While it has been awhile since I last sat down to collect my thoughts on the subject of animal rescue I feel the need to let you all know I have not removed myself completely. I have been keeping up and trying to stay in the loop as much as possible given my current personal situation. I am sad to report that not much has really changed in the city of Columbus, GA. We have seen the same problems arise time and again with no solutions despite the numerous suggestions by those who are there working for the animals and trying to save their lives. It’s saddens me to have to write this knowing that the solution is right there within the city’s grasp and it refuses to implement the change we have all been begging for. Day after day we see animals that are highly adoptable killed for space, we see animals that are abused and neglected and yet nothing is being done, even when they are surrendered by the owner! I simply don’t understand the logic behind it, or the lack of compassion for another living creature. It’s simply beyond my realm of understanding. I may not have all the answers, but isn’t working toward saving lives a much better alternative than to leave things as they are and play God? Just thinking out lous today. I hope to be back to blogging regularly soon. Thank you to all who keep fighting the good fight and giving these precious lives a chance. Life is good!
I had the pleasure of spending the with the volunteers from Animal Control in Columbus, GA. These are people with hearts the size of Texas. They spend every Saturday trying to save the animals our city throws away. The dogs and cats of Columbus would have a much slimmer chance of walking out the doors of this facility if not for these dedicated animal lovers. So today, I spent the day out at the adoption event giving the dogs treats and spending time with each one of them hoping and praying that they would find homes, as it had been made very clear there was no room at the shelter and the ones that were brought back today would surely be killed. And so they day progressed, with this weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of all who were there to help. Surprisingly enough the larger dogs were moving quickly. First a pointer mix, then a border collie and a lab, a chihuahua and a cat or two. Things were looking up and the thought of going back with empty crates, is by far the greatest hope of the folks that spend the time with these animals and network them, repost their pictures and scream from the rooftops to try to find them all homes.
Today there were 9 adoptions, which we would all consider a great adoption day. However, one dog, a collie mix had no interest at all. The thought of him having to go back to the pound was weighing on everyone’s mind. He was an older gentleman, who had repeatedly gotten out of the fence and had been picked up before by the pound. It seemed to me after spending some time with him that it was possible that he had some other issues going on, a large tumor on his belly, hot spots on his rear end that he had been digging at etc. The sad part is that this poor senior had owners, he had a family, and they just never came for him. So there he sat, alone and confused at the pound wondering what he did to deserve this outcome. He had given someone the best years of his life to someone and now he was in danger of being killed because they didn’t want to pay for their irresponsibility that got him there in the first place. Teddy (we called him) was a sweet boy who still had plenty of life in him. He was a little stiff-legged and he needed a good bath, but he was a good dog. He needed a miracle today and it never came.
The end of the day rolled around and Teddy got loaded back in the truck to head back to the pound. Again, I’m sure he was scared and confused about his current predicament. He was returned to the facility where he was euthanized upon arrival. Now his body will be thrown in the land fill like trash. He did not deserve this. He deserved a nice soft bed and a bone to chew on. Days spent laying in the sunshine and being spoiled and loved. He deserved to die with dignity, after being loyal to a family all those years. He deserved better! He didn’t deserve to be surrounded by barking and death and sadness in his last hours, he deserved more. He didn’t deserve to spend his last minutes in the hands of people who didn’t care about him or love him. He deserved to live. Run free at the Rainbow Bridge sweet boy! I’ll see you there some day, and you can cross over with me.
This is why the No Kill Equation is the only solution. For dogs like Teddy this would have been a chance at a new beginning, not the end of the road. He shouldn’t have had to die this way. The city of Columbus is spending YOUR tax dollars to do things like this! Is that ok with you? Is it ok to kill in the face of a life saving solution? Is it ok to fund and facilitate the needless murder of companion animals because Mayor Tomlinson and the rest of the city council can’t simply understand that the Save-A-Pet program will never be the answer? There are so many gaps in this program and they are not closing over time. There is still no PET RETENTION PROGRAM! Maybe if this was in place and the owners were contacted they could have found a way to keep their dog and get the impoundment fees figured out. But there is no program! Maybe if there was a proactive program such as this, the dog wouldn’t have been picked up but could have been returned to its owner by the officer with directives on how to prevent this boy from wandering off again! But again, this doesn’t happen. The only actively functioning facet of this program is the offsite adoptions, and these alone cannot save the animals from death. Please join the No Kill Movement in our community. There is so much work to be done. We must be their voice! We must get louder! We must effect change in a broken system and no one said it would be easy, but it’s possible! And all I need is POSSIBLE, and that’s all you should need too!
