The Art of Cross Posting

Clifford rescued from Clayton County, GA

Clifford rescued from Clayton County, GA

This has been one of the hardest articles to write ever!  Maybe it’s because I can’t clearly explain, but this is my third time at attempting to write about Cross posting.

Wikipedia defines cross posting as:  Cross posting is the act of posting the same message to multiple information channels; forums, mailing lists, or newsgroups. This is distinct from multiposting, which is the posting of separate identical messages, individually, to each channel, (a forum, a newsgroup, an email list, or topic area). Enforcement actions against crossposting individuals vary from simple admonishments up to total lifetime bans. In some cases, on email lists and forums, an individual is put under a Stealth Ban where their posts are distributed back to them as if they were being distributed normally, but the rest of the subscribers are not sent the messages. This is easily detected if the Stealthed individual has two different, and totally non-associated identities in the channel, such that the non-stealthed identity will see a different set of messages, lacking the posts of the stealthed individual, in their view of the channel. 

cross postingCrossposting to groups that are irrelevant to the message posted could be considered spamming. Moreover, excessive crossposting is generally considered bad form because it multiplies traffic without adding any new content. In the extreme case, if all messages were crossposted to every email list or forum, then every email list or group would look exactly the same. A crossposter can minimize this problem by specifying that all responses be directed to a single group.

In the world of rescue, however, cross posting can be a useful tool that can save the life of a dog, when executed properly.

The most effective cross posters are those who specialize.  They email, share and/or tag dogs in shelters to rescuers who specialize in rescuing that specific breed.

rescued from Chilton County AL

Trixie Belle rescued from Chilton County AL

Two of the most successful cross posters that I know are Becky Harshman and Dale Parent, simply because they know their rescuers!  Together, these two women have saved thousands of dogs, yet they do not run a shelter, nor do they work for a specific rescue.

How do they do it?

They don’t just send a photo, they send information, and when a rescue says yes, they pull the dog, find a foster, coordinate transport, and make sure the dog gets to its destination!  This is no easy task and I don’t know how they do it, but they are my heroes.

Last week, I opened my email to find 92 emails from one cross poster.  The emails contained multiple photos of dogs of various breeds, none of them were within the herding category, and they were from shelters throughout the United States.  We can not save them all!  If a cross poster continues to bombard me with random emails, even after I have politely asked them to forward only emails that pertain to dogs I can personally save (the herding breed), I am forced to send their emails into a spam folder.

Cross posting is quite simple.  You get an email, and forward it, or you tag/share a rescuer on a photo posted on Facebook.

Shep, rescued by Holli Miller

Shep, rescued by Holli Miller

Almost all of the dogs I have rescued are because of a cross post.  Jen Wilson found Anderson Cooper, Holli Miller sent me a photo of Bart, McDreamy, McSteamy, Shep, and many others and she personally transported Shep to my door!  That’s much more than cross posting!

Someone shared Winter’s photo with me on Facebook.  Cross posting does work, but when it is done with care.

If a cross poster chooses specialize in a specific cause, they will be much more effective.

Do you want to focus on saving puppies

Do you want to focus on saving senior dogs

Do you want to focus on saving deaf/blind dogs

Are you passionate about a certain breed

or do you want to support a specific city, state or shelter

Marjie Wolfe, for example focuses her attention on the shelters in her community, Brevard County.  While her favorite breed is the Border Collie, she has saved dozens of dogs from her local shelter.

Cross posting is like trying to catch butterflies with a hole in your net  

Marjie with Timmy and Sherman

Marjie with Timmy and Sherman

Cross posting is really a hit and miss effort.  If your goal is to save dogs from being put down, the first thing you have to realize is that we can’t save them all.  Take a deep breath, and choose a specialty.  Focus on your cause, and be a liaison between the shelter and the rescue.  Take the act of rescue from beginning to end, until that dog is rescued.  Find out what paperwork the shelter needs, and help your rescue facilitate the save.

There is so much more that’s needed than just cross posting.  We need movers and shakers!  We need do-ers.  I am not suggesting that cross posters should stop, I’m suggesting that the need is so great, and so complicated that we need more – we need help.

19794852 - Safe!

19794852 – Safe!

Once I get a dog into my home, the vetting, rehabilitating, training and adopting part is easy peasy!  The hard part is getting him out, and getting him here.  The hard part is finding a foster, a foster or a boarding facility that will take care of a dog that’s been pulled from a shelter that is hundreds of miles away from the awaiting rescue.  The hardest part is coordinating a transport for the dog that is hundreds of miles away from the awaiting rescue.  That’s what is happening right now with a dog that I fell in love with because of one cross post.

