A coworker/friend of mine lost her dog Tanner to old age in July, and she and her family recently decided that they're ready for a new dog - and they wanted to go through rescue to find him or her - so my friend has been watching Petfinder and asking me about dogs that I've heard about and forwarding me dogs that she's seen on the web and yesterday she forwarded me a couple dogs that she saw on Petfinder that were over at the Dartmouth SPCA's provincial shelter - so I said to her - it's lunchtime - why don't we just go over and take a look - it'll take us under an hour to go over there and then be back at work - so that's what we did.
And this is what we saw on the board when we got over there - Suzie - she wasn't the dog that my friend had sent me that she was looking at - but she was more of the type that she had been looking for - a scrappy terrier type, 15 to 25 pounds that was 1-2 years old - Suzie was actually pretty much exactly what my friend was looking for - so we asked to see her.
And this is what was brought out to us. The most beauteous wondrous little dog - that had been brought up from the Cape Breton SPCA. Down there - in the past she probably would have been killed - because these types of dogs are a dime a dozen down there - but here - adopters will fight over here, and in fact - while we were filling out an application on her - so was someone else! So my friend was writing quickly!
What happened was - my friend filled out her application - it was taken in, they checked the references immediately - called her vet to check her out - had the other family members come and meet Suzie to make sure that this was a family decision - and do you know what? Their application to adopt Suzie was accepted YESTERDAY. The SAME DAY that they applied to adopt her.
Dogs come in - DOGS GO OUT. That is what NO KILL is all about. A simplified adoption process is imperative to a no kill society. The more dogs you can move out into GOOD HOMES - the more dogs you can bring in and SAVE.
While my friend was filling out her application, I was talking to a staff member - and she said that they are filtering almost all of the dogs in Nova Scotia from SPCA's that don't have shelters, or their shelters are full - into the Dartmouth Provincial shelter - because they have the space, and the adopters - to move the animals out - and achieve their no kill vision - and in fact - the Dartmouth SPCA will most likely adopt more dogs out this year than they did in other years when they had the pound contract with the HRM.
So in fact - they are saving more lives without the pound contract than when they did have the pound contract - or I'm sure they'd rather say - their new vision and strategic plan has facilitated the saving of more animal's lives in Nova Scotia than ever before - however you want to put it - I think it's fabulous.
People in rescue for years have been lamenting the fact that there were empty cages in one shelter and animals were being killed in another shelter - so the fact that there is finally transportation happening between shelters and dogs have stopped dying in Cape Breton - is a miracle that has been decades in the making - and I'm so glad that it's happening now.
That doesn't mean though that no kill leaves behind the less adoptable dogs - dogs like Mercedes who have to go to particular homes - that just means that no kill shelters have the luxury of being able to spend the time to find the RIGHT homes for the less adoptable dogs like Mercedes - so that they DON'T have to kill diamonds in the rough
I don't know if Mary Jane is one of the dogs that the Dartmouth shelter is bringing down from Ontario - but they are now being able to save dogs from many varied places - from Ontario, from a couple of Animal Control jurisdictions, from a native reservation - and of course from enforcing the Animal Cruelty Legislation in Nova Scotia.
I am so happy that we've come a long way from the days when we were treated like criminals when we walked through the front door of the SPCA looking to adopt an animal - and we had to prove that we weren't before we could take an animal home - and it seemed to take week's to get anywhere, and by the time we were approved the animal we wanted was adopted to someone else - and it was heartbreak from beginning to end.
That is no way to run a rescue - it's no wonder that pet stores and Kijiji flourished - but it's time to bring those same people back to the world of rescue - because there's nothing wrong with the animals in the shelters - it's the humans who dumped them there that's the problem - and in the age of no kill and it's philosophies - it is the answer to all the old-school problems - and I'm glad the NS SPCA has succeeded in their goals. Yay!