Teddy doesn’t have a chance to live out his golden years, he will be in the land fill with many, many more. So please, stop being silent! Email the Mayor, the City Council and let your voice be heard for dogs like Teddy. He deserved better. Visit www.nokillcolumbusga.org to find out how you can get involved. Stop making excuses and start making a difference!
I know many of you think I have abandoned this blog and the cause. I have been going through many changes, including getting Jethro returned to me from Virginia. Needless to say, I have had my hands full. But I am still here and continue to fight for those who cannot.
I have been following the Columbus, GA Save-A-Pet program from its infancy, and have held out hope that in time this city and it’s officials would get on board with the No Kill Movement happening here in their city. This has not happened to date. Mayor Tomlinson and the city officials that hold the cards have still refused to save lives by implementing the steps of the No Kill Equation, which we already know is the only way to stop the killing. The Mayor’s beloved Save-A-Pet program is nothing more than words on paper. In fact, the only step of that whole program that is actually being implemented at all is the offsite adoption program that is handled by the volunteers. The other steps of the program DO NOT EXIST! This whole program is nothing more than smoke in mirrors to shut us up! Back when the Mayor announced her comprehensive Save-A-Pet program she assured us that even though they did not want to call it the No Kill Equation (because it was, in her words, misleading to the public) that the steps would be modeled after it. Well folks, where is the rest of the plan? We still do not have a TNR program, we still do not have a foster program, no pet retention program, we don’t have access to her ”Angel Fund” for sick or injured animals, even though there have been many requests to access those funds to help animals that have come to the shelter with horrible injuries. No medical treatment was afforded to them until their hold was up and/or a local rescue stepped up to help!
So please Mayor Tomlinson, tell me where your program was for Jake, Isabella, or sweet Chanel.
Two of these dogs had to have legs amputated.
One was burned with some sort of chemical or hot water all the way through the muscle on his back.
These are only some of the recent cases of abuse, neglect, and cruelty that the animals live through each and every day here in Columbus. Where was your program then? Why didn’t the “Angel Fund” help them? I want answers as to why your program is nothing more than a piece of paper for blowing my nose in? Where is the change that was promised to the advocates in your city and the animals in the “care” of your facility? Why can’t you make the commitment to stop the killing and focus on saving their lives? Why are you not attending the No Kill Conference to educate yourself on what is happening in communities all over the country every singe day to save lives? But more importantly Why did YOUR facility kill 40 animals in 11 days???????? How is this acceptable in any way shape or form, if you’re really implementing YOUR OWN program!?! This is completely unacceptable and wrong! These animals should not have to die because the city can’t get it together enough to, at the very least, implement its own program? If this makes you mad, like it makes me mad we need to get louder! We need to keep putting pressure on the city to make the changes we have requested, and that are laid out in THEIR OWN PROGRAM! Write to your city council members, let them know what you want to see happen. Let them know you’re not ok with them spending YOUR tax dollars on MURDER! It’s time to hold the accountable for their own actions, statements, and shortcomings! What’s happening now are simply more excuses as to why they can’t do what we’re asking them to do instead of coming up with a way to make it happen!
Let’s go! It’s time to hold their feet to the fire and make them listen to the people who elected them in the first place!
Find out how you can help by visiting www.nokillcolumbusga.org
WHY NOT COLUMBUS? WHY NOT NOW?
There has been so much going on lately and I don’t want anyone to think I have abandoned this blog. I have finally found a home for Jethro, started a new job, and a bunch of other things. Please bear with me, I will be back to blogging as soon as things slow down a little here in this crazy world I live in. Please be patient. I’m not going away, I have just had to take a little break to manage some of my own things.
Jethro has finally been adopted, he is on his way to his new home as we speak, after 8 long months in foster. Dante is settling in nicely in his new home.
No Kill Columbus recently raised over $1500 at “Details for Tails” to help bring awareness to the cause.
Nothing has changed with Animal Control in Columbus, GA. Although other communities in Georgia are having pardon weeks that are turning into months and several cities in Georgia are jumping on the No Kill train, Columbus still remains behind the times and refuses to do anything differently. They are killing for space daily and will continue with no intention of stopping, per their own words and actions.