He was in a shelter I had never heard of, and because of total strangers who moved heaven and earth, he has been pulled, seen a vet, and is waiting in a boarding facility for transport to me.   I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that complete strangers will take the ball and run with it for one dog.  It’s not easy, it’s a lot of work, but it’s what needs to be done in order to effectively rescue.

Huckleberry, rescued by Vicki from Clayton County, GA

Huckleberry, rescued by Vicki Truelove from Clayton County, GA

Remember, Rhys, Huckleberry, and Jake?  They were all once just a photograph on a computer screen, begging to be rescued.  It took an army of rescuers to pull it off, but they are alive, adopted, loved and worth the effort.

I want to thank everyone who has helped rescue dogs from kill shelters.  You are appreciated!

I look forward to reading your comments here!

 

ONE VERY LUCKY DEATH ROW DOG SPEAKS

Shenandoah

You know the expression, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you?” It’s not true! Every day I post dog food recalls so that you can be aware of the dangerous lurking in your dog’s food bowl!

Soon, I’m also going to tell you where the money goes. Here is a video about Shenandoah, a little border collie we rescued in 2011. She was heartworm positive, adopted, used the alternative method of treatment, and is negative today.

Ever wondered why I take the heartworm positive dogs? It’s not like I seek them out! I know that many shelters have a standard rule; do not adopt out heartworm positive dogs. They must go to a rescue, or they are put down. Even if the shelter has dozens of empty crates available, even if the dog is young, even if the dog is a purebred, even if the dog has an awesome temperament, heartworm positive dogs are doomed.

If you research all of my heartworm positive dogs, you’ll see that many of them were rescued by me because I knew they had no way out. There was no chance in hell they would be allowed to live because of a simple and easy-to-cure heartworm.

Shenandoah is one of those dogs.

Click here to see Shenandoah’s Original Post

Walking the Green Miles of Georgia

Khaz and Athena

Last week was quite an experience for me, and my family.  I rented a van and put 2,000 on it driving from Deltona to Atlanta, and visiting as many shelters as I could.

Immediately, my experience became humbling.  As I drove, I saw signs and every city or county reminded me of a dog that I once saved from there.  Gainesville, Jacksonville, Lake City, Augusta, Rome. I couldn’t believe how many hours I was driving, and how far these dogs traveled to get to me.  I have always admired and appreciated our volunteer transporters, but after this trip, my appreciation tripled, and I was barely out of the state of Florida.  The trip up to Atlanta consisted of my kids hearing me shout out the names of dogs and their cities.  At one point I was turning it into the Name Game song, but my kids were not impressed.  “Bart Bart, Lake City, Bananafana Fee Fi Fo Fi Bart!”  It just wasn’t working for me.

Once I arrived in Atlanta, I found myself driving around in circles most of the time, depending on a useless GPS and constantly calling Steve, Khaz or Vicki to help me.  One simple trip to a mall with my daughter Sarah consisted of  just two right-hand turns and you’re there.  You’d think I could find my way back?  No, I was about 15 miles off course.  I was not severely punished for my lack of direction, but I was the laugh of the town!

I enjoyed good company, it was wonderful to spend time with Vicki and Kathy again.  Meeting Khaz and Steve was a bonus.  I was constantly reminded what a great team we have.  I also had the pleasure of meeting Amber, the owner of K9 Coach.  I was very impressed with her self-confidence and business savvy.  It was no surprise that after I left, we were told that CNN was going to feature Amber in a story about women-owned businesses.  Amber started K9 Coach from a parking lot, I started The Dog Liberator in my home!

Atlanta Aquarium

Being in charge of a rescue is not a glamorous job!  It’s filled with ups and downs, and you never know what’s around the corner.  Many times I’ve thought about getting a job at Wendy’s instead… so much easier.  While in Atlanta, Hopscotch was bit by a pygmy rattlesnake and I was on the phone with Valuvet most of that evening.  Even though the drama followed me, I stayed focused on my task to walk the pounds.  I can’t tell you how many times my kids asked, “you call this a vacation?”  I felt bad for them, but we did sneak in the Atlanta Aquarium, and Stone Mountain.  The food in Atlanta is amazing, the Marietta Diner was a major hit!

