Saturday, April 23, 2011

Promote the Petition! Save the Lives of Pets in Georgia!

As you may already know, the SE Pet Rescue Railroad  (google search: SEPRR)  has been hard at work gathering signatures, information, and ideas to promote a petition that proposes several changes and reforms to Georgia's current Georgia Animal Protection Act

We need your help. Without your active participation, there will be no end in sight.  

1- Please review the petition.   Even if you disagree with a few points, please sign it anyway, and then email us your suggested changes. This is not a final draft. It is NOT a law that is ready to be signed. It is a demonstration of the interest by the public in widespread, deep-reaching reform of the current system.

This is a work in progress. The right answers will come forward the more you participate! 

2- Please share the links below as status updates, text sms messages, or even on Twitter (be sure to RT@seprr posts!) 
Reform Companion Animal Laws - Please Sign & Share this Petition:  Please Share the word on Twitter:
RT @seprr support laws in #GA to END euthanizing animals   #petrescue #gapolitics

3- HARDCOPY! Hit the streets with it! 
Print out and take a copy of the petition to your rescue events such as fundraisers and adoption events!

Here is why:

Georgia, similar to many other states, kills up to 300,000 animals a year. We invest between $125,000,000 to $140,000,000 annually from property, state, and local taxes into the animal control operations in each county.  129 of 159 counties have animal control. The other 30 counties are not in compliance with Georgia laws requiring animal control services in each county. 

Even if an animal control adopts humane operational policies such as the No Kill Nation model, this still will not end the underlying source of the problem, overpopulation and poor animal husbandry.  While Animal Husbandry is an issue that depends upon education, and given that Georgia is 49th in Students Graduating from High School (Morgan Quitno Education State Rankings 2005-2006), we have a long road to improve the issues driven by lack of education and public awareness. It is a necessary component, but will not have any measurable results. Given the culture of the state's house and senate and budget conditions, any reform must have clear accountability and demonstrable returns on the taxpayer investment. 

A Transparent and Sustainable Business Plan to Save Georgia's Pets
A Three year period of Free Spay and Neuter offered Statewide would directly and immediately impact the underlying problem, and would generate tax savings within 2 years that double the annual investment required, and those savings would increase and remain in place permanently.
Consider that when a No Kill shelter is full, where does the next animal go? They are sent to the animal control down the street, the "kill shelter".  Atlanta Humane Society regularly turns away animals. Call and ask about their policy. Yet, 1.6 miles away, Fulton County Animal Control euthanizes as many as 3,000 animals a year at tax payer expense. 

To be fair, Fulton County, thanks to the Low Cost Spay Neuter programs made available by the efforts of the Barking Hound Village Foundation, have reduced it's kill rate to 1/3 the rate of neighboring Metro Atlanta shelters, and represent an enormous success even while killing as much as 3,000 a year. It's all relative. Fulton County's success is measured in real terms by a 60-70% reduction of Euthanasia over a 3 year period versus other regional animal control services. They are true "Rock Stars" when compared to many other animal control services. Yet, even their program can not succeed when neighboring areas do not have accessible programs for neutering and education. Their problems will always spillover into Fulton County, hence the numbers remain to be dealt with, tragically.

Our petition calls for several reforms, the most important is a statewide, three year long FREE Spay and neuter program. We also call for a statewide database to track the numbers so we can prove the sustainable success of the model. The database is already designed by another activist who serves in the current Dept of Ag administration as an advisor. It may be launched within 12 months!  Without the presence of a database, our spay/neuter program can not be launched, since there will be no way to measure success. Ultimately, the program will be doomed to failure since we will not be able to prove we made a difference saving animals or saved one penny of tax money. The database project is crucial, and must go forward. The good news, that project is relatively straightforward and is internal to the Dept of Agriculture. No lobbying required! 

Consolidate Regulation, Management and Enforcement
We call for a centralization of animal control services and enforcement, managed statewide. This will increase the quality of enforcement, reduce redundancies such as shelters that do not share capacity with one another, head count and staff can enjoy more structured learning and policy creation, and the public can access the entire shelter network via one portal, enabling better visibility of the entire market of adoptable animals. 

Spay and Neuter 
Free or inexpensive access to spay and neuter procedures will go a long distance to reducing the numbers of viable animals at risks in shelters. A variable license fee based upon spay/neuter status may provide additional incentive for compliance. Animals given up as a direct result of the fee could be given special status so they would not die in a shelter as a result of their owner's decision. Puppy Mills could be easily identified. Pure-bred pups would be much more valuable in a market where there is no longer a moral choice to adopt and rescue a shelter dog from Death Row versus buying a Pure Bred. The current situation is so bad that that if you did want a Pure Bred, you could visit and in a matter of a few days find a large selection of practically any breed you may want, and all of them are either currently in rescue or still on Death Row. Imagine what this must do to the value of the puppies that are being intentionally bred for sale? Simple ECON101.

