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Whose problem is it anyway?

posted August 26th, 2014 by
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The above meme recently popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. And while I agree with the heart of what this is getting at, I feel the way it is phrased puts all of the responsibility on shelters and none on pet owners and citizens of the community.

It is absolutely sad that perfectly good animals are put down everyday. But what would happen if Tulsa Animal Welfare and other shelters that euthanize suddenly stopped this practice?

There is only a finite amount of space at TAW. To fill it with homeless animals beyond capacity would be inhumane. There is also only a finite amount of money in our city’s budget to care for these animals. Pet food, cat litter and staff to care for them adds up quickly.

So for a shelter to cease its practice of humane euthanasia, it would have to cap the number of animals it could accept and would have to turn animals away. This is a common reality for most no-kill rescue groups. Space is limited and there are only so many willing to foster pets.

So then what would happen? Would people just stop surrendering their pets because all of the shelters are full? Maybe.

Or maybe they would dump them somewhere, turning them out on the street. Is death by starvation or being run over by a car really a better alternative to humane euthanasia?

It’s tragic that as a community, we put down so many innocent animals. It’s also tragic that as a community, we are ok with pointing fingers at the shelter.

It is time to start focusing on WHY we have such an overpopulation of pets in our area. Holding pet owners accountable for spaying and neutering their pets would be a good place to start.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

I signed it, did you?

posted February 25th, 2013 by
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I know there are a lot of petitions floating around out there (Death Star, anyone?), but there is a new petition deserving of every Tulsan’s time, attention and signature.

The goal of the grassroots movement, led by Lloyd Benedict of the Benedict Law Firm, Marilyn King of TulsaPets Magazine, and Steve Kirkpatrick of TulsaPets Magazine/MyTulsaLive, is simply for the city to enforce the spay/neuter laws already in place.

Shocked that this isn’t already happening? You shouldn’t be.

In 2012, the city euthanized more than 7,000 animals of the almost 12,000 taken in. The most effective solution to this pet overpopulation problem is for pet owners to take a little responsibility and spay and neuter their pets, reducing the number of unwanted pets taken in by the city.

However, the numbers make it evident that there are plenty of irresponsible pet owners in Tulsa. Which is where enforcement of the current law is key.

Pet owners who refuse to have their animals fixed need to know that the city is serious about the law.

For more information on the current law and ordinances and a link to the petition, visit Spay / Neuter Tulsa on Facebook.

What better way to celebrate National Spay/Neuter Month than by signing the petition? Do it for the animals of Tulsa who need and deserve better.

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Is the Tulsa City Council reading my blog?

posted January 14th, 2013 by
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Probably not, but it’s a nice thought. Either way, it seems the council and I have a similar item on our agendas for 2013.

This past week, an adoptable pet from Tulsa Animal Welfare was featured at the city council’s regular meeting, according to newson6.com. The council will continue to have furry guests of honor at the first meeting of each month.

A successful program in other towns, the hope is that the promotion will help more homeless animals get adopted.

This is a great step in bringing more awareness to Tulsa’s pet overpopulation problem. I love that it gets the faces of homeless animals in front of the community at large.

A lot of times, it feels as though the pet community is preaching to the choir.

I see the same faces at pet adoption fairs and the same volunteers showing off adoptable pets around town. Their passion is amazing, but we need more of the community to pay attention.

Responsible pet owners are already aware of all of the animals who need homes, but are oftentimes at max capacity on how many animals they can care for (like myself!).

The City Council’s initiative puts the problem in front of the community in an unexpected forum  and will hopefully reach people who may not have as much awareness of the pet overpopulation problem that Tulsa faces.

I am excited to see this program progress and start producing results!

Read more about the initiative here.

Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

New Year, new resolution

posted January 2nd, 2013 by
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As we enter 2013 and make resolutions for ourselves (and pets too!), I would like to make a resolution for this blog.

The Tulsa community continues to deal with a homeless pet and pet overpopulation problem and the animals of the community are in need of our help.

In 2013, I want to use this blog to talk more about these animals in need, the efforts of Tulsa Animal Welfare and rescue groups in the Tulsa area as well as education, responsible pet ownership and what we can do as a community to help.

The past year brought some improvements, like record-breaking participation in PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin’ and countless adoption fairs. But I don’t think this is the best we can do as a community — there is always room for improvement.

I still plan to share personal stories about my own (adorable, often mischievous) pets, funny videos and other interesting tidbits along the way.

But I also want this blog to become a forum for discussion, brainstorming, reporting and cheering on the hundreds of volunteers who spend their spare time helping Tulsa’s homeless pets. Let’s give the animals of the Tulsa community our best in 2013!

- Lauren Cavagnolo