Sarah invents Dra-ma-way

My phone was constantly ringing, emails, texts… you name it, I was busy.  At one point I felt like I was juggling cats.  Emily Kennedy called in and reported that my dogs were doing well.  Little Red (Sharon) was being affectionate, Bart was growing, China was waiting by Sarah’s door wondering where she was, Lady Di had stopped eating, and Ozzie had no idea we were even gone!  Frustrated with all of the commotion, my daughter invented a new product for me!  It’s called Dra-ma-way.  Hilarious!

Spending time with TDL Georgia folks was awesome.  Seeing Paw Paw again was so great, he’s huge!  Seeing Daisy again and meeting Raider was wonderful, but I spent most of my time with Athena.  She is one awesome dog!  It was nice to get away and be with friends.

Peggy, Walking the Green Mile

Our first stop was Hall County Animal Services.  We have rescued at least 35 dogs from Hall County in less than a year.  It was a pleasure to meet the Baxleys and their new foster, Diva.  What a dog!  Peggy and James Baxley have fostered many awesome dogs for us.

I also had the honor of meeting Justine, the adoption coordinator.  What I saw at Hall County was people getting the job done, i.e.,  cleaning cages, feeding dogs, and meeting adopters.  Justine is the type of person that doesn’t complain or give up, instead, she is an idea person.  Always brainstorming on how to help the dogs.  Finding Fosters is their biggest hurdle right now, and that’s what Justine is focused on.

Vicki, Justine, Me and Kathy

If only our audience understood how many dogs we could save if we had a foster.  Obviously, if you’ve been following The Dog Liberator, you yourself should know that our dogs don’t stay in foster care for very long.  Very rarely do we have a dog that lingers for more than a month, in some cases, dogs are adopted within one week.  If you live near Hall County, Georgia, stop by and visit Justine and get involved.  Fostering just one dog a year does make a difference!  For details about fostering for TDL visit this page.

Our next stop was Gordon County Animal Services.  Kathy and I drove for hours before we reached this rual shelter tucked away off the beaten path.  All I could think about was how hard it must be for the general public to find this place.  Location, location, location.  If it wasn’t for Kathy, I’d still be driving around in circles!

Doc Holiday

We have rescued at least 29 dogs from Gordon County, located in Calhoun, Georgia.  I can’t tell you how I felt when I glanced at the kennel where Doc Holiday and Wyatt Earp once sat, depressed and scared.  Or the photo that I saw of Lady Truelove.  I had to pause for a moment and realize what a dream come true it is for these dogs, the shelter employees and volunteers to witness the before and after.  I’m very humble about my job, it’s a job.  I take it seriously, and we all work very hard, but the difference that it makes for a dog in one of these shelters to get out alive, be transported and adopted by TDL is bigger than even I realized.  Until you actually walk the green mile for yourself, you have no way of understanding how dismal it really is, how impossible it can be to save just one dog yet it happens.

One simple thing sets TDL apart for these employees and volunteers.  While they work every single day trying to help an almost lost cause, the mention of “TDL” can make a difference.  While they watch hundreds of dogs being put down, the joy of following a TDL dog from transport to foster to adoption, and to be part of the adoption updates helps make their job worth it.

Very sweet boy who has never seen a brush

So while all of you are enjoying your adopted dog, please understand that it’s the employees and volunteers, like Sherrie Ward Ford and many others from these shelters that made the adoption of that dog possible.  My chat with Sherrie was a very emotional one.  We must take turns lifting each other up when everything tells you there’s not much to look forward to.  Send in your adoption updates…. they are more valuable than you realize.  Your updates make people smile.

Sherry Ford hugs a big teddy bear!

Let’s face it, my job is a cake walk.  I get all of the happy endings.  I reap the reward of identifying and saving gorgeous adoptable dogs, while these folks work in the trenches day in and day out wondering why… why people do not spay/neuter, why people mistreat animals, why people don’t do something as simple as feed their dogs.  While the situation at Gordon County needs help because of their location, the animal abuse and neglect is everywhere.

 

 

speechless

It was another busy day for Vicki, but somehow we managed to visit Clayton County Animal Services in Jonesboro, Georgia.  This is where Huckleberry and many other wonderful dogs came from.  We’ll never forget his story.

While I was there, a gorgeous little pup was brought in, because of a potentially dangerous domestic violence situation.  A white poodle was rushed in by an animal control officer.  The poodle was in bad shape.  The matting around her face was so severe her ears were swollen.  I suppose that I’ve gotten dogs in that bad of shape in the past, but you never get used to it.  I met two bull dogs who were abused.  Recently, in the news, this shelter has received animals who have been burned by cigarettes on their backs.  The Captain there believes that it’s an initiation ceremony used by local gangs to gain entrance.

