Surrendering Your Animal

In an ideal world, all animals would have loving and caring homes that will be willing and able to take of them of their entire lives.  This is sadly not the case in the real world.  People surrender and abandon animals all the time and the reasons why vary.

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As someone who volunteers with two different animal rescue organizations, I see all kinds of reasons why we have to take animals in.

As much as I want to sit here and say that there is never a legitimate reason to every surrender your animal, that’s both incredibly short sighted and not empathetic to what people may be going through.  Surrendering an animal is not easy (nor should it be because if it is, you should never have had that animal in first place and never own another animal ever again).

When someone is surrendering their animal due to drastic changes in their life (such as fleeing domestic violence, loss of financial stability, moving to where they can not have their animal, not being able to afford medical costs of the animal and loss of home), it’s heartbreaking.  You feel for those people.  They do not want to say goodbye to their family member but have no choice.  All you want to do is let them know that their animal will be loved and cared for to whoever their new family is.  Those are the people who will at least reach out to animal rescue organizations to find a proper home for their animal.

Then there are people who get rid of their animals and just don’t care.  They no longer want their animal (the ones where the animal is 10 years or older are the most heartbreaking).  They are no longer “cute” because they didn’t stay a puppy (imagine that).  The animal became destructive because people did not want to do the responsible thing and train them.  The animal became aggressive because they were never trained.  The animal no longer served a purpose (such as puppy mill survivors who can no longer produce puppies).  Their animal became pregnant because the owners were not responsible enough to spay their female animals.  These are NEVER good reasons for abandoning your animal (and if you think otherwise feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll tell you why you are wrong).

If you are going to surrender your animal, please do NOT give them away or sell them online.  If you are actually trying to profit from giving away a member of your family, you’re gross.  No one who actually cares about their animals would ever just give them away to someone they don’t know and have done no screening on who they are.  Want to know what happens when you sell or give away your animals online?  THIS .

If you are in a situation where you actually need to surrender your animal, please contact a legitimate rescue organization.  They can help.  Know that if you drop them off at a shelter, not all shelters are created equal.

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There are shelters that will euthanize animals to help reduce overcrowding.  As sad and awful as that is, it happens.  Please be aware of that and read a shelter’s policies.  Also, a lot of animals do not thrive and will shut down completely in shelters compared to going to a foster home environment.  It’s basically like being in jail for a lot of animals.  Would you thrive and be your best self in that environment?  I think not.

If you are not sure where to turn, drop me a comment and I will help you out the best I possibly can.

Animal Rescue Profile: Barrhead Animal Rescue Society

This month’s animal rescue profile is Barrhead Animal Rescue Society.

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Three years ago in December, we adopted our sweet little Boston Terrier, Freckles, through B.A.RS.

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B.A.R.S. is a shelterless, non profit organization that was established back in 2010.  They focus on ensuring the humane treatment of all animals in the Town of Barrhead, Alberta. the County of Barrhead and surrounding areas.  Their Mission Statement, Core Values, and Strategic Goals can be found HERE.

Recently, B.A.R.S. had an amazing story that will honestly bring a tear of happiness to your eyes.  There was a dog that they brought into care that managed to escape and had been missing and on the run for six months and they were able to humanly trap him last week.  To read the full story, click HERE.

If you are interested in helping out B.A.R.S.:

Click HERE to adopt

Click HERE to donate (even $10 will make a difference)

Click HERE to volunteer

Click HERE to view upcoming events

Click HERE to Like them on Facebook

Reminder: Do Not Leave Your Pet in a Hot Vehicle

Every year, I read the same thing over and over again in the news.  People leaving pets (and children) in hot cars.  It honestly boggles my mind that people need to be reminded or that I actually need to write this, but here we are.

In case you were unaware, pets can die if left in hot vehicles.  They do not sweat and can not expel heat like humans can.  They wear a fur coat 24/7.  Try walking around in a fur coat in the summer heat and see how well you fair.

I hear countless of excuses and stories such as “well, I was only gone for a minute” and “he/she doesn’t like being left at home and likes to run errands with me”.  I don’t care about the excuses, there is not one good enough to leave a pet in a hot car.  EVER.

Your pet does not need to run errands with you.  Leave them at home.  Do they have separation anxiety?  Leaving them in a hot car will not make it better and maybe you should actually address the operation anxiety and find a solution for it at home.

A minute can turn into five minutes.  It can turn into twenty minutes.  I can’t tell you the number of times I would think of running in and out of a store and then had to stand in line and wait for a good 10 minutes because it’s busy, they are understaffed and only have one till open.  It happens.  You can never guarantee how long you will be away from your car.  Leave your pet at home, they will be happier and safer there.

Are you travelling with your pets and need to stop for things like food?  Plan ahead, it’s not that hard.  We travel with our pets all the time back to BC and Saskatchewan and have at least 8 hours in the car for either trip in the summer.  Do you know what we do?  We pack food and water (plus, having your own food on the road is cheaper and you will get to your destination faster).  If we do stop, one person goes inside and the other takes the dogs out for a nature break.  Then, when the other person gets back, the other person goes in and the other one will hang out with the dogs.  It’s easy.

