Go with God Deena!
The events of this past week require a two-part entry. Because the underlining of theme of these events are based in outright lies, it seemed appropriate to do one entry.
Part 1: Springfield Missouri
Guess what Springfield; Drake and I spent the weekend in your city turning heads and giving your citizens reason to pause in their judgement. The timing could not have been better since your local news has included your intention to once again ban the American Pit Bull Terrier.
You made concessions a few months ago and stopped killing every one you could find but even those concessions failed to address the problem owners. You see the irresponsible owners did not follow the rules during your zero tolerance before and they have not followed your rules for concession since. That is the problem with ordinances and laws directed at the first victim, the dog.
Before the decision to seek and destroy all Pit Bulls, Springfield had the power to address problem owners, they simply did not enforce their existing ordinances. With a little tweaking, you could have addressed several issues including unaltered dogs and unchecked breeding. You will notice I said dogs, not Pits.
Animal control’s job is to not only protect its citizens but the animals themselves. Strict, consistent enforcement of leash laws and animals running at large would go a long way toward curbing unchecked breeding. It is a sad thing owners cannot seem to take responsibility without intervention by law enforcement but it is a reality. Another reality is that animal control is the first line of defense in this war on unwanted, surplus animals.
The next reality is, you are lying to yourselves and your citizens that eliminating a breed, will make any difference in the safety of your streets. It will not, your problems will simply ignore your rules and continue to be a problem. Embracing lies which make you feel you have done something is nothing but one more of those unicorn and glitter things which give you a false sense of security. It allows you to close your eyes to your real problem. You have embraced the lies of those who have learned to profit from the corpses of these dogs. Once again, the dog pays the ultimate price for the stupidity of humans.
Drake is a very good-looking example of a Pit Bull. He is a big, white/patch boy who wears a perpetual smile. The bully smile is indicative of the breed. He is also well trained and extremely social with people. It would have been impossible for me to hide the fact we were in Springfield because being pushed into the shadows of invisibility does nothing to dispel the lies. I very openly and visibly tended to his needs for fresh air and relieving himself while in your city. SIDE NOTE: You might want to consider enforcement of “poop scooping” because you do have a really serious problem with people ignoring their responsibility. I was not in your low rent district, I was in fact staying out in your northern, more “main stream” area. Apparently poop scooping is beneath some people.
My point in sharing my presence is, not one single incident occurred while my unregistered in the city, intact male Pit Bull was present. He did not attack anyone, unless you count extreme kissing as an attack, he did not breed any unwanted litters and he did not cause anyone to fear for their lives.
Quite the contrary, people stopped dead in their tracks to watch him and approach me to ask questions. Many of your citizens who were forced to relinquish their pets when you allowed insanity to take hold in the beginning, took the time to interact with Drake and me. People who admitted to a fear of the breed, despite never having actually met one, approached to find out what all the fuss was about. In short, we spent two nights and two days within your city limits without you even being aware of us. The reason, we did nothing but what all the other responsible owners within your boundaries do, we acted like a responsible owner with an impeccably trained dog.
“To condemn without investigation is the height of ignorance” Albert Einstein
Part two: Liars
This past week an event surrounding a “rescue” group I have been warning people about since they began, came to light shattering a great many delusions. I know there are a number of people who expect me to gloat because I was right but I am afraid that would make me a hypocrite. You see I am also guilty of ignoring warnings and supporting a group who is not what they seem.
For those of us called to the path of rescue/sheltering, we suffer from an intense desire to save animals. We are powerless to ignore the abuse, neglect and unnecessary suffering inflicted on our companions. This need to save lives causes us to also have the intense need to want to believe in groups which appear to have the animals’ best interests at heart. We cling to the need to believe if even one animal can be saved, the ends justify the means.
Unfortunately, this has led to many groups who exploit that need, using emotional blackmail to enlist our help, while all along they hide their true intentions behind those same animals. Yes, we are all guilty of trying to find a reason to believe. I have not been exempt, so I am afraid if you are waiting for a huge “I told you so”, you are going to be disappointed.
