I was just at the Animal Care Expo in New Orleans and I met an animal advocate from PA and she was saying that there are still people in the northeast that don’t realize we have a massive pet overpopulation problem in the south and are considering breeding the shelter pups to meet the demand. How do we spread the word that the breeding does not need to happen. Us rescues here in the south can fill that demand if we just create more partnerships with NE rescues. I would love to partner with more rescues in the NE to help save more lives. My phone is constantly ringing and my messages are full of people asking for help for strays or with accidental litters and all my rescue friends are the same. We are completely overwhelmed and we know we need better laws and enforcement but in the meantime we need more fosters and rescue partners to get these innocent lives into safe/amazing homes. Anyone interested in partnering up?
The pet overpopulation is not just in the south. It's also a huge problem in NM (Luna County and Taos County) where I volunteer. Please don't breed. Municipal shelter in Deming, NM euthanizes hundreds and hundreds of animals each year and shelter in Taos transfer hundreds and hundreds.
Sounds like all is needed is COORDINATION.
I read all the time about new transport programs--there was even one that sounded very organized that applied for a Maddie's Fund grant. It would be nothing short of wonderful if the pets in the south found loving homes in the north [although they may need to come with doggie sweaters].
Best Friends made a similar push from Texas to the northwest.
I for one would contribute to such an effort.
As it is early in this post I will follow--I know we have this one!!
Good morning all. So Doobert helps you get all the transport for FREE since we have 23,000 drivers & pilot volunteers across the country. We also have a supply and demand map so you can find new partners to work with. I'd be happy to work with all of you to get things calibrated and setup.
This is amazing. I know my rescue , depending on how long the pups (under 6 months of age and healthy) spend with us, typically cost us about $175-200 including all the vaccines, deworming, alter, fecal, health certificate, flea, tick & HW prevention, microchip and of course food. If we could get other rescues to reimburse that and find a free transport to them, I think this would be a win-win-win situation.
I would advocate that it might be a great idea to set up a forum for rescue partners in areas that do not have notable over population to connect with areas with extreme over population, and to throw in some Pilots N Paws representatives and the like to maybe facilitate transport! I would gladly pull dogs from Florida to send up there, but my tiny rescue can't afford to cover transport costs.
My two cents: reach out to the organizations that sat on that panel advocating for breeding and let them know the reality of animal welfare. Please feel free to set up a group in Maddie's Pet Forum specific to creating these partnerships. I believe a topic and/or group exists broadly for "transport" already.
Perhaps this was the session? Common ground: How shelters and responsible breeders can collaborateResponsible dog breeders and animal shelters can collaborate in unique and dynamic ways. Some responsible breeders have been at the forefront of efforts to stop puppy mills, and are passionate about finding homes for breeds they raise. Yet too often our movement has been unable to capitalize on the opportunities that collaboration can provide. Come join the discussion as leaders from the sheltering and responsible breeder communities talk about cutting-edge ways in which they can work together toward common goals. How can breeders help stop puppy mills and bring us closer to the day when no more healthy, adoptable animals are euthanized? How can shelters work to match families with responsibly bred puppies when a family has their heart set on a specific breed that the shelter does not have? What defines a responsible breeder? How do we move forward when some in both worlds oppose collaboration? Those questions, and more, will be explored in this cutting-edge session. Level 1Presenters: Kim Alboum (moderator), Director, Shelter Outreach and Policy Engagement, Companion Animals, the Humane Society of the United States; Steven Dostie, Breeders Advisory and Resource Council Member; Damon March, Chief Operating Officer, Humane Pennsylvania; Kathryn McGriff, Breeders Advisory and Resource Council Member; John Moyer (moderator), Corporate Outreach Manager, Puppy Mills, Campaigns, the Humane Society of the United States; David Stroud, Executive Director, Cashiers Highlands Humane Society
I am late to the scene, but would be VERY interested in this presentation, if you choose to cover it again!
