Monday, December 28, 2009

OR Humane and 10,000 Adoptions

OR Humane is on a big campaign to reach 10,000 adoptions this year. I suppose I'm not so impressed. I should be, I know.

I got an e-mail from SafeHaven a few days ago asking if I had any kittens up for adoption because Oregon Humane was looking for kittens. Now I know why. They had a goal to reach by years' end and needed highly adoptable animals to reach it.

That Wilsonville woman who briefly fostered Black Pearl would get on a list to take cats she rescued in to Oregon Humane every couple of months. I wouldn't let her take in Black Pearl. I made her promise she wouldn't. I'm so damn skeptical about the big shelters. She would pay $45 per cat, I think she said it was, to take in the cats she rescued, primarily from the trailer park where she lives, to OR Humane.

I would like to see all the small timers, the heartfelt little people rescues and rescuers go to heaven. A nice vacation for each would be nice in the meantime, however.

I'm glad Oregon Humane is adopting out 10,000 animals this year. It's a good accomplishment.

I'd be far more impressed if Oregon Humane had spayed and neutered 25,000 Oregon low income owned and feral cats. I'd just be super impressed then. I might even become a fan on Facebook then. But not until.

I still see the possibilities. I still think that sheltering a fraction of the aftermath of overpopulation is ineffective and inefficient and diverts the spotlight from the bright shining possibilities, of really solving the overpopulation issue with massive spay neutering.

It's a hard sell. People like to see the success stories at shelters. They like to go to shelters where they can literally wrap their arms around the overpopulation issue and hug it and take it home. They can lay out their money there, even when they know, if they thought about it, most of that money would be going into salaries, and utility bills and cleaning supplies.

Are they instead going to hand over their money to the handful of statewide cat trapper and cat wrangler groups, who are dirty by comparison, unsightly, often poor, without pulpits or accountants, rarely seen but talked about like they're nuts?

Only those with vivid imaginations or experiences will. The stories could be told, the stories that begin with two cats, one male and one female, and go on to the subsequent stories and fates of all the kittens born. The stories would include the costs and tragedies of all the tangents taken in the lives of those kittens, handed out to breed elsewhere, to be abandoned, to suffer, to produce more who suffer, and the people who chase after them, their heartbreaks and costs. People who can imagine this or have seen it do hand over their money to spay neuterers.

The story could be told in that manner. And at the end of all these tragic tales, born of two cats breeding originally, one could say, "But these horrible stories never really happened. Because, when the woman found the two cats her neighbor had left behind, the first thing she did was take the two cats, a boy and a girl, to the vet. They had their shots, were wormed, treated for fleas. And, they were spayed and neutered."

The story could be called "Animal Abuse and Suffering Stories of Summer 2009 That Never Occurred" Or something like that.

You get your happy fuzzy endings to wrap yourself up in, because you prevent the alternative in the first place. All you really need is an imagination, knowledge, or common sense. That's all.


  1. Gee, I wish they'd asked ME! I have three rehab-ed feral kittens as you know. Of course, they're at the age (something a bit over 12 weeks) where they aren't as "CUTE" as the Humane Society would want I guess. *sigh*

  2. Darn it, Pagini, too bad on that. I know someone in North Bend who does rescue, very little of it, but traps for some groups who do rescue. They also were contacted by OR Humane, in their search for kittens. Actually it's really nice to find a shelter who will take them, even if it's only once in awhile, especially one that gets lots of adoptions and fixes the cats first. I am not complaining really, about their numbers, just wishing the numbers could be put into spay neuter too, so there would not be that many unwanted animals in the first place.

