There are so many situations/dilemmas we animal lovers find ourselves in daily. Sometimes, we see dogs on the Internet or cats or other animals and we want to help them all. But alas we cannot. Limited time, resources, energy. Some people post incessantly, some try to change laws to save lives, and others donate what they can. All good although the postings get to be too much for me. So many animals in need, dying, on death row, abused, treated cruelly, not getting the homes and care they need. Breaks your heart. Then occasionally, a heartwarming tale with a happy ending makes your day.
Now, this morning, I scanned my facebook news to see if I could post something somewhere, as my way of contributing. And I saw this story below. What would you do in this situation if you were the truck driver?
A group/facebook page called People for Pit Bulls had written/posted about this a number of times and were asking for media attention so I first posted what they wrote onto The Patrick Movement for California page and other pages. Then I suggested that they contact local media, I found one local media person and wrote to her myself. I shared this with P4P and suggested that they get as many people as people to write/call local media in Bakersfield. This is what I wrote:
a truck driver from Pennsylvania found this little dog limping on the side of the road in Bakersfield. The driver had to leave the dog at the local animal shelter where the dog will be put to sleep unless help can be found asap. The truck driver will donate as much as possible to get the dog vet care and/or boarding until a proper home can be found. Is there a local rescue group who can help this dog? Can you write about this situation? Thank you.
here is the response I received from the reporter:
Thanks for your interest. I’ll forward this to my editor, though I can’t guarantee we’ll be able to cover it. I’m not sure if we can recommend any particular local rescue groups, though just off the top of my head I might suggest contacting the local Humane Society or SPCA.
I think it is important when in the process of doing a rescue, to not blame the media, other people, or shelters, it is counterproductive.
P4P wrote that they had contacted doggie magazines and some other folks. WRONG. Doggie magazines require MONTHS lead time. Newspapers are DAILY. So is TV and radio. Plus, this is not a national story. (well, the deplorable state of our animal shelters IS a national story). But the fastest, easiest and best way, in my humble opinion, as a reporter/editor with media background, also as a publicist for 25+ years, is to contact THE LOCAL MEDIA. Also online media if you have contacts or can find them.
This is what they wrote:
People For Pit Bulls According to a Marketing Group in NYC on the news. He (Patrick) was very well marketed….I read that in the New York Times months ago and a cruelty group posted on it a few months ago also…I have just found it strange that there are so many abuse cases, some as bad and worse, and they never get the attention they should. I am glad PAtrick got it, but now others need it…perhaps it is in the money.
what I wrote back:
Patrick got media attention because people CARED about him, and there was VISUAL PROOF of his abuse. Dogs are NOT marketing material. People responded to Patrick OUT OF THEIR HEARTS not some marketing scheme.
I realize that the people are probably upset, frustrated, and stressed because they’re trying to save a dog’s life. Just don’t bite the hands that are trying to FEED YOU.
Now there was another post saying that someone is willing to adopt the dog, but a rescue still needs to pull him from the shelter.
Is there anyone reading this that can help in Bakersfield or nearby?????
Good fortune. I hope this turns out well.
I am writing about this because this is a very common scenario that I see over and over and over again. There HAS to be a better way. There HAS GOT to be a better shelter system. And there HAS to be better education. People have to understand that dogs are not something to throw away like trash by the side of the road or in a garbage bin. That if they are moving, allergic, the dog has fleas, barks too much, they are having tough times financially or they’re having a baby, that is NO REASON/EXCUSE to GET RID of their pet dog, cat, iguana, rabbit, whatever. THERE ARE SOLUTIONS if one wants to find them. If one is willing there is a way. If you have a pet, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to feed, house, keep safe, train, and LOVE. If you throw your pet away, ie, take it to a shelter, it will more than likely END UP DEAD.
How someone who has loved an animal for any length of time can do that is beyond me. I once had to take a sweet kitty cat to a shelter (Pasadena) to get put down because it was terminally ill of cancer and the owners had thrown the poor kitty out in the street. They had that kitty for 15 years. And then their son/daughter had a baby. So out with the kitty cat into the street !!!! I had been feeding the cat and then I talked to other neighbors and they were also feeding the cat. Yet, the cat was very skinny. Finally, someone suggested that I take the kitty to a vet or shelter. I did not want to do it. But I put on my grown up pants and went. The vet confirmed that the kitty was dying and in pain and it would take a lot of surgery and still not save the kitty. She was willing to take the kitty but suggested the humane solution was to put the kitty down. I cried the entire time I took the kitty to the vet, at the vet and at the shelter. The BEST shelter EVER. They let me be in a private room with the kitty to say good-bye and pray which I did. They gave me all the time I needed, too. Very beautiful. And when it was over, I was sad but knew the kitty was in a better place. And when I told the owner, she cried and THANKED ME for doing what she did NOT have the courage to do. I did not tell her that it could have been different. That she had inflicted how many months of pain onto that kitty. IF she had been responsible, perhaps that kitty could have lived its last years with LOVE and DIGNITY in a new home with another family. She could have asked the neighbors. Someone might have taken that kitty into their home. Personally, that is what I would have done. But I have learned that people do not always do the right thing. Oh well.
What would YOU Do??? Curious minds want to know. Thanks.
Now for some inspiration. A video I created for Patrick. Look at the DIFFERENCE that LOVE and CARE made for this once starved and thrown in the trash dog, transformed into a healthy and handsome boy !!!
An interesting event to help rescues/shelters across America, Best Friends Strut Your Mutt…
and I also made a video for The Vicktory dogs… look at how far they have come. Once, made to fight or used as bait dogs, chained up 24/7, unsocialized, traumatized and abused daily, 7-8 have now become therapy dogs, and most of the 52 dogs have been adopted into happy homes. It is worthwhile telling the GOOD NEWS over and over again.
and yes, I am HAVING SO MUCH FUN creating videos. If you’d like one, let me know.