Ask yourself the following question: Should animal shelters save all their healthy and treatable pets? Americans think so by a 71% majority. In a recently published Associated Press poll, those surveyed were asked to choose one of two statements which most accurately depicted their beliefs regarding the issue:
What alarming statistics? To some, these exact numbers might be a surprise, but to those involved in the shelter world we've known for quite some time that people want to see shelters as safe havens for homeless pets. With that said, it is important to realize the other side's perspective as well.
Many involved in animal control agencies and traditional shelters believe that a no-kill solution makes them appear as villains to the public. In respect to these concerns, individual organizations that save all of their healthy and treatable animals are no longer deferred to as no-kill agencies; instead they are called adoption guarantee agencies.
More than anything, no-kill is a rallying cry; a catch phrase that describes a revolution. The term no-kill clearly and powerfully protests the status quo - the killing of millions of healthy and treatable animals in our nation's animal shelters every year. At the same time, it describes a new approach to animal sheltering and a new commitment to saving lives within animal welfare organizations and communities. With this movement of change bring about the creation of Maddie's fund. So what is Maddie's fund you ask?
Maddie's Fund defines no-kill as saving both healthy and treatable dogs and cats, with euthanasia reserved only for unhealthy and untreatable animals. While no-kill organizations save all the healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats under their care, no-kill communities save all of the healthy and treatable pets in all of the animal welfare agencies community-wide.
It is the goal of Maddie's fund to begin ending the problem described as "too many pets, not enough homes." This becomes possible by increasing the demand for shelter dogs and cats and reducing the supply being born. Maddie's Fund financially supports collaborative community projects that build such program and infrastructure necessary to ensure that new homes are available for every abandoned dog and cat that are instantly ready to be placed in a foster home. Such programs might include adoption outreach, new marketing strategies, advertising, events and promotions that put the animals in front of the adopting public. Simple, yet smaller changes such as: longer hours, lower adoption fees or adoption incentives can even be beneficial when it comes to establishing a wider and newer base of adopters. At the same time, Maddie's Fund is financially investing in efforts that reduce the supply of unwanted pets through spay/neuter programs. By working diligently on both sides of the equation, both demand and supply, Maddie's Fund plans to leverage its lifesaving investments.
When we reach the juncture where healthy shelter animals can be guaranteed a home, Maddie's Fund then shifts their focus on resources which fund such programs to rehabilitate the sick, injured and poorly behaved. Having the peace of mind and knowing that when these animals are whole again, they will have a home waiting for them.
It is URGENT that a program such as this becomes more widespread in the state of West Virginia and more rural states just like it. The helpless, homeless animals need us to be their voice. Help us help them. Together we can make their cries for a family be heard.
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