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Pet rescue is not a science
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Editor, Julee Christian’s letter, which was published the week of June 22, did not state the facts. Liberty County Animal Control does not manage the adoption of death-row dogs and cats and the Craigs List ad she read was not placed by Liberty County Animal Control.
The adoptions are being held by New Beginnings Animal Rescue, an incorporated and licensed animal rescue with pending non-profit status. The group consists of volunteers. It does not receive grants or funds from the county or anyone else, outside of an occasional donation. A lot of the money spent on these animals comes directly out of the pockets of the volunteers. We make do with what we have and that is not much. We are just as appalled at the conditions of the facility and the fact that no vetting is available, but unfortunately, county leaders do not award a large budget to this facility, which seems to always be last on the list for improvements.
Christian speaks of taxpayer money in her letter, but unfortunately I have to state that not much of it is going toward the animals that are so carelessly being discarded and end up in an inadequate facility where they dwell until euthanized or, if lucky, they are adopted.
Julee Christian also wrote, “The animals have not been vet checked and cannot be returned to animal control,” yet she states that “she had a certain expectation that the animals offered for adoption are stable and/or viable if they are being offered for adoption.” The volunteer who was helping Julee Christian with the adoption that day saw exactly what she saw – kittens that appeared to be healthy but that does not guarantee they are. Thus, the warning regarding the fact that we can’t guarantee their health. Julee Christian was asked to complete an adoption contract, which states the following:
“I clearly understand that I am not adopting from Liberty County Animal Control; therefore, I cannot ‘return’ the pet. I understand that once the contract has been signed, I am the owner of the bet and would have to pay a euthanasia fee to surrender the pet to Animal Control...
“Please note that many of the animals we receive are strays/surrenders and we cannot guarantee their current and/or future health...”
I hope this clears up any misunderstandings. Letters to the editor such as the one from Julee Christian only achieve negative outcomes, i.e. less adopters for dogs and cats who need our help and are longing for good homes. Yes, illnesses are possible when so many animals are held in such a confined space without vetting and in an old, unsanitary facility, but they are a small evil compared to the many healthy animals that leave the facility for a life of happiness.
Statistics show that New Beginnings Animal Rescue saved over 900 dogs and cats in 2008. Were it not for this rescue, most of those animals would have been killed. Only a handfull of the animals adopted out were seriously ill and died. In all prior cases but one, the adopters did not blame New Beginnings for the sad outcome.
To conclude, I am very sorry that one of the kittens Julee Christian adopted was ill with coccidia (an intestinal parasite), and caused her emotional and financial strain. However, going public by making an entire rescue effort look like a shady operation with volunteers who knowingly mislead the public, is not the answer and will not make the problem go away. The solution is to offer Animal Control a new facility and a vet who will tend to those in need for medical care and for initial vetting. That is where the problem lies, not with the hard-working volunteers who vowed to take on a heartbreaking and emotionally draining task that most don’t even want to hear about.

Petra Brooks, President
New Beginnings Animal Rescue
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