Changing the Tide
Back in the late 80s/early 90s I worked part-time for a local animal shelter. At the time they were a kill shelter. Although we spent a lot of days adopting out wonderful animals, we also spent a lot of time taking in animals- both strays and owner-surrendered. To this day I hear the lame excuses of those “owners” surrendering perfectly healthy animals- too old, pees in the house, barks, doesn’t match the carpet, moving, too active, and on and on. We warned them of what would happen in a crowded kill shelter, they knew yet they still left the frightened and confused animal behind.
So many of these animals were euthanized because the numbers were overwhelming. We knew the next day there would be more, and the shelter had a limited capacity- so nearly every evening perfectly healthy animals were euthanized. Some had illnesses but there was no one to foster them and no vet available. Declawed cats had behavior issues that no one had time to work with. I was part of this killing. The shelter workers working there were compassionate, kind, and passionate about their jobs.
We worked hard to make sure animals were adopted by responsible people. All of the animals adopted except young puppies and kittens, were vaccinated and spayed/neutered before they went to their new home. We worked hard to get the lost animal’s home. The cats rarely made it back home nor did many come in looking for them. And we loved every animal that came through that door to the last moment they were in the shelter. That was a very challenging job. But it was more than a job- it really was a passion.
We constantly ran up against neutering bias. Take the guy who argued with me that his stray Labrador retriever could not be neutered because he was going to breed it. Stray animals generally were not released back to the owner until they paid a fine and the animal was spayed/neutered. Guess what breed of dog daily filled up the shelter- usually purebred labs. And guess which breed commonly never left the shelter… I’m anti-breeding to this day. There are plenty of purebred dogs and cats that are in breed-specific rescues that need a home. And creating more purebred puppies and kittens is unnecessary and dangerous due to inbreeding. Many come from backyard puppy or kitty mills.
Today many shelters like this have changed to “no-kill”. They have robust foster programs; some even have veterinarians on staff. Many work with the community on Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs. Feral cat colonies are trapped, spayed/neutered, and released back to the same spot. An ear is clipped to show they have been previously caught. Sometimes their kittens are trapped and fostered so they can be adopted into a home. In the past, when these feral cats were caught, they were immediately euthanized. Honestly, as an environmentalist, I still have mixed feelings about these programs because cats have a deleterious impact on native birds and small mammals. Yet, these TNR programs reduce the number of feral cats over time. And I’m tired of the killing of innocent animals.
I’m behind the Best Friends Animal Society’s mission to make the whole country no-kill by 2025. That doesn’t mean that every single shelter has a 100% adoption rate but close enough because they all have the above programs incorporated into their mission.
There are still many kill shelters around the country. Each year approximately 1.5 million “pets” are euthanized- most of which are cats. The number has come down dramatically over the years, but we still need to reduce it more. I want to be a part of that solution for the animals but also for the people that work in these shelters. Euthanizing healthy animals over and over takes a toll on them, too. Suicide rates are high.
But I have hope. This is one of the reasons I’m doing what I’m doing- to give back and make-up for all those companion animals that needlessly lost their lives and to prevent it from continuing. I want to help people learn how to work through issues in the home so that there is no reason to give up an animal. And I want to help them understand up front how to prevent issues by being able to identify what animal is best for their situation.
Companion animals need us, and we need them. It’s important for all of us to find the right veterinarian, the right trainer, and the right animal communicator/energy healer as part of the team to keep you and your companion animal(s) healthy, happy, and safe.
Through Animal Communication we can create a deeper relationship and bond between you and your companion which sometimes shifts behaviors.
Through Scalar Wave we can facilitate healing which also can shift behaviors. We can also work with Animal Reiki, Flower Essences, and Crystal Healing.
Through Emotional Freedom Technique (AKA Tapping) we can work directly on behavioral issues and on your frustration.
Go to my services page for more information and to get started on a beautiful deeper relationship.