The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

I Have a Dream

I Have a Dream

Written July 22, 2011
Rescue is simply not making a difference.

Several months ago, I was on the phone with Dale Parrent. We wondered why some people find it acceptable to dump litter after litter at the pound. Why won’t people spay and neuter?

Last month 4 purebred adult Border Collies and a litter of puppies were dropped off at the Rome, Georgia pound by a hobby breeder. Perhaps the extra money he had been making off of these dogs had helped feed his family. Who knows? But when the dogs and the puppies got very sick, apparently he couldn’t afford to vet them and his solution would have resulted in their death were it not for our rescuing them. The pound he dumped them at euthanizes every animal it has on Wednesday morning, regardless of breed, age or how long it has been there. We recently learned that one of these dogs is pregnant.

When citizens drop off a litter of puppies to one shelter director in Alabama, he begs them to come back with the mother of the litter, and offers to spay her for ust $10. They refuse. Even when he offers to spay her for free they still refuse. Why?

Amber Halsey explained to me that they have a spay/neuter mobile clinic that sets up shop in Camden County, Georgia… and no one comes.

It’s even harder to convince dog owners to neuter their males, yet we all know that an un-neutered male can produce hundreds of puppies in one year.

So, I have an idea.

What if our shelter directors and volunteers contacted their local Wal-mart, grocery store or maybe feed store, and together developed an incentive program to encourage citizens to spay/neuter their pets? What if they helped underwrite the cost of spay/neuter to make it afforadable, if not free? What if they offered gift cards for every spay/neuter?

How much money would the shelters and pound save in a year if a spay/neuter campaign in their community was successful?

I wonder how many Moms would take advantage of this opportunity to buy school supplies, shoes, or even food for their family with those gift cards?

This isn’t a novel idea. We’ve heard of principals giving money to students of failing schools as incentive, and it worked.

Who would fund this? I don’t know. But I do know that it would take full cooperation of the veterinary community. Charging up to $350 for one spay or neuter today is almost as damaging to the current over-population of dogs and cats as the puppy mills. Without the cooperation of the veterinary community, we’re doomed.

One of my fosters in South Florida has established a relationship with her vet, and up until a few weeks ago, that vet didn’t know anything about rescue. Now he knows more about the situation and has offered to lower his price for spay/neuter.

The only way to stop the puppy mills is by having taxpayers push lawmakers.

The only way to stop our current dog and cat over-population in rural areas is to change attitude, and a step in that direction is to create incentive.

A man who surrendered one of his female Border Collies to us a few months ago is a breeder. He said he couldn’t sell his puppies anymore. He was losing money, he was stuck with them. His situation isn’t unique, yet hobby breeders keep breeding.

We have twelve puppies in our rescue right now. Not the most we’ve ever had, but twelve is a lot, and more are on the way. Yet the number of puppies in pounds that have no place to go is alarming as is the euthanasia rate in this country.

Trying to stop shelters that gas and heart stick is useless as long as the numbers keep pouring in. The form of euthanasia is irrelevant to me at this point as the end result is the same: we are killing adoptable animals.

I’m hoping that someone reads this post and creates such a program.

Rescue is simply not making a difference.

4 thoughts on “I Have a Dream

  1. I think this is an idea that has long been marginalized by society, and animal/pet activists both.

    Often, we are so bent on finding an end for neglect, abuse, or disease, that we overlook the cause of these maladies altogether. Spay and Neuter.

    The concept is so simple, yet to so many dog owners, the task is daunting. I would love to be a part of this campaign. At my personal vet (who's recently changed VMD's so I'll probably be switching soon anyways) getting my Corgi neutered cost us about 200 odd dollars. We even had the voucher that the Humane Society gave us, since our dog was a rescue. Our vet declined the voucher. These vouchers are intended to take some of the sting off of the initial price (about 45$ or so) and our vet declined. For why?

    I was shocked when he told us "we don't accept discount vouchers at this location" despite the fact we had full documentation from the Humane society. Of all places, you would think a veterinary offices' primary concern is spay and neuter. That right there was a wakeup call to me that it isn't.

    So when you say this incentive first has to start at our vets' offices, you couldn't be more correct. The vets need more incentive, too. Their incentive? More business. More business means less money per procedure for the clients, and more clientele for the business.

    ALSO: As a side note. I am heavily involved in the local and State level politics here in Georgia, and we are having a Humane Society lobbying day at the state Capitol on February 17th.

    I encourage all who read this to look at the Calendar for their own state Capitols, and see if there is a lobbying date like this in your area. There is NO better way to get such an important message as Spay and neutering across the state than speaking with your representatives first.

    I know they might not be your favorite people in the building (I can certainly say that about my representatives) but this is a HUGE opportunity for organizations like TDL, the Humane Society, or any animal activist to make a point, and have it be heard. It is almost ALWAYS covered by a news cast of some sort, so not only will your pleas be heard in person, but via realmedia as well. I know 100% that I will be attending my state lobbying day, and you can bet your milkbones that I will hounding on some representatives about this issue.

    You don't have to be a big politico to do this. I know that this campaign could be successful. But it's going to take effort from all ends of the spectrum to make it possible. The solution is simple. Just SPAY AND NEUTER. Tell everyone to spay and neuter. Vets, church members, family and friends, state reps– if we did that, think how many less Katies and Charlottes there would be. How many fewer Sparrows, Pogos, Pis and Aspens that would be sitting, lonely and afraid somewhere in a killshelter. I think it can happen. It won't necessarily be easy, but I think it can definitely happen.

  2. This is well stated, Gisele, and potentially effective. When confronted with the euthanasia problem the two solutions usually present are unrealistic:
    1) make shelters no-kill. Not possible. You couldn't build a shelter large enough to hold the unwanted pets that are not going to get adopted.
    2) pass a federal law requiring spay/neuter. Not only unconstitutional, it is unenforceable. How are you going to know if a dog or cat is spayed? We've had vet's open up our adult females only to discover they were already spayed!
    The only way to fix the problem is to go after the root ~ too many unwanted, unplanned litters. And the only way to change that is to change the cultural attitude to spay/neuter. It has to become "uncool" to have an intact dog or cat.

  3. Hi Gisele,

    I totally understand your frustration. But it makes a hell of a difference to those 83 dogs you've adopted out since August, 2010 – and to all of those other dogs across the US that each and every rescue scrambles to save.

    Yes, there is an incredible fight still ahead. But please hang in there. These dogs need every person they can get to work for them. We've got to start somewhere.

    Thanks for all your heard work and God Bless.

    Mary Kaminski
    Philadelphia, PA


    There once was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore, as he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day and he began to walk faster to catch up.

    As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man, and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something, and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

    He called out,
    “Good morning, what are you doing?”

    The young man paused, looked up and replied,
    “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

    “I guess I should have asked;
    why are you throwing starfish in the ocean?”

    “The sun is up and the tide is going out.
    And if I don’t throw them then they’ll die.”

    “But, young man, don’t you realize that there are
    miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it.
    You can’t possibly make a difference!”

    The young man listened politely, then bent down,
    picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea,
    past the breaking waves and said,
    “It made a difference for that one.”

    -Author Unknown-

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