I get asked a lot of questions about “pandemic puppies.” I’m guessing the media is using the word puppies because alliteration is cool and not because the only dogs adopted have been puppies.
Yes, people have been adopting four-legged family members since this whole nightmare started, but in reality we have rescued and adopted fewer dogs each month than we did before the pandemic. That sounds counter to what the news is reporting so we thought it would be helpful for you to learn more about the mechanics behind rescuing dogs.
Last year when Covid was announced, we cleared our shelter of thirty-one dogs in under three days which was a record and because of people like you, many who have supported us for years. We had to close the daycare, boarding, and grooming which was a devastating financial blow to us. Jim founded NEW PAWSibilities with the idea that we’d never have enough donations to cover the cost of rescuing because each rescue needs spay/neuter surgery, vet work, transport costs, and of course all the hard cot involved in having a brick and mortar business. Losing those three income streams hurt us and while we are back open, we have yet to get back to the profitable levels of those services. If people aren’t working they don’t use daycare and if they aren’t traveling they don’t board.
And yet we persist. Giving is down, grants are non-existent, and we didn’t have any fundraising events this year or last. And yet we persist.
As most of know, our dogs are rescued from a high-kill shelter in one of the poorest counties in Kentucky. The pandemic has not been kind to homeless dogs. The first year the shelter was open about nine years ago 98% of the animals there were euthanized. The only solution was to find rescues such as ours willing to pay all the fees associated with rescuing and bringing them up north. With that in place and along with spay/neuter and other educational programs the number of needless euthanized dogs plummeted to 2%. Sadly, less money, more families without adequate income, fewer volunteers and grants, and rescues such as ours taking fewer dogs, deaths in the high-kill shelter are rising at an alarming rate.
We understand why but that doesn’t make it any more acceptable. We only have one vet who works with us to do surgeries, and the volunteers and staff at the Kentucky Regional Animal Shelter are stretched thinner than we are. The shelter is actually the last stop for animals who have been found or re-homed into smaller area shelters and eventually taken to the larger one we work with directly.
I asked Jim yesterday how things were going at the Kentucky shelter and he shook his head and said, not good. No need to elaborate. It’s heartbreaking to see the ripple effects of Covid in the lives of people around the world and also on companion animals.
We’ll keep doing what we do even when it’s a mystery to us how we stay open with all the expenses, staff changes, and lack of money. But we persist.
To those who continue to support us financially, with in-kind donations, reviews, and adopting and sponsoring dogs, and simply caring we thank you. If you’d like to do more to help save more lives and find homes for these wonderful dogs here’s a link to get you started. https://www.newpawsibilities.com/ways-to-help/
I love this meme that our volunteer graphic designer did for us because it stresses the words life and happily ever after. We’ll keep doing what we do because our mission has always been to find forever homes for dogs so that they will live happily ever after.