Earth Day is just around the corner! After forty-six years, it is a well established tradition that encourages communities to consider their next best step. Has it changed everything? Of course not! Like anything else in life, environmental concerns really only come in to play if they do not inconvenience folks unduly, eh? At the end of the day, folks who want to drive the big honking truck home from their desk job, fire up the BBQ and tantalize the neighbourhood dogs with the sizzling aroma of several pounds of burgers / steak / sausages / etc are not going to lose any sleep about climate change, eh?
Here in the maritimes, we have been adept at recycling and reusing for generations! My mother used to save jars and empty bread bags. Most of the flannel coated bearded boys around here are masters of the mechanical universe. And of course, here in this yard, fallen brush finds new life in small animal refuges tucked away in corners of the yard and vegetable scraps are recycled as compost!
Reputable animal rescuers are … in my not so humble opinion …. wizards at recycling in a different way. Under their watch, homeless dogs find a second chance at love in a suitable new home.
And before the keyboards catch on fire … suitable is the operative word here, eh? Not to be mean, but there is nothing more damaging to the reputation of rescue than those groups who believe that ‘all is fair in love and war’. Lets face it .. not every dog or cat will be well matched in every home.
Even worse, there are some rescuers who believe that full disclosure of a pets history can hurt their chances of adoption. No shit .. I have actually been told that in such a way as if it was a clever idea 😦
Saddest of all of course are the rescues that are either unwilling or unable to properly assess and evaluate every pet! Really that is like playing Rescue Roulette and hoping that the bullet won’t go off every time somebody pulls the trigger.
But I am wandering afield as I am wont to do in my meandering way. The point that I am trying to make today is that reputable rescuers really do recycle the very best bit … LIFE! How do they do that? By matching homeless pets with the right kind heart of course!
As a salute to Earth Day, I have complied a list of ten ways that everyone can help homeless pets:
- Share Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network listings on your social media favourite flavour of choice. Every year this simple act helps reunite hundreds of homeless pets with the humans who already know and love them. In other words, it prevents them from being misidentified as strays and saves all those rescue slots for genuinely homeless pets.
- Help kitties by asking to join Lost and Found Cats in Nova Scotia
- Volunteer with an established rescue or shelter! To be perfectly blunt, spending some time learning the ropes before opening one’s own rescue can really cut down on the rookie mistakes that plague this province
- Find out about fostering. Reputable rescues will never let you get in over your head. Why do I say that? Because seasoned rescuers require fosters to fill out applications and have home visits so that they are not paired up with a pet that could disrupt their own home, eh?
- Join Maritime Animal Transport and find out how to lend a hand to homeless pets in need of a ride to the vets / their new foster home/ their approved adopter / etc ….
- Support Animal Rescue Fundraisers. Fun fact … every dollar raised goes directly to the animals, eh?
- Tell every politician who represents you at any level that animal welfare is important to you as a tax paying voter. Special note for Canadians … soon the candidates will be making the rounds for the federal election. Ask if they support changing the Criminal Code to recognize that a living breathing sentient being is not the same as a car or a washing machine … because of their capacity to feel pain and to suffer.
- Check your local rescue or shelter’s website for a wish list. Some of the most helpful items they need would surprise you!
- Want to help hundreds of cats and dogs? Sponsor the spay or neuter for one pet at your local rescue or shelter. … and last but not least
- The next time you are looking to enrich your life with a pet … ADOPT don’t SHOP! Reach out to a reputable rescue for a Happy Tail that will last a lifetime!
What time is it? It is always time to remember that while you are waiting for the big lotto win so you can open your own rescue, there are still ever so many real ways to help!