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Home for the Holidays

posted December 22nd, 2019 by
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Home for the Holidays

Home for the holidays

 Perry Como’s rendition of There’s no Place like Home for the Holidays is one of my favorites (and probably gives you a clue as to my age).  This song could be the theme song for PAAS.

Thanks to our amazing partnership with Dumb Friends League, every week (weather permitting) we send homeless Oklahoma dogs to Dumb Friends League and many of them are adopted within 48 hours of arrival!!! Most recently we added a new Oklahoma partner to our list and they were so grateful that their wonderful dogs, who’d been with their rescue organization for months, found homes within just a few days of their arrival.

The wish for all of us in rescue, especially those who work in shelters, is a fairy godmother waves her magic wand and all the wonderful homeless pets have a new home for the New Year.  We know it isn’t reality – – but as eternal optimists – – we all hope.  And trust me … if you’re rescue long you’re either an optimist or the best (or worst) pessimist in the world.

So – – for anyone on your list who wants a puppy/kitten – – -dog/cat – – please go to a local shelter or an online rescue to find the perfect four legged companion.  It will truly be the best Christmas gift you can give all of us – – even though we may never have met!!!

Merry Christmas – – – from PAAS – – the magnificent seven employees, the amazing volunteers and the board members extraordinaire…..

Numbers

posted December 15th, 2019 by
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Learning to LIKE numbers

Numbers

 

By the numbers was never a favorite phrase of mine until three years ago.  At first, I was not what you would call an enthusiastic student  when it came to keeping track of dogs transferred, municipal partner shelters, number of spay/neuters, number of spay/neuter clinics, cost per animal, and lots of other “numbers”.

Even though today I sometimes drive the staff bonkers because I wrote a number down and can’t find it, someone sent me an email with the numbers I needed and I did not file it appropriately….lots of excuses… but the reality is numbers matter.

It started with shelter animals count – – – you enter the statistical information, by month, and everyone who’s a member can see the results.  Frankly, it is one of the most important websites for any organization involved in animal rescue.  Funders check it out  – – as do your colleagues in the world of rescue.  Honestly, it means you’re making your information available to anyone who accesses the website.

The flip side is – – – suddenly the numbers show just the progress you’ve made and that’s a good thing.  For PAAS, it is the number of dogs who make the trip to Colorado….. and it is our partners who join our Coalition on Shelter Animals Count.  The numbers have to add up.  Then, when you get the privilege of having spay/neuter clinics on a regular basis, the numbers begin to really make you smile.

Yes, I like numbers.  Yes, you’re never to old to learn something new.  Yes they measure our success and that success is available online – – – for everyone.

Our goal is for 2020 to be our best year yet.  Stay tuned.

4 DAYS VS 11 DAYS VS 3 MONTHS VS 1 YEAR

posted October 22nd, 2018 by
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First, and foremost, this blog is what works for PAAS and our partners.

I, in no way, am saying one size fits all – – – one way is the only way – – I’m saying for us this works.

Recently, we had a “transport” training day for municipal shelters and non-profit animal rescue organizations.

Kristin, with Dumb Friends League, was at the meeting and shared the following information.

The average stay for a PAAS dog, once it arrives at Dumb Friends League, is four days.

The average stay for the other pets waiting for a new home at Dumb Friends League is eleven days.

Kristin said people wait for the PAAS bus to arrive!!!

Keeping the Faith at PAAS

We’re putting Oklahoma rescues on the map in Colorado – – – and that’s a good thing.

What it means, once you break it down to the basics is: We follow the protocol sent to us by Dumb Friends League.

And, most importantly, all of our partners do as well.

Since 2015, 4,000 homeless Oklahoma dogs/cats have made the overnight trip do Dumb Friends League.

The key factor is we play by their rules.

And, no it doesn’t work for every rescue.

We understand that and, in no way, expect a rescue to change how they do business if it isn’t right for them.

While we all have the same goal – how we get there is very, very different.

The hard part is for all of us to remember that collaboration works – – not everyone will follow our guidelines – – one size will never fit everyone – – no one is always “right” and no one is always “wrong”.

Just as family members are diverse, yet share the same name, rescues are equally diverse.

All of us are driven by passion and/or compassion.

They are different emotions and the decisions made by a passionate animal rescuer will often be different from someone who has compassion.

Meeting somewhere in the middle can be really hard – – but to the homeless pet – – they don’t care.

They just want a home.

Thanks!!!! to all our partners.

Your trust in us and Dumb Friends League is appreciated more than we can express.

Every Tuesday night I say a prayer when the PAAS bus heads out and the staff will tell you …. I’m a royal pain until I know the PAAS dogs/cats have safely arrived at Dumb Friends League.

The best is yet to come because we like the 4 days wait for a new Colorado home.

They Really Are Pets For Life

posted October 17th, 2018 by
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Trust me – this blog is only for those who have a pet, wish they had a pet or had one at one time and miss having four paws climb in their lap.

