Even More Updatingness

The kittens are getting BIG!  Batman is bigger, stronger, and more playful, but still way stunted.  We have to make sure he eats enough and often enough so he can catch up growthwise, because falling behind could turn him around for the worse at any point.  My only real concern about him right now, though, is that he has a bit of a goopy eye.  In any other situation I wouldn't worry much, but they came from a colony with known rhinotracheitis problems and, try as I might, I still worry about us giving it to him from our cat.  As long as it's just eye goop and not ulcers or fever I'll try to be calm.  -.-  Leia turned out to be a BOY, so he's temporarily renamed Han Solo.  Or Jabba.  Haven't decided yet.

Penny is 2 and a half weeks post-surgery now and looking great.  We're getting her stitches out tomorrow, and next week she'll be going in for an x-ray.  The goofball thinks she's already healed up and keeps trying to jump and run at every chance she gets!

We also just decided to temporarily foster a dog from a shelter about 4 hours north of us.  Well, I say we, but I adopted her due to my fiance's insistence.  Not sure how that's gonna work out, but it's better than a 7 month old dog getting put down because no one knows about her.  You can read about if if you'd like on my significantly more opinionated/gripey/vet-and-rescue-oriented blog here.

While we're on the topic, I'd really like to talk about shelters.  Actually, I have a ton of things to talk about, but they're all long, extensive topics I'd like to put more thought into first.

Different shelters have different policies, even in the same town as each other.  There are two things I hear way too often, though:
  1. "As nice as no-kills* are, they only give the pets at the pound/city shelter ___ days to live, so it's better to adopt from them."
  2. "I support the shelter/animals by donating to the Humane Society of the United States/PETA/SPCA."
Both of these are said by perfectly smart, caring individuals, but both statements have major flaws.  Let's start with #1.

It's true for the animal you adopt that you are saving it, no matter where you get it from.  However you are not just benefiting the animal you pick when you bring one home, you're making its space, supplies, and care costs available to other animals.  In a kill shelter this is a drop in a lake.  In a no-kill with limited resources, it means the world.  Opening up a space in a no-kill means one fewer animal in the kill shelter.  Of course, that does NOT make one better than the other, as both are (or should be) working toward the same goal, but I hate to see no-kills denied visitors because of the guilt trip.  If one wants to slow or halt the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals, education and spay/neuter are the first steps!  :)

Aaaand now #2.  I'm gonna try and word this one as inoffensively as possible, though I'm pretty passionate about it.  I have no personal beef with the spca and appreciate many of their programs, but they and their policies vary quite a bit between locations.  Do your research on where your money is going, because quite a bit for national organizations winds up making commercials and products before it ever reaches the animals.  Peta, oh Peta.  Peta has been noted many, many times, both on a public scale and by its members, promoting a vegan-only lifestyle and advocating against pet ownership at all.  If you're funding Peta, understand that their goal is not to help homeless pets find homes.  Do your homework on where your money goes!

Now, the HSUS.  This is the one I have to really breathe about.  The HSUS is NOT affiliated with your local humane society.  They're called the same thing, but they are not the same organization.  The HSUS gives less than one percent annually of their funds to pets, and that is spread out in different ways (not all given directly to shelters).  Your shelter can apply for a grant, but it shouldn't hold its breath.  The other over-99% of its funds go to paychecks, lobbying (including against owning pets, like the current famous exotic reptile ban, one of many examples), advertising, and launching raids that then leave hundreds of animals at local shelters without aid or space.  I'm really sorry guys, that's the most I can dull it down.  The difference is rights vs welfare, and I definitely recommend googling both and deciding which you support. 

ANYWAYS, my point is that by donating to the Humane Society of the United States, you are NOT contributing to your local animal community, or to anyone's animal community.  The best way to support your local shelters is to donate to them directly.  Investigate them first - where do they get their funds?  Are they legitimate and are they doing a good job with their animals?  What do they need - would they prefer material donations like blankets or dog/cat food, or do they need money?  Donations to nonprofit shelters are tax-deductible, so it's a win-win.  You know your money is helping real animals, and your shelters can keep doing what they're doing.

It takes a community to make a difference.  If you like critters, take a Saturday to volunteer now and then, give a few bucks to an organization that needs it, spread the word around.  It is possible to become a real, no-kill community, but it takes coordination, teamwork, and a whole lotta love.

-Miss Mouse
<:3 )~~

* No-kill means that a shelter does not take in more animals than it can support, so does not euthanize for space.  A no-kill may still euthanize an animal in extreme situations, using a veterinarian and under that vet's advice.  Unfortunately, some animals come to shelters unable to recover from past injuries, illnesses, or traumas.  A kill shelter such as a pound or city shelter is usually required to accept ALL animals, regardless of condition or space, up until a specified limit if applicable.  Those critters come from animal control, owners, found animals, transfers, etc., and there simply isn't room for all of them.  Different shelters will have different policies to determine how long they can keep animals and what makes them adoptable, so check with yours.  It doesn't matter if you're looking to adopt from a kill or a no-kill, you should still ask to see numbers, save rates, and any other data you need to feel comfortable that they are legitimate, clean, and responsible.  It's most important that you find the animal that is right for you, not where it comes from!

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