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Showing posts from July, 2013

Ode to Hilary

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Hilary,
   You were my 'happy ending story,' a superb example of the dog that beats the odds.
   There are unexpected, delightful twists of fate in the shelter world, these cherished times when pets you don't think will make it out alive do.
   You were one of those pets Hilary, one of those dogs I didn't want to interact with too much  for fear of getting too emotionally involved only to be heartbroken upon your demise.
   But all it took to turn that self preservation mechanism around was someone, anyone, to show a hint of interest in you.
   That's all it ever takes, that shimmer of hope to make the possibility of rescue come to life (naturally I fall in love with dogs every day that no one is considering as well but one must keep that in check).
   When I met your daddy strolling through the big dog runs and he stopped at you Hilary, my heart practically stopped too. It was one of those 'don't hold your breath too long' moments, I played it calm and…

Adoption Counseling 101 (for any shelter volunteers or staff)

I wrote this for MDAS volunteers nearly one year ago. When I initially wrote and shared a couple of staffers from other shelters asked if they could share, or use portions of it, for their volunteers. I said, of course, and figured I should blog it in case helpful to anyone else:
Adoption Counseling 101:
Many people who come to Animal Services to adopt are coming here for the 1st time. They don’t know where to begin or how the process works. To make matters trickier Animal Services often has new volunteers who can’t remember how everything works or how to assist adopters (there’s a lot to remember!) For these reasons I’ve created Adoption Counseling 101. Between now and the next time you come to MDAS to volunteer please read this document thoroughly (you can even bring it with you if you like).

Adopter Enters the Adoption/Kennel Area:
As soon as you see someone new walk through the double doors to adoptions or walking around looking lost or confused, greet them. “Welcome! Is this your 1st ti…

Copy of my letter to Mayor Gimenez on axing the No Kill Miami Initiative

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Honorable Mayor Gimenez:
It was awe-inspiring to see our city come together confident in consensus to save innocent lives. Miami residents overwhelmingly were in favor of giving an average of $10 per every $100,000 in property tax value to end pet euthanasia in this city. -A beautiful and necessary change for Miami pets was finally within reach. We the citizens voted, volunteered, raised money and we stuck by the idea of a No Kill Miami for MONTH after MONTH.  We didn't stop paying attention or stop caring... ever. We were steadfast in our commitment to see this through.  We missed work to attend commissioner hearings, we shared on social media sites, we prayed, we did everything in our power to assure Miami would become No Kill. The ASPCA, one of the largest nationwide-animal-welfare organizations, was equally supportive and eager to see Miami implement this change in law. There was positive buzz about this becoming a 'model for the rest of the country.' Wow. -We were so …