Posted on July 20, 2016 by Judy Grecko
This is not the usual, "adopt, don't shop" banter.
I want to give some insight into the rescue world. I recently had the chance to chat with a few friends who are very passionate about their rescue duties. Before I get into their thoughts, I want to share some statistics.
According to the ASPCA, there are roughly 3.3 million dogs that enter U.S. shelters every year. This number has actually dropped since 2011. An estimated number of dogs euthanized in shelters are 670,000 a year. The happy endings consist of about 1.6 million dogs adopted and an average of 620,000 dogs who are reunited with their owners every year. (https://www.aspca.org)
photo courtesy of WAGS
Trina Moses from WAGS Rescue states that she has been involved with animal welfare for over 15 years. I asked Trina how she got involved in rescue. She says she starting out just helping a couple different groups, but the need was so great, she stepped back and focused on her own career. Once moving to Georgia, she found the need to save dogs was even greater and she just couldn't turn away.
"I have seen a lot of state's animal welfare systems and Southern Georgia is, by far, the worst..." ~ Trina
The WAGS Rescue has only started in May 2017 and as of May 2018 they recorded an intake of 538 dogs. They have adopted out all but 6 who had passed away of natural causes. WAGS now averages an intake of at least 100 dogs a month with 80-100 adoptions. These are, in my opinion, excellent numbers for the adoptions. Georgia is not the only state with a high volume of intake.
Another animal advocate with a huge heart is Michele Raychel from 4 the Love of Corsos Rescue in Texas. She agrees that the southern states are definitely the worst for misplaced animals. We don't know if Texas is bad due to size and population or possible effect from natural disasters. Probably a little of both. She states that it can be very hard work and pretty depressing at times. "When you see a family love a dog the way you do and know it will be loved forever, all of the sadness goes away." Michele is a single mom who is currently caring for 14 dogs. She has such a passion for animals that she often has her credit cards charged to the max providing for dogs. Yes, I said one person caring for 14 dogs. I know I could not do that, but there are more than you would think that make it happen.
All in all, rescue is working! You certainly do not have to adopt or volunteer to help solve the issues. Sharing a social media post, advocating spay and neuter, even microchipping or licensing your own dog/pet can help. There will never be enough resources and hands in the rescues to prove to everyone how great the difference is. The rescue workers are committed. Some say it's like the mafia, "once you get in, you can never truly leave". Whatever the next big step is for rescue success, the animals need any and all help they can get. Please, try to do your part. No matter how small.
photo courtesy of WAGS
If you are interested to learn more about WAGS or the adoptable dogs featured in these photos, please visit https://wags-rescue.org/
Both Trina and Michele are active members of https://www.facebook.com/groups/LargeGiantBreedRescueOutreachandNetwork/