Friday, December 09, 2011

Something To Think About

I was listening to Christmas Carols on a Buffalo, New York radio station.  They were having a HUGE adoption and donation blitz for the local SPCA.  It was impressive.  They adopted 52 cats today and the public was really rallying around them.  After every 3rd Christmas Carol, they would do a public service announcement about the SPCA.

There was definitely a twinge of jealousy happening.  I thought about our cats and wished we had something similar.  Then the Adoption Coordinator said, "Just $25.00 per month does so much for the animals..." and I stopped.

Sure.  $25.00 X 12 months is awesome!  But this shelter has  EMPLOYEES.  They have paid people to take care of the animals.  What's the percentage of your $25.00 that really goes to the animal's care? 

Yes, I know this is a touchy subject and I expect to get some crappy emails. 

My own, sweet parents give to their local SPCA in Seattle Washington.  They adopted a dog from a small dog rescue but STILL give to the big ol' mighty SPCA.  They don't send it to our little rescue.  I work 50+ hours per week for free and there are MANY MANY other people who do what I do and barely scrape by to pay their vet bills.   

So where am I going with this?  Give to the LITTLE rescues.  Your money will go so much further!  It won't go to somebody's salary.  It'll go to vet bills.  I have nothing against the big shelters who are trying to help the animals.  Honest to goodness, I don't.  But if you have $25.00 and want to spend it somewhere - give it to a small rescue!  ALL of the money will go to the animals. 

I rejoice every time I get a donation.  *I* get the money.  Not a paid administrator or staff member.  It's just me and I shout out to David over the top of my computer screen, "Oh thank God...we can pay the vet this month!" 

It's not just me - there are thousands of us out there working the work...walking the walk...and kissing the kitties.  We're doing it all and making it happen - for the cats. 


Chrissykat said...

Could NOT agree more. Before I knew better I used to give to the big organizations. I've since become better educated. It's the little ones get the checks now. I hope a lot of people read this post of yours today. Have a nice weekend.

Anonymous said...

Well said Beth, We have just been having this discussion...over "our happy hour " you must have been listening in ! I was also on my "hobby horse " whilst having this discussion with Hubby.. AND about why the hell can't the local shelter allow the public in for adoptions. Sorry , I don't mean to open a can of worms.... but I find it upsetting for those poor kitties that could also have a forever home if this were the case..The Lord knows there ARE enough kitties/animals to go 'round. Maybe I'm way out in left field but from the way I see it , it makes sense to me. I cannot understand where we get the idea that we are " better" than the poor animals and we can just dump them when we feel like it...then again we dump humans when we feel like what am I thinking ? I know we need to be helping the children who are desperately in need of help..but there are lots of groups who are working on that..we need more people to be working on helping desperate animals. I will understand if you would rather not post this ... Gail

House of the Discarded said...

Gail: Of course, I'll post it!

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more with you either. I also used to give to the big organizations as well. Now I donate what I can...whether it be money, food, a nice warm body for them to curl up on....or even a drive to the vet. I can't donate too much money these days, but I can do all of the other things....

You keep kissing those kitties :)

Anonymous said...

I am with Chrissykat and Anonymous, I used to be very uneducated about this and would give money to the "bigger" organizations. Then I realized they were using my money to send me calendars and pens instead of caring for the animals.

I have done hands on rescue (maybe 1% of what you do) and know how important every penny is and it ALL goes directly to the animals. This is a FULL time job for people like you and you DON'T get paid for it and work a hell of a lot harder than anyone I know. Keep up the amazing work. I also hope many people read this post and think about it if nothing else.

Meaghan said...

I'm one of those people who honestly believe that people deserve an honest pay for a day's work. In that respect, I don't begrudge shelters taking money for employees.
That said, I also dislike when that money goes into promotions to such an extent... Why can't the big guys use that money to keep their animals around longer? Why can't they use ot for more space so they can be no-kill?
I am greatful that I found out about Forever Home and other similar rescues. In terms of donations, I'd rather see someone donate to an SPCA than no animal organization at all, but even BETTER would be if the little rescues and shelters actually got enough donations to cover vet bills AND pay their central workers. [Yes, I live in a bubble of optimism!]