  3. The good thing about it is that the smaller rescuers may get some much needed help at a crucial time and the kittens will be placed in a wider venue for consideration. But I did not know shelters did this to jack numbers up but of course it makes sense that they do. I'm still glad they're there so I am a fan on facebook:)

  4. It's just this year, with the numbers I think, in trying to reach that 10,000 goal. I mean, that is really amazing, those numbers. They're amazing in another sense also, that there are that many, and far more, unwanted animals out there. Hence always my regret that the source isn't targeted with funds, to prevent these massive numbers of unwanted animals in the first place. They are adopting out 10,000, other small shelters throughout the state, in Portland and in poorer smaller areas are killing massive numbers of adoptable animals To me, it just makes a lot more sense to put the money and effort into spay neuter. I always see sheltering as a nice thing, but an ineffective and inefficient solution. That's my real deal on the whole 10k adoption thing. The spotlight is diverting from ways to really solve the problem once again.

  5. Pagini, with former ferals, unless they are absolutely tame, I would never hand them to a shelter, because of their temperament tests. I know you know most shelters will kill any cat that acts feral very quickly.

  6. I guess it's just a matter of opinion difference. Many people think it's only realistic to save the animals who end up shelters, some of the animals who end up in shelters that is, and that's the way it is, always has been and good enough.

    I still think most animals could be saved by redirecting the focus of funds and attention on spay neuter. And I still think the public, if they wrapped their minds around the issue, would also see that fixing cats and dogs would be far more efficient and effective and could possibly in ten years produce an end to these massive numbers of unwanteds some of whom end up in shelters where many of even those die.

    I'm not very effective in communicating these thoughts I don't think. And maybe others do not agree either.

    But what if that became the trend, counting the numbers of cats and dogs fixed, and the numbers of cats and dogs never born to die or sit in shelters, that cost donars and taxpayers huge bucks to maintain.

  7. I totally agree with you, it takes a lot more than Bob Barker bless his heart, saying "And remember, please spay and neuter you pets to end pet overpopulation" at the end of the Price is Right!!! LOL. It's stupid human nature though. You are asking people to have foresight (visualize pitiful strays and canisters full of them dead) and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BEFORE IT HAPPENS. People don't think or act that way though. They care about the animals they can see and get their hands on. That's immediacy. It makes some impact. pet Rescue= FUN. Spay/Neuter=WORK But the truth of what you are saying fails to penetrate mainly because it would cost so much money and take so much work without any apparent payoff that could be seen for years, until we started getting to close shlters and pounds down. I for one was VERY disappointed by the Heartland remodel years ago, when they were promising to go no kill. It was way too fancy and sooooo tiny! I was very disappointed. I would rather see a fire code warehouse with a huge spay neuter assemply line running 12 hours a day 7 days a week, plus adoptions with room enough to be no kill. And that's another thing. Heartland is never open. A shelter should be open 24/7 and I would be the one to volunteer to work Christmas Day to do intake. The place strikes me as being very much for the ladies who lunch crowd, but maybe that's just me being too judgmental.

  8. Sparklebug, from what I've heard you're correct. Being from out of state I've never been there, but I've heard plenty of stories about how Heartland is run and "ladies who lunch" sounds right on the money. Our shelter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin Humane Society, is partnered with one in another county. They share resources, there both huge but not real fancy and they both do low/no cost spay neuter every month. I volunteer at the local one and believe me, there ain't no glamorpusses in either shelter. The only animals euthinized are the ones that are to sick and suffering to be saved. Even the ferals from local animal control are fixed and sent back to a served colony (one in which a person feeds and surveys) or to a barn home. Are they perfect, no, are they better than most, hell yeah. They believe in TNR and working with animal control (who also does low cost neutering every other month). It took a long time to start turning minds to what the future could be and should be. My husband laughs at me because I carry around the "no more unwanted pets" literature every where I go and share it is the way to go.

  9. It is small, with no room to expand. Railroad tracks on one side, businesses on another, housing and a river on another. The choosing of such a location lacked any vision for a future.

  10. They are not open to the public before noon. I just don't get that. I have never known of a shelter having those kind of hours. They don't offer low cost spay neuter and they euthanize ferals, which is what got me into rescuing before. I had to help these 3 kittens and they would do nothing but charge me to rent traps.