People often ask me why do we have 8 million homeless pets in America.
I’ve been involved in animal welfare and rescue since 2004. I felt the calling and followed it after surviving a terminal illness. A dying and rebirth process that changed my life forever.
With a new lease on life I felt compelled to help others. The others I chose were animals, in particular death row shelter dogs. Actually dog rescue was not a cause I chose, it chose me. For before my life change I was a hard charging corporate executive with Fortune 500 companies. I loved animals, and always had dogs but never thought it would turn into a calling.
Life seems to have its own agenda however and we must be ever alert for the correct path to walk to find our calling – and a life of deeper meaning. I didn’t question or argue with it, I just started doing it. I always loved dogs and that was good enough for me. And that’s how my journey to save 8 million dogs…and cats started.
Soon into the journey however I started to ask myself some hard to answer questions. Like, why are we killing these healthy, beautiful homeless animals? Why when we love our family pets so much do we dispose of them and destroy them. I kept asking others and myself questions such as, why do they have to die? Why do we as a society allow this to happen? Can’t we see the needless tragedy of it all? Why when we seem to be as smart and affluent as a country can’t we solve this problem?
I finally came to find my answers about five years ago. The answers all revolved around one thing.
Disposing, discarding and destroying family pets is basically a mirror reflection of our American society.
Our disposal of our pets is no different than anything else in our current disposable society. This is not an indictment, but simply a fact. Today we all live in a disposable society. We acquire something and if we tire of it we get a new something. Don’t like your perfectly good cell phone? Turn it in and get another shinier one. Don’t like your marriage? No problem, dispose of your spouse and get a new one. Not feeling happy? Don’t look inside and examine your thinking, just get some drugs and your pain and unhappiness will all go away. Tired of this or tired of that? No problems dispose of it and get a new this or that.
But there is a steep cost to our souls, our health our stability and our lives to living in a disposable society. We have skyrocketing divorce rates. We have skyrocketing consumer debt. Our disposed of kids are lost emotionally, taking drugs to mask the pain and are dying of heroin overdoses at alarming rates.
And as to our family pets? Well when we tire of them, or they become a bit of a problem? No problem, we just emotionally detach ourselves from then and dispose of them as well. We take them to the shelter; dump them off there and wham our problem is solved. We turn them into a community shelter and let the government handle our personal problem. Well they handle it all right. They dispose of the problem. We know the facts. We know that when we turn a family pet over to the shelter the odds are at best 50/50 that in 5 days the shelter will destroy and then dispose of your problem for you. And in some cases; at ultra-high kill shelters the statistics are 90 %, will destroyed and discarded in just a few days’ time.
America, we have to wake up and realize that the only way we can solve our homeless pet issue is to see it for what it really is. 8 Million homeless pets in America is a reflection of our disposable society. We talk about the future and ignore the present. We only want the future and do not respect, or learn from the past. We tire of what we have, always wanting something new. In rescue I see it every day. There is a belief that homeless animals are too big of a problem to solve. Too many believe euthanizing 4 million of them is the only solution. They are not open to implementing proven alternatives to the problem. We seem to have no will to solve our problems any longer. We seem to prefer to argue and ignore social issues. We put forth no effort to tackle hard issues and offer balanced solutions.
I have become so exasperated that I wrote a book with the 20 best solutions to end the believed need to euthanize homeless animals in America. The book is not about kill shelters versus no kill. It is not about blame for the people who relinquish their pets or the shelters who must deal with what has occurred. It’s about a better way, an intelligent and humane way to care for our beloved homeless animals. And a better way to operate animal shelters. Changing the focus of shelters from a place that disposes of homeless animals to a community center that adopts its community’s homeless animals…. all of them…not just half of them.
Our current system of saving homeless animals is terribly dysfunctional and broken. We are dealing with a system we have inherited. We as a society are dealing with this system we do not like and only we working together as a society can we reinvent and create a new system of animal welfare that we will like.
Can we change society? Well eventually all societies change. For the better, or for the worse, but all societies change. I am optimistic. I really believe that our country is awakening to our disposable mindset and is moving towards change.
Believing that society is shifting – and linking that positive shift to animal welfare is why we started our non-profit Green Pets America. We believe that shortly we will become a greener recyclable society that values all life. We believe it is not too late to awaken and become a better society that goes from discarding and destroying our family pets to recycling them by “rescuing renewing and rehoming” That is our mantra, our tag line and therefore the name of our book.
Rescue Renew Rehome offers pragmatic solutions. Solutions that when fully embraced by a country that loves its companion animals will finally end the needless disposal of 8 million pets yearly, and the needless euthanization and destroying of 4 million annually in our shelters.
This book is divided into four primary sections. In section one we share the stories of the powerful emotional bond we have with our animals. Each Chapter written by a guest author. You will love the inspiring story of Shiva the therapy dog who consoled the survivors after 911 at the Pentagon. And the story of Ruby and of Sweet Pea lovable pets that were rescued rehomed and reloved. In this section we share with you what you already know in your heart. Our companion animals are here to teach us how to live – and how to love one another; not superficial love but deep, spiritual, unconditional love. Our companion animals offer unconditional love to a society that deeply needs it today.
In section two start to get into practical solutions to adopt our homeless animals. We start visioning what the modern American animal shelter will look like. We call them “Green Shelters”. For they are just that, Recycle, Renew, Rehoming Shelters. Shelters will soon change from – disposal centers – to adoption centers. And with our 20 Step Guide we show you exactly how animal shelters and rescue groups will rehome all 8 million of our homeless animals each year.
And as our society becomes less of a disposable society, recognizes the connection of animals and nature to our own very survival, the number of pets discarded yearly will decrease.
In section three we talk about a fairly new marketing concept; especially to animal welfare called “Cause Marketing”. Our animal shelters by embracing modern marketing strategies, particularly “Cause Marketing” and reaching out to the generosity of Americans will find the money they need to reinvent the American animal shelter and create Green Shelters across America. Think “Ice Bucket Challenge” and “Breast Cancer Walks”
And finally in the fourth section we share statistics on the pet industry in America. Americans we love our pets. And we spend lavishly to care for them. The pet industry is a gigantic $58-Billion-dollar industry in America. To end the homeless animal issue in America the pet industry must become a major contributor of resources, time and talent to the solution. The American pet industry has both the money and the motivation to become part of America’s homeless pet challenge. I believe the pet industry is recognizing its connection and responsibility to being part of the solution.
We hope you will join the millions of Americans who are part of the solution to ending the disposable of pets in America. We hope you will purchase this book of solutions and purchase an extra copy for your local animal shelter as well. Help them learn the 20 ways to solve this problem in America and help them adopt all their cats and dogs into loving homes in your community.
We hope you become part of the solution. Volunteer at your shelter or rescue group and help them Rescue Renew and Rehome Americas loving companion animals.
Rescuing dogs saved my life. Rescue a dog and you will find that your heart will be rescued and saved as well.