On old dogs and young girls

Its no secret that I love senior pets.  In their own time, I have loved each and every one of my own elderpets and actively promote senior pet adoption with The NS Senior Pet Project.
If its a crapshoot to be a homeless pet, the ante really steps up for the seniors.  And one kind heart at a time, senior pet adoption IS starting to catch on.  
People are beginning to realize what lovely settled companions that seniors generally make.  Many of them, like my own Andy, are still active and can have years of love left to offer.
But what about the senior pets with health issues?  The ones that don’t have years of love left to offer?  Finding a home for them is a real gamble.   Even the kindest of hearts might not have deep enough pockets to manage the medical bills.   Not everyone wants to go through the heartache of losing a love so soon.
That is why the innovative folks at the Metro Shelter have come up with The Golden Opportunity Program. How does it work?  Its a palliative care program with very special foster homes that provide the love while the shelter picks up the tab for the medical bills. 
Programs like this don’t simply save lives … it is an effective education tool that demonstrates in a very practical way the society’s belief that ALL life is precious.  They are doing their darnedest to get to No Kill and if they’re not there yet at all levels, at least they have a plan.  More importantly, Metro.. which I suppose we should actually be calling The Provincial Shelter now, has to lead the way if there is to be any hope of the branches ever following.
As a sidebar note to this, if you would like to volunteer for this incredible foster journey, you can contact the Metro shelter.
A friend of mine has been volunteering with another great education program that the society launched a while back with the Girl Guides.  That’s a great place to start an education outreach program while these girls are learning the ropes to become tomorrow’s leaders.
What is it?  Its a Pawprints Patch that can be earned through a variety of activities involving the SPCA… from visiting a shelter to sharing a led discussion with volunteers like my friend to poster contests to everything in between. 
Last spring, 504 girls from 30 different groups and 18 different communities around Nova Scotia were involved in this program.   Everyone agrees that Humane Education is a critical cornerstone for getting to No Kill Nova Scotia and this years participants could foreseeably be tomorrows Humane Education Outreach volunteers.
In the interim, they are part of their communities and will have an important role influencing their own families and friends.  Its almost frosting on the cake that in a world where animal cruelty investigations are complaint driven that there will be ever so many more caring and compassionate young people out there.
Given all this … its very good to see such energy rewarded.  Both these programs have earned them nominations in two separate categories for the national Summit Awards, which will be presented at the 2010 5th International Summit for Urban Animal Strategies being held Oct. 13–16 at Lake Louise, Alta.
The Golden Opportunities Program has been nominated in the Animal Wellness Category and the Pawprints Challenge in the Education Category.
What time is it?  Its always time to understand that Good News can be a Great Way to promote the animals

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