The photo below shows how dangerous it can become for your pet in a hot car:

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Leave your pets at home.  If you don’t, you risk your animal dying and you being charged (and definitely confronted by someone who called the authorities on you).

If you see a pet in distress, as tempting as it to smash the window (or someone’s face), don’t.  You will most likely get charged and in some cases, bit by the animal.  Try to contact the owner by having them paged if they parked outside a business.  If you can not track down the owner (and especially if they refuse to do anything about the animal in the hot car and/or if the pet is in distress), call 911 and wait until help arrives. Some states will allow you to rescue an in distress animal, but not all areas have these laws. In Canada, you will be charged for breaking a window.

At the end of the day, please use some common sense.  Leave your pets at home.

The Realities of Animal Rescue

Animal rescue is one of the most heartwarming causes.  It’s amazing to see an animal find and thrive in their forever home.  I have been fortunate to provide a loving home to three dogs.  I also am fortunate to be involved with two local rescue organizations and see all of the hard work it takes to find a home for an animal end on a very happy note.

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But, things are not always sunshine and rainbows in animal rescue.  The truth is that animal rescue is hard.  It’s heartbreaking.  It’s frustrating.  It’s scary.  It can and will destroy your faith in humanity.

People who are involved in animal rescue will understand what I’m talking about as they see this on a daily basis.

Animal rescue organizations are constantly having to take in animals who have been abandoned because they are no longer wanted by people.  They take in animals who have been horribly neglected and abused.  They take in animals who have never lived inside a home as they have been feral their entire lives.  They take in animals who’s only purpose has been for breeding.  They take in animals from horrific situations such as illegal meat trades.

There are organizations who work with vulnerable communities and while there is usually a good relationship built, not all relationships there are positive.  Animals are not treated well (most, but not all cases).  It’s hard to expect a community that is struggling to care for their own people to care for all the animals there.

People in animal rescue often have to physically rescue animals in horrible conditions.  I have known people who have crawled under decks and abandoned vehicles to emerge covered in dirt and mud with an arm full of puppies.

I honestly do not know of a rescue organization that is not running at a deficit.  Vet bills are expensive.  Taking in animals and providing medical care can cost rescue organizations thousands of dollars.  All rescues are non for profit and rely on donations to pay for everything. It can be an incredibly tough decision as to taking in an animal with extensive medical needs and not knowing whether you have the funding to cover it, or passing that animal up.

There are never enough foster homes.  No foster home = not being able to take an animal into care.

What most people don’t realize is that animal rescue organizations occasionally deal with threats as well.  They deal with threats against animals (these are cases where if the rescue doesn’t take the animal into care, an individual will threaten death of the animal).   They deal with people claiming that the rescue “stole” their animal (which FYI: animal rescues do not do that and do not have the authority to do so).  They get people making false claims online against them and purposely trying to defame them.  People will even recruit their friends to try and go after the rescue online once they themselves have been banned and blocked from a rescue’s social media page.  People will spread lies and say awful things about people who run the rescue organization.  And sadly, some people in rescue organizations will even be threatened will violence themselves.

Why am I writing about all of this, you may ask?  Education.

What can you do about it?  Foster, donate, advocate, volunteer and adopt.  But, I realize that not everyone can do all or even any of these.

You can follow some local rescues in your area on social media.  Attend a fundraising event.  Do a bottle drive for a local rescue. Instead of gifts for things like birthdays and holidays like Christmas, ask for a donation to be made in your name to an animal rescue organization.  These are all ways of helping.

The most important thing is to understand and be empathetic to what people in animal rescue deal with.  These people are volunteering their time.  No one is getting paid to do this.  They do this because they love animals.

Animal Rescue Profile: Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society

As this page is all about animal rescue, I want to profile an animal rescue organization every month.  This month’s rescue organization is one that is very near and dear to my heart, Zoe’s Animal Rescue Society.

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Zoe’s is a shelterless animal rescue that is based out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  When animals arrive in their care, the animals are placed in loving foster homes where the foster families get the animals prepared for their new life.  While in foster care, they receive medical care (which does include spay and neutering as animals will not be adopted out otherwise) and any behavioural support they may need.  Along with adoption, Zoe’s focuses on a Spay and Neuter Return Program, working with people and animals in marginalized communities, education, and their commitment to Force Free handling.

One reason I love this organization is because this who we adopted our most recent, Dolly, through.

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Zoe’s works hard to ensure a 3% return rate of their animals.  Yes, their adoption screening is very thorough (and for some people, apparently too thorough).  I have met some wonderful and people through Zoe’s and have become friends with Dolly’s former foster mom.

If you are interested in helping out Zoe’s:

Click HERE to adopt

Click HERE to volunteer

Click HERE to foster

Click HERE to donate (even $10 will make a difference)

Click HERE to Like and Follow them on Facebook