Do or do not.

It is always easy to find the gardeners in any room.  We are the ones who are well pleased with the promise of a week of wet weather.    In our world, it is a good thing to get one’s hands dirty.

To be perfectly honest, if we wore our rough gardening gear and rubber boots out on the street we could easily be confused with bag ladies … missing only a shopping cart to round out the ensemble.    At the end of the day, most gardeners are less smitten with themselves than with the idea of creating a bit of beauty around us! 

Thomas Edison once said that opportunities are missed by most people because they are dressed in overalls and look like work.    That is as true in the animal rescue world as it is in the garden.  

After all, it is much easier to make bold sweeping statements about there not being enough homes.   Simpler to insist that irresponsible pet owners are the root of all evil.   Safer to dismiss offsite adoption events as a risky business that will only attract the ‘wrong’ sort of adopters. 

At the end of the day, does any of that rubbish has anything to do with the time tested formula for No Kill ?  Of course not!   There actually are enough homes!  At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, if one percent of the households in this province decided to adopt a pet this week, all the rescues in NS combined would not be able to produce the 3,500 best friends they would be looking for!

Would it be easier for rescues if everyone was a responsible pet owner?  Of course it would.  But here in the real world, people are human.   Sometimes their hearts runaway with them before thinking things through.  

To paraphrase an old expression from the sixties, life can happen to any of us while we are making other plans … from divorces to deaths to job losses and everything in between, not everyone is equipped to cope with every hurdle they hit.  Can rescuers change any of that?  Of course not!

Does that mean that rescuers are helpless?  Of course not.   Off site adoption events are going to be the game changer in this province.   They actually do attract the ‘right sort’ of adopters …. the employed and conservative souls who rescues would never otherwise meet.    Just like well behaved school children, these folks pass under everyone’s radar because they never, ever leave their pets in the lurch.

Straight, sweet and simple.    Rescues that are going to the time and trouble of arranging offsite adoption events are finding their adoptables are ‘flying off the shelf’   Even better, every single event is planting seeds of interest that will sprout in time.  

Best of all of course is that everyone is discovering that there is no downside when pets are adopted sooner rather than later:

  • it costs less money to keep an adoptable for a shorter period of time
  • every adoption generates more ‘word of mouth’ business …. it is a natural thing that people are just more inclined to trust the place that their family or friends or coworkers or neighbours.   This is especially important for such a personal journey as finding a pet.
  • when pets are not lingering in foster care, there is less of a transition for both the pet and the foster pawrents.
  • and last but not least, every adoption frees up a rescue or shelter slot for the next one in line.

It is great to see offsite adoption events for the kitties such as Meow Movers 2 ! It is wonderful to have satelite adoption centers in pet stores such as Petcetera!  These are going to be the real game changer for cat adoptions .. especially for the those lovelies who have already grown into their ears and their feet.   In a world where homeless cats are like mice .. with dozens in need for everyone in a safe rescue or shelter slot … after less than one calendar year everyone participating is noticing the difference.

Best of all, there hasn’t even been enough time yet to discover what the long term effects will be when more people are adopting cats that are already altered!

What time is it?   It is always time to remember that the recipe for No Kill will only work out when it is actually followed!

Try not.  Do or do not.  There is no try.  Yoda (fr The Empire Strikes Back)

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