Ten years ago I was researching ways for Animal SOS to help our companion animals outside of having a shelter. I knew there was a lot of need and just had to decide where to start. So as I look back on what Animal SOS accomplished in 2020 I am humbled. The village that has come together in support of our efforts faced a year with extraordinary challenges yet they amazed us with their passion for this work.
Your generous support was a crucial element in our work. With over $300,000 in medical expenses alone, we depend on you to be able to continue. We love being able to answer the call of animals in need even when we know it might get complicated. I couldn’t decide on one story to share, so we have two.
We started the year in January with Fiji, now named Jude. He came to us as a very young puppy, only a few weeks old, in horrible condition. His eyes were severely ulcerated and had to be removed. Lack of nutrition caused his legs to bow from rickets and of course the usual intestinal worms and skin conditions. He’s our first dog to make it to The Dodo Facebook page. You can see him living his best life here in his new home thanks to our partners Paws and Affect Rescue in Illinois - https://fb.watch/3dIkv5d4To/.
The city of Columbus is celebrating two years of not killing pets for space. It has been a journey almost a decade in the making. Many played a part in making this a reality. Thanks need to go to our rescues including Trisha Montgomery and her staff at Paws Humane Society, Sabine Stull and her crew at Animal Ark Rescue, and my wonderful village at Animal SOS. Yet our rescues all are supported by our outstanding community. Individuals volunteering their heart, time and efforts and giving their money because rescue is not cheap.
So let’s take a moment and glow in our achievement.
Then let’s remember hundreds of animals still died with categories of sick or aggressive. So instead of just being thankful Columbus has not killed an animal for space, we question what else can be done to develop a more humane community?
Columbus continues to refuse to take actions that would show a progressive attitude, especially if there’s a chance of their number being negatively impacted. It took six years from the time owner surrender hours were first discussed for them to be enacted. Having owner surrender hours allows a shelter to plan for intake and give better attention on arrival instead of just placing them in a kennel and getting to them when staff has the time. It allows staff time to counsel the owner on other options. Yet it took six years.
Another progressive concept that could be adopted by CACC is adoption counseling, trying to match the personality and lifestyle of the adopters with the available pets striving to find a “furever” home. Yet concern that might lead to claims of discrimination prevents it as a possibility. Today anyone with a photo id and cash can adopt any animal. There are no restrictions. People who have not used their spay/neuter voucher or provided proof of the surgery from a previous adoption can adopt. People who have been convicted of animal cruelty have adopted. (While the official policy is that there is a list with cruelty offenders, we also know of at least one adoption in the last year to a person with multiple Muscogee County convictions.)
We won’t even get into the subjective way neglect/cruelty cases are handled. We will save that topic for its own post.
We believe community education will make a significant difference to help some of the cases. Our citizens need to know that all living beings should expect basic care including food, a comfortable dry place to call home, and having medical needs addressed. Also they need to know there are resources available to them to help.
So congratulations for being able to say we have not killed for space for two years. We can be happy and rest on our laurels or we can strive to continue to improve. Can’t wait to see what 2021 will bring!
Animal SOS gets great pleasure assisting in the spay and neutering of pets. We have really enjoyed our Pit Fix program since they are most likely to be killed at Columbus Animal Care and Control. Unfortunately too many people think money is endless and do not realize why this program was only available to Muscogee County residents.
So many desire to see companion animals have a better life.
Facebook plays a vital role in their mission. It can be a blessing but far too often it becomes far from beneficial.
Recently, we have witnessed posts that have been vengeful, judgmental, unproductive, and a general waste of time and energy. Often people comment on posts without having anywhere near full information about the case and judging individuals and rescues for how they are perceived to act.
For the last five years, the citizens of Columbus have stepped up to help Columbus strive to be a No-Kill community. While the city has been helpful in actions, there has been no additional financial support Many of our council members still view Columbus Animal Care and Control (CACC) as just the pound that keeps dogs off the streets and holds biting dogs. They just ignore the “Care” portion of the name.
We are so very excited at the progress Columbus has made towards being a no-kill community!
When Columbus Animal Care and Animal (CACC) post their monthly numbers, the euthanasia numbers includes two things that really don’t tell the most accurate picture. The first is those that are done for out-of-county animals (for our neighboring counties who do not have animal control services.) The second is the owner-requested euthanasia. These owners, who may not be able to afford the expense of having a vet euthanize their pet, are taking advantage of the low rates the city offers to keep their pets from suffering.
Last week, Facebook was covered in requests to contact our Columbus councilors about proposed fee increases in Animal Control’s budget. While the information about the fee increases was not correct, there are concerns about the budget as proposed to council that needs to be given attention.
Some of these changes caused needed change to our website. As we launch our new website, we hope you will give us feedback on what else you would like to see. Also be looking for our new app to help lost and found dogs along with encourage adoptions overall. Developing an app was not even on our radar five years ago. Yet this kind of change will hopefully save more animals.
To have mornings like today’s, where my day starts with meeting with our coalition partners, all working together for the animals, makes me feel very blessed. Please join us in some of the most rewarding work there is – SAVING THEM ALL. Change can be very good