A well-written post, and definitely something to keep in mind.

Melissa W. said...

Donation to the "little shelter" that rocks is on it's way!
Merry Christmas.


Laura HP said...

I know you and several small rescues do wonderful work, but I also want to say that donations to public shelters can mean a lot. All donations to Toronto Animal Services goes 100% to the animals, for instance, and a lot of their spay/neuters, vet bills, toys and such comes out of that money. They rely on regular donations and since they deal with so many animals it would be pretty devastating to lose that.
Not to attack you - I hope you get tons of donations! But since I volunteer at TAS, I had to point out that they need donations too. 'Big' does not necessarily mean 'donations wasted'.

House of the Discarded said...

Laura: Thank you for that insight! How does the staff get paid? I know it's a city program,so through city taxes?


Anonymous said...

Wonder what happens to pets owned by those living on the street. Passed a man with a 12 week old calico kitten curled up on a sleeping bag at Bay and Queen last night. Worries me so close to a busy road, no water or kitty litter or dirt in sight. Canned food on the sidewalk. A pile of coins in a box. Think he was using the kitten to get donations.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when I read certain websites that have articles about dogs and cats, I make a comment about the need to donate to the local rescues rather than the huge orgs like PETA and so on. I'm wondering though, if most people even realize there are local rescues in their area. There are links on the web for cat and dog rescue organizations, but I wonder if you have any advice on how to actually select one. How can potential donators be sure the one they donate to is legitimate and puts the money to good use? Is there a central site you could recommend that lists local rescues in different cities? I'd like to include that whenever I make a comment on a website to make it easier for people to find their local rescue.

House of the Discarded said...

Anonymous: I would recommend to find smaller rescues. I do believe that they should be charities in order to get a tax receipt.


Sarah Hannigan said...

I actually choose to donate to both, for different reasons. I agree with you 100% that smaller rescues spend the donations on the animals, and not on overhead, salaries etc. For this reason, I choose to support local, grassroots animal rescue with my donations.

However, I do also donate to larger organizations whose goal it is to change policy and raise public awareness. Organizations like PETA, Farm Forward etc. are at the forefront of helping to change larger institutions who routinely abuse animals for profit. Without them, we may be addressing animal abuse on a 1:1 basis, but we aren't addressing the larger systemic policy issues that allow the abuse to occur in the first place.

Just another way to look at how donations can be used as tools for different aims.

Caroline said...

I agree Beth, the smaller orgs need the money more than the big ones, especially the BIG ones that aren't being honest with the public!

Meaghan said...

Hmmm... Has FHCR ever tried partnering with a local radio station?

We'd need to get in through the goodwill of the radio, as money is tight, but it never hurts to ask.

I'm pretty good with letter-writing, and would love to ask around if it's something you may want to pursue :)

mawiesner said...

I agree with Sarah. I do a small monthly donation to the ASPCA mainly because of their ability to promote policy change and their efforts at raising public awareness. But there are a couple small, struggling cat rescues that I donate to periodically throughout the year as well. (Forever Home being at the top of my list.) If you're able to do both, that's great! If you can't and want to make sure your donations are going strictly for the animals, then smaller rescues are the way to go. :)

Tina said...

I completely agree with you Beth! I tell everyone I can to donate to their small rescue groups. Since volunteering for a local rescue here in Arkansas, my eyes have been opened and I no longer give to the big ones. When you think about it, if an organization can send me free gift wrap, greeting cards, t-shirts or a blanket, they certainly do NOT need my $$. And I do NOT want my donation going to fund any of that. I'm all about supporting the small groups b/c I see firsthand how much they need it and it does go to vet bills. Keep up the great work Beth. I appreciate all you do and for sharing your experiences with us.