Animal rescues have changed the face of the homeless dog world wide. With millions of homeless dogs around the nation rescues and shelters are needed but are we really moving forward the cause?
When the financial crisis of 2008 hit many people found themselves unable to keep their homes and sometimes not even there dogs.
A knee jerk response of “Well you shouldn’t own a dog if you can’t afford it” seems to resonate but there’s more to it. Sometimes people find themselves in difficult places without very much warning – so why should dogs suffer because of this?
We need programs that protect their humans so dogs don’t face situations like this. Austin Pets Alive in Texas has a PASS program – Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender. The program offers “consultation, education, troubleshooting, and financial support to Central Texans in need so that they have the option to care for or keep their pets rather than surrender their dogs and cats to the city and county shelters in Central Texas.”
This ground breaking program is a proactive program that works to keep dogs with their owners, no matter what. Whether helping to cover vetrinary costs or to help guide them through a proper rehoming process, the program offers solutions outside of dumping your dog at a shelter. In 2013 the PASS emergency boarding program gave temporary residence to 102 animals, which not only kept the animals out of the shelter but also let them get back to their families. 42 kennels and veterinary clinics participate in the PASS emergency boarding program.
With programs like that, it’s easy to believe that the future of animal rescue is here. A good home is a good home and sometimes with a little help, from education to funding, we can all help to keep those dogs in their respective homes.
Animal rescues play a vital and never-ending role in helping the dogs no one else will help – but residents and cities need to start looking at the big picture and stop leaning on volunteers with limited resources to be the only saviour to many dogs.
One can only hope that similar programs start popping up around the world. Proactive programs are needed to help lower the homeless pet population.