Merlin's Magical Carpet Ride
updated: Feb 23, 2013, 10:00 AM
Merlin's Magical Carpet Ride was started to help get the small unseen dogs in our local kill shelter to
adopters houses who are out of state. This is a collaboration between DAWG and Deserving Dogs. All
funds are being collected by DAWG.
Merlin inspired all of us-that sometimes you have to think out of the box to find extremely adoptable
dogs their forever happiness. Merlin was from the Santa Maria County Animal Shelter and almost half a
year later found his happy home in Dillon, Montana, where they do not have small adoptable dogs. This
project will transport dogs who are out of time to Montana where they await loving homes. Why?
Because they deserve it.
I had a look at the dogs available for adoption at DAWG and the three SB County Animal Shelters (SB, Lompoc, and Santa Maria). There are basically four choices of dogs: Pit Bull, Pit Bull Mix, Chihuahua, and Chihuahua Mix. It's not the dog's fault, but the original owners didn't want these dogs so there must be a reason for this complete imbalance of unwanted dog types.
A nice endeavor, but for goodness' sake, why do you have to use the term "kill shelter?" It is divisive and incredibly hurtful to the people who work very hard to take care of abandoned and homeless animals. Animals are euthanized at some shelters that have not achieved 100% adoption rates, but that does not mean the employees kill animals. It is mean to talk about compassionate hard-working folks as killers in order to boost a groups' moral superiority. We are share in the responsibility when a dog or cat dies needlessly.
The term "no-kill shelter" is the common term for those shelters that do not euthanize adoptable animals. Not all "shelters" in SBCo are no-kill, hence the need to distinguish between the two. The local no-kill shelters, like DAWG, actively go to the "kill shelters" (for want of a better term) and pull animals which are highly adoptable but likely to be euthanized. The high number of very adoptable little dogs that can be pulled from the "kill shelters" far exceeds the number that can be housed by the no-kill shelters. Merlin's Magical Carpet Ride is a wonderfully creative solution. More little dogs lives are saved and adopted into loving families that would otherwise not have a way to rescue one locally. Kudos to this "out of the crate" thinking!! I donated $30, $1 for each little dog on the last run. It's a lot of $ for me, but it's EVERYTHING for those little guys!
If only it were as simple as 'kill/no-kill'. But it is not. County shelters are open intake -- they have to take every stray that comes in. DAWG and other rescues, pick and choose the dogs they take. County has policies that say human and dog and sometimes cat aggression makes a dog unadoptable from their shelters. Some of those dogs end up a DAWG and other rescues. Good for DAWG, and the rest. BUT - some of those dogs end up being caged for years, only going out with a basket muzzle. They weren't euthanized, but are they in a better place? DAWG did great getting this batch of little dogs out of SB to a place they are more 'rare' and wanted. Kudos to them. But consider the realities and recognize that each organization has a different 'client base' and public safety concern.
Agreed: SPAY, NEUTER, ADOPT. And I applaud the efforts of a small group of people who went WAY out of their way to find homes for 30 little dogs hundreds of miles away. No system is perfect, but let's encourage this kind of thinking and action rather than bashing. Merlin and his buddies have a second chance at life. Where is the harm in that?
864: I wonder if the preponderance of Chihuahuas/Chi mixes and Pits/Pit mixes in shelters has to do with the particular popularity of a breed and the lack of education/training by former owners on how to live with these breeds and they give them up rather than do the hard work. I don't believe there are inherently bad breeds, just unskilled owners. And a pervasive trend to keep male dogs "intact" and let females have a litter to improve their health. All wrong. There are have been SO MANY pregnant dogs and puppies at the shelters. So many reasons why dogs end up in shelters, not just because the owners give them up. Owners move and can't have dogs or pits, go into assisted living or the hospital, pass way, lose their job, etc. Dogs are lost all the time, too. Don't blame the breed. Meet the dogs as individuals. Give them a chance.
It is great for little dogs to be transported out of the County and I applaud DAWG for joining the many transport groups that are operating throughout the country, but the number transported out is nowhere near the number transported in by well-meaning rescue individuals and groups who feel that our area needs many more of the exact type that we just transported out! Check out Craig's List on an ongoing basis to see the astounding number of Pits/Chis/other dogs that are being brought in daily from outside the County. We are often a destination point for people trying to rehome the exact type of pet we are overloaded with here. That is a large part of the reason dogs now need to be transported out.
