Thursday, February 17, 2011

If you say you are an Advocate.... ADVOCATE!

Growing up, I looked up to my parents. I idolized my dad, who just celebrated 30 years with the Houston Fire Department and my mother is a beautiful soul who has been teaching children since she was in her teens. As an adult, I admire my parents for the things that they do, but I don't do everything exactly as they taught me growing up. I am my own person now and I make decisions that differ from the things that they were taught. (Just to clarify, my parents are not involved in the Animal Welfare World. They admire the work that I do, and they have adopted rescued pets, but this article is not about their views on animals).

Now, at 26, I am fully capable of seeing the flaws in some of their old-fashioned thinking. Luckily, I have parents that I can reason with when they are making harmful decisions based on past situations. Unfortunately, my parents are not the only people I try to reason with and spend my time debating issues with. 
'Tipper' and myself. Tipper was rescued through The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter
As a No-Kill Advocate, I am always intrigued to read articles, discuss opinions and overall follow issues within the Animal Welfare Community. This pertains to my community in Austin as well as around the country. 

As an artist/business, I try to support the groups who support the animals. 

Some people think that because 1000 lives were saved through a rescue organization, that makes them a 'rescue'. 

The truth is, this rescue killed 3000.... it makes you stop to think for a minute. Why did you kill 3000 and only save 1000? Sure, I am always happy to see animals move out of a kennel and into a home but this does not mean that I support the killing of the other 3000, or that I support this rescue because they had a 25% save rate. 

Killing healthy, adoptable or medically/behaviorally treatable (as long as treatment is humane) is ALWAYS unacceptable. 

Today an article came out in one of our local newspapers, The Austin Chronicle, bashing No Kill. I feel like it bashed the outspoken individuals in our community more than the No Kill Movement, which is typical of the no-kill opposition. There is no argument against No Kill that makes sense really. By arguing it, aren't you supporting killing?

Austin Chronicle Cover from Today's Issue.... Looks like a particular Animal Advocate is 'unchained'
and making some noise! (No, your ears aren't that big.)
I hear people say all the time, "Everyone wants to save them all." 

I don't buy that. Sure, it's a nice thought to believe that everyone in the Animal Welfare community wants to save them all. I know that my ultimate goal as the President of The Pet Alliance of Central Texas is to bring my community (and ultimately state, country and world) to true No Kill Status. I don't even mean that I want 90%. I want 100% of the Healthy, Adoptable and Treatable animals saved. If that number is 90%, I am thrilled with 90% but if 98% could have been saved... I feel like we failed those last 8%. 

"Daisy" - Available for Adoption through The Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter
If everyone really 'wanted to save them all' why aren't they implementing the programs to stop the killing. Why are they saying 'NO' to life-saving alternatives. 

It's time to admit that things were wrong with the way things were done before (the way 'your parents' taught you) and start fighting for the lives of the animals. If you want to call yourself Animal Advocates, step up and ADVOCATE for them, STOP killing them! 

Just a thought.

Stephanie Conrad
The Pet Studio