Cora and Dora
In our community are a number of people, mostly women, who rescue and foster dogs, trap them and have them innoculated and neutered, and seek out good homes for them. There are times when we know of so many needy dogs that we feel overwhelmed, and it's tempting to take the attitude of many of our friends, that it's hopeless, best to look the other way. Dog rescue can be discouraging: some are sick, injured or just not very pretty, some come pregnant or with litters of puppies, some show little promise of becoming socialized enough to fit into a home and family.
The only way to approach this enormous need without burning out is by taking it on "one dog at a time."
In summertime there is only a small core of norteamericanos and the population is mostly Mexican. Mention homeless street dogs to a Mexican, he'll either look a little fearful, or shake his head sadly and make some fatalistic remark to the effect that nothing can be done. But we have an organization here that specializes in raising funds to spay and neuter dogs and cats, with the goal of keeping the population manageable. SBPA has no animal shelter, doesn't arrange adoptions or rescue animals. But they are very good at what they do: providing certificates for free neutering to those who can't afford it for their pets, and for people who actively trap feral animals for that purpose. Many of them may end up back on the streets, but at least they will not reproduce. And the lucky ones will be fostered and possibly adopted.
As for the shelter where I volunteered, it lasted a scant four months before the principals involved split up and it was closed down. The dogs were wonderful, but the humans just couldn't get along. What's left are individuals who take in dogs and foster them, hoping to find them "forever homes." Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we end up keeping them, sometimes we think we've located good homes and the adopters change their minds.
CocoLast week one couple adopted Coco, a beautiful little female and were about to take her on vacation but found out she's having a litter in a week. Now they don't want her anymore, with or without her babies. A woman was fostering Sonia and found someone interested in adopting her. When the prospective owner came to see Sonia, the dog had escaped and is now roaming the streets again.
Still, we've come a long way from the bad old days in San Carlos, when the local police would go out and shoot any street dogs roaming free after the snowbirds left town.
This morning I started a Facebook page called "San Carlos Loves Dogs," for the purpose of featuring dogs in our community that are being fostered and are available for adoption. Will it make a difference? Maybe, if enough people know about it, and go back now and then to view the latest additions. We'll be focusing for now on dogs, though I can envision eventually a separate Facebook page called "San Carlos Loves Cats." Why not?