Yes, we are all guilty of not doing enough and not

Embracing changes that could benefit the animals.

Co-authored by Randy Warner and Mary Ultz, Humane Educator City of Huntsville

 To answer the question, I would say an emphatic YES!! There is no other group of people who devote more time, effort, compassion or personal finances into a job or hobby than do most rescuers.  But, educating just one family at a time, as opposed to 50 families at a time is obviously not as productive.  And lets face it.  Trying to convince an adult to change their ways of handling and caring for their pets is about as successful as convincing your spouse you are ‘right’ during an argument.

Rescuers are concerned with education, they just don’t know it.   

Should Rescuers be considered humane educators as well?

They ARE! Sometimes they just don’t know it. They speak from the front lines of the dog and cat rescue battles. Rescuers have the most, as well as the best, information regarding pets and their unique stories, along with the reasons why....

 Rescue is a passion-driven field.  Logic and business sense are frequently put on hold because some little angel needs some extra care today. I mean, it's not like your profit margins are going to be factored by investors on Monday, right?

Now, I'm quite sure that accomplishing an education effort takes different strategies than what most of the public assumes, but I believe it can be done. Not everyone will agree, not everyone will wish to participate, but at the very least, nearly everyone can read this and think about it.

 From 1985 ‘til now I’ve done rescue primarily for Dalmatians—and others when needed.  I know how difficult it is, how expensive it is, to what extent you can be drawn into an effort that never seems to end.                                    

It's the ''never seems to end'' part that I want to ask YOU about. I'm addressing this to all those who devote their valuable and wonderful time and assets toward saving dogs' lives, the rescuer.  I have a challenge for you…

 I’d like to suggest that you give 20% of your time, efforts and money to getting a strong and substantial humane education program into your area schools.  I do not mean to infer that your present efforts are not necessary or important.  I know it is crucial to so many animals’ lives to continue what you’re doing.

 But, that being said, if you ONLY do rescue, you are simply making it easier for those who are borderline about keeping their pets, and you are also assuring that your children’s generation and your grandchildren’s generation will be forced to do the same level of rescue as you do nowYou must do everything you can to educate this younger group of people before they head down the very same path as their parents.

Each and every one of you has the knowledge, experience, compassion and everything else needed to make a HUGE difference in the next generation!!! You can't do it by saying  "I don't have time" or offering other excuses.  Spending 100% of your available time rescuing simply puts all future dogs in jeopardy, because you did NOT do enough to resolve the underlying problems for the future.  You will continue to clean up the mess after yesterday’s parade. I would hope that you would rather see the front of the horse once in a while.

 If you are willing to work toward this momentous effort, I don’t want you to be overwhelmed.  Try 5% per year for humane education over the next five years and increase accordingly.  Some of you are not comfortable as public speakers.  If that is the case, consider recruiting a friend or neighbor who supports your efforts and wants to do more.  Many schools (even in this economy) have ''speaker'' funds and will write you a check for $100 as you leave. You could bring in as much as $500/week for 5 hours’ work.  We all know how helpful money is in our pocket.  Why not earn money for our rescue endeavors while we spread the message to make rescue unnecessary?  As a rescuer, you can send information to schools of your choice and follow up to see which class got that information.

 What if you spent only one hour a weekend handing out information to the public?  Minimal cost for copies, countless contacts to pet owners!

 If you have a website, place some information there as well. One more link about the overpopulation and how people can help end it will not take too much effort, but will save lives in the end!  Everything I have on my site is for public use. The more people that check out my site, the more their awareness and information levels increase, thus they act more responsibly. If you don’t have the time for another page, PUT A LINK TO MY PAGE ON YOUR PAGE! Everything on my site will resound loudly in the ears of anyone who has helped with rescue and listening to the idiots make up excuses for these poor innocent pets.

 Some principals tell me that I’m not needed at their school, because most of their students already have pets.  WELL, A BIG STUPID DUH TO THEM!!  But once I’m invited into a school, you would not believe the impact that my 45-minute program has on these young minds.  I take all five of my dogs: 2 dals, (one deaf) a coyote, a pit bull and a beagle-basset mix. My presentation is blunt, direct, fun, AND VERY INFORMATIVE.  I barely mention what they think they'll hear. When we depart, each face looks so much different from when we first arrived. It’s amazing.  The kids are motivated to form a humane education club or at least take on a year long project to accomplish something to help animals.  Amazingly, teachers and staff tell me how much even they learned and then thank me.

  You need to be well versed in supportive information to check all claims, suggestions and rules enforced in contracts. I'll bet every rescuer out there knows exactly what I'm talking about.

 I just hope that some of you see that we all have room for growth, change and expansion of our duties.  If we are creative, we can accomplish so much more.  If only 20% of the rescuers who read this decide to do SOMETHING, that would be over a thousand people.  Now, a thousand people visiting schools just 3 times a year is 3,000 MORE classrooms visited.  3,000 classrooms this year with 40 students each is 120,000 EDUCATED youth who will not likely need to services of rescuers or animal control agencies except for adoptions. Then, I've surpassed my goal considerably!! 
For all those who say  'we can't' for whatever reason, would you rather be part of the Rescue
Janitorial staff than the Engineering or Research Departments who will be a vital part of the solution?
When you pass on, can you guarantee that someone similar will step into your shoes and take over with the same fervor and compassion to save the dogs of tomorrow?? Wouldn't you like to try and save some of them NOW while you can?  With every good presentation you give, you are likely to save 10-50 dogs depending on the number of ears listening. And it only takes an hour and maybe $15.  (gas, 50 copies and lunch at McDonalds on the way home)


 I would love nothing more than NOT to do rescue because it is not necessary.  Until then, I will continue along my path of education for solution.   I choose to be pro-active to end overpopulation, not just re-active to current demands.

We also welcome any and all creative and successful projects you may be aware of to put on the site and share with others.


 I would love nothing more than NOT to do rescue because it is not necessary.  Until then, I will continue along my path of education for solution.  I choose to be pro-active to end overpopulation, not just re-active to current demands.

 “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale, 1794 –1865, American Orator and Statesman

Anyone interested in gaining materials for humane education, strategies for gaining access to schools (which will become the most challenging part of this) topics to discuss, whether to bring dogs along, etc. can email  You will be provided with any and all information we can offer to get your questions answered and help you successfully present these points and reach your goals.  No charge for any service.

We also welcome any and all creative and successful projects you may be aware of to put on the site and share with others.