|People just do not realize the potential we have by giving just a
bit of our day to doing something different in lieu of the same or related thing. It
actually opens up various avenues that leads to the same goals. Some of these newly
discovered venues will be noticeable improvements from the road taken by everyone else.
We just have to be open to change, smart enough to recognize when change is
necessary and determined enough to make a few of these changes in spite of the conflicts
from others. Ignoring these new avenues is the simple largest factor in the
animal movement not moving forward in a more productive manner.
I find the today that the politicians do not look at things the way we do. Even one
of the county commissioners in Champaign County, Ohio, told me straight up "we do not
have time for animal problems - we have human problems which are more important. At
least that is all we hear from our constituents. I hear that from my
working partners in politics all around the nation as well. Because the animal
people are so busy working on today's animals which stem from yesterday's problems, they
don't take the time to recognize that it is actually tomorrow that can and will make the
changes that everyone really wants."
It's not through the large
animal organizations that anything of any measurable amount can be achieved. I believe
that has been proven substantially over the decades.. With the ever growing number of
communities across the nation who are killing 80% of the animals that come into the city
or county run pounds, how many of them have actually been approached by one of the larger
animal orgs offering guidelines or financial assistance to make the necessary changes in
local laws, implementing a humane education program or changing the elected officials to
garner the necessary support required for these plans to work?
Politicians forget who out they in office - the people - and the people have concerns
(when they learn about them) in which they are interested. They really do listen to
the voters - it is, afterall, how they secure re election votes. If enough people
around the nation had suddenly begun to believe that the color red has negative properties
and that blue was the better alternative, you better bet your last dollar that any and
every candidate across this nation would be seen with blue in their outfit - completely
void of any red.
Politicians need to be educated as well. They are always looking for ways to
save money. So, it's up to us to show them the facts. In New Hampshire, a statewide
program cut the cost of neutering pets to $10 for poor residents. The state saved $3 in
animal control costs for every $1 spent on the program. And it saved animals' lives. Over
an eight-year period between 1993 and 2001, the state recorded a nearly 75 percent drop in
the number of dogs and cats killed. Cities that manage to stem their animal kill
rates don't stop with sterilization. They often pair those services with extensive public
education. Those efforts let the public know the size of the problem and what happens to
thousands of unwanted pets every year. Cities have taken out billboards, allowed
euthanasias to be recorded and shown by news media, and walked shelter dogs wearing the
dates they'll be killed if they aren't adopted.
2004 is an election year. The question I hear most is "are you pro life or pro
choice?" This is a good question for people running for national office, our
U.S. Senates and U.S. Congressman. It has nothing to do with state, county and local
government. Why are we not asking the state, county and local politicians if they
are in favor of humane education in our schools and if they favor adoption programs as
opposed to euthanasia of animals?. These are issues that state, county and
local politicians have say over. Clearly, if these two topics were hammered into
their heads now, they would appear in their platforms for election campaigns later
on. "We don't think we need to shock the community by showing them 50 dead
animals," The city of Charlotte, then took on a more gentle approach and it was a
downright pure undeniable failure. $4 million a year to catch, house and kill animals, it
has done little to address the cause of the problem. When a local group convinced one of
the network TV stations to air live euthanasia during their eve news each night for a full
week, the message was clear and they experienced a drastic decrease of 50% in the
following weeks that continued until a new program could be implemented.
Elected officials do everything in their power not to upset any voter or offend
any one of their constituents. It may cost them votes. So, it will become very
clear as to which ones are actually 'on board' with saving the animals by their
Clearly stated by a county commissioner in Mohave County Arizona, if everyone in rescue
and/or animal rights would ask these questions of their local politicians, we would change
the face of local government. Clearly, there are millions and millions of
people involved in rescue and rights across the nation. If we all voted for
candidates who are in tune with our issues, we could change the face of local government.
His brother is in government in another state as well as his brother in law.
They would both tell everyone the same thing.
People do not realize the power that is within their grasp. This is what I think
would do more that anything else. If the animal people would just simply assert themselves
to the elected officials and state two things clearly, not only would they have a say in
the government's decisions since the politicians want to be re-elected, they would
actually see those changes come about. They (the animal people ) would actually
have more of a voice in the government than any lobbying effort known today - including
the NRA and others combined.
The two things would be to enforce and clean up existing animal protection laws
and the implementation of a mandatory humane education curriculum in our schools.
There is no other way to start the ball rolling. If the next generation grows up
with the same ignorance that this generation has grown up with, then not only are rescuers
going to be facing the same level of unwanted animals in the shelters around the nation
and on the streets, they will likely be facing even more since the population is growing.
Example: From 1992 to 2002, Americans spent over $20billion on
animal protection related taxes and donations to various organizations to protect and
solve. We are talking about millions and millions of people involved here. How much
can you honestly point to on a nationwide scale that is a noticeable change resulting from
these tremendous figures? Reason? Each effort is singular in
nature, non communicative of other efforts, many times duplicated in corruptive
overlaps and many times this combination simply fails to fill in the gaps that would make
these efforts more cohesive and successful.
Cities and counties which have seen successful results and saved tax-payers
dollars as well have all implemented the following programs:
* Increase sterilizations and public education, especially in low-income
Increase the number of animals adopted from the shelter.
Embed microchips in animals who leave the shelter so, if they're picked up as
strays, the owners can be identified.
Trap and neuter feral cats.
Help pet owners train their adopted animals so they don't develop behavioral
problems and get returned to the shelter.
Once we elect governments in tune with the issues, we can confront them and educate them
that spending millions of dollars in shelter contract and euthanasia projects is money
should be use for public education and no-kill shelter facilities. Maybe a little
expensive at first but will pay for itself in the near future.
Example Clark County, Nevada is spending 1.2 million a year to run the current shelter.
The new contact for 2005 (20 year contract) is 1.6 million per year. Multiply
that by every shelter or pound in this nation. Yes, some have smaller budgets
but the major cities are spending a lot more just to kill the animals. 2002 the city
of Las Vegas and Clark County euthanized 24,500 animals. This county has no humane
education in the schools at any level. So they will always be facing this same
problem. This county also has no plan to attempt to adopt out more dogs and
cats through programs that other cities have successfully implemented, so they are not
operating anything less than a facility to kill animals. Clark County is Las Vegas. To
spend this amount of funding on nothing more than killing animals is an unconscionable
waste of life and a needless drain on public money." Not one of the animal orgs came
forward with an offer to help or any real life suggestions. They are all worried about
yesterday's problems today and securing funding to stay afloat.
Local and national projects of educating the children is very important. Neither of
these ideas takes money. They only take communication and persistence to educate
those who can and will make these issues become laws that are sensible and
enforceable. These ideas then become law at the voting booth. Plain and simple.