Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there were no homeless dogs. Every impounded dog was reclaimed. Pet owners around the land understood the value of an ounce of prevention and were responsible about spaying and neutering their personal pets. People across the land put their heart into pet ownership and loved their pets for life.
Does that mean there was no need for rescue? Of course not! Even in the best of all possible worlds, there will always be unanticipated tragedies that the trump even the best laid plans. But in this magical land, rescues were always able to pick up the slack every time disaster struck. There were no waiting lists for rescue slots. Shelters never had to turn away owner surrenders. And when the worst happened, there was a well funded SPCA ready and able to deter animal cruelty with diligent investigations and vigorous prosecutions.
Where is that magical place? Maybe this vision of No Kill Nirvana does exist somewhere. But .. here in the real world .. Nova Scotia is not that place!
And before the keyboards catch on fire, it is not for want of trying. Even as we speak, hard working volunteer animal rescuers are dancing as fast as they can! Most shelters are doing their best with the resources available to them. And in the absence of appropriate funding, the SPCA tries to do its best to pursue what cruelty investigations they can.
So why repeat all these well worn facts? Ah that answer is so simple a stump should be able to understand. Right here, right now , there has never been a bigger burden on rescues and shelters around this province. There are many areas where there is absolutely no coverage at all from either private groups or the SPCA.
Saddest of all is that every day, pets in this province become homeless without any available safety net. In the absence of sufficient local rescue resources, not every pet in need is going to live to tell the tale.
So why go on about this? Well it still seems that some .. hopefully well meaning .. folks still don’t seem to get the point. Why would I say that? Because some people are still scouting around the States for homeless dogs to import into our province. They are long on dramatic statements about saving dogs in high kill shelters and seemingly very short on any understanding of the impact of their well meaning work!
As we speak there is a new Go Fund Me initiative set up to try to raise the funds to bring more dogs in from away? What IS it about the whole importing dogs thing that appeals? Lets face it .. the people in California shelters are not going to worry about Nova Scotia dogs!
And before the keyboards catch on fire .. the one and only time Nova Scotia cat rescuers ever agreed on anything was when cats came up on that first transport from California. They collectively raised such a furor that noone have ever attempted anything like that again. Ever.
Does this mean that dog rescues are not upset about the increasing number of dogs being dragged up from the States? Of course they are! But for some reason, people simply are not listening.
What time is it? It is always time to be kind. It is always time to believe that every life counts. But it is also high time to remember that this also applies to the dogs that are already here in Nova Scotia. At the end of the day, good intentions do not always pave the way to a better place.