Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I Had No Idea!
Dear Friends of Graham's and Mario's:
I had the great pleasure of meeting Lisa Kay Peters, Development Director of Bay Area Humane Society, today to deliver the check from the Graham Fund so generously donated by all of Graham's friends (and Mario's friends too). It was an enriching experience for me as I learned so much about their facility during the time I spent with Lisa. Things I did not know!
The Bay Area Humane Society is the only Animal rescue site in our city. We do have a couple of private, animal specific rescue groups (Pugs and German Shepherds) but they only work with their particular breed of dog. Non-German Shepherds and Pugs are referred to the Bay Area Humane Society if they are being surrendered or found as strays in our community. I did not know!
There is a "no-kill" cat specific organization in a small town about 40 miles from Green Bay that works with placing cats. But, guess where the cats go that they refuse to take at their shelter - those determined to be totally feral? They end up at the Bay Area Humane Society too. I did not know! The few animals the Humane Society euthanized last year were all animals that had been rejected by other shelters in Northeast Wisconsin. I did not know!
Every animal turned in to The Bay Area Animal Shelter is assessed when they enter the facility. They accept dogs, cats, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, snakes etc. If the animal is deemed appropriate for adoption, every effort is made to find a home for that animal. Very, very few are euthanized. The only euthanizing they do are extreme rare cases where the animal is determined to be vicious and totally not adoptable. Yes, they are a "kill shelter," but it is seldom an animal has to be "put down." I did not know!
When Graham was first surrendered and we thought her to be feral, I had called a spay and neuter group in the city to see if they would take Graham and possibly spay and neuter her as part of their program and then release her with a group of cats back to a farm with others. The volunteer explained to me that feral cats live in colonies. If you try to bring a stray kitten into their community, they will not accept that kitten. The kitten would then be left to fend for itself and would be kicked out by the group of cats and probably not survive. I did not know!
I for one am thankful that Graham was turned over to the Bay Area Humane Society, because she was deemed adoptable and was given the chance at a new life and a forever home, which she now has.
Do they enjoy euthanizing an animal? NO! All of the staff and volunteers working at these shelters are there for the love of animals. It is not a glamorous job nor a money-making business. They operate on a very limited. tight budget with all of their funds going to the care of the animals.
I came away from my meeting with Lisa being more informed, wiser, and willing to "Be The Change" for this facility. I am going to put more effort into promoting their adoptable animals and be more of an advocate for their shelter. (Yes, they are a "shelter.")
I'd like to introduce you Tiki, an adorable Persian kitty recently surrendered with such matted hair, that the she had to be shaved. Thus, perhaps she looks a little naked now, but take a look at this sweet, adorable face. If you would like to adopt this sweet, adorable kitty, information is available at http://www.bayareahumanesociety.com/searchall.html
I also met Gilbert, a coonhound/treeing walker mix, who @Mariodacat will be featuring in his half-hour (7:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. CDT) of tweet time in @Mattietdog's #Lub2Rock Adoption Option Friday night, http://lub2rockadoptionoption.blogspot.com/p/ajs-barktenders.html. Gilbert came to the Bay Area Humane Society from another shelter and has already been at Bay Area for 2 months now. It seems that treeing walker/coonhouds are not a popular breed in the Wisconsin area. All of the animals featured in this concert are available for adoption through Pet Finder, a co-sponsor of the concert Friday evening. Unfortunately, since Tiki isn't listed yet on Pet Finder, she is not eligible for feature, but Mario will feature her on his own right after the concert.
Now back to the Graham story. Lisa has not had any more contact with the young couple that adopted Graham. They simply don't have enough staff or time to follow up with each adopted animal. She is willing, however, to mail a letter to them that I had typed up explaining that Graham's friends on Twitter are very anxious to hear how she is doing in her new home. I listed @Mariodacat's name in case they wished to contact us via Twitter. I also gave them my email address, phone number, and postal mailing address. If I do hear from the new parents of Graham, Mario will let you know via Twitter and his blog.
In closing, I would encourage you to visit your local Humane Society and find out exactly what their policy is regarding euthanizing, what is their ratio of euthanizing versus adopted aniamls. etc. Be more informed and willing to volunteer or be an advocate for them on Twitter and in blogs.
Mario just published another blog this morning - the Animal Photo Hunt "That's Not Me" and it's a good one. Check it out too - you'll be amazed! See if you can decide which one is the "real Mario."
Coming next week will be a feature (by Mario) on How You Can Help Your Local Humane Society. An idea given to me by Lisa on my visit today.