Perhaps I am misreading this comment, but I can't imagine any knowledgeable, responsible animal welfare advocate suggesting the breeding of shelter animals. Absolutely there are already enough homeless animals nationally available to provide for the demand. I see Doobert and others have suggested the solution -- communication, collaboration and fully utilizing the tools we already have. Recently, I have been quite disappointed in some animal welfare advocates who still seem to be worried about things like who gets credit, doing things the same old way and expecting different results, cherry-picking animals in need, dismissing resources because a little work is required to benefit...some aren't even knowledgeable about laws in their own cities and states. Ugh. I have been considering a group as suggested by @MPA Administrator and will probably create one soon. The most unfortunate part of that though is the people who need the information the most aren't even part of this forum. Please everyone --- encourage information sharing, participation, and team effort. It's easy to get distracted by the day-to-day realities of rescue but if we are to reach the No Kill 2025 goal, there is a lot of work to be done. <3
No, you are not misreading this comment. There are actually shelter directors and animal welfare advocates that think the future of animal shelters is to "selectively" breed animals (by volunteers) to meet the "demand" for dogs (maybe even cats) by the public because they have run out of available animals at their shelters. They are concerned that because the public now looks to shelters as a source of obtaining pets, if there are not enough/the wrong kind, people will go to breeders to obtain their pets instead. Doesn't matter if they are responsible breeders or not, all breeders are evil, (except shelters, who are the only people who have animal welfare at heart, so that makes it ok). Does anyone else see what a slippery slope this is? I think they have lost sight of why shelters actually exist, and really are ignorant of the plight of many shelters around the country.
While we have no shortage of cats, kittens and large dogs (particularly pits and pit mixes), we do not get many puppies or small dogs into our shelter. We do pull from other local shelters when we have space, as we don't want to pull from far away when local shelters are euthanizing animals, but we may be interested in partnering with you for small dogs and puppies. We are located in NW Indiana outside of Chicago. We aren't a huge shelter, but we like to help whenever we can.
Awesome! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org We have written vetting protocol and the pups are fully vetted before leaving us. (Age appropriate vaccines) I have been doing this for 13 years. I just took over West TN ANimal Rescue and changed the name. I have 2 vet references who will vouch for us. You can go to our FB page and see all of our wonderful satisfied adopters. We are a 501c3 and totally transparent. We just want to help facilitate getting pups in great homes and we think partnering with other reputable rescues is a great solution.
Our biggest concern, as with any animals we transfer in, is that the pups are healthy and negative for Parvo and Kennel Cough, as we don't want to "import" those into our shelter. I am forwarding your information to my Director, Rene, and she will be contacting you. Hope we can help you!!
Absolutely, I completely understand. We feel the same way. We do not want to contribute to the spread of any diseases. We know all too well about the snowball affect this has on so many other animals and people. If in doubt, we keep them with us until they are completely clear. My vet knows I’m a little OCD about these types of things. I refuse to put other animals at risk just to move 1 or 2.
As one of the "northeast partners" in question - I think what you're referring to is being taken out of context. None of us would ever dream of breeding shelter dogs -- and in some states (like New Hampshire) it's legally required that a dog be sterilized before adoption.
With that - we ALL work with shelters from other parts of the country. Since animal sheltering is a business (as well as humane law enforcement, among other things), we also have a demand from our "consumers". There IS a demand in our shelters for puppies and small and medium sized dogs. And our back yard breeders step right up to fill this void, I assure you. As of 2015, New Hampshire imported almost 50% of the dogs we placed. In 2019, we also import cats. But are we looking to be the repository for unadoptable dogs? No. So we are all picky about choosing partners (we've ***all*** been burned many many times) and accepting dogs that we can place. And yes, we all take some number of bullies with that because any dog with a good temperament has a home here.
What I will say tho is that if our southern partners can't place a dog because of behavior issues - then it's not likely we can either.
