Friday, June 10, 2011

Fundraiser Friday: The Economic Reality of Animal Rescue

One of the most difficult aspects of volunteering with animal rescues, shelters and sanctuaries is seeing the endless stream of animals in need of homes. But hand in hand with that stream comes another difficulty - any organization which takes on animal rescue needs money. Lots of money. Not just for food, shelter, cleaning supplies, etc. Many of the animals who need homes have not been well cared for. And as anyone who has visited the vet recently can tell you, medical care doesn't come cheap.

Until our global community decides to take steps to effectively address the pet overpopulation problem, until individuals decide en masse to step up to their responsibilities as pet owners, until there is no longer a need for rescues and shelters and sanctuaries, those organizations will continue to be financially strapped.

I could blog every single day - indeed, every single hour - about a different animal rescue organization in need. And sometimes I have asked for your financial support for a particular animal or a specific animal organization. I hesitate to beg too often and, given the range of top notch rescues with which I have at least some peripheral connection through volunteering, I sometimes don't mention very worthy causes simply because it is hard to know which to highlight and which to ignore.

What I do want to do is plant a seed. Let's call it Fundraiser Friday. One Friday of every month, find someway in which you can financially help an organization which helps animals. It might be de-cluttering your home by putting a few choice items into a box to donate to the next animal-related garage sale. It could be sending out a message on Facebook or Twitter about your favourite organization or a particular animal which needs some financial help. It could be planning for your own fundraising garage sale, or checking to see if any animal organizations in your area are having special events you can attend that weekend. Or it could be selecting one organization or one animal in need, and sending in a small contribution instead of ordering pizza tonight.

So this is my own first Fundraiser Friday. In addition to planting the above seed, I want to suggest a few very worthy causes. Y'know...just in case you have a little loose change to spare. :)

My trip to the mainland yesterday was primarily for the purpose of meeting a senior sheltie who has recently lost her home and ended up at Delta Community Animal Shelter. Bobbie needed a safe place to land, and I have a love of senior shelties and a wee bit of space to spare in my home.

Dog??? Another old dog??? Why the heck can't she ever bring home a crippled up old mouse or bird???

Bobbie's initial vet visit showed massively infected ears, a urinary tract infection, a bum knee, and some large lumps on her belly - all things that are manageable.

I may be old and have yucky ears, but I'm really, really sweet!

However, just as I drove off the ferry on the mainland, my cellphone rang; it was the manager of the shelter. Bobbie's followup visit that morning revealed a bigger problem. An xray showed so many bladder stones that it is a miracle Bobbie could still pee. She needs major surgery - a cost of around $1000 for the shelter, or probably at least $1500 if I still wanted to pick her up right away and take her to my own vet as a private individual. And that is just for the bladder stones.

I spent an hour or more with Bobbie - a lovely, sweet girl - while we discussed options. In the end, with tears in my eyes, I had to let my head rule my heart and leave her there - economic reality for me (sometimes being retired really sucks**), and a financial challenge for the shelter.

So I ask you to consider making a donation and/or spreading the word to help Delta Community Animal Shelter cover the cost of Bobbie's surgery. You'll find more information on their facebook page here (you'll have to scroll down to June 5th, I think - I'm not a facebook person so don't really know if there is a quicker way to find it), and you can donate through their website here - be sure to say it is for Bobbie's surgery!

Rats! She didn't bring me home NO surprise! Not even one of those tee-shirts that say "my mom went to the mainland and all she brought me was this crummy tee-shirt". And I bet I know where my treat money is going this month. Hmmph!

If you live on the island, there's a couple of other fundraising events that might interest you this weekend. Broken Promises Rescue in the Victoria area of Vancouver Island, for whom I fostered Jessie for a short while, is also raising money to help pay for bladder stone surgery and other medical expenses for a dog in their care. If you live down that way, please attend their garage sale at 5756 West Saanich Rd, from 9 AM - 4 PM, tomorrow, Saturday June 11.

Yes, c'mon by! And I'm still looking for my forever home!

And if dogs aren't your thing and you'd like to support the piggies, I will also be having a small garage sale tomorrow as part of the Third Annual Crofton Community-wide Garage Sale. Crofton's a VERY small town - just come into town, and check out the garage sales up and down each street. When you see the one with the Hearts On Noses display board, be sure to say hi! Oh...and buy something. All proceeds from my tables will go to Hearts on Noses. Garage sales run from 9 AM to 2 PM (though mine will likely end at noon, as I am supposed to take some photographs for the Chemainus Courier).

Buy something! 'Cuz us piggies get medical bills, too!

Meanwhile, please think good thoughts for Bobbie - and for all the other Bobbies out there who are sitting in rescues and shelters, awaiting expensive medical procedures to set their world right once again.

Heading home with a heavy heart and an empty car.

** Don't get me wrong. If one of my dogs developed bladder stones, I would find the money to fix it immediately. However, to take on a new dog who is going to cost upwards of $1500 the very first week does not make good fiscal sense for me, at this point in my life. I am not a rescue organization, just an individual who loves dogs and helps out where I can. There is a possibility that Bobbie still may end up as part of my family, once she has recuperated from surgery, and at that point I would be committing to covering all future medical costs, just as I do any dog I adopt. Just as any responsible adopter should.


Anonymous said...

Jean I'm so sorry that it didn't work our with Bobbi and I know where you are comming from. It would be a huge financial resposibiliy righ from the get go.
Not to worry. Another old sheltie will be in the wings waiting for you.


Kelly said...

Bobbi will get her surgery. I have made a donation and i will rally more friends to do the same...

Anonymous said...

"Fundraiser Friday"- what a great idea, Jean!

And thanks for the links to Bobbie. Happy to help out with this little one and have made a donation to the Delta Community Animal Shelter to go towards her surgery. I hope she gets it soon.


Jean said...

Bobbie is scheduled for surgery on June 15th. And, assuming all goes well, she will be coming here once she is in the clear.
Kelly and Sharon, thank you for your donations. For others who would like to help the shelter cover the cost of this expensive operation, please see the link in the post above.
Oh, and from experience - if you are making an online donation, don't leave spaces when you type in your visa number!

Anonymous said...

Will keep Bobbi in our thoughts, wish her to make a speedy recovery!
Thank-you for bringing to light the work rescues and shelters have to do to make the animals adoptable again.