Sadly, we’ve been “here” before. It’s the eleventh hour and despite heroic efforts we will more than likely see these three dogs murdered by Roswell Animal Control for no other reason than “out of time,” even though there are more than 30 cages open. It doesn’t matter that city records were not updated for the past four days, requests for extra time fall on deaf ears. According to the Roswell chief of police, circumstances have to be “exigent” . . . a term he uses to deny any request for a 2-day extension as allowed by city ordinance.
A group of us have been pursuing reform at this place for the past year, and it’s clear that the city leadership has little compassion and even less desire to consider a more humane approach to their treatment of discarded pets. So, until there is a change in leadership, the only chance these animals have at life is to be rescued and sent as far away from Roswell as possible.
I remind everyone that this is a national epidemic. Backyard breeders who think they have a right to breed their dogs to make and extra buck, irresponsible owners who dump their pets when they become an inconvenience, officials who don’t enforce breeding permits; people who turn away from animal abuse images because it upsets them . . . it’s endless, and the animals suffer for it.
Over the past year, many Colorado and Utah rescues have stepped up to tag and pull many of the dogs who are due out. Why are these three not tagged yet? Why is there nobody for them? Maybe some of you are asking why am I not taking them, and for me, as much as it kills me to admit, the answer is simple . . . I’m full. In the past month, I’ve rescued 11 dogs, and some of them with serious health issues. . . that’s a lot for a “one woman” operation. I used half of my Social Security check this month for additional kennel panels, and I don’t have enough money to buy more.
This is what most of us “little” rescues face and fret about. Each night we monitor which dogs still need rescue and try to figure out how to stretch our budgets to get them out of that “death camp.” But the reality is that it takes money to get them to safety, and all of us are stretched to the max, financially and emotionally, because we’re the ones in the trenches. . . we’re the ones “getting our hands dirty” and trying to clean up society’s mess. It just stabs us in the heart when we see dogs like these three and feel helpless.
The world is full of “armchair rescuers” who plead and beg and whine about the cruelty of animals being needlessly destroyed, and they cheer when a rescue comes through. And then they move on to the next “code red” case. Conditions are so lousy in Roswell that most of the animals require treatment for kennel cough, including basic vaccinations . . . they get nothing there. Less than 30% of pledges are honored, so the rescue incurs a vet bill right off the bat.
So where is the “help” once the pet is safe? The average cost to get a dog well enough to be adopted and then transported to safety is $350 per animal, and this doesn’t include food, flea and tick treatments, and other exceptions. Pet adoption fees never cover the entire cost, but what matters is that a life is saved and a good home found. For us who live and breathe “rescue”, it is never about the money first, but the lives . . we love the pets and believe with all our hearts and souls that they deserve a chance to live. Sadly, we often hit the “brick wall” of reality. . . that none of us has a “money tree” growing in our backyard.
The killing of animals is EVERYBODY’s problem, and you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem. There’s no neutral ground here. So I don’t want to hear excuses from people on the sidelines: “I wish I could save them all . . . I can’t even look at the pictures because it makes me sad . . . I can’t go into a shelter. . . ” But they can’t find $5 to contribute, or consider fostering a dog for some “lame” reason, often for as little as two weeks.
Five dollars from 150 people would cover my dog food bill for the month and I could use my retirement checks to buy more kennels so that I could rescue Ginger or the two little ones and have a safe place for them. If more people in Roswell would foster, From Forgotten to Forever could pull these dogs . . . but their fosters are full, and the animals can’t go on transport until they’re healthy.
So I’m asking everyone on behalf of us “little rescues” to consider helping us a little more. We’re completely volunteer based . . . nobody gets a salary; we’re not raising money for a million dollar facility; 100% of our money goes to the animals. All of us in these listed organizations have “paid our dues” . . . we were paying for the care of these rescued animals out of our own pockets, and we still do.
My organization, Extraordinary Dogs Inc, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, could use help with this fundraiser to help a special dog. Other ways to help can be found here, including donating items for our weekly “Rover Rummage Sale”.
From Forgotten to Forever is a foster based rescue, also a 501(c)3 that transports the animals to responsible rescues in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. They also intercept animals on their way to animal control and provide them the same opportunity. They always have several fundraisers going and really need the funds to pay for vet and transport costs.
SpooBell Weimaraner Rescue is in the process of getting their 501(c)3 . They also intercept animals or rescue directly from the street and provide the animals the care they need. No animal in need is ever turned away.
I do want to thank those who have contributed and continue to do so . . . I know that whenever I’m desperate, some angels always come through . . . many times it’s a fellow rescuer, a personal friend, or someone who can’t really afford it, but found a way. Sometimes those who have the least give the most. No amount is ever insignificant or not appreciated.
We want a zero kill rate at Roswell . . . and until we can get policies and leaders changed, we’ll settle for getting every pet out of there. Please help us.