Expanding on comment 115 -There are basically 3 types of shelters. 1. Shelters owned by the county or city or holding a contract from the county or city that authorizes them to perform the state mandated requirements of an animal control agency. Among other duties, they are responsible for strays and MUST accept every dog, cat, bird, rat, rabbit, horse, chicken presented to them, whether or not the animal is sick, old, aggressive, injured, etc. They typically handle an enormous volume of animals. In SB Co. it's over 10,000 a year, mostly dogs and cats. We, as tax payers, pay for their services- in SB they live on a budget set by the Board of Supervisors. Their budget is inadequate and although they have resources to help with adoptions, there is no way they can handle it all. 2. Private shelters/humane societies/ rescues with a kennel or other physical facility that is open to the public. Some examples in SB Co are the 3 Humane Societies and DAWG.They can accept any pet, EXCEPT strays - so they take owner turn-ins and often help the County by taking overflow from the County facilities. They do not have the legal right to take strays, the only ones who can do that are the County Shelters. These groups can control the number and types of animals coming into their facilities and do so since their income isn't assured and they need to limit their intake to what they can handle, since all of these depend solely on donations for income. These shelters generally accept and adopt out about 300 pets a year. DAWG rents its facility from the Co. for a very low fee (under $100 a year), but has all the other cost associated with a private shelter. 3. Private individuals and groups of individuals without a physical facility open to the public. Unlike #1, a government agency and #2, private non-profits, these groups may or may not be legitimate non-profit groups. They are either self or donation supported and typically shelter their pets in private homes. The pets they offer may come from out of the Co.or be taken from the Co. shelters. The numbers that they handle are usually far less than the private non-profits and the government shelters-usually well below 50. However, in SB Co we have Cold Noses Warm Hearts, with no public facility but around 300 adoptions a year, far more than the average for that type of rescue group. The terms "kill" and "no kill" have been disliked many in the animal communities for over 10 years because they are unfair to public facilities who have no ability to control the number of pets coming in to their facilities. If animals are not reclaimed by owners, accepted by another shelter or rescue group, or adopted by the public, what is the county to do with them? If there are 2000 animals euthanized in our county annually (there are actually more, but some are sick, dying, injured or so aggressive they are dangerous), wouldn't we need 2000 spaces a year to maintain them if we were going to decide that euthanasia shouldn't exist in thi... [ more ]
Thank you, RGLADYSBEACH, for the real story and accurate information!! It mean so much to the people in the trenches, to try to explain what animal work is. Bless your heart for sharing good info; writing such a good post.
My view: SB County Animal Services shelters strive to save all they can. I've seen it. They cannot turn any animal away! They are an open-door orphanage. They take strays and owner turn-ins that no one else will -- that is their legal mandate! These are of course also known as owner dumps.
Dumps are often due to terrible problems, physical or behavioral, which often make a dog or cat unadoptable. The shelter personnel all care deeply. They try; they do what they can; they work their butts off and their hearts out. Sometimes their work fails. Help them out and see what it's really like.
For instance, they get parvo positive pups, unwanted litters of pups and kittens, pets who are unwanted due to sickness, physical or mental (meaning bad owners/no training); just no longer affordable for their "owners"; all dumped in the overnight stray cages. And worse cases and reasons. It can be truly horrific. The shelters and associated groups and individuals do their best to allay animal suffering.
Donate or volunteer if this bothers you and you care enough to commit to action.
"pets who are unwanted due to sickness, physical or mental (meaning bad owners/no training)"
Oops. I meant "behavioral" not mental issues.
and YES, spay & neuter! Its the only way out of the problem, and will take a while, but campaigns and subsidized surgeries have made a difference in many cities, counties and states. County shelters, local vets, Humane Society and volunteer organizations all support this and help with subsidized surgeries.
SB Humane Society. ASAP. County Shelters. Care4Paws. and vets involved in spay/neuter month (February) usually give a discount. Please do it and tell, urge and help your friends & neighbors if they haven't had their pets sterilized. Hmm, Humane Society usually advertise it heavily. But yes, Feb. is Spay/Neuter Month.
I fully trust SB Humane Society surgery; I've had 5 animals, cats & dogs, done there.
SB Humane Society: "Low-fee Spay/Neuter Since 1974, the Santa Barbara Humane Society has been offering low-fee spay/neuter by appointment to the public. We offer the lowest surgery fees in the area without any compromise in quality of service. Check our fee schedule for current prices. We are able to offer such low prices on spay/neuter as well as our other services because of the incredibly generous financial support we receive through donations from members of the community. To make a spay/neuter appointment, please call (805) 964-4777 x20 between the hours of 10am & 12pm, or between the hours of 2pm & 4pm, Monday - Friday.
And Care4Paws: http://www.care4paws.org/ "C.A.R.E.4Paws' spay and neuter program runs weekly, year-round, and helps qualifying, low-income pet owners in Santa Barbara County fix their dogs and cats for free. We have a program specially for pit bull terriers and pit mixes. Contact C.A.R.E.4Paws for more details. "
That 10,000 animals a year sounds high to me unless the County Shelters are handling 5,000 cats in addition to their dogs. In SB City and surrounding areas, ASAP deals with the cats and the County has very little to do with them except pay for the vet assistant they have. SB County Shelters have a budget of 4 million ($4,000,000) per year and the average salary and pension costs for the 30 employees is about $90,000 per year. With this, the SB shelter adopted out somewhat more than 300 dogs last year. DAWG adopted out about the same number with a budget of about $300,000. Humane Society adoptions are much lower with staff costs of about $700,000 or so. It seems like DAWG is the most cost effective agency but they wouldn't want to run the County shelter as they wouldn't want to euthanize the strays that don't pass the stringent behavior tests.
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