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Re: “A Letter From Dogpatch

It's a sad plight, there will always be people out there who think of their animals as pets and care about animals and their well being in general and there will be those who think of themselves and their conveniences first and who don't care. Then there are those in the middle who have extenuating circumstances (in a crisis situation) and those on the other end of the spectrum who are just plain barbaric (people who would engage in pit bull fighting).
We will never be able to solve it totally but it is up to those of us who do care to try and make a difference and every little bit does help.
I help run a rescue and it is a rewarding though stressful, ever problem solving job and honestly in the 5 years I've done it I have become grumpier about the general population. There are some wonderful people as well that has helped to renew my faith like the good people who adopt our dogs and give them true homes and all of our volunteers who do their part as fostering a dog is not necessarily easy and going to events and volunteering at the shelter is time consuming and exhausting.
At this point I think that breeding should be strictly controlled and owning an animal should be a privilege like driving a car. Of course that would be undemocratic and worsely uncapitalistic so it will never happen and then who would determine the criteria for being a good pet owner?
Things have to change on all ends to make the situation better. The people in charge at PACC need to be on the same page to strive towards no kill. It can never happen as there will always be some dogs that are too damaged or sick to be placed into the general population. But we need to STRIVE towards it anyway. Especially since I've discovered many people are ignorant about dog behavior and what things mean and their willingness to deal with it. Heck if a family brings a puppy back just because it didn't bond with the dad after 5 days even though it bonded with the kids, what does that tell you?
I've also discovered that people like to whine about their "problem" dogs and supposedly ask for solutions so that they can feel justified when they can no longer deal with them.
So back to my point. There has to be a better compromise between PACC's mission statement to protect the public and a job of protecting and saving the animals. Then they do need more funding and kennel personnel. I personally take care of 12 to 15 dogs in my home and it is alot of work so 4 staff people taking care of 300 even if they are all in kennels is ridiculous plus having to take care of more coming in.
Then there ABSOLUTELY has to be more public support. That is just the way it is. People NEED to adopt the shelter animals. People need to stop buying animals (my feeling is if you buy one you better damn well make a life committment but even that is not good enough when so many GOOD DOGS and CATS die due to lack of good homes).Volunteers need to run adoption events and get shelter animals out to the public for viewing. Volunteers need to go into the shelters and make a difference by walking the dogs, letting the cats out of their cages,helping with adoptions (a BIG thank you to ARF staffers and Bob and Terry Taylor) helping to feed (so that staffers can take care of more important issues (like suffering animals), taking pictures to get more exposure for adoptions, making donations, educating the public, etc. It would be great to have a volunteer board of dog behaviorists to give adopters a mini course on a saturday morning where people can ask questions and get an education.
Because another consideration is how does PACC determine (such as in the case of the good cat someone adopted (in the comments) who was freaked out who to adopt what to? It seems like the prospective owner is the one who should be assessed, not the animal.Just about every animal is redeemable, it's knowing what to do and implementing it. That's a whole other ball of wax. And my rescue group has had the experience of a perfectly good dog being fostered with no problems go into their new home and growl at the dad or start peeing in the house. That has to do with some message the new people were sending, not the dog. All of our tags say "for Martha" on them because a family who adopted one of our dogs, who I personally fostered,as well as 2 other people and we all loved her and had no problems, took her to the pound up there and had her euthanized due to aggression.
My point is the solution lies in many people's hands. Things have improved in the last few years with PACC implementing changes with rescues and taking on volunteers and the volunteers have made a big difference too as it takes a strong heart to do it but putting one's head in the sand and just complaining does nothing. Those of us who do care ALL need to do something, even if it's talking to neighbors and offering to take their dog out for a walk or talking to soemone in the supermarket about adopting and spaying and neutering. Thanks for listening, Signe Razzi, Tucson Cold Wet Noses

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Posted by wetnose on 11/29/2009 at 9:39 AM

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