The staff at Clayton County was top notch professional.  They were very busy.  The facility itself was never designed to be a shelter, and plans for a new shelter in the future was exciting.  What I liked the most about this shelter was two very simple things.  Open air, meaning windows and fans everywhere, and one small container of water/bleach mixture at the entrance of the pound itself.  Everyone walking in must step into the mixture to sanitize their shoes, on the way in and on the way out.  I believe that should be mandatory at every shelter and pound.  That tiny ounce of prevention is huge for the health of the animals.  My trip two years ago to Hale County Humane Society educated me on how important open air is to the animals as well.

I really wanted to take photographs of the facility and the dogs, but I had to wait for the Captain’s okay.  He pulled me aside and explained how many people sneak into the facility, just waiting for a dog to take a dump so they can photograph how horrible of a facility it is!  I’ve heard that before.  The people trying to ruin the reputation of a facility like this are certifiably insane!

gorgeous

Just an hour ago, Bart got a hold of a roll of toilet tissue.  He and Ozzie shredded it… it’s all over the place.  I’m going to need a shop vac to clean this mess up, but that doesn’t mean I’m a bad foster home!  Every shelter, rescue or pound has times to clean up, times to feed and times to exercise.  If it’s not up to your standards, shut the front door and Volunteer!

Please take a moment and realize that if everyone spay/neutered their dogs, vaccinated their dogs, and took care of their animals, these shelters, pounds and rescues would be empty.  Wouldn’t be nice to visit empty buildings where dogs were once kept, shout out loud and hear my own voice echo off the walls.  Not in my lifetime.

The Captain, Amy and Vicki

While we shared stories about special dogs that came from Clayton County, the Captain made it very clear that the real heroes are the volunteers.  “This is my job, I come to work every day, and I get paid to do this, but these ladies over here are volunteers, and they are here every day trying to save these animals.  They are the ones that makes a difference here.”

By the time I was back in Florida I learned that the majority of all of these dogs that I met had been rescued or adopted!  Amy Grayson Adams reported that at least 25 dogs were transported to safety.  While there, a stray that had not yet been evaluated was waiting.  Vicki entered the crate, and showed me how she evaluates new dogs who have no temperament history.  I learned later that he too was adopted.

Here is the video that I shared on Facebook with Vicki and this new boy.  “Patience Grasshopper”, is the key!

After I posted this video, we did receive some comments about the other dogs crying in the background, and comments about all of the dogs there screaming for out attention.  No worries, they all got our attention, we walked the green mile and greeted every one of these dogs, but it proves that people just don’t understand how bad it really is out there.  I walked a shelter many many years ago, and to be honest, all I remember is a lot of animals screaming, the sound echoing off the floors and the walls, the smell of urine and poop, and the despairing look on the faces of the staff.  Everything I learned during this visit, I already knew.  But I could not write about it in this manner without actually seeing it again for myself.

brainstorming with Vicki, Amy and Maria

It was very disappointing that I couldn’t visit Habersham, Athens GA, Athens AL, Fulton, or Gwinett County, maybe next time.  But I knew that I had put my kids through enough.  “Is that all we’re going to do on vacation, is visit dog pounds Mommy?”  Ugh!  I knew I had gone too far when my 14 year-old son, Ryan started singing “The wheels on the bus go round and round.”  He was definitely becoming unglued!  We channel surfed Sirius Satellite Radio, and I tried to listen to the oldies most of the time, singing at the top of my lungs, which irritated my kids even more.  We rarely agreed on a song, but when we did, it was a moment to treasure.  On the way home my 9 year-old daughter, Sarah, wanted to do nothing but talk.  Ugh!  “Mommy, we should have some grown up girl bonding time now.”  Double Ugh!  I don’t know where she gets her ideas.  Quickly changing the subject, I tried to sing Allouette a few times.  She likes it, only because she doesn’t know what it means!

Vicki at the Marietta Diner

You may not believe me, but there is one thing I clearly feel in my bones, and that is the days for the puppy mills are counting down, i.e., soon it will simply not be a profitable business.  We have succeeded in educating “adopt do not shop”.  We are making an impact on spay/neuter.  It’s small, it’s slow, but it’s happening.  Shelters, pounds and rescues must continue screaming not just adopt, but you can adopt a purebred, go see for yourself.

Buying is being frowned upon, while Adopting is becoming is becoming cool.

