Start A Petition

Nikki B.

"Just one more may save the world."

Edmonton, AB, Canada
female, age 31
committed relationship
Speaks: english
Joined Feb 28, 2012

The Ripple Effect

This was recently posted on the bog of the CEO of the Edmonton Humane Society and I can't help but wonder if she is right.

As an industry, animal shelters have worked hard for years towards an ultimate goal of ensuring that there are no more homeless animals, no more unwanted, no more litters, no more abused. Over the last couple of years I thought that this goal would never be something I may see happen.

This past week, after hearing two separate stories, one simple question has given me some pause. What would happen if in fact this came to fruition? What if there were no more pets in our shelter, needing our help?

Our Board chair was recently visiting the adoption gallery. He was enjoying himself, soaking in the culture and atmosphere and visiting a few of our furry residents. As he was sitting next to the fireplace, he overheard a family having an animated conversation. The kids kept asking their parents “where are all the dogs?”

That day, out of the 20 dog life rooms on the adoption floor, only 6 or 7 rooms had dogs or puppies waiting to be chosen by their new families. For first time visitors, it may not seem like a lot of choices or variety. Our Board chair most certainly felt this family’s disappointment.

Then he heard the father tell the kids, “don’t worry we will look on Kijiji or the pet store.” Yikes!

From my perspective, this family tried to do the right thing by coming to the shelter first in search of a new family member. But, because we now live in a world of instant gratification, if we don’t get what we want when we want it most, people will drop the “right thing to do” and take the path that will immediately lead them to where they want to go.
If we, as a shelter, do not have the selection for this ever-growing instant society then people will just go looking elsewhere.

Shortly after I spoke with our Board chair, and he shared his story with me, I ran into a mature lady looking for a canine companion. I saw her in the adoption over-flow area where she was peering into the puppy wards that are off limits to the public. She stood on tiptoe to try and improve her angle to see through the window, then her shoulders slumped and she stepped back and began to slowly walk away, shaking her head. Clearly, she was not happy and a bit sad.

I asked her if she was just visiting today as many people do; with our open adoption rooms, if you need an animal fix, this is the place to be. She said that she wasn’t here just visiting; she has been coming to EHS regularly for a couple of months looking for a smaller dog. She shared her frustrations with how fast the little ones get adopted here. She was never quick enough and often could not get here until later in the day and so she continually missed out. She was really happy that the little pups got homes so quickly, but she sincerely wished one of them would come home with her!

I was relieved to hear her say that she is committed to only adopting a shelter dog, but restrictions in her condo force her to look for a smaller dog. Even with her disappointment, she stood strong in her belief that this is where her next companion will come from. I was grateful to her for continuing to come back until she finds that one and only.
After hearing and experiencing these two stories, it really got me to thinking about our goal of empty kennels and my conclusion, at least for now, gave me a bit of a chill.

We know that there will never be an end to people wanting to add a new companion to their family. We also know that people are more sophisticated in making socially and ethically conscious decisions. At least here at EHS we know that many in the community pick us and the rescue groups for their new family member, and more do every day.
We have worked hard to encourage people to support shelters and rescue groups. But what if the shelter becomes empty? People are still going to want pets and if there are not enough choices at a shelter then we may cause an industry to be re-started that has taken years to just slow down.

So, is the ripple effect to not having enough choices and empty life rooms in our shelter actually the start of the cycle of puppy mills, Kijiji ads and pet stores all back at the top of the food chain? Kind of makes me think…

Personal Professional Contact Singles
Joined Feb 28, 2012 Activist Aspirations Enthusiastic 
Here for Meeting Friends, Support a Cause 
Group Host of none yet
Groups Cat Lovers, Defenders of Wildlife, Earth Day, Jane Goodall Institute: Race for the Primates, NWF - National Wildlife Federation, PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Pagans, Rainforest Action, WWF - World Wildlife Fund, World Wide - Legal Action 4 Animal Rights
Birthday June 03, 1987  
About Me
  Introduce yourself to Nikki
Activist Aspirations Enthusiastic
Political Leaning
Wild Fact About Me
My Philosophy Do what feels right no matter what others may think.
What Gives Me Hope That there are still good people.
If I were Mayor, I'd make the world a better place by Put together a free spay/neuter program
What/who changed my life and why
Quotation I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  Introduce yourself to Nikki
My Thank You Notes
Friends of Nikki

Gary S.


Darren G.

View all: 3 friends
My Video    
Loading video...
My Butterfly Rewards

Most recent activity (up to 500 gifts shown)

    I’ve earned Butterfly Credits
    Comment Board
    Viewing 2 of 2: view all | add a comment »
    Jun 3, 2014 5:26 AM

    TOM T. (247)
    Jun 3, 2013 6:53 AM

    TOM T. (247)
    no testimonials yet
    Profile theme: "Fantasy: Fairy2"   |    as your profile theme
    Flag as Inappropriate

    New to Care2? Start Here.