I was in two sessions at HSUS where the northern shelters/rescues were actually bashed because we limited our intake to what we knew we could place. That's a sad state of affairs, given that almost 100% of my group's animals for the last several years have been transferred from other parts of the US and Puerto Rico. Our state vet and the local breeders organization would love it if we stopped bringing animals to NH altogether.
It is not about 'you have dogs' and 'we don't have dogs'. It's about relationships and business. If you send me dogs that have undisclosed medical/behavioral issues, I assure you that it's the last time I'll take dogs from you. THAT is why the HSUS/Best Friends/Pets Alive etc programs are so valuable. It gives the opportunity to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.
@Dale P Green AMEN TO THIS! So many working and/or volunteering in animal welfare overlook the business aspects and importance of relationship building and customer service. And, our customers include the ANIMALS and ALL partners -- sending/receiving organizations, vets, trainers, groomers, donors, program sponsors, people who follow your social media...it must be our goal that anybody who interacts with our organizations in any way, even small, has a positive experience. You never know who might become a donor or adopter or volunteer or advocate. If your name is on it, it needs to be your best work. Of course, rescue is an emotional business and it would be naive to think conflict, disagreements and miscommunications aren't going to happen occasionally. But, if you have well-established relationships, those things are much easier to overcome.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of problems occur and misunderstandings/misinterpretations continue because the people who need the messaging most never get it. Small rescues and rural municipal facilities don't/can't participate in things like the HSUS Animal Care Expo or Best Friends conferences or similar. Some, I dare say most, aren't even aware those things exist. We are new, Silver Comet Animal Welfare Alliance was formed just last year, primarily to advocate for and provide support for west Georgia. A big part of our mission is to help share current initiatives & best practices. We will never get to No Kill 2025 here without some major changes. I have built the Maddie's Pet Forum and Maddie's University into our website and will build a lot of that messaging, including events, into our socials as they grow. I'm hoping for some to take the initiative and do self-study. I also plan to do presentations in our local area to facilitate education that is desperately needed. I know from first-hand experience that most are so hyper-focused on managing the weekly kill lists that the myopic view becomes habitual -- do whatever it takes to get them out and no attention to preventing them form coming in, no implementation of shelter best practices, no continuing education, plenty of excuses and blame.
As to behavior issues, I will say that almost always -- aside from obvious violent aggression to people or other animals -- what a municipal shelter tags as a behavior issue is easily remediable. Most rescues probably recognize that and may send an animal on to the next group thinking they will understand it too (food aggression, decompression needs, refresh on house training...) Unfortunately, medical issues are a big problem here because the resources aren't available. Most of the shelters we assist do nothing -- no s/n prior to adoption, no heartworm testing, no vaccinations...any major medical cases are managed by volunteers through private donations.
One of the things Silver Comet AWA has set up is a relationship with a professional trainer. So, if you (or anyone reading this!) are interested in pulling animals from west Georgia, please let me know and we will be happy to set up a comprehensive assessment program with you. The trainer will board in a high-end facility for up to a couple of weeks and provide an assessment and as much basic training as able depending on volume of paying customers he has. Medical requirements for out-of-state transfer will need to be case-by-case -- depending on what the individual animal needs and what funding we have available. We are also set up with Doobert so transport should be easy enough to arrange. Although my opinion is obviously biased (;-)), we have some highly adoptable animals here, including the more desirable puppies & kittens that will unfortunately be coming in at a high rate soon.