I did something extremely stupid this past week resulting in me being harassed, cussed in a manner I would not inflict on an animal but has indeed caused me to also cuss like a sailor. For years I have attempted to stand by and support a group who has exploited my abilities, cost me positive programs designed to enhance adoptions of unwanted dogs and basically kicked me in the teeth at every turn.
This group was able to convince me they had a genuine desire to rise above their own scandalous past and take a positive step toward entering the realm of legitimate salvation for animals. Apparently having my hand on the stove once was not enough because I embraced that reason to believe and gave them another shot at me.
My crime? Doing what I was asked to do in the matter of finding safety for two extremely traumatized dogs and attempting the placement of another.
The placement fell through because the dog was found to be aggressive toward cows. In our rural areas, this can be a death sentence. This dog was how I came to be in Springfield Missouri over the weekend. This trial adoption was funded exclusively by me because when asked about helping with expenses, the president of the board of this group suggested I call on friends or ask another rescue for assistance.
Who in their right mind would even consider asking another rescue to take responsibility for their adoption? Oh yeah, the same one who has been willingly taking advantage of my experience and the experience of my contacts without bothering to educate themselves.
This same group has repeatedly called on me to address the challenges of their adopters in the matter of basic training of their dogs. They have called on me despite me offering to help them learn the basics to address the needs of dog under their care over the years.
For years I have gone so far as to provide my own volunteers to work their dogs with the offer to train their people. I had to provide my own volunteers because their people did not want to be involved. I will say one person from this group stepped up for a few sessions but in the end, no one from this group attempted to learn.
In the matter of basic manners and behavior modification, last month I was called to this location to meet with an adopter twice. Both times the adjustment of my own work schedule and time normally spent with my horse, had to be modified to accommodate the schedule of others. I have not charged one penny for my services yet on both recent episodes, the adopter was a no show/no call. I have made two appearances at this facility and no one could pay me the simple basic courtesy of telling me before hand it was a waste of my time. I withdrew my offer of free help.
This past week I did in fact find safe haven for two extremely traumatized dogs who lost everything, including the owner who laid down her life for the love of her animals. Because I made the mistake of sharing a photo of one of the dogs, showing him happy and adjusting to his lose, all hell broke loose.
I placed this dog with an old friend of the late owner who was outside the “clik” of the inner sanctum of this group. This foster stepped up out of love for the late owner and as a means of honoring someone they loved. Because of jealousy and personalities, I came under attack. This attack involved a 24/7 barrage of phone calls, voice mails and texts. I have been insulted and talked to like the lowest life form, all the while being 300 miles from home. My additional crime was not accommodating the demand to remove two dogs who were being well cared for and pampered, at 10:00 pm when I was finally able to check into my motel room after working that morning, driving those 300 miles and delivering the other dog for his trial adoption. For my effort, I was called heartless by a board member of this same group. This was, by the way, the same board member who did not think my time was important enough to warrant a call about a canceled meeting with an adopter. What I was was exhausted. This did not matter, I was to drop everything and ease the personality who was simply reacting to a situation with someone she does not like. This was also a matter of hours after placement of the second traumatized dog with a foster who had immediately taken the dog to a groomer and set about insuring this dog was eased into a secure environment. Neither dog was in an “at risk” situation, they were simply in a home considered unacceptable because of weak personalities with no regard for the actual welfare of these dogs.
The two situations this past week are indicative of an epidemic problem causing so many established, professional rescues and sanctuaries to withdraw. Not only are they withdrawing their support of struggling groups, they are leaving rescue period. We offer our experience freely. We give you the tools without strings but you must step up and learn how to use those tools. We offer our help to those willing to help themselves. We do not waste our time trying to provide you with what you need to succeed only to continue doing it for you. We do not have the resources or the time to waste. Therefore, I have withdrawn all support of this second group who has proven themselves to be exactly what people have tried to tell me they are over the past year, unredeemable.
This is the beginning of new week and a new resolve. Those of us burned by this week past, will move on wiser and stronger. The work never ends simply because groups have proven themselves unworthy. The animals are still in need and they have earned our respect. We simply file the negative as a means of being more diligent in the future and do what we have been called to do; save as many lives as possible.
A new day dawns and the army pulls itself back together…. that is simply a fact of life!