Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Foster.......Failure :(

It took us some time to decide whether or not to foster however, over time seeing the many sad faces and stories we decided to be a part of the solution instead of talking about it.  As we pondered over the question to foster or not to foster of course family and friends were bought into the conversation.  Many of them had their opinions which were silence in the beginning followed by are you becoming an animal hoarder? You already rescued two isn’t that enough? Needless to say their comments were not supportive which left us feeling some kind of way.  Time went on and we enjoyed our home with Krusher & Sasha happy however, the conversation kept coming up.  Finally, we said the hell with what folks say it’s our life and went put in our application to foster! It took some time for the organization to contact us and finally.....the first e-mail came asking are you interested in fostering this pup? It was a busy week for us and we hadn’t checked our e-mails (which is highly unusual for us) so we got a phone call from the director asking if we were still interested in fostering Champ? We shouted with glee YES!SURE! Where is he and when do we pick him up?  Champ was very confident 4 month old black pittie, those ears were the cutest.  Champ had an application on him before we pulled him from the shelter, that fell through and another application was placed on him and he went to be with his furever family,  happy but sad tears.
Another e-mail came asking are you interested in fostering this pup? Wednesday was a 3-4 month old tan pittie.  She was beautiful not as confident as Champ but has the same ears.  The story would not be the same for Wednesday; the shelter allowed an outside adopter to take her. Guess that’s how the ball bounces.  Again we were happy but sad because there’s no way for us to track her progress or the lack thereof.  The shelter takes the application, the adopter picks up the dog or animal and that’s it unless a cruelty case is bought up.  This is a very sad process that must be fixed.  Read about our experience with the shelter through the blog posted November 29, 2011.  A phone call was placed asking if we would get Blue a pittie from the same shelter Champ and Wednesday were housed.  Sure, we said and off the races to pick up “Blue.”  When we arrived there was no information on her.  As usual we asked the worker about her and we were shocked at her condition.  Physically Blue was visibly shaken, scared, nervous and very timid.  Her nerves made her poop and peep. There’s no way she’s ready to be adopted (she had an application on her).  We made our observation known to the director of the organization and no reply.  By the time we were halfway down the street Blue had a name......Holiday.  We found that name fitting considering it’s the holiday season but more importantly for me her name was fitting because of Billie Holiday, a jazz songstress with a troubled life from the beginning and a tragic ending.  This Holiday however, has a second chance at life and we are determined to ensure that her young life will thrive.  We received a text stating Holiday has an appointment with the vet to be spayed and receive all of her shots.  Great, when’s pick up time....no pick up her adopters will pick her up from the vets office…….heartbroken…..no reply.  We were going to be and wanted to be foster....failures :(

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shelter Procedure Part II

Fostering allows one to see behind the scenes of how shelters work and it’s not pretty. As with everything politics its ugly including animal care. Considering the majority of the shelters receive funding from their local government it’s no wonder they’ll rather kill the animals than provide quality care for them. This is a disheartening thought and feeling when it smacks you in the face. That reality smacked me in the face last Saturday when I picked up our second foster Holiday.  We named her Holiday after the famed singer Billie Holiday. Both stories are tragic however; this Holiday has another chance at life. No one told us the condition Holiday was in.  The shelters website had her picture that was it. NO information about her age, how she arrived at the shelter, health the typical information one would expect to see on animal for potential adopters to read. It was just a pathetic picture of the “unknown.”  We are not shelter workers; we’re just advocates for animals and their rights; we don’t know the inter-workings of a day in a life of a shelter worker.  With that no process or procedure in place it spells disaster for the animals in the shelter and their workers.
As mentioned we’re fairly new to the fostering game however, new eyes see everything.  When we arrived to pick up Holiday she was a mess, a nervous wreck and more.  The shelter worker informed us upon bringing Holiday to us that “she’s a little nervous and tends to poop” when she’s picked up.” This was clearly an understatement. When Holiday was bought to us she was visibly shaken and scared out ofher mind.  Did we mention that she’s only2-3 months old? We asked what was her story and the shelter worker said “don’t know” (matter of fact) she was found walking around.”  The worker seemed unemotional and extremely detached.  We’ve been to this shelter before and out of everyone we spoke with one person seemed to care.  It has been overwhelming to see so many animals being abused, tortured and their souls gone because of the neglect.  Yes, we understand you have to distance yourself but to be heartless and cruel tells us you’re in the wrong business.

 After receiving Holiday, she attempted to jump out of my arms and find the nearest hiding place.  This was insane, she pooped and peed everywhere because she was scared, never had I seen a case like this face toface and from a 2-3 month old pup.  As we were getting her settled to leave we asked the shelter worker about her eating habits etc.  What the worker said floored me "all of the animal sare fed ONCE a day!" ONCE a day are you kidding me we exclaimed! “oh but she eats all of her food, and that’s the best we can do” Is that best you can do? What about water, walks, human interaction? Once again, no answer but a dumb look on her face answered our questions. It’s not her fault and we’re not placing blame on the workers however, someone has to step up to the plate and demand change.  It’s no wonder many animals die in shelters.  They learn to become despondent, detached, angry,frustrated  and a host of other emotional let downs because the ones that’s suppose to care for them have abandoned, abused and neglected them. With no loving hand, calm voice, a walk outside to smell the various smells other than the their own urine and feces and that of the other animals and see the various sights they lose their domestic side and become wild and untamable animals.  Pit Bull & Paroleesis a perfect example of this behavior. The episode last Saturday bought this fact home.  Tia needed more hired hands (she only hires parolees), long story short the majority of the parolees were fresh out jail and looking for a fresh start.  As the parolees were making their rounds around the dogs they stopped and stared and commented on how they know the dogs feel having someone stare at them because of the way you look,  because they’re caged and wanting affection but no one is there to give it.  Those parolees looking at those dogs who are well taken care of know what it’s like to have little to no hope yet with a kind gentle hand to guide them they too can be tamed and live a productive life.  With the spirit of the holidays upon us make time to volunteer and you too will see the benefit of YOUR kind hand, YOUR gentle voice change a chained, confused and confined beast into a well behaved domesticated, loyal, loving and appreciated animal.