On a personal note, this is the first time in 8 months I have not had a foster here with me and I should have more free time on my hands after the next few weeks to be right back at it again. So please be patient. I’ll be back soon! Rest assured I’m not going anywhere!
So here we are, only a few days left to take the pledge and stop the killing for Just One Day, and Columbus GA Animal Control still has not signed the pledge. Why not now? Is there a “right time” or place to save a life if it’s within your power to do so? I didn’t think that the choice should be a very difficult one. After all they did agree via email, but when asked to sign the pledge the Mayor of Columbus made it very clear that there is no intention of actually signing the pledge, period. I say, “why not? What is it going to hurt?” They provide the materials to effectively market and promote the events leading up to June 11, and there should have been something planned to get people excited about adopting this weekend! They could extend the hours or open later on Saturday and Monday, the could open on a a Sunday and at least TRY to get animals out of there. It’s absolutely absurd of them not to take advantage of this free publicity for these animals, who so desperately need a chance. Nothing more than a chance, and they will change your heart forever. So why not Columbus, why not now? Send the emails, call the Mayor’s Office, the City Manager, ask them why the city of Columbus will not take the pledge and join the shelters across the nation that have agreed to Just One Day. Imagine what that may lead to… The city of Macon had another pardon week and took a pledge to get all of the animals out of the shelter and they cleaned out the kennels! No one was left behind! And they did it with two days to spare. So, what’s the difference you ask? The difference is having people who care steering the ship. The difference is making a commitment to stop killing and be proactive about saving and look at what is possible. For whatever reason, people helped, the staff worked together, with people who wanted to see this as another success, and look what happened! 98 animals were saved and placed because people who are in key positions there believe it can be done, and they are doing it! So, a city of similar size and population can make this happen with, a shelter that is in need of an overhaul (which is in the works) why not Columbus? Why not now? There is no good excuse. I have heard every excuse why they can’t do it, but to not even attempt to do things differently is a sign of morally bankrupt people who are in places of power, and do not care about what the people actually want to happen. That’s one of the reasons this country is in the crapper, but I digress. Come on, step up, exercise your right to voice your wishes to the people ELECTED to these positions! This is wrong and they can change it, we need to make sure they know we are not going anywhere. Get louder!
It is a crying shame that in the face of life saving alternatives the city of Columbus, GA still refuses to even look into it thoroughly, never mind agree to it. The Save “A” Pet program was supposed to lower the kill rate, save more animals and implement the steps of its program, which are loosely modeled after the No Kill Equation. Well, to date, that has not happened. They have no intention of making it happen and are out to squash anyone who speaks up regarding the shortcomings of said program.
The Mayor resents us for bugging her about the animals and continues to call us extremists, and radicals. We are not radicals, we are her constituency and we are voicing what we want to see in the community. I thought that’s why we have the Constitution, and the First Amendment, and the Declaration of Independence. We are free citizens of the United States of America and we are exercising our right to express our opinions and affect change in a community that can and should be doing better. If they can’t do, at the vey least, implement their own program, they shouldn’t be upset when people point out the shortcomings of a program still in it’s infancy. The No Kill Equation is being implemented in communities across the country with great success, the number of communities implementing these life savings methods are increasing steadily. So why not Columbus? Why not now? The resources are there. The tools and people that support this effort whole heartedly, are not radicals, they are good people who want to help. They want to see things change for the animals. They want to see them in loving homes where they are treated with respect and kindness? I just don’t understand why there is a choice here? The choice to me has always been very clear. You must have respect for all life, no matter how small.
There are many things that’s would love to change about the world we live in. I cannot change things on a large scale, as I am only one person. But I can try my best to change things within my reach. Columbus is within my reach. It’s the place we have called home for the last ten years. I have saved several animals from the streets in those ten years. I have also assisted in adoptions and placements out of state. All of these things are well within the realm of what is possible if the whole shelter adopted the mindset that we CAN save them. More and more communities are achieving the title of No Kill Community by reaching for the goal of 90% or higher live release rate. This is not an unattainable goal, with more emphasis being placed on saving than killing. When you stop looking at the kennels wondering which ones are not going to make it, the sadness is unbearable, but when you get to walk them out the door and into the arms of a caring foster or adopter, it is so incredibly worth it. How can you not be affected by it? How can you not be outraged at the way things are happening, even when the alternative is right in front of them?
