There are more than 150 rescue groups in Victoria and yes we are divided. Why would we not be? We all feel strongly about the work we do and the decisions we have to make every day. Which dog to save? Which cat to rescue? Do you rehome each dog to the best home for that dog and hope to educate people as to their value or do you move them on quickly to a just okay home because there are so many waiting? Do you place that kitten in a pet shop to sit in a cage but move more quickly so there is room for the next one. Do you take dogs from interstate even though there are dogs and cats dying in your area? Do you take unwanted dogs and cats from shelters even though you know the shelter has a contract and been paid by the council that dog came from to rehome or kill that animal? We can name one pound now where 10 healthy young cats died last week just because there was no room. Most council pounds are too small and rely on rescue to move the dogs and cats so they will not be killed on a Friday.
Is there a right and wrong answer? Of course not. These are the choices we face every day in rescue. From a struggling start ten years ago rescue has become adept at moving cats and dogs along to t heir new homes, making room for the next lot. Passing dogs and cats around as if they were chess pieces but where being off the board means death. We struggle to cope every day, seven days a week, with the demands on us. We niggle each other because that group thinks differently from our group. That group will take very young kittens and leave the mother to be put to sleep. That group will take an older dog over a younger healthy one. That group will leave a timid dog with a health problem because that will take their hard earned money that would let them rehome five other dogs.
Choices Choices. Damned if we do. Damned if we don’t. Because we cannot save them all. And we are so busy juggling and moving that we are not stopping to ask the important question. Who is putting these dogs and cats into situations where they need our help and why isn’t someone stopping it?
We are a huge resource, mainly volunteers, rehoming more than 14000 dogs and cats a years, all thinking differently, all doing it differently, but with compassion behind what we do. Our intentions are fantastic even if the actuality is sometimes a shortfall.
STOP. Why is this happening? Who is looking at animal welfare as it is? Who is controlling the size of rural pounds that cannot cope with their weekly intake without rescue? Who is setting a base line that says churning out animals like this has to be stopped?
NEWS FLASH We are a finite resource. We are not the answer. We are helping to hide the problem Perhaps if everyone with a dog or cat were forced to watch a young kitten or a happy dog desperate to live be killed at a vet, nearly always without sedation beforehand, it might make some people think about the real situation, but even then unfortunately not all.
Where are the people that are looking seriously at animal welfare in Victoria?Sadly they are absent. When there is a new task force no doubt we'll see the old regulars on it yet again, spouting the same rubbish, where at the grass roots level rescue groups continue to argue ideology, save animals, and gradually burn out.
This is Victoria under Labor 2017.
Sandy took five months for us to retrain as a normal dog. A dog that could bark, wag her tail,and not turn her head away when approached by a dog or person so there was no chance she could get into trouble. Should we have moved her on more quickly? We chose not to. She is happy and settled in her new environment and living the life she always should. Her foster carer, and others, put the time in. That is what our group does. Another group may make different choices. We would spend the time again on Sandy. What do you think is right Minister Jaala Pulford MP but when you are bent on destroying groups like ours we presume you don't put much thought into our day to day existence.