all boiled down

National statistics show that over 50% of shelter dogs end up being euthanized. Our local statistics are much worse. Our shelter staff said to me, “we find people bringing back litters of puppies from dogs they adopted from us!”

My plea to the shelter board will be — 1) put more emphasis on educating adopters and citizens regarding spay/neuter, 2) encourage vets to do early spay/neuter and to support our mission with shelter animals, 3) insist that all animals over 5 months if age be neutered prior to leaving the shelter, 4) insist that persons adopting animals under 5 months of age pay a substantial ($125-150) deposit which will be refunded upon proof of spay/neuter.

My primary message will be that we insist that vets we patronize allow adopters to arrange for neutering surgery without multiple wellness exams and associated fees (another friend gave me a great line, “Some vets may require multiple visits, etc, to increase their own income, but some may be pursuing what they consider the highest standard of care- the kind of care I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford for my dogs. I can choose to check out any possible problems, get multiple tests, xrays, etc., and spend hundreds of dollars. However, if pet ownership is going to be for people at all income levels, we can’t insist on those ideal kinds of procedures for all dogs and cats. So even if there are convincing arguments that early spay and neuter could cause problems for some animals, the greater good requires that the HSOV take some risks to prevent the epidemic of unwanted animals.”

I expect resistance because the adoption process will be considered too expensive for local folks (my answer: our mission is to provide for the care of our animals, and adopt them to good homes – we don’t necessarily have to be giving pets away for free). I expect folks to object on behalf of veterinarians (my answer: our mission is to provide solutions to the pet overpopulation problem, and vets probably don’t have the same mission).

On other news — Mom, Bud and I spend several hours on Monday rearranging furniture. I set up two dining room tables for campers last year but they were separated by about 5 feet of walk-way. So I got out my graph paper, measured everything, and split the former dining area into two spaces.

Both dining room tables occupy the front of the room and it will be simpler to put them together to make one long table for camp dinners. We’re both getting quite excited about spring 2009 camps which will begin in just a few short weeks!

At the back of the room, where the dining room table was before, I’ve put a sofa and my office. Now, when campers arrive a little early for dinner, they may sit on the sofa and have a beer while watching me finish dinner preparations.

Bud’s been rebuilding the document archives for our webstore. By this time tomorrow all the documents will be available for download again. We don’t realize how much we rely on our website and webstore until some hacker messes it up. Don’t worry — your credit card information is never kept in our webstore. It goes to another secure site.

Our beautification projects are going well: the lily beds are manured (a little) and mulched, we’ve planted two areas of Rose of Sharon, we have grass coming up all over, and I’ve put 2 benches around the pond. My new plants will arrive in the next few weeks, and I’m looking forward to establishing some new flower beds around the house, cottages and pond.

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