Welcome to Friday which brings the promise of the weekend and the opportunity to nod off while avoiding chores. We’ve declined to pursue the rights to Peyton Manning,, so, with that out of the way, here’s our Friday roundup.
First up, a reminder that saving animals is a human endeavor – mainly because humans let them or helped them get into the fix they’re in in the first place.
THE CONFERENCE: This item, mainly about Saturday’s Pawsitively Texas-organized DFW No-Kill Conference in Addison, will be more of a reading assignment for concerned citizens than a few informational paragraphs for casual readers who see a photo of a dog and think, “Oh, that’s a cute dog. He won’t have a problem finding a home.”. (Larry aside: Cute dogs easily find homes and I make extra money as a body double for Justin Bieber. That cute dog posing for a jailhouse mugshot s Amber.)
In the past year – maybe even a shorter time (you’d think it would have come up before)– there have been two organized efforts to gather no-kill people and change the way business is done in taxpayer-supported animal shelters.
Specifically, the goal is to eliminate euthanasia as a space management tool.
One of the big recent efforts is limited to the City of Dallas though, surely, whatever Dallas does will affect shelters around it and whatever those shelters do may affect operations in Dallas. Animals and the people who dump them are no respecters of the city limits.
The Dallas effort, known as the Companion Animal Project, has already reported back to the city with a sort of “5-year plan” to bring citizens, shelters and political officials into a rock-solid campaign to provide safe haven for animals without the threat of killing them to make room for the next load (and Dallas, as the stats show, have some BIG loads.). This plan calls for educating people, coordinating efforts, etc.. There are other aspects, such as The Big Fix in Big D, and you can read about them HERE, People and politicians will have teo work together. That’s the plan.
In the meantime, completely independent of D-CAP but not independent of the goal of saving the animals, animal lover Alva Crawford, founder of Pawsitively Texas, has organized a seminar this weekend that will feature some of the “stars” of the no-kill movement, prime among them author/attorney Nathan Winograd whose efforts are embraced and praised by assorted pro-animal elements, including those who distrust public officials, commissions and shelter directors.
Yes, that would seem like the “stop the killing” movement is large enough for two factions – and, indeed, when you get e-mails on this topic (as I do), you find that some people get really personal in their comments about the people they see as their “opponents.” Charges of laziness, willing to kill and “sitting on broad backsides and doing nothing” pop up as frequently as the accusations of “hoarder,” “backyard breeder” and “nut.” Trust me, “nut” is bipartisan in this issue.
So, ladies and gents, don’t anybody start to throw that first stone just yet.
I asked Saturday’s no-kill conference organizer Alva Crawford, a marketing professional and lifelong animal fan, about this. She replied somewhat wisely, “I've heard a few reports people feel like they are choosing sides if they attend or promote the DFW No-Kill Workshop; I find that sad.”
She had earlier written this to me: “I believe there is enough work for all of the groups with the shared no-kill goal to work together. I don't think our differences have to divide us; that is one of the tragedies I see in animal rescue. Too much fighting and division (I'm speaking corporately, not just of the 'how to achieve no kill' differences here in Dallas). I believe the differences should define what our respective roles will be in achieving no kill. I believe animals deserve for the humans to find a way to work together to save them. I hope others will agree and work together.”
According to assorted sources in the area, including the Metroplex Animal Coalition, more than 200,000 dogs, cats and other “pets” are killed each year in North Texas. They aren’t all sick or injured or aggressive. But they all are in a shelter and there are other unwanted animals waiting for their kennels and cages.
Obviously, there is a human element at work in this gigantic slaughter of living, feeling beings capable of love and communication. Some people don’t see how a city can stop the killing and some people don’t see how a city avoid the killing – the numbers are mammoth. Overwhelming.
This weekend’s workshop headliner, Nathon Winograd, an author/attorney and the biggest name in the no-kill movement, (and I’m shorthanding it here) believes the killing can stop sooner than later. He did a question-and-answer with PAWS Chicago and it offers insight into his theories. You can read it by clicking HERE and come right back because we’re not through yet. And, if you click HERE you’ll get a list of people scheduled to speak and tell of their experiences in reaching for a no-kill goal. Again, come right back.
Alva says the workshop may help people find their missions in animal welfare. “I encourage people to find their niche to make a difference in their community. Is it being a shelter walker, a foster, shelter pet photographer, fundraiser, advocate, networker, blogger? There truly is something everyone can do regardless of available resources (time, money, etc.). I love seeing people figure out what it is they can do to make a difference – and taking action. That is one of the things we'll emphasize at the workshop … ‘What can you do to make a difference?’ “
Why is Alva involved in this? Here’s her answer. “I founded Pawsitively Texas in memory of my baby girl Maggie Mae. Oh, she was Greatness! She was one of those beautifully animated dogs that endeared herself to everyone she met. Everywhere we went people asked if they could pet the ‘Beagle puppy’ even though she had a grey muzzle, people still called her a puppy because of her size and spirit.” Read about Mggie Mae HERE.
Those photos? Those are animals currently on the clock at the Dallas Animal Serices Adoption Center. Go to www.dallasanimalservices.org to see how to save their lives.
WHAT’S UP WITH CASSIE? A few days ago we mentioned this dog Cassie, brought back to the Bedford Animal Shelter because she had puppies. Maryann Izzarelli, one of the people who works with the Bedford Animal Services Facebook page, sent in a note asking if we knew anyone who fostered litters of puppies.
Whoa. Turns out we do. Maryann took them.
Yep, that’s Cassie and her pups lounging at Maryann’s house in their special room. It’s set up so that Cassie can excuse herself from the kids and get a break.
