URGENT! I’m Bacardi – Adopt me!
The following was written and submitted by Kim Silver
To the Pima Animal Care Volunteers and Passionate Animal Advocates of Pima County
There have been a number of situations arise lately that have my wheels turning and my heart racing. It’s not unusual for emotions to run high in the rescue community but the reasons for the frustrations and hurt are the cause for my concern. A theme I am hearing repeatedly is “PACC takes two steps forward and before you know it PACC takes five steps back.” This often follows with “I want to give up”. I am writing to you all today to beg you to NOT GIVE UP.
(If reading for the first time, PACC is Pima Animal Care Center / Pima County animal shelter)
Some PACC volunteers have resigned in recent months. Some have done so very publicly with scathing words for PACC, its policies or lack there of and its inability to make decisions that save lives rather than take lives. I get it, we all get why you want to quit. We also understand those people who say they could NEVER volunteer at PACC because of the bad outcomes for so many of the animals. We also get the relentless volunteers that go in every week despite the heartache and leave upset many days. We understand those that quit and then RETURN because they realize they just needed a break. We get it. We also understand those volunteers that will never return. I hope you do return, I really do.
Rico is in kennel D108 – Akita mix
There has been so much energy from the community involved in changing the culture at PACC and some progress has been made. Slow, small progress has been made but progress nonetheless. This progress has given us hope. I know that for myself I am the most hopeful that I have ever been that change is imminent. We are on the cusp of a paradigm shift. It is so close that it causes me so much anxiety because I want it now, right now. Then it happens, they kill an animal for having a URI, Giardia or some other medical condition PACC does not treat or a dog that needs his own kennel to eat his food and there are none. This begins the 5 footsteps backward.
We are so angered by this because there have been other animals they did treat or did find a solution for needing their own space, why not this one? Why did this animal die and the others saved? Because of the progress we have seen, the sliding back into familiar practices intensifies our disdain for the close-minded decision-making.
Nothing breaks my heart more than to know that staff including the animal advocate, the shelter supervisors and when necessary the rescue coordinator and the volunteer coordinator are charged with making decisions about which animals die. Contrary to what many believe it is not vet staff solely making these decisions.
I’m Mama cat – take me home
I don’t know the new rescue coordinator (a former volunteer) but I will venture to guess she knew this would be part of her job. I don’t think she knew how it would make her feel. I will also venture to guess she is not going to quit when this does happen. She is going to do all that she can to make sure she is never in that position again. She is going to find a solution, a plan B.
This is what I am asking of all of you reading this. There is a plan B, C, D, there are 26 letters in the alphabet.
I have also heard recently (actually since joining NKPC) that there are just too many “groups” in Tucson and we should all be collaborating together. There is an implication that the animal welfare organizations in Tucson are ineffective and that the band-aid solutions are not solving the program. I agree. Someone said to me today “The Tucson rescue community is too caught up, too busy, too overwhelmed looking at the trees to stop and view the entire forest.”
So far in Pima County there has not been a comprehensive solution to end the killing of our animals, until now. No Kill Pima County has presented a road map proven to work in over 200 communities across the country to the Pima County community and recently we formally presented this road map to PACC.
The problem with past efforts is that not all of the issues faced by our shelters, pet owners, and animal welfare organizations have been addressed. No Kill Pima County addresses many of them with the No Kill Equation. It is not an overnight fix and it is not easy but it is simple to understand how all the pieces fit together to make this comprehensive plan work.
And guess who is listening now? PACC.
No Kill Pima County met with Kim Janes and the staff at PACC with 13 pages of recommendations to improve conditions and impact saving lives at PACC. When drafting the recommendations, we followed the 11 components of the No KILL Equation and we addressed the issues at PACC in that format. We did not point out what is wrong with policy at PACC without offering suggested solutions, new best practices or offers of support. Since the initial meeting we have met with leaders at PACC multiple times to dissect and take action on each bullet point.
I have added a link to the document of recommendations for your review. The document submitted to PACC is a work in progress, constantly being revised, updated and open for input. Please read it and share your suggestions.
Ariel: Don’t you love my ears?
It is vital that everyone who is passionate about the animals in Pima County be part of this solution. If you have decided that being a volunteer at PACC is not the right place for you right now, so be it but I hope you return. BUT do not give in and let killing win. Join the No Kill movement and volunteer another way. You can foster or recruit fosters, transport, fund raise, educate. Whatever YOU want to do we have a place for you at No Kill Pima County.
PACC volunteers past and present I thank you. Your contributions are invaluable. You truly are the voice for the animals. Without you, more would suffer and more would die without anyone to pay notice that they are sitting in a cage on Silverbell Road. I plan to join you on December 19th to protest the needless killing. Please remember to stop and truly look at the forest and never give in to the killing by giving up.
Board of Directors
No Kill Pima County