Purebreds in Kill Shelters

McQueen at Athens Dog Pound – February, 2010

400,000 are killed in California Shelters and Pounds each year.  Can you imagine what the total numbers are in America?  Many shelters, pounds and vets do not report their numbers to HSUS so I have no idea what the yearly numbers are today.  How many do you think are purebreds?  This video was designed to give back to the employees and volunteers of the Shelters, Pounds, and Animal Control Organizations that break their backs every day to save the adoptable purebreds that come to our rescue.

When Laura Watson left Jacksonville’s Animal Control with Mini Cooper, a woman stopped her to marvel at his beauty:

“Oh, he’s Gorgeous!” She said.

“He came from the pound!” Laura explained.

“NO!” the woman gasped. “Where?”

“Just down the road that way!” Laura blurted!

“You’re kidding!” she gasped again.

“Lady, pounds aren’t exclusive for mixed breeds.”

 

I hope that animal rescue volunteers copy and share this video to help educate the public about the joys of adopting… and Please spay & neuter.

Animal Over-Population, Gassing and Lethal Injection

I feel compelled to share what is being Circulating on Facebook.  While we are honest about where a dogs come from, and share with you the history that we know, the number of dogs that we rescue compared to the number of dogs that we are asked to rescue is shocking.  This article is not appropriate for young children.

A Letter from a Gas Chamber Man in an Animal Shelter     This where your pups will end up, I put dogs in the gas chamber Yes, I Gas Dogs and Cats for a Living. I’m an Animal Control officer in a very small town in central North Carolina. I’m in my mid thirties, and have been working for the town in different positions since high school. There is not much work here, and working for the county provides
good pay and benefits for a person like me without a higher education. I’m the person you all write about how horrible I am.
I’m the one that gasses the dogs and cats and makes them suffer. I’m the one that pulls their dead corpses out smelling of Carbon Monoxide and throws them into green plastic bags. But I’m also the one that hates my job and hates what I have to do.   First off, all you people out there that judge me, don’t. God is judging me, and I know I’m going to Hell. Yes, I’m going to hell. I wont lie, it’s despicable, cold, cruel and I feel like a serial killer. I’m not all to blame, if the law would mandate spay and neuter, lots of these dogs and cats wouldn’t be here for me to gas.

I’m the devil, I know it, but I want you people to see that there is another side to me the devil Gas Chamber man.   The shelter usually gasses on Friday morning.   Friday’s are the day that most people look forward to, this is the day that I hate, and wish that time will stand still on Thursday night. Thursday night, late, after nobody’s around, my friend and I go through a fast food line, and buy 50 dollars worth of cheeseburgers and fries, and chicken.
I’m not allowed to feed the dogs on Thursday, for I’m told that they will make a mess in the gas chamber, and why waste the food.
So, Thursday night, with the lights still closed, I go into the saddest room that anyone can every imagine, and let all the doomed dogs out of their cages.   I have never been bit, and in all my years doing this, the dogs have never fought over the food. My buddy and I, open each wrapper of cheeseburger and chicken sandwich, and feed them to the skinny, starving dogs. They swallow the food so fast, that I don’t believe they even taste it. There tails are wagging, and some don’t even go for the food, they roll on their backs wanting a scratch on their bellies.
They start running, jumping and kissing me and my buddy.   They go back to their food, and come back to us.
All their eyes are on us with such trust and hope, and their tails wag so fast, that I have come out with black and blues on my thighs.. They devour the food, then it’s time for them to devour some love and peace. My buddy and I sit down on the dirty, pee stained concrete floor, and we let the dogs jump on us. They lick us, they put their butts in the air to play, and they play with each other. Some lick each other, but most are glued on me and my buddy.
I look into the eyes of each dog. I give each dog a name. They will not die without a name. I give each dog 5 minutes of unconditional love and touch. I talk to them, and tell them that I’m so sorry that tomorrow they will die a gruesome, long, torturous death at the hands of me in the gas chamber. Some tilt their heads to try to understand. I tell them, that they will be in a better place, and I beg them not to hate me. I tell them that I know I’m going to hell, but they will all be playing with all the dogs and cats in heaven. After about 30 minutes, I take each dog individually, into their feces filled concrete jail cell, and pet them and scratch them under their chins. Some give me their paw, and I just want to die. I just want to die.   I close the jail cell on each dog, and ask them to forgive me.
As my buddy and I are walking out, we watch as every dog is smiling at us and them don’t even move their heads. They will sleep, with a full belly, and a false sense of security. As we walk out of the doomed dog room, my buddy and I go to the cat room. We take our box, and put the very friendly kittens and pregnant cats in our box. The shelter doesn’t keep tabs on the cats, like they do the dogs. As I hand pick which cats are going to make it out, I feel like I’m playing God, deciding whose going to live and die.   We take the cats into my truck, and put them on blankets in the back. Usually, as soon as we start to drive away, there are purring cats sitting on our necks or rubbing against us. My buddy and I take our one way two hour trip to a county that is very wealthy and they use injection to kill animals.

