I’m not a saviour. I’m not an activist. I’m just someone who likes animals (and yarn and paper and baking). So, how did I end up here?
A week or two ago, Jamie saw this beautiful Golden on Petfinder for our local “pound” (we call it “ACC” but its initials are actually “RCACP”). She was a senior dog, something that isn’t looked greatly upon in the world of rescue and animal shelters (it’s like looking at a black cat or dog or a pit bull) and so I emailed the foster coordinator and asked if we could foster this girl or any of the other senior dogs. I received an email back stating that while yes, she is on Petfinder, she is not on the foster list so she cannot be fostered.
I found this to be very strange, but figured (A) it’s a completely different foster coordinator than who we are used to working with* and (B) it is probably some new rule implemented by the “Director” over there.
I talked to Jamie about it, who pointed out that I should get in touch with another local rescue and see if they could pull this adorable dog and we could see if we could foster through them. I contacted them, but unfortunately did not hear anything back. I figured that we weren’t approved through them to be foster parents for their rescues (we’ve never worked with their volunteer/foster program) and they’re a really busy rescue. I had thought about contacting Planned Pethood (where we got Mr Hobbes from and it’s the same rescue we fostered Leanna for), but realized it was probably a bad idea because they are so busy with the Franklin County area. And, I couldn’t think of any other rescue at the time (and no breed-specific rescue would come to mind either)
I thought about the dog over the next couple days and then the Roanoke No-Kill Coalition had a small protest. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join in or stop by to talk with the protestors (I had to work), but I was able to check out their photos that were posted on their Facebook page later that evening. They’re protesting to change rules and whatnot, they’re working on not “bashing” anyone and understand that the people who work at the RCACP have to do what they’re told, so the goal is to change policies for the better and make Roanoke a No-Kill City.
One of the photos on their fb page was of a poster pointing out just a handfull of pets that were killed within the 7 days prior to the protest. In the middle was a beautiful senior Golden who looked an awful lot like the dog we offered to foster. I pointed this out and emailed the foster coordinator to ask if the dog we’d asked about was adopted or anything.
I recieved an email stating that she did not know, all she knew was that the dog wasn’t transferred over to the RVSPCA.
I had a bad feeling the dog in question was euthanized, but I had hoped that a rescue had pulled her. But, of course, yesterday I saw on the Roanoke No-Kill Coalition page a photo of the beautiful senior Golden, staring off with a little smile, and the description stated that she was the dog we’d asked about and she was, in fact, killed.
I posted a comment stating that I had asked to foster her at least three times (it was two or three times, I know that) and was told she “is not on the foster list” and that was it. I recieved two Private Messages asking about who I had contacted, and I told both women the basic gist of it. I also told them that I should’ve looked for a rescue for her. One of the women asked me if I’d be willing to write up my story and send it to the City Council to point out the crap that is being pulled right now. I told her I would be more than happy to, it would just take a little while to write it up because I want to be professional, eloquent, and make sure I don’t release a slew of cusswords in my message.
She was grateful I’d be willing to do this, apologized on behalf of the rescue she works with for not getting back in touch with me about her, and gave me her number just in case anything like this ever happens again.
I was so very much pissed off. I’m still pretty irate about this. But, I had to calm myself down enough to not go off on a verbal rampage when I headed up to the RVSPCA to pick up some more dogfood for Captain Wiggles (our current foster wiggle-butt), so I worked on laundry and somehow managed to put myself into work/customer-service mode and play nice while I was at the shelter.
Last night after we came home from grocery shopping, I found that someone had posted a photo of the dog onto the RCACP Facebook page asking why she had been euthanized when a woman asked to foster her numerous times (I had to remind myself: oh yeah, she’s talking about me) and the local Golden rescue (I completely forgot there was a semi-local Golden rescue) had offered to take her and has offered space to any Golden or Golden-mix that comes through their doors. Last I checked, there was no response and I’m pretty pissed because even a rescue offered to take her. She passed her behavioural assessment. We offered our home to this dog. A rescue organization offered to take her. What the heck is wrong with this picture?
Personally, I know exactly who to blame. I will not name any names because (A) I don’t want any backlash (B) someone/some people are just doing what they’re told to do (C) it’s almost exclusively one person who keeps pulling this stupid shit.
Something needs to be changed. Policies and rules need to be fixed. Fix the stupid response of “I currently do not have information on ____ animal, I will forward your request to the office that does” when someone asks if a pet has been adopted, pulled for rescue, fostered, or euthanized. Stop digging your feet in the ground and saying that it’s the “public’s fault,” and the public is too ignorant to do the right thing. Stop being “my way or the highway.”
Charlottesville has a larger area to cover and they are a No-Kill area. Stop saying this will never happen in Roanoke. Yes, we have problems, people lose their homes/jobs, but stop killing animals that are healthy and pass their behavioural evaluations.
I don’t know how I ended up in here. Yeah, I’m a sucker for animals and I have a lot of dogs. Yeah, I’m an asshole and tell Snooch I’ll throw him out if he does something like eat my flowers or claw at a door (I never do, I’m a bit attached to the stupid cat). And yeah, I am “one of those people.” I dress my dogs in clothes, I put blankets in their crates, they get bits of hot dog, I bake them cookies, and I also raise my voice to tell them to get off the counter when they try to lick the grill grease pan or sniff the sink. My dogs also have halloween costumes (Snooch does too, it’s hilarious) and they love burrowing under blankets with you. And I’m also an asshole because I push them out onto the porch when it’s raining so they can pee outside instead of in their crates or on the floor of the hallway (Hobbes is really bad. He’ll hold it for hours if he has too and hide in his crate if he’s being super stubborn about it).
I’m not an activist, I’m not part of a rescue organization, I want to help animals and see a pet find a nice loving home. I do want stores to stop selling dogs and cats (and eventually other pets like rats, ferrets, snakes, teckos, etc), I do want low-cost spay/neuter to be available to areas that need it as well as notification that it is *right there*. I want to see an end to backyard breeding, I want to see an end to dog fighting/trunking/etc (two dogs having a spat is one thing, but throwing two dogs into an area to see them rip each other apart is barbaric). But what else can I do except write about it, write about my experience, send information around about dogs who need help, point out that fostering is really awesome and it’s really not that hard honest.
* – The former foster coordinator (who is out on medical leave) is amazing. She always got so excited when someone was interested in fostering (or adopting) a pet from the RCACP, she always contacted someone about the pets who passed their behaviour evaluation to see if they were interested in fostering. She even took Jamie, Fly, and me to one of the rooms of “approved” dogs to see who Firefly could get along with so we could foster a dog over the holidays last year (we fostered Miss Dottie, who got adopted 3 days after we took her back to the shelter). The lady we worked with was so sweet and wonderful, the only time she ever told us “no” was when we had to wait on vet evaluations and that was maybe two days.
–edit: Whoops, Jamie pointed out that I wrote Christiansburg when it’s actually Charlottesville that’s No-Kill. It is now fixed. Woo!
–Edit, the second (12:35 pm):
1) I have re-edited this post to take out the “F” words (I counted 6) so it’ll look a bit more level-headed.
2) I sent out a lengthy email to those in (local) political power and am currently waiting a response from anyone.
3) I recieved a response from one of the Roanoke City council members, who apologized for what had happened/my experience and thanked me for bringing this to his attention because they have been working on trying to fix some stuff to make the RCACP better.
4) Both Jamie and a friend of mine pointed out that I should make this as public as possible, get in touch with media, possibly other bloggers, to get this out there. This is something that needs to be told and brought to the attention of others.