There are so many wonderful stories about pets and their ability to forgive, to love and to bring joy into your life.

And the stories are true.

Pets For Life

Currently, at PAAS – 7 employees have a total of 13 pets ranging from Marty (hmmm….a smartypants heeler puppy) to her highness, Princesa (a 15-year-old, set in her ways, hard of hearing poodle).

In between are Trigger – a very selective dog when it comes to humans, Moose who loves, loves, loves everyone; Copper – a slightly grumpy older guy; Jazz Man – from the stories a very challenging cat who runs his home his way; Tess and Apollo – adorable, lovable cuddlers; and Buster, Little Bit, Elena and Chicka round out the dogs.

Last but not least is Little Man the cat.

And, thanks to HSUS Pets for Life program, we’re now able to help residents of 74301 and Tahlequah keep their pets – – they do not have to worry when they need food, a pet “fixed”, basic veterinary care.

I recently saw the love and concern in the pet owners faces when their beloved four-legged family member was returning from a spay/neuter excursion.

The family members were here early, concerned about the welfare of their pets and eager to get them home.

If you’re not an animal lover, I know you don’t get it.

But for those of us who do – – we firmly believe you have no idea what you’re missing.

A crummy day at work?? Sarcastic fellow employee?? Hateful people on the phone?? Overworked and definitely underpaid??

Nothing, absolutely nothing, beats walking through the door and having a four-legged, tail wagging, motor purring bundle of fur want your complete attention.

You’re wonderful to them – and they are soooo glad you’re home….because as far as they’re concerned…..you’ve been gone forever!!!

For pet lovers you get it – – for the rest of you – – we’re really sorry you don’t.

The Dogs and Stories You Remember

posted September 26th, 2018 by
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The Dogs and Stories You Remember

Over the past 3 years, we’ve rescued more than 3,700 homeless pets.

And, once in a while you get one that tugs at your heartstrings.

Ellie – the little, deformed gal in the picture is one of them.

She was dumped at a shelter and the employees were told to euthanize her because she was no longer of value to the breeder.

Dogs you remember

That, alone, makes me see red.

But then when you look at Ellie, you realize she spent her whole life in a cage so small that she’s deformed.

And her eyes were scratched and swollen because they were pushing against the cage door.

Yet, every time she came into heat she was bred, took care of her puppies and waited.

There’s a link between spousal, elder, child and animal abuse.

Somehow, if you desensitize yourself to hurting a person or animal, then it becomes a pattern to follow whenever you’re frustrated, mad or just because.

The LINK Coalition provides excellent information, each month.

Miss Ruby, our first rescue, had been abused.

Her teeth had been filed down, her body was scarred and, pregnant at the time, we also learned she’d had multiple litters when she was spayed.

Kaia came to us from an abuse case. A beautiful German Shepherd we nursed back to health, then had to return to the original owners.

It wasn’t an easy day for any of us.

Most recently, Bubba came to us from another town’s police department.

He was skin and bones, terrified, snapping at everyone and everything.

Down deep we discovered a good dog who just needed a chance to trust again (and be well fed, bathed, flea and tick free) – the basic necessities for a good life.

In fact, he now follows Mike, our dog whisperer, every place he goes – – and cries when he can’t see him.

Working in rescue isn’t for everyone and some days we all want to run away.

Fortunately, it’s never on the same day – so we go home – – pull ourselves together – and save more dogs and cats.

Ellie, Miss Ruby, Kaia, and Bubba – – we get it. It’s why we’re here.

My Animal Rescue Wish List For NE Oklahoma

posted September 12th, 2018 by
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When it comes to homeless/unwanted dogs and cats – I have a wish list.

It’s doable – it really is.

Wish #1: All pet owners have access to affordable spay/neuter for their pets.

The keyword is All.

The second keyword is Affordable.

We’ve seen the positive results with Pets for Life in the 74301 zip code area.

Wish #2: There are emergency options when an animal has been injured, is in extreme pain or severely malnourished.

At the moment there is no 24-hour emergency number you can call.

If you go online and type in emergency veterinary clinics within 50 miles – you find:

For all animal emergency clinics/hospitals – you will have to pay for the service.

Wish #3: Rescues and shelters support each other – even if they disagree on the mission, focus area, services provided, adoption procedures, etc. etc. etc.

There are more than 100 churches within a 30 miles radius of Vinita – and there are at least 100 different opinions on what constitutes a good rescue.

If you save dogs and cats – you are part of the solution – and can be part of the problem if it’s difficult for you to work with other rescues and shelters.

Wish #4: Adoption is a viable option for all the rescues in northeast Oklahoma.

At the current time, adoption is a minor, very minor, option because there are too many homeless/unwanted dogs and cats in this area.

And yes, there are some states where there are too few homeless/unwanted dogs and cats – – but Oklahoma is not one of them.

Yet.

For all the dogs and cats we’ve all saved and found new homes – — YEA!!!!

We just know we can do better and we’re trying – – all of us.

Animal Rescue Wish List

 

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