Friday, May 24, 2013

On Ethics...Rescuing the Sick

When I was younger, my mom always taught me that it wasn't "can you do it," it's "should you do it." Therein lies one of life's greatest philosophies, repeated in our small country kitchen time and time again. I'll be writing a series on ethics. You may not agree with everything I have so say, but I would appreciate you taking the time to read each post, think about it, then give me your honest feedback.

Facebook can be a wonderful tool. It's also the breeding ground for those annoying people called "cross-posters." I'm sure the idea was bred from good intentions, but let's face it, those are the people we either hide or delete altogether. To really get a dog attention, you should post dogs in the area of your friends/followers, and try not to do it too often, or you will be deleted/hidden and all of your efforts become null and void. Secondly, don't tag every animal lover you know in the photo. If you've talked to someone about the dog, it's polite to tag them with a "Hey ____, here's that dog I was telling you about" and leave it at that. When you constantly tag someone, it busies up their news feed and that of their friends, so again, your message is likely to be deleted or hidden.

Now that I'm done with my soapbox on cross-posting, let's get to why I brought up Facebook (and cross-posters).

From all of the posts I see daily in my news feed, I often see pleas for dogs in rescues or shelters that need money for medical care. The dogs have broken limbs, severe mange, eyes hanging out of their sockets, you name it. People are pleading for the dog to be taken out of the shelter. Rescues are pleading for money to cover the medical bills the dog will certainly accrue... It all seems like a horrible cycle.

Here's my question: How many perfectly healthy dogs died because that rescue took in that one pity case and spent all of those funds getting it well?

It's not "can the dog be rescued," it's "should the dog be rescued."

Yes, a dog with severe mange or with their eyeball hanging out can be fixed up and saved. I'm sure quite a few of you have wonderful dogs that were saved in situations like this. They also make for wonderful publicity. The question isn't "can they be saved," it's "should they be saved."

Now before you go into a rant calling me a heartless witch, think about it. How many more dogs could you afford to save if you didn't save the one dog that had lots of issues? Quite a few.

In my opinion, it doesn't make sense to rescue a dog you know will take a lot of time and resources and let a much healthier dog die in its stead. I know they tug at your heart. You want to save them all, but the rescue community really can't afford that right now.

We need to prioritize. Enough of the supposedly "healthy" dogs pop up with unforeseen problems without knowingly adding to your financial burden.

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Great topic!!! MANY ADOPTABLE HEALTY DOGS AND CATS HAVE DIED because a lot of energy and funding is used for a single hardship case. While the "pity" cases get a lot of support (especially since it's also an impulse knee jerk reaction from sympathy). Often times these hardship injury/sick cases don't even have a 50/50 shot. I've seen one hardship dog raise over 5k and it didn't survive the surgery. meanwhile 100 dogs and cats could have been spay/neutered, vaccinated, tested etc for that same amount. This is something that really bothers me. Rescue needs to get priorities in line and make better use of funds and energy and think of the big picture. Thanks for bringing this topic up because albeit controversial, it's one that really needs to be discussed.