EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY WORKS! PART IV BY CLAUDINE VASS

The stress level that pet owners faced towards the end of Hurricane was very high post Hurricane Harvey. A controversy of number of days for stray hold in municipal animal shelter arose from the community with a mix of joy and fear. Fort Bend Pets Alive! supported the efforts put forth by a group of animal networkers. We advocated alongside with people who understood the importance of extending the stray hold from 3 to 30 days to give pet owners enough time to be reunited with their pets. Many pet loving citizens in Fort Bend County wrote emails to request the county government to reflect their values. They realized a compassion based decision must be made to permit the extension.  The community wanted to see the county shelter staff to have the flexibility to adopt cutting edge methods because it would be an strong indication to a commitment to save lives. The 30 day hold period is highly recommended by Best Friends Animal Society with the goal to help displaced pets go back to their families. The extension would also help the shelter reach the projected save rate of 81% as it is stated on the annual budget. Currently, it is close to 10% short. We are thankful that the county shelter finally chose to do the right thing by the animals.

Every group that could rescue animals in need jumped in to help. Several well established organizations from afar extended their mission and pulled animals from our area shelters in high volume. We have also seen individual canine trainers begged for  air boats to rescue fearful dogs that were left behind. We can go on and on with these countless incidents of rescue efforts all throughout the duration of the hurricane.

Fort Bend Pets Alive! pitched in but did not follow suit. Our vision has always been providing resources to bridge gaps in the system so as to complement efforts and stimulate partnerships. As was mentioned before, it was not a prudent course of action to instantly create a rescue arm without appropriate resources. Thus, we stayed on track and brought change in public policies by empowering the community. When advocacy works well, it is transformative.

We know it does not matter how many seeds there are in an apple but how many apples there are in one seed. A seed has the capability of producing millions of apples and it depends on how well we take care of it.

 

SHARING IS CARING

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