The city of Macon has a new shelter facility in the works. They have a director who cares and is willing to focus on saving rather than killing. They have a second pardon in progress right now. The last pardon was for a week and it lasted 79 incredible days which gave so many animals a chance at a new start! The Columbus, GA Animal Control Director will not even complete the pledge to stop the killing for Just One Day. This one action shows that they have no intentions of trying any harder than they do, which we all know is minimal, to save any more than what they do, or do anything any differently that they already do, not even for Just One Day!
Why not? They already agreed to it in an email, but have refused to complete the pledge. How could this be harmful to anyone? Why are they so hell-bent on killing. I think the answer is pretty simple. They just don’t want to. It would mean that the money being paid for public adoptions, and the money being made from the sale of cat carcasses to Bio Corp would be under scrutiny, which makes them uncomfortable. They don’t want to answer the hard questions because it may bring to light more corruption from the esteemed city government who in recent times has been under scrutiny for things far more serious than the issue at hand. If you’re not part of the “good ol’ boy ” network here you will get singled out and they will find a way to get to you. So, there you have it, more reasons why this city and its leadership need to change. When you speak out against practices of this city and its government you will be targeted and you will be singled out.
The problem they have on their hands now is that WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE! If we don’t speak for the animals they murder, who will?
Meet Pepsi, formerly Tag # 262, who is now safe and in the hands of a very caring person who could see that her life had value. Pepsi came to Animal Control in Columbus, GA, just another pit bull, neglected, starved, with a mangy coat and a floppy ear. She was one of the ones that gets passed by when someone goes to look for a new dog. You could tell she needed some work. Save “A” Pet wouldn’t be saving this girl. She wasn’t a “highly adoptable dog”, but someone cared enough to take a short video of her and post it on Facebook last night and “share” it around. I had posted about her in my prior blog hoping someone would reach out and offer to help, because her chances of making it out were looking quite grim. She was adoptable on May 24th and a rescue called and offered a last resort, but they were at capacity so it would be a stretch.
When you want to do something you find a way to do it. Someone will help if you ask! So everyone started asking. A fellow animal lover in the community, the same volunteer who was FIRED from her position as Offsite Coordinator, saw Tag #262 and couldn’t leave her there. She, not Save “A” Pet, stepped up to help an animal in need. Keep in mind that she was picked up as a stray and has been there for 5 days, and has had NO MEDICAL TREATMENT, even though it’s quite obvious she had been starved, which comes with all kinds of health issues that need to be addressed. This is not a dog you can just give a bowl of food and hope for the best. This kind of rehabilitation takes money, time, care, and it takes love. Even though it would be a challenge SHE STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE WHEN IT MATTERED! Pepsi matters, she’s not “just a dog” she’s a life, she’s a living breathing creature that is deserving of kindness, respect and LOVE! These animals are savable. But it’s not going to happen with the Save “A” Pet program. These animals are leaving the building alive because of volunteers, animal rescuers, and the people in this community and other communities that are all HELPING! So why can’t Animal Control help? Why do they still refuse to simply do what is laid out in the program designed by our city leaders and launched in September of last year? The answer is simple. The have made their intentions clear in the last few days with their refusal to sign the pledge to stop killing for Just One Day, June 11. It’s truly sad when the opportunity for them to pave the way for other communities in Georgia is right before their eyes, and still they refuse to even TRY! They keep saying they’re doing something, but the reality is that they are not choosing anything different. The status quo is not enough. Pepsi and all the other animals deserve better. The is something fundamentally wrong with killing for the sake of killing, when there is another way that has proven to be successful in a growing number of No Kill Communities around the United States and around the world. Saving “A” Pet is simply not good enough. Pepsi needs your help, just like so many others. She is safe, but others will die tomorrow. The shelter is full and until they decide to implement the No Kill Equation and ALL IT’S PARTS, animals will continue to die and dogs like Pepsi will end up in a trash bag heading to the landfill. Please consider supporting No Kill Columbus GA. Get involved, do something that matters. We only have this one life to live, and so do they, so go make a difference. Without us they will continue to end the lives of so many. They all matter, they all have value, they all deserve to be saved, so help us save them! Please take the the time to click on the following links below to learn more about how you can make a difference. WHY NOT HERE? WHY NOT NOW?
To donate to Pepsi’s vet care please visit her chip in site.
To find out how you can help visit No Kill Columbus GA and make a difference!
Join the movement to a No Kill Community in Columbus GA by making your voices heard!