Thursday, November 1, 2007

Clearing Things Up

Hello: This is Sarah, the director of the Shelter. I am writing this blog today in hopes of clearing up misconceptions and finding truth in rumors that have been circulating.

The Full Story on Us:
Fort Collins Cat Rescue was founded in June of 2006. It was founded by me, Sarah Swanty, and one of my good friends, Anna Neubauer. I run the shelter, and Anna runs the spay/neuter clinic. Since we opened our shelter we have taken in almost 750 cats. Our cats come from 3 different situations: 1. stray/abandoned 2.owner relinquished 3.Transfers from other shelters.
When the cats come to us, they are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed, FeLV/FIV tested, & microchipped. Once they are healthy they are put up for adoption.
In March of 2007 our organization opened Fort Collins Spay/Neuter Clinic. This clinic offers low-cost spay/neuter procedures, vaccinations, testing, and more. The focus is on pet overpopulation & disease prevention. The clinic was designed to help low-income people and other rescue organizations. Since most of our animals come from low-income and in need people, we hope that the clinic will help prevent more homeless pets from ending up in shelters. Since our clinic opened, we have performed almost 3,000 spays and neuters.

Anna & I work incredibly hard. We put in close to 80 hours every week and get paid less than minimum wage if you look at it hourly. The longest vacation we have had in a year was 3 days off in a row. Neither of us have had a day off in 7 weeks. We are not trying to make you feel sorry for us, only to realize our dedication.

Why do we do this?
We do it because MILLIONS of homeless animals die every year. They have done nothing to deserve this other than be born into a world where they are no longer welcome.
Anna and I have always loved animals. We both worked at veterinary hospitals for years, and we are firm believers that killing is not the solution.
Somebody has to stick up for these creatures!

Now to clear up rumors and misconceptions:

1. No animal is perfect (especially humans). When you adopt an animal from a rescue, there are going to be issues. Maybe health, maybe behavioral. If you want an animal with a guarantee of health and disposition, - go to a breeder. If you want an animal that is wonderful, and sweet, and deserves a good home, and you don't have expectations for it being perfect from the start - come to a rescue.
We do not guarantee health or disposition on any of our animals. We do the best we can to make sure our cats are healthy when they go to a new home, but like everyone else we are not perfect and things will get missed. In that situation the best we can hope for is that the person that adopted the kitty will accept it in its imperfection and love it the best they can for however long their life is.
When you have a child with a health problem, you can not return it where it came from, and you cannot have it euthanized. This should not be acceptable when you get a pet either. They are part of your family.

2. The clinic uses state of the art surgery and anesthetic protocols. We consult on almost a weekly basis with veterinarians and pain management specialists at CSU to provide the most current accepted practices in spay/neuter specialty clinics. Our veterinarian is Doctor Thomas Welsh. He has been in practice for over 20 years and is constantly continuing his education through conferences and lectures. Dr. Welsh is a gentle and kind soul who is in this field to make a difference and not a profit. He has donated countless hours to provide spay and neuter services to animals in need and continues to do so. We provide services to people who would not consider taking their animal to a veterinarian if we did not exist. We spay and neuter at least 12 feral cats every week, asking only for a minimal donation. We are consistently seeking new ways to reach out and help those who cannot help themselves. We routinely refer clients to all local area veterinarians for further services that we cannot provide and want to collaborate with the rest of our veterinary community as much as possible.

3. We have around 100 volunteers that give us their time and their heart to help us on our mission. They are amazing people that support what we are trying to do, and know that we are doing a good thing.

4. Anna and I are caring, honest people. We do what we do because we love the animals. We always welcome any suggestions, concerns, comments, etc. - as long as they are to us, and not spread as a rumor. We are happy to give tours of both our shelter and our clinic to anyone that may want to see it.

For those of you who have helped with the spread of rumors, or may have even started one: Shame on you.
We have given our lives to help the animals that have been disposed of because of other people's irresponsibility. We are constantly tired and emotionally drained, yet we continue our mission because we truly care. What have you done to help these poor, forgotten animals?

For those of you who have helped our shelter and spread kind words: Thank-you! We couldn't have accomplished everything we have without your support.