There was a time in my life that I worked in property management. It was a part-time job that allowed me to pursue my writing and photography.
It was a good job with a couple of very troubling aspects to it. One of them was the number of pets that were abandoned each month.
The property I managed had a high turn-over rate. Some individuals were in the military and had received transfer orders, there were families that were moving to other states, and people who thought that cute little puppy would not grow to be so big.
In the end, a lot of these animals, dogs and cats, were left behind, or simply dumped off somewhere. It was sad.
I began remembering all of this when I was talking to a friend of mine in Oregon. She told me that half of her complex emptied due to families being transferred to other parts of the country or world. Within the space of a couple of weeks, she had seventy-two dogs, and eleven cats that were left behind – more than a few left in the apartment unit with no food or water!
Nationally there are about 7.6 million pets that enter animal shelters each year. Of that number, almost 2.7 million of them are put down.
That is a staggering number.
In El Paso, the El Paso Humane Society is working with groups like MuttLove Dog Rescue in hopes of making El Paso’s shelter a no-kill animal shelter.
I recently sat down with Mary Mackay, the Vice President of MuttLove and Ramon Herrera of Animal Services.
“MuttLove Dog Rescue,” says Mary, “what we try to do is rescue as many dogs as we can to try to help El Paso get to no kill.”
To be considered a no-kill animal shelter they must have a 90%+ live release rate. What this means is that 90% of all the animals that come into the shelter are either reunited with the families that lost them or are found new homes.
“We pull out some of the really hard medical cases that they would otherwise have to put down,” says Mary.
They way MuttLove works is very simple. They take in dogs, for the most part from Animal Services. Their owners may surrender others or come from the Sheriff’s Office.
“When we get them from animal services,” said Mary, “they usually call us or send us a text message begging us to take a dog.” These are dogs that need serious medical care, like Ludwik.
Ludwik is a pit bull that was hit by a car. His injuries are so severe that he will not have the use of one front and one back leg. Were it not for Animal Services calling MuttLove Dog Rescue; he would have been put down without a second chance at life.
“A lot of times,” Mary says, talking of the dogs they do take in, “will spend a couple of days hospitalized before we even have a chance to do anything else with them.”
From there, they are taken from the vet, placed into foster care and nursed back to health. Once the dog is healthy and ready, they then begin to find a home for the dog they took in.
“When you have a community where dogs are just put down, wandering the streets, people don’t care, it gives the community a different attitude,” said Mary Mackay of MuttLove. “But when we start taking better care of the stray dogs, when people start taking better care of their dogs, and the community as a whole becomes a stronger community.”
“MuttLove is one of the many rescues that we have here in town,” says Ramon Herrera of Animal Services. “MuttLove is a little bit specific of what they like to transfer out of our shelter. They don’t shy away from some of the difficult cases: those animals that might be hit by a car may have to have a leg amputated. Or, an animal that may be recovering from something very curable like parvo.”
Ramon said that if it were not for MuttLove, many the animals they have pulled from the shelter would have made their euthanasia list. He does speak highly of what MuttLove has done for them, the community and animals across the El Paso.
This is where MuttLove Dog Rescue needs the communities help. It’s not easy, rescuing some of these animals. Many of them do need medical attention, and MuttLove pays for those services.
“We are kind of in debt right now, with the vet,” says Mary of MuttLove. “We’ve pretty much almost completely stop intake until we get that straightened out. We still have a lot of medical expenses for the dogs we have not, so it never stops.”
What MuttLove is seeking is anyone who can help them with fundraising. Someone to help coordinate the inns and outs of what it takes to raise the $12,000 needed to get out of debt and begin giving that second chance to animals that would otherwise be put down.
Mary Mackay said there are other ways you can help MuttLove Dog Rescue. If you are willing to foster a dog in need, you are asked to send them a message via Facebook or call them at 915-308-4364. You can also choose to donate to them directly via PayPal.
Another option to help support them is to buy Scentsy. Nancy Gomez, of El Paso’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore, is giving up to 40% of each item sold directly to MuttLove Dog Rescue.
Why not take a moment and help MuttLove out? Foster a dog in need, make a direct donation, or purchase a product that will help support them and their work.
Connect with MuttLove on Facebook or on their webpage.
Do you have a story you would like to share? Let me know, as I would love to tell it. You can reach me by calling/texting 915-201-0918. You can also email me at Steven@StillGoingSomewhere.com.