Friday, November 13, 2009

Politically Speaking...

I've had a lot of people ask me if I'm going to a Planning Committee Meeting on November 17th, specifically related to the shelter in which I rescue.

Considering that I'm at the shelter 3 or 4 days per week rescuing, you'd think I might have some worthwhile input at that meeting. If you want to speak at the meeting, you need to register ahead of time.

I honestly don't know if I'm going and I'll tell you why.

One of my biggest fears of attending a meeting like this is being pooled with other "nutty rescue activists." I've considered myself the voice of reason, where rescue is concerned. I've tried to stay sane and supportive with the shelter staff. What's the point of giving the staff at the shelter a hard time regarding euthanasia numbers when it's not their fault?

Anyway....I know there are going to be some "rescue big mouths" at this meeting. Do I really want to be associated with these people? I may feel the way they do on some issues, but why create a ruckus? There are people on Craigslist and other local activist sites that embarrass me by what they post. I'm sure some think that it's me, since I'm at the shelter all the time.

I assure you - it's not me.

One rescue person - who shall remain nameless - thinks that her way of solving the overcrowding at this shelter is to "rescue" several cats, then dump them on another rescue when she couldn't handle it. Helloooooooooooo.....that isn't "rescue".

Other rescues think that by NOT rescuing at this shelter, the problems will go away. Maybe if they stop looking at the pictures of the cats who are about to die, there isn't really a problem.

I've been (strategically) placing cute pictures of "Bucky" on this post with hope it can be a smoke screen on what I really feel. Maybe I don't have the guts to go to the meeting because I feel like my one voice won't change anything.

Truthfully. No matter what tidbits of wisdom that I have, the problem won't change overnight. No matter what I say, it won't save the cats that died in there this week, or the next. What would it take to get everyone in that city to understand the importance of spaying and neutering?

I'm afraid if I'm rejected, I'll be so pissed off I won't want to help anymore...and that would really kill me.

I really hate politics.


Anonymous said...

Beth, please do what is best for you.

My family is very happy tonight. My family includes a cat who would not have been with us without your help.

This is a personal decision and we will respect whatever decision you make.

David said...

Hi Beth, I can see why you're conflicted about going. I think it would be completely understandable for you not to go. There are lots of ways to be an 'activist' and help initiate change, and lots of roles to be filled. If you are going to be at the shelter on an almost daily basis, you risk not being able to go if you rock the boat too much - you have to maintain a decent relationship with the staff and everyone involved. There are plenty of people are willing to fight for poliicies that would reduce euthanization rates, but not very many people like you who can handle going into the shelter on a regular basis.

Caroline said...

Oh Beth I love the Bucky pictures, he is such a character!Do what you feel is best, I think your greatest contribution is what you are currently doing.

I hope the "big mouths" push a low cost spay and neuter clinic cause that's the only thing that will stop this. The SPCA should also lower their adoption fees which are over $200! If TCR can do it for less, they should definitely be able to do so as well. The SPCA should actually be opening the low cost clinic like they have done in Newmarket.

Anonymous said...

Shelters are in existence for a reason....simply because (in my opinion) of the people who are not responsible pet owners - period.

If the very people in society who think it's alright not to spay and/or neuter their pet and who ultimately a great deal of the time, abandon these same animals, could be educated and forced with a zero tolerance to take responsibility, than maybe we would begin to see a drastic decline in shelters and especially shelters like this one (we can dream).

Nothing would give me greater joy than to see my home as a safe haven for these animals become unnecessary, but I truly believe that the core of the problem lies with people who are irresponsible and show no respect for animals. I say let's focus our energies on the ones creating the problem in the first place before we go screaming at the ones who have been put in place because of a situation and/or a need that they did not create.

Meaghan Edwards said...

I believe the SPCA is going to open a speuter clinic and I too hope that the big mouths push for more speuter clinics, ideally maybe one on the mountain and one down town.

With regards to adoption prices, yes, it might seem high and it would be nicer if it was lower in cost, but everything is included in the adoption fee. My dog's adoption fee was $330 and that included her spay/microchip/first shots/six weeks of free pet insurance/city license/obedience training discount. If I paid to have that all done with a free-to-good home dog it would have been way more than that.

Everycat said...

Bucky looks like he's living in heaven! What a little corker he is.

As for the politics, a rational voice is always useful, but I do understand your ambivalence. You do what so many won't/can't do and actually get stuck in with the emotionally draining work of rescue. Do what you feel most comfortable doing, if that means leaving the politics to the politicians, no one will think badly of you for doing that. Your rescue works makes a huge difference to the lives of cats you save. You are respectful and understanding of the stresses of the shelter workers too, which probably counts hugely in their lives too.