject for a blog with a different focus than mine ...sigh )
What does this mean in realspeak? Why of course that there are many more children eating fish sticks and drinking no name pop and far fewer being fed vegetables and fresh milk!
There are small ways that parents can economize, but unless they grow a garden and have their own milk cow, most find even the basic ingredients out of their reach!
Opponents to No Kill are quick to argue that it simply is not affordable to implement in these days when politicians at all levels are feeling the budget crunch. The truth is that "We'd love to if we could only afford it" sounds ever so much better than saying" we just prefer to stick with the status quo"
The good news is that there are ever so steps that our politicians can take to save lives without spending a single cent:
- Require all AC pounds and sheltering contractors to use the free service that is available on request to any AC from Petfinder for all impounded animals.
- Amend local Animal Control Bylaws to require that all impounded animals be made available to rescue groups and shelters after the impound period is up. If the AC's were using the Petfinder service this would be relatively simple to do
- Ban the use of the gas chamber for killing. It goes without saying that needs to include improvised arrangement such as jerry rigged piping on moving vehicles.
- Ban the practice of shooting impounded animals. Not only does that place an unneccessary burden on staff and contractors, but it creates an unhealthy ethical environment where killing is perceived as easier and cheaper.
- Implement anti tethering legislation around the province. Opponents argue it would create an unsupportable financial burden .... yet fail to recognize that in a complaint driven process, it would make it easier and cheaper for AC and society personnel to protect animals.
- Invite pet food companies and pet stores to sponsor obedience training classes
- Support local volunteer Spay Neuter projects and campaigns by advertising them on the municipal web sites
- Support the valuable work being done by hardworking TNR groups by passing ByLaws to protect feral cat colonies instead of prohibiting them. These folks are providing a free community service that should be helped not hindered, eh?
The truth is that if ONE PERCENT ... or 3,500 households ... woke up this morning and decided they wanted to adopt a homeless pet, there wouldn't be enough to go around!
The truth is our politicians do not need more money to help us get to No Kill Nova Scotia. We already have all the tools we need ... a society with a No Kill Strategic plan, along with all the rescue groups, breed rescues, TNR groups, street cat rescues and a strong supportive animal loving community.
What time is it? It is always time to remember that there are very few such cost effective opportunites for our elected officials to create better communities for the taxpayers who elect them . So when opportunity knocks, it would be helpful for us all to remember that the way ahead for the animals will only be paved by strong voter feed back.
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And that is how I see it on Monday, January 16th .... the SIXTY - FIRST day since the dismissed shelter manager and the disbanded board created the renegade shelter.