We go to exclusive neighborhoods, and let one or two cats out at a time. They don’t want to run, they want to stay with us. We shoo them away, which makes me feel sad. I tell them that these rich people will adopt them, and if worse comes to worse and they do get put down, they will be put down with a painless needle being cradled by a loving veterinarian. After the last cat is free, we drive back to our town.   It’s about 5 in the morning now, about two hours until I have to gas my best friends.
I go home, take a shower, take my 4 anti-anxiety pills and drive to work.. I don’t eat, I can’t eat. It’s now time, to put these animals in the gas chamber. I put my ear plugs in, and when I go to the collect the dogs, the dogs are so excited to see me, that they jump up to kiss me and think they are going to play. I put them in the rolling cage and take them to the gas chamber. They know. They just know.
They can smell the death.. They can smell the fear. They start whimpering the second I put them in the box. The boss tells me to squeeze in as many as I can to save on gas. He watches. He knows I hate him, he knows I hate my job. I do as I’m told. He watches until all the dogs, and cats (thrown in together) are fighting and screaming. The sounds is very muffled to me because of my ear plugs.
He walks out, I turn the gas on, and walk out.   I walk out as fast as I can. I walk into the bathroom, and I take a pin and draw blood from my hand. Why? The pain and blood takes my brain off of what I just did. In 40 minutes, I have to go back and unload the dead animals. I pray that none survived, which happens when I overstuff the chamber. I pull them out with thick gloves, and the smell of carbon monoxide makes me sick. So does the vomit and blood, and all the bowel movements. I pull them out, put them in plastic bags.
They are in heaven now, I tell myself. I then start cleaning up the mess, the mess, that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not spay or neutering your animals. The mess that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not demanding that a vet come in and do this humanely. You ARE THE TAXPAYERS, DEMAND that this practice STOP!   So, don’t call me the monster, the devil, the gasser, call the politicians, the shelter directors, and the county people, the devil. Heck, call the governor, tell him to make it stop.   As usual, I will take sleeping pills tonight to drown out the screams I heard in the past, before I discovered the ear plugs. I will jump and twitch in my sleep, and I believe I’m starting to hallucinate.
This is my life. Don’t judge me. Believe me, I judge myself enough.
Please CROSS POST this, and don’t be proud; SPAY AND NEUTER your pet, and keep it indoors, for the sake of our animals futures.

Death Row Dogs—Gassing Shelters, and Euthanasia Rates in America’s Shelters

Carol Bowman-Henderson contacted me one year ago, on April 20, 2008, after she had seen one of my anti-gassing videos on YouTube.

“Can you help me?” She asked.

She quickly began to send me her spectacular photographs, some of which were so horrendous, with regard to animal cruelty, that I have never used them.

After numerous discussions about her situation in Clovis, and after she witnessed a gassing, it was clear to me that Carol was determined to do whatever she needed to get the gassing banned.

One evening, after experiencing an overwhelming bout of depression, she wrote the poem “Through Their Eyes” which I used in our first video together. The result was astounding.

When Carol first started, she wanted to ban gassing in her town of Clovis—and her efforts lead to a state-wide ban.

We stayed in close contact, sometimes talking several times a day, when eventually, there seemed to be no progress made whatsoever. Her frustration level mounted, yet she never gave up.

There were times when I heard sadness, anger, and desperation in her voice, but her tenacity always prevailed.

Even as she described how her own community rejected her, and neighbors scorned her for her involvement and persistence, she plowed forward. Of course, it hurt her feelings, for she had hoped others would join her, but her focus on saving the animals was far greater than her focus on herself.

Even I backed off a bit, from time to time. Probably because I didn’t believe that the two of us could really create change – after all, who are we?

Many times I felt that I had done all I could do to help her. I wondered if we’d ever really be successful. I had hoped that publishing several videos on YouTube would increase awareness, but wondered if one day, something or someone would take our war against gassing to the next level. And it did. That someone was Yvette Dobbie.