A statewide system for spay and neuter, in conjunction with a uniform animal shelter system, will  save animals, improves the conditions in shelters, and improves the chances of the animal being re-homed or safely returned to it's owners who may still be looking for their lost pet. We could extend hold periods indefinitely and an animal found in one location could be sheltered in another location, yet still be visible to the owner looking for their pet via the internet.  

Even if Constituents Don't Care about Animal Welfare...
There are those who do not care about animals saying "We should spend tax money on people first!". Taxpayers in Georgia ALREADY spend $140million annually  on this deplorable and tragic system The 3 year spay/neuter program alone  will save an enormous amounts of expenses. The estimates are that a  $25 million annual investment  in each of the first three years will generate an ongoing annual initial return on investment of $56 million by the 24th month. That amounts to $87 million is savings by the end of the 3rd year. 

How is this possible? 40% of the population will simply not be bred, so they will not be in the system to be managed and/or euthanized. 40% of $140m = $56m. Given that this will have a lasting effect, the savings will actually go up over a given period of time,so by the 4th or 5th year, we could enjoy a savings as high as $80-$90m annually. 

Then we could afford to pave roads, pay our police, teachers, and firefighters what they deserve, and perhaps even keep Hope Scholarships available for our kids.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sharing Rescue Alerts in Email and Social Media

Please review this article and share it!

RT @seprr Sharing Rescue Alerts in Email & Social Media #petrescue

Hopefully, this information will better empower Rescue  volunteers and promoters to increase the reach and effectiveness of your Rescue Alert Notices and  Fundraising Event announcements

File Sizes of Photos & Attachments:
A common mistake MOST rescuers make is sending files that are too large via email. The maximum TOTAL size of attachments for any email should not exceed 300k.  Once emails exceed 1mb they become problematic to share.

Ones with fliers often can not be seen at all, for a variety of reasons. Always include the basic meeting/event information in TEXT format in addition to the gorgeous fliers!

If people want to share it to help you, anyone using a smart phone or MS Outlook will be silently grumbling as they watch the Windows Blue Wheel of death grind away, or the download icon on their phones slowly tick away the minutes. If they were not on unlimited data, they would really not be happy campers.

At Ga Perimeter College, I teach my students how to fix image file sizes: one of the articles I recommend to them is here. The students have to put together PowerPoint presentations to present the results of their research in the course. Large, file-sized photos dramatically increase the size of the PowerPoint. Large PowerPoint files are difficult to share with others, in the same way large photos are difficult to share.
I also recommend to them SlideShare to post their PowerPoints online for easy sharing.

Moral of the Story: Tweets are NOT just for Twitter.

You can greatly increase your reach if you adopt the use social media channels. This article provides a thorough walk thru of how to take a basic email such as this, and to get it out to 10's of thousands of people in Social Media.

Here is a sample of one I put together today for one of our transport coordinators.

It has all the images (small file sizes), links, info, contacts, and a tweet that anyone can share anywhere, with anyone, in any social media channel, chat status, sms text, email, smoke signals, the back of a napkin.. Boom. Done and Done.

You can also take that Tweet and post it to relevant places, such as in the case of Floyd County Animal Control, the Darlington School and Berry College Alumni Fan Pages, Belk Stores of Rome, etc etc etc. Put it right in front of the public. Generate awareness. Share the tweets onto Fan Pages, Blog Comment fields, etc.
To set up your own Rescue Transport or Alert, and to promote it using Social Media and Email networks please review the information at the link in the following "Tweet":

RT @seprr How to Post a Rescue Alert on SEPRR & Social Media: #petrescue #gapolitics

Until May 13th, I have access to use my computer classroom for training rescuers. free. I am on campus Fridays, teaching classes from 7am-2:30pm. If you can coordinate 5 or more volunteers to show up for a training, we can do a 2-3 hour session. Please submit specific topic areas and questions at least 1-2 weeks in advance of the scheduled date so the course will be more relevant. If you have a small, one-off question,  I have some time in the morning from 9am-9:45am and after 2:30pm, and access to an entire big screen projector equipped computer lab. Come on by. (Location:CE1190)

EMAIL LIST  Please DO join SEPRR's Rescue Alert Email list.

Review the posting guidelines on the home page. (SEPRR's email list)

Southeast USA/GA based members should also join the following lists:
Georgia Animal Rescue High Volume, Set your preferences to Daily or Weekly Digests.
SPOT Society High Volume, Set your preferences to Daily or Weekly