THANK YOU again for the post! Perspective, reminders about professional ethics & the importance of relationships are always valuable but especially in an industry where it can make a difference between life & death. <3
I work for an open admission shelter in New Mexico and we have transfer partners throughout the state, CO and even UT. We are grateful for every animal they take as they often take dogs with minor behavior problems that they KNOW they can work with and find homes for. People should not be upset or angry with transfer organizations that take dogs they know they can find homes for, that still opens up space for the next dog that walks through our doors. We have had transfer partners take medical and behavior issues based on their available resources. I respect the fact that they take only what they know they can take care of, even more so now. We recently had a "rescue" lady from the state of Louisiana load up 14 dogs into a U-haul trailer and haul them to the state of CO to have a "pop-up" adoption event. CO PACFA laws are very strict and since she didn't come even close to meeting them she drove the 45 minutes to our location and we have been able to account for 13 of the 14 dogs. 9 of them ended up in our shelter and 8 of those are heartworm positive, 2 ended up in the shelter in the neighboring town and they were both heartworm positive and the last two ended up at another local "rescue" that doesn't have the resources to get the two dogs tested for heartworm, much less treated. We have opted to treat 7 of the dogs even though it is going to be very difficult to find them foster homes while they go through the treatment, but we don't want to punish the dogs for a persons poor decisions and lack of responsibility.
I completely agree with most of what you said. But I think there is a niche that some don’t know about. Our rescue has highly adoptable, healthy, fully vetted puppies ready to go and we are just needing more avenues to help move them north/or wherever the need is, so we can help the huge list that only continues to grow of puppies in need here in the south. If anyone wants to partner with us please email me at email@example.com I have been doing this for 13 years. I just took over West TN ANimal Rescue and changed the name. We have written vetting protocol in place and I have 2 vet references who will vouch for us. You can go to our FB page and see all of our wonderful satisfied adopters. We are a 501c3 and totally transparent. We just want to help facilitate getting pups in great homes and we think partnering with other reputable rescues is a great solution.
I jumped on this discussion late. I'm in North Georgia. Our facility is in the same boat. If anyone needs puppies/dogs or kittens/cats, we will ship them your way.
Nikki -- sending message! I'm in west GA and need regular flow of vetted animals to an offsite adoption location closer to metro ATL. Maybe we can put together a plan.
Is it me or did the post by Dale P Green sit wrong with you? While I can agree with the relationship building, etc the comment on 2 occasions that animal sheltering is a BUSINESS bothers me.
As an active VOLUNTEER--(board member/active fundraiser, foster and adopter, 4-5 hours weekly dog walking/training) to think this is the perspective from these organizations is both disheartening and maddening. I wonder if all volunteers were aware of this if there would be such support at all. My perspective is that most animal shelters do not view themselves this way but it now makes me wonder.
I would be interested in others perspective...
The HSUS is in Wisconsin right now for their Humane State program and we actually just talked about animal shelters as businesses at the spring seminar. So like 100 people from big and little groups. While we generally agreed it is frustrating to think of ourselves that way, we also agreed that someone in the group has to - because if no one does and we run ourselves into the ground (and "out of business")... then NO animals are getting helped.
Money has to come from somewhere; personally, for my organization, if we didn't have a business plan so we have *some* funds in the bank, we'd need to send out posts for "emergency donations" several times a week to our supporters! And while those go great once in awhile, I'm pretty sure people would lose interest if they just donated yesterday for Cat A's amputation, and today I'm asking for money for Cat B's dental, and in 2 days I'm going to ask for donations for Cat C's entropion surgery.
(side note: had never seen entropion in cats before - we've had THREE this last year! Crazy!)
Per my previous comment on this, I completely agree with @Dale P Green. We must use good business practices in all areas -- financial management, customer service, strategic planning, performance monitoring, continuous improvement, etc. And we must identify both the animals AND fosters/adopters/volunteers as customers. In fact, as an Operations Excellence Leader in my "day" job, I can tell you that many of the lean/six sigma practices that are implemented in the business world have been repurposed with much success in No Kill. For example, the American Pets Alive! "Recipe for Lifesaving" (attached) is a reinvention of the Deming Cycle (plan, do, check, act). AND IT WORKS! We also use terminology like "internal" customer and "external" customer to address specific relationship requirements.
Is it maybe the connotation of "business" as a for-profit enterprise that bothers you? I can understand some hesitation on the first pass, but think how much further along we would all be in the No Kill movement and how many lives would have been saved if good "business" practices had been implemented sooner! <3
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