Archive for December, 2012|Monthly archive page

SAVRs are saviors for Hoosier animals

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Some 90 people enjoyed great food, great company, and great buys from the silent auction at the move to Act Rescue Rally Fundraiser dinner held at the Milano Inn on December 2. In so doing, they helped the small, all-volunteer rescue organizations — SAVRs — continue saving lives. One might say these supporters were saviors for the SAVRs, those volunteer groups that provide a lifeline for at-risk animals at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.

There are many animal welfare organizations competing for donor dollars. So what separates the SAVR supporter from those who donate to a high-profile organization that spends thousands promoting itself?


The appeal of SAVRs

• SAVRs don’t use donor dollars for expensive promotional material
or for service on refinancing bank debt.

• SAVRs are humble. While they are totally dedicated to the animals’ best interests, they make no claim to be “the leading voice for the welfare of animals.”

• SAVRs do not promote a misleading agenda. You won’t hear things like “With your support, we’ll put an end to unnecessary euthanasia in Indy — once and for all.” The use of euphemisms like “euthanasia” and “put down” are not a part of the part of these organizations’ marketing narrative.

• SAVRs don’t create more emotional distress for worried pet owners seeking to recover their lost animals. No SAVR would respond to someone trying to reclaim a lost dog by threatening to send that dog to a kill shelter.

• SAVRs don’t promote themselves with half-truths such as “We don’t put animals down for space — animals are only euthanized due to major medical concerns or severe behavior and aggression problems.”

Are conditions such as dry eye (resolved with twice-a-day eye medication), inflammatory gums (easily manageable with dental extractions and soft diet), or ringworm “major medical problems”? Why are reliable sources and colleagues reporting that animals with these conditions are being threatened with death at HSI? On October 3, 2011, an HSI officer was quoted on a local distribution list saying…

“We will need to euthanize these puppies today and I know you have sometimes had fosters that don’t mind ringworm. I posted with our foster homes and on facebook and didn’t get any takers. We are out of space to QT (quarantine).”

Wait! Stated on HSI website is…
“We don’t put animals down for space — animals are only euthanized due to major medical concerns or severe behavior and aggression problems.”

• SAVRs don’t keep talking about how much they do for the animals. They just do it.

Think before you give

Two emphatic guidelines for philanthropic animal lovers who are considering organizations to support should be “research” and “follow the money.” Large organizations with strong brand identity and a leadership skilled in fundraising get the general public’s attention. And so, like poorly informed voters at election time, donors often forget to do either. They simply give to the organization they’ve heard about. After all, this organization says “it’s all about the animals….”

But if concerned donors do their research and follow the money, they will find that donating to that small all-volunteer rescue organization offers the double benefit of helping at-risk animals while knowing that every dollar is being used wisely. The SAVRs use the donations they receive for the animals, not for debt management and self- promotion.

One of the strongest appeals of the SAVRs is their character. Leaders in any industry are judged by their integrity and their actions. Integrity is what you’ll find in the small, all-volunteer rescues.

One might also ask, Can a “humane” organization claim to be “the leading voice for the welfare of animals,” if it asserts “We don’t put animals down for space…” but threatens to do just that?

Can a “humane” organization claim that “animals are only euthanized due to major medical concerns…” and include in that category such trivial and easily treated disorders as ringworm, stomatitis and dry eye?

Can it? Yes, if honesty is not part of the equation.
Should it? You know the answer to that.

SAVRs lead by their honesty and actions, not by their words. This is what appeals to the discretionary donor — and what offers the greatest help for the animals.