The past couple of weeks we have been inundated with emails, texts and phone calls regarding dogs in need of rescue. It has been a gradual increase of contacts from people with various degrees of reasons for trying to rehome their dogs.
A year ago the apps were plentiful, each dog posted had multiple inquiries or adoption applications wanting to adopt that dog. We had so much interest we would take the dogs listings down to stop more applications from coming in.
This was the “upside” to Covid. It was wonderful, but we saw the “down side”to this problem early on and we had the forethought to really screen those we adopted out to. We did a good job with zero dogs being returned to us to for a “Covid” reason.
But now we are starting to become fully emerged into the “downside” of Covid and we have to let those not directly involved in rescue what is happening.
The State of California is in an epidemic regarding cats and dogs. Back yard breeding, irresponsible breeding has all taken its toll on the animals in California……we have a huge issue….we have a separate epidemic.
To be perfectly honest, it was bad before the pandemic, but now this has compounded the issue and it ignoring it is not the solution.
No one likes to see dogs being euthanized, but it is happening. No one likes to see dogs being dumped, but it is happening. It is not the fault of the shelters or the rescues, but unfortunately they will bare the burden, take the financial and emotional heat regarding these unwanted pets. It is sad….it is hard to watch and hard to stay on top of it.
For most in rescue, we are just volunteers, we donate our time and juggle it along with our regular full time jobs. We are quite often stressed over what is happening around us and yet we still look at one situation at a time and move forward. We refer to ourselves in rescue as a bandaid, a temporary solution to a bigger problem.
We started this rescue 20 months ago and we have brought 261 dogs into the rescue. This does not include the other dogs we have sponsored, supported and helped behind the scenes. This does not include each dog we have helped during our outreach in the homeless encampments. This does not include the many people we have help to vaccinate and spay/neuter their pet because of not being able to afford the vet bills.
This brings me to the second point to contributing factors to why we have a pet pandemic or a major issue in the world of rescue.
During Covid most vets closed or slowed down. They took fewer appointments, in fact most stopped preforming spays and neuters completely. The vets started to increase their fees. It was a slow process at first, but it quickly became apparent that what we hoped would be a temporary issue has become a permanent issue.
In rescue we relied on the ability to get appointments quickly and efficiently so we could help as many animals as possible. This slowed things for us tremendously, in fact we had two dogs while in our care give birth to puppies. Due to our inability to get spay appointments. The result was instead of just having the 2 original dogs we ended up with 14 dogs. This more than quadrupled our work load.
We have been forced to work with multiple vets instead of having one primary vet. We are forced to drive all over to get a basic vet appointment.
The bills have also quadrupled and we are forced to pay these outrageous fees. Vets have stopped offering “affordable” rates and now we are forced to pay the same rates as a regular customers. We are forced to take any available appointment in order to still help these animals. This is depleting our resources also making it harder for us to help more dogs.
We increased our adoption fees and still it has not offset the out going funds. We are feeling a different effect and it is hurting us in a different way.
We need vets to understand we need their services and at affordable rates and availability.
The Banfield and VCA these are the corporate vets, they are the worst, no humane side. They are taking over the smaller vets and changing the fees and changing the game. They don’t care about the dog tied to a boat and left to die or the multiple dogs dumped and left to starve to death. They just want the bill paid at unreasonable costs. There seems to be no standard or regulations regarding billing with the vets.
So if we in rescue are having a hard time with the financial aspects of rescue? You can’t help but wonder what happening to the average pet owners!
We need change!!!
We need affordable medical, more low cost clinics. Where people can afford to own a dog and can afford to do the responsible thing for their pets. Where rescue can get the lower
rates in order to help more animals.
We need breeders and irresponsible owner to be held accountable for their planned and unplanned litters.
We need legislation, we need our local board of supervisors to take their blindfolds of and see we have an issue.
We need to offer more education and offer change. We need to help these animals!! They are innocent victims and unable to fend for themselves. They are dependent upon humans. Which means services are truly needed for these animals.
To not be aware or involved in what is happening all around you does not make you part of the solution, this makes you part of the problem.
Educate yourself on your local shelters,be a foster, adopt from the shelters, donate, help change laws, hold vets accountable for overcharging vet fees and unnecessary procedures.
Pictures are of just a few of the dogs we were asked to help over the last week.
Just asking for some help….get involved!