Carol was elated when she described to me how she felt on April 6, 2009 when she witnessed Governor Bill Richardson sign the bill to ban gassing animals in New Mexico.

But even as she shared with me her moment of joy, her sentence quickly rolled into the needs for spay & neutering programs. It appears that Carol’s work is never done.

If any of you ever believe that you can’t possibly make a difference with whatever issue you are faced with – you are wrong. Just ask Carol.

Carol, my friend, your talents combined with your tenacity are a gift. Thank God you shared it with all of us, and the animals.

You can join Carol on Facebook on her Fan Page called, “Alliance to Stop the Gassing of Cats, Dogs, and Wildlife”
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=104978720987&ref=share

What I have learned from this experience is that when city pounds have a gas chamber accessible to them, there isn’t necessarily a veterinarian overseeing the euthanasia of the animals. While gassing is supposed to be humane, it isn’t when shelter operators stuff several animals in a small box at once. While the animals wait, they panic, as more and more animals are added into the tight space. This creates chaos, and the animals do not die in a peaceful manner.

There are some pounds who follow strict protocol with regard to gassing, and in those pounds, the death of an animal is considered humane. However, without a veterinarian present, it is in my opinion that the pound is lacking a gatekeeper.

A gatekeeper would prevent perfectly healthy animals from being euthanized, but approve the euthanasia of the terminally-ill, elderly, severely injured, or potentially dangerous animals. Without a veterinarian/gatekeeper making those judgment calls, there is no one to force the pound to increase their adoption efforts, solicit volunteer fosters, or work with rescuers in their areas.

Regardless, euthanasia by lethal injection is no more costly than carbon monoxide poisoning. Which way would you rather go, if you had a choice? It’s really a no-brainer.

A Must Read: San Antonio, Texas 2004, Death by the Pound

More Stuff:

http://www.digtriad.com/news/mostpopular/article.aspx?storyid=82860&provide%20r=top

http://law.slu.edu/organizations/animalLaw/

Euthanasia Facts:

http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/search_results.html?librarytopic=euthanasia

http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/policies_and_guidelines/appropriate_use_of_carbon_monoxide.html

http://www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/policies_and_guidelines/statement_on_euthanasia.html

Author, Unknown:

Yes, I Gas Dogs and Cats for a Living. I’m an Animal Control officer in a very small town in central North Carolina. I’m in my mid thirties, and have been working for the town in different positions since high school.

There is not much work here, and working for the county provides good pay and benefits for a person like me without a higher education. I’m the person you all write about how horrible I am.

I’m the one that gasses the dogs and cats and makes them suffer. I’m the one that pulls their dead corpses out smelling of Carbon Monoxide and throws them into green plastic bags. But I’m also the one that hates my job and hates what I have to do.

First off, all you people out there that judge me, don’t. God is judging me, and I know I’m going to Hell. Yes, I’m going to hell. I wont lie, it’s despicable, cold, cruel and I feel like a serial killer. I’m not all to blame, if the law would mandate spay and neuter, lots of these dogs and cats wouldn’t be here for me to gas. I’m the devil, I know it, but I want you people to see that there is another side to me, the devil Gas Chamber man. The shelter usually gasses on Friday morning.

Friday’s are the day that most people look forward to, this is the day that I hate, and wish that time will stand still on Thursday night. Thursday night, late, after nobody’s around, my friend and I go through a fast food line, and buy 50 dollars worth of cheeseburgers and fries, and chicken. I’m not allowed to feed the dogs on Thursday, for I’m told that they will make a mess in the gas chamber, and why waste the food.

So, Thursday night, with the lights still closed, I go into the saddest room that anyone can every imagine, and let all the doomed dogs out out their cages.

I have never been bit, and in all my years doing this, the dogs have never fought over the food. My buddy and I, open each wrapper of cheeseburger and chicken sandwich, and feed them to the skinny, starving dogs.

They swallow the food so fast, that I don’t believe they even taste it. There tails are wagging, and some don’t even go for the food, they roll on their backs wanting a scratch on their bellies. They start running, jumping and kissing me and my buddy.

They go back to their food, and come back to us. All their eyes are on us with such trust and hope, and their tails wag so fast, that I have come out with black and blues on my thighs.. They devour the food, then it’s time for them to devour some love and peace. My buddy and I sit down on the dirty, pee stained concrete floor, and we let the dogs jump on us. They lick us, they put their butts in the air to play, and they play with each other. Some lick each other, but most are glued on me and my buddy.

