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By Tom Cushing

Pet Safety Net?

Uploaded: Apr 3, 2020

Originally posted this on Next Door, and got several good responses. Thought I’d try it here to a wider potential group of volunteers. NB: we live on the northern end of this distribution - if someone wanted to take clearinghouse responsibility for Dublin/Pleasanton/Livermore environs, kindly let me know! - TFC

On the wall in my office, there’s an old cartoon where the wife tells her writer’s-blocked husband, sitting glumly at a typewriter surrounded by a dozen canines: “Write about dogs!”

I have felt like that writer recently, wanting to do Something in our community, beyond hunkering down to avoid making the pandemic worse. I do know dogs, having fostered 150 of them over a decade, and having sampled an alternate career in the humane movement as Associate Director, Nevada Humane Society.

So, maybe what I can contribute should have something to do with canines (felines, too!).

Here’s the idea: I believe there’s a core group of folks who’d be willing to be called-upon to assist their neighbors when companion animals are put at-risk by the pandemic. That assistance could take a variety of forms – from an occasional walk to a sleep-over or an extended stay. The point is to develop a safety net – easing the family burdens of illness and improving the odds that Rover or Fifi won’t themselves become victims of this plague.

Crunch time is coming over the next month we’re told, and the best thing we can now do to help companion animals in the community - and those now in the shelters – is to avoid adding to those numbers. Shelter operators are starting to put that word-out. They will tell you that their first priority is keeping animals ‘out’ in the first place; conversely, killing-for-space is among the worst things they can be called upon to do. I’d expect to work closely with shelters and humane orgs.

There are inevitable issues and bugs to be worked-out, but I think the concept’s sound. So, if you are willing to consider being called-upon to assist your neighbors with animal issues, please email me - [email protected] - I will reply with a one-page attachment in MSWord – kindly fill it out and return it. Sue and I will be a clearinghouse ‘node’ for our neck o’ these woods. Join us?

I will follow this note with ways that persons in-need can contact us for assistance. Obviously, the best outcome would be if this is a fire drill and we never have to use it, but I prefer this extra measure of protection for our furriest family members.

Thanks for considering, helpers-out!