Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rescuing the Rescued Pets

I couldn’t sleep last night and finally got up and turned on the TV.  “That” commercial came on, you know, the one that makes you want to change the channel because the message about rescuing pets is so heavy that all seems hopeless.  So I decided to find out more about this situation.  There must be a way to help the pets without hurting people’s hearts.

With a little research, I landed on the
Maddie’s Fund page.  Maddie’s Fund was created to honor a Miniature Schnauzer, Maddie.  The mission is to save pets in desperate need of love and care. To do this they have created a foundation to support shelters and rescues in providing homes for pets as well as further the mission of the No Kill movement so that all adoptable pets find homes.

Image credit: DianeDavis

The Maddie’s fund website gave me some hope.  In a study done by the Ad Council, presented by Maddie’s Fund and Christie Keith, they found that there are millions of people that will add a pet to their family this year.  Of those millions, less than 10% have decided to buy their pet from a breeder.  Another 20% have decided they will adopt a pet from a shelter or a rescue group.

That means that 70% of adopters have not yet made up their minds about whether they will adopt a pet from a breeder or from a shelter or a rescue.  This is great news for the shelter and rescue pets.  There are enough people wanting to adopt, that they could empty all of the shelters and rescues in the United States!  “Ok, then, why isn’t this happening?” I asked myself.

According to Maddie's Fund, “those commercials” are great for generating donations but they do not work for generating homes and families.  In fact some may argue that they hurt the adoption cause, portraying rescue animals as damaged and requiring more money, time, and effort to care for.

So what is the solution?  It turns out that the solution is relatively simple: let’s share great stories of the wonderful families created by adopting a shelter or rescue pet! When you tell the story of how perfectly wonderful and loving your rescue pet is, it makes people reconsider purchasing pets.

Image credit: DianeDavis

Now I know that sharing positive stories will help, we have a new mission to help rescue pets: Rescue Transformation.  Rescue Transformation is a new feature on Fetch! Pet Care social media channels that will tell the stories of the incredibly loving and resilient pets as they find their way to rescue and then to their families.  These stories will highlight the courage, love, and character that will take a vulnerable animal from victim to victor. They will also remind us that there is no connection like that of someone that saves and someone that is saved.  We expect that we will find it is often hard to tell who is who.

We invite you to share our mission, first by telling your story of rescue and redemption, and then by sharing the stories you find.  You can be the part of the real solution to finding families and putting rescue groups out of business.

October is Shelter Pet month.  Please consider adopting a shelter or rescue pet.

* The difference between shelters and rescue groups is that shelters are usually “animal control” and run by a government entity.  A rescue group is usually a non-profit group with the goal of finding home for animal, often taking the animals out of the shelters.  Shelters are not always No-Kill.  Rescue Groups are often No-Kill. The
No-Kill Movement refers to a program founded by Nathan Winograd that advocates for saving the lives of 100% of animals that are healthy or treatable, or adoptable, including feral cats. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pets Weekly: The Bay Area Pet Fair & Adoptathon and More

Pets Weekly is a series that highlights the top stories trending in pet news this week.

In this issue of Rescue News Weekly:

- The Bay Area Pet Fair & Adoptathon

- Nation No Kill Conference Postponed Until 2015

- Fix Long Beach has Fixed Over 1700 Pets

The Bay Area Pet Fair & Adoptathon

The 2014 Bay Area Pet Fair & Adoptathon will be held October 11th and 12th at the Marin Center in San Rafael, CA from 10 am until 4 pm.
In the past three years, more than 1,750 dogs, cats, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, king pigeons, hermit crabs, hamsters and cockatiels have been adopted into new homes. Pet Food Express organizes and hosts this event with one purpose in mind: to get as many animals into forever homes as possible.
There will be more than 50 pet shelters and rescues participating this year, with all kinds of pure breeds as well as lots of mutts. Click here to learn more.

National No Kill Conference Postponed until 2015

TheNational No Kill Conference has been postponed until 2015 to allow the No Kill Advocacy Center to share their new documentary.  It will be replaced in 2014 with screenings of documentary, “Redemption, a film on the No Kill revolution in America”. Following the screening, there will be a seminar with Center Director Nathan Winograd. The No Kill Advocay Center was founded in 2004 by Nathan Winograd. Nathan created the first No Kill community, which was a novel concept at the time.  

Fix Long Beach Has Fixed Over 1,700 Pets

Since June 2013, a small group of animal advocates have joined forces to provide low cost and no cost spay and neuter services for over 1,700 pets. They set a goal to provide 500 spay and neuter services in the months of June-August 2014.  They met that goal, as well as provide other medical service, including shots and microchips. 

Fix Long Beach has also pioneered a program to involve the community youth by creating a community outreach program whereby the youth go into low income communities and educate the residents on the value of spay and neutering their pets and distribute donated pet care products, including food.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back To School Blues, It is an adjustment for everyone

Our dog Jasper is a happy dog. He loves being around people and is perfectly content hanging out as we putter through our daily routine.  Our cat Synthia is a little less obvious about her need to be with the family, as she is always around but likes to keep to herself.  Synthia will perch atop her kitty house and just watch while Jasper needs to be at our feet, especially when we are in the kitchen.

Since I’ve started a part-time job and the kids are off at school, both Jasper and Synthia are not themselves.  Jasper paces the house, whining, and Synthia goes off in one of her hiding places in the house.  And I’m worried about both of them.

According to experts changes in your routine are exactly what can cause our beloved pets to be distressed. While my time is now shrinking because of my obligations, their need for routine is just as important as it ever was. 

John C. Williams, animal behaviorist, says that pets like predictability and routine. By taking away that emotional security, behaviors such as depression, vocalization, lethargy or hyperactivity, potty accidents, or even separation anxiety can begin.

Experts agree that the most important thing is to establish a routine that is as close as their past routine as possible.  Since I am not able to be there myself during the day, I am exploring alternatives to provide my pets with more companionship and to make up for the exercise that the pets are missing with the kids gone all day.  I really like the idea that someone will be there for them and they don’t have to adjust as many changes.

Additional ideas I’ve found include the ASPCA recommendation of giving your pet a treat when you leave the house so they associate you leaving with the pleasant activity of a fun treat. Another ideas is taking a piece of worn clothing and leaving it in the pets’ space so they can smell you through the day.  Keeping your pet busy will also help them pass the time, Kongs are a favorite toy recommendation because they provide both the stimulation of chewing and a treat. 
Next time we have a major life change I will plan further ahead now that I know what an impact it can have on our furry family members and ease them into their new routine.  In the meantime, I’ll make sure I have walkers and sitters checking on them daily and leave them with yummy treats and toys to help ease their stress.

How do you prepare for changes in your family routines for your pets?