Anyone in rescue will tell you, if they’re honest, that a thick skin really helps when you’re dealing with unhappy pet owners - - and sometimes with each other!!!
One day this week, we had a meaningful conversation with someone about a difficult situation. These don’t happy very often – but give me hope. She couldn’t keep a feral cat and we had no option for her. She understood. She said she would not let it suffer.
No one wants to say it out loud, but all of us know we can’t save them all - - at least not now in Oklahoma - - nor in the foreseeable future. There are thousands more unwanted dogs and cats than there are people who can and/or will take care of them. It’s a painful reality that can only be changed, from my point of view, by regular out-of-state transport and as many spay/neuter clinics as possible.
Animal rescue is market driven. What I mean is – you must have a market (potential adopters) and a controlled supply (available pets). Right now, in Oklahoma, we have few potential adopters for the thousands of available pets. As in a business, you do two things – look for a new market (out of state transport) and reduce your inventory (spay/neuter). These two have to be in sync for it to work.
And to get an idea of how bad it can be, I received a desperate phone call from a rescue in Louisiana that was affected by the tropical storm. She had 200 heart-worm positive dogs that needed new homes. To make it more challenging – they were all pit bulls and/or pit mixes. There is no market for the hundreds of available pit bulls in Oklahoma - - there just isn’t. And it is equally challenging to find an out-of-state rescue who will accept even one that is heart-worm negative - - let alone 200!!!