America is presently dealing with an epidemic of homeless animals. It’s a problem that’s often overlooked, but it can have a devastating effect on our environment, and we believe wholeheartedly that how we treat the animals in our communities is a reflection on who we are as a society. There are presently over 200 million homeless dogs in the United States, and the American Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that roughly 3.3 million dogs are entered into animal shelters each year.
Help Rescue Animals, Inc. stands strongly behind the belief that unfortunate circumstances shouldn’t have to spell a death sentence for any animal, and we’re unwilling to waver in our goal of making kill shelters a thing of the past. Every animal deserves to find a health and happy family, and we’re committed to getting to the heart of the problem. But we understand that this isn’t an issue you can simply solve with piles of cash. We have to treat each animal with the care they deserve while also changing the conversation of how the American public views animals and understands the issue of pet homelessness.
There’s no lack of organizations that offer adoption services, and we admire the effectiveness with which these groups transition animals from shelter facilities to accepting homes. Our job isn’t to replace existing adoption services but rather to provide them with the resources they need to do their job more effectively and relieve the burden of outreach by providing our own supplemental adoption services.
We’ve already put hundreds of animals into happy homes, and our goal is to double these happy endings with each successive year.
That goal may seem grand, but we believe we have an infrastructure in place that’s well suited towards expansion. Our publicity channels are twofold. Through social media outreach, we put the focus on pets in foster programs and shelters who otherwise might not get the attention they need to find a permanent home, and we also run weekend adoption events in person at local pet stores. Our goal is for each rescue we run to feature between 12 and 18 cats and 10 to 15 dogs at each event. By setting modest and attainable adoption goals for our rescues, we can improve the turnaround for pets in need without forcing our rescues to neglect the needs of other dogs under their care. This method also allows us to extend our method by franchising our rescues to the communities most in need rather than increasing the burdens on existing rescues under our purview.
Our adoption services aren’t extended solely towards our own rescues either. As an organization that exists primarily to assist other animal care giving organizations, we make it our mission to provide underfunded or understaffed shelters and rescues with the tools they need to broadcast their message more effectively. We maintain a listserv that lets our partner organizations easily spread the message about pets up for adoption, and we also provide courier services for local shelters so that they can get their furry wards out in the public eye.
While we want to make sure that every pet finds a new home, we’re exceedingly careful in the pets we offer for public adoption. Behavioral conditions are taken into strong consideration to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and other animals and to increase the likelihood of adoption and retention.
PROVIDING MEDICAL CARE
Adoption is the ultimate goal for all of our pets, but the road from life on the streets to life in a warm and welcoming home can take a while. We’ve established partnerships with doctors in our community who are willing to offer their services at discounted rates. This generosity means we can stretch our funds further and provide medical support to a larger number of homeless animals. Critical injuries are our top priority when introducing new animals to our rescues, but we don’t let any animals into our facilities without first undergoing thorough physical examinations. This includes flea and tick treatments, analysis for common illnesses, and spaying and neutering as soon as the dogs and cats are of a safe age to have the surgery performed. We recognize that prodigious breeding is one of the main contributing factors for the overpopulation problem, and we intend to stop it in its tracks.
While Help Rescue Animals Inc. is built to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the community, we’ll never sacrifice our focus on the Five Freedoms in favor of a more expedient but less compassionate solution. You can rest assured that no matter what form our organization takes in the upcoming years, the welfare of our wards will always be our primary focus. While we’re proud of the partners we’ve built, we don’t expect the problem to resolve itself anytime soon. We need your help. Every donation made helps us provide care to more animals and broadcast the important messages of our partners; every Facebook like or connection with a local shelter or pet store expands our reach; and every new foster parent provides relief to the diligent volunteers at our rescues. We hope you’ll join us in our mission.
Shelter and rescue wars are the infantry fighting on the front lines in the battle against animal homelessness. They work tireless hours in chaotic environments to make sure that as many dogs and cats as possible have access to humane and loving conditions until such a time as they can be adopted. But shelters and rescues are an unfortunate necessity reflecting a deeply rooted problem. In an ideal world, there would be a caring foster family for every rescued pet, but until then, we have to make due with what we have. It’s our goal to expand available networks of foster families to relieve the burden on shelters and make sure that each of these families are equipped to deal with the often serious baggage that foster pets deal with.
Foster parents are often like intensive care doctors, taking in animals that have suffered serious abuse and don’t possess the training or tools necessary to integrate well with other pets. While we believe anyone can become a foster parent, we take the commitment involved seriously. All of the foster parents under our purview undergo a rigorous orientation process that fills them in on the responsibilities and common problems they may be forced to address when taking care of a foster dog or cat. This is supplemented by a handbook they can refer to when practically any crisis strikes. This handbook covers expectations of care, contains contact information for emergencies and questions, includes a list of frequently asked questions to help resolve common behavior and medical issues, and offers tips on how to get their charges adopted. While rescue and shelter volunteers often have to sideline more specific problems for the sake of big picture issues, foster parents often serve as the most forward facing components of Help Rescue Animals Inc., as they can provide love, support, and promotion for the most in need members of the animal community.