I love the little hummingbirds that flock to the flora around my yard! Fun fact …, this is the first year in over a decade that I actually had to dust off my old feeder and put my thinking cap on to remember my nectar recipe.
Why? Did I not like them last year? Or all the years before that? Of course I did! Gosh … give any gardener enough time and their yard will become a living bird feeder, eh? But after the funny winter we just had, this is the first year that I can remember the hummingbirds arriving before anything was in bloom.
Climate is not the only thing that has been evolving in this province. The rescue community has been changing too! Is that a good thing? Well that depends upon one’s perspective!
Once again the difference between cats and dogs is ever so much more than purely anatomical. The good news is that cat rescues have been popping up like mushrooms over the last few years. While it certainly doesn’t fix …. pardon the bad pun … the cat overpopulation problem, it has raised public consciousness over the necessity to do so.
Even better, each and every rescued / fixed cat or kitten that gets adopted becomes part of the solution instead of adding to the problem. Best of all of course is that groups like Spay Day NS and the low cost SPCA Spay Neuter Clinics are helping to turn off the tap for owned cats.
Now here is where people are going to want to start throwing things at their computer screen! What is the big difference between a cat rescue and a dog rescue? Beside the fact that cats don’t bark? That is so simple a stump could understand! I have not seen any cat rescue in Nova Scotia bring in cats from away. Nor I do ever expect to see people staying up late at night begging a cat rescue to take in Fluffy from a high kill pound south of the border or in La Belle Province.
Why! Well … when the first big transport of dogs was brought up a couple of years ago from California, there were a few cats on board who were headed for Prince Edward Island. Remember that? If you do, then you will also recall what an uproar that caused! Even though they were not coming here to Nova Scotia, every cat rescue in the province was hissing and spitting.
Have we ever seen cats brought in from away since? Of course not! And THAT is the big fat difference! Now don’t get me wrong. If an adopter has his or her heart set on a specific breed that cannot readily be found in this province, then I say more power to you for adopting! For instance, a few years ago a dear wolfie loving friend of mine adopted a beautiful blind wolfhound from out west, Why? Because that was the closest adoptable purebred wolfhound, eh?
There is a real chicken and egg aspect to this whole thing. Are rescues bringing dogs in from away because there are none available here? Because there is a wider variety available from away? Or is there only a wider variety because there are not enough rescue slots made available for local dogs in need?
Yes .. I know I have talked about this before. And yes I do admit that initially I had no grief with bringing in dogs from away. Sheesh, I even fostered one of the California dogs for East Coast German Shepherd Rescue! At the end of the day, I still believe that there is nothing wrong with the occasional one coming up.
So why do I have a bee in my bonnet about this? That answer is simple too! When it has become the rule rather than the exception, how is that helpful? When the list of groups who only rescue local dogs keeps dwindling while the number of local dogs in need keeps rising, where is the logic in ‘importing’ rescues?
Yes I know that every life matters. But at the risk of sounding like a stuck record… . that includes the lives of the dogs here at home.
Until that fabulous day when we actually get to No Kill Nova Scotia, bringing dogs in from away should be the exception rather than the rule. Until the day when there are good outcomes for at least ninety percent of the impounded dogs in this province, I personally believe it is at best misguided and at worst simply showboating to bring adoptables in from away.
And before the keyboards catch on fire … yes I do know that there are No Kill rescue groups in this province. Even the SPCA does its darnedest these days. But each and every one of them are like stand alone computers and do not by themselves make for No Kill Nova Scotia.
And at the risk of really pissing people off … it is important to remember that bringing dogs in from away is only a band aid solution for the real work advocates from away should be doing to effect change.
What time is it? It is always time to be kind. It is always time to help. But it is never ever time to pretend that there is no need here at home.