I look into the eyes of each dog. I give each dog a name. They will not die without a name. I give each dog 5 minutes of unconditional love and touch. I talk to them, and tell them that I’m so sorry that tomorrow they will die a gruesome, long, torturous death at the hands of me in the gas chamber. Some tilt their heads to try to understand. I tell them, that they will be in a better place, and I beg them not to hate me. I tell them that I know I’m going to hell, but they will all be playing with all the dogs and cats in heaven.

After about 30 minutes, I take each dog individually, into their feces filled concrete jail cell, and pet them and scratch them under their chins. Some give me their paw, and I just want to die. I just want to die. I close the jail cell on each dog, and ask them to forgive me. As my buddy and I are walking out, we watch as every dog is smiling at us and them don’t even move their heads. They will sleep, with a full belly, and a false sense of security.

As we walk out of the doomed dog room, my buddy and I go to the cat room.
We take our box, and put the very friendly kittens and pregnant cats in our box. The shelter does not keep tabs on the cats, like they do the dogs.

As I hand pick which cats are going to make it out, I feel like I’m playing God, deciding whose going to live and die.

We take the cats into my truck, and put them on blankets in the back.

Usually, as soon as we start to drive away, there are purring cats sitting on our necks or rubbing against us.

My buddy and I take our one way two hour trip to a county that is very wealthy and they use injection to kill animals.

We go to exclusive neighborhoods, and let one or two cats out at a time.

They don’t want to run, they want to stay with us. We shoo them away, which makes me feel sad.

I tell them that these rich people will adopt them, and if worse comes to worse and they do get put down, they will be put down with a painless needle being cradled by a loving veterinarian. After the last cat is free, we drive back to our town.

It’s about 5 in the morning now, about two hours until I have to gas my best friends.

I go home, take a shower, take my 4 anti-anxiety pills and drive to work.. I don’t eat, I can’t eat. It’s now time, to put these animals in the gas chamber. I put my ear plugs in, and when I go to the collect the dogs, the dogs are so excited to see me, that they jump up to kiss me and think they are going to play.

I put them in the rolling cage and take them to the gas chamber. They know. They just know. They can smell the death.. They can smell the fear. They start whimpering, the second I put them in the box. The boss tells me to squeeze in as many as I can to save on gas. He watches. He knows I hate him, he knows I hate my job. I do as I’m told. He watches until all the dogs, and cats (thrown in together) are fighting and screaming. The sounds is very muffled to me because of my ear plugs. He walks out, I turn the gas on, and walk out.

I walk out as fast as I can. I walk into the bathroom, and I take a pin and draw blood from my hand. Why? The pain and blood takes my brain off of what I just did. In 40 minutes, I have to go back and unload the dead animals. I pray that none survived, which happens when I overstuff the chamber. I pull them out with thick gloves, and the smell of carbon monoxide makes me sick. So does the vomit and blood, and all the bowel movements. I pull them out, put them in plastic bags.

They are in heaven now, I tell myself. I then start cleaning up the mess, the mess, that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not spay or neutering your animals. The mess that YOU PEOPLE are creating by not demanding that a vet come in and do this humanely. You ARE THE TAXPAYERS, DEMAND that this practice STOP!

So, don’t call me the monster, the devil, the gasser, call the politicians, the shelter directors, and the county people the devil. Heck, call the governor, tell him to make it stop.

As usual, I will take sleeping pills tonight to drown out the screams I heard in the past, before I discovered the ear plugs. I will jump and twitch in my sleep, and I believe I’m starting to hallucinate.

This is my life. Don’t judge me. Believe me, I judge myself enough.

~Author unknown

List generated August, 2008
by HSUS

Note:  States that do not allow carbon monoxide may still allow older pounds and shelters to use that method, until new shelters are rebuilt or new methods are adopted.

States that allow carbon monoxide Gassing:
Alabama
Alaska
Colorado
Illinois
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Missouri
New York
North Carolina
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Texas
West Virginia
Wyoming

States that do not allow gassing:
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Maine
Maryland
New Jersey
New Mexico
Oregon
Tennessee

Information Unavailable:
North Dakota
Puerto Rico
Wisconsin

States that do not Mention Gassing either way in their laws:
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Hawaii
Idaho
Indiana
Iowa
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
Ohio
South Dakota
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington

Yes, Legal 17
No, Banned 12
Not Mentioned in Law 20
Unavailable 3

More TDL Articles

National list of No-Kill Shelters

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