Maryann believes this is “an opportunity to raise 8 little Pit Ambassadors and to help educate at least a few people about the breed along the way. Just have to look at the positive side of it because if I focus on what has happened with her it will just eat at me and what's done is done. All you can do is to hope to stop the cycle because that's going to be the only thing that will really make a difference long term. (In my humble opinion anyways.)”
If you’d like to help this foster effort, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Click HERE to reach the Team Bedford Medical Fund and go the Facebook page HERE.
-- PATCH IN CARTHAGE AND OTHER WALK-UP ANIMALS: You may recall our recent item about Patch, the little fluffy dog with an eyeball hanging out of its socket. Glynis Ritter in Carthage in East Texas. Patch is now in the car eof Snippet Rescue in Mineola, Gynns says. “I carried him to Kilgore Veterinary Associates in Kilgore. His eye had to be removed and they neutered him.” Snippet Rescue has already posted him on PetFinder, Glnis says. Patch has another week (at least) of healing before he’s actually available, she says. “I got $310 in donations for him. I don't know how much his bill is, but I am sure the rescue could use any money that was donated for other expenses.” (The vet address is Kilgore Veterinary Associates, 3403 S. Henderson Blvd., Kilgore, Texas 75662 (For Patch/Snippet Rescue/Nash.)
Now you rescuers may want Glynis’ e-mail address, too: email@example.com
To help her. She wrote earlier this week, “I sure do need somebody that could come and catch some of these wild dogs and puppies. Ivory had puppies Friday, but I don't know where they are at. I have seen her the last 3 days, but not close enough to tell, if she is nursing them. I thought this morning, she might not be making enough milk for them why she might have lost her other litters of puppies. It will be 2 years this August that my husband came home and said, ‘There were a bunch of little dogs behind us.’ "
Yep, 2 years since somehow Glynis became a rescuer by accident. Some of you can relate, no doubt.
--PATCH IN ROWLETT: This one is making the rounds – I got notes about Patch in Rowlett from both veteran rescuers Dawna Carabajal an Nancy Underwood Pollard.
The story is Patch is one of the Rowlett shelter taff’s “very favorite dogs.” He’s friendly, happy and he’s a Pit, so, fat chance.
Dawna wrote, “If you are hesitant about adopting or fostering a pit bull I would suggest that you at least meet him. He is at the Rowlett shelter. When the shelter fills up he will move to the top of the list for euthanasia. One of the officers pulled me aside a couple of weeks ago and asked me to please find him a foster or a home. He hasn't gotten any interest from any adopters and they do not want to put him down. He does have a little skin irritation on his face, but it has already improved since he has been at the shelter. Seems like nutrition and shelter seem to be helping him. It really is not that bad. Please help me save this sweet boy. He loves everyone, human and canine.”
You want to help Patch in Rowlett, e-mail Dawna at Sadieand9pups@hotmail.com or Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the shlter at 972-412-6219.
CHICKEN CHASING DOGS: Well, what little horrors. But, wait. There’s a human element.
We get the story from Allison Roberts, the volunteer shelter walker at Collin County Animal Services in McKinney. She sent the note last night. “These 2 sweeties were just surrendered -- they are about 3 years old and have great temperaments. [The owner] had to surrender because they like to play with his neighbor’s chickens and he can't afford fencing.”
So, of course, Coco, the neutered “male dark Golden – looks like a Chesapeake mix,” and Wiggles, the yellow and white spayed female, are in a fix.
They need a place to live without chickens.
Allison says, “Both are good with kids and good with dogs (per the owner) and they are super friendly. I met them when they came in and they are typical fun loving lab mixes!”
To offer to help these two, e-mail the shelter at email@example.com. Call the shelter at 972-547-7292 (press 1 a the first promp and leave a message).
AN ANGIE DOG: Maeleska Fletes, the Dallas rescuer and a member of the Dallas Animal Shelter Commission, has issued an appeal on behalf of a dog that was taken in by Angie Manriquez, the Fairy Dogmother of West Dallas.
”Angie has helped care for this girl since she was a young pup. She even took her to be spayed. The owners cannot keep her and are going to take her to DAS. Owner surrenders are the first to be euthanized. Sage is her name, she is 2 years old, spayed, gets along with other dogs, kids and people. This girl would fit into any home pretty easy. We have until Tuesday to find a home or a rescue or she goes to DAS.”
To offer to help Sage avoid going from yard dog to caged dog, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-766-3577.
CONTEMPLATIONS: Every morning when I open my inbox, there are e-mails with URGENT, or RED ALERT, or the tone of OMG IF YOU DON’T SAVE THIS DOG YOU’RE GOING TO HELL. Don’t you think it goes without saying that any animal in a shelter is already “red alert omigod urgent to the dadblamed max" right now? OMG OMG OMG send money and I’ll get therapy. … Donuts: Krispee Kreme, Dunkin or what? In my neighborhood, we have the choice of neither on the first two but there are mom and pop shops. Still, the best donuts may be at the Southern Maid shop at I-20 and Hearne for at least 45 years that I know of – as a nighttime newshound and traveler, Oh, yeah, that’s in Shreveport, La., a long drive from Oak Cliff. Still, I’ve eaten many a donut from that shop and it’s more than their memory that has stuck to me, he wrote heftily. I can remember the best place for donuts, but not the best place to exercise. … Now, if you’ve read this far, thank you. A guy who writes knows how important readers are. Look for a little something extra in your Reader Program Paycheck this week. And, as I wrote earlier today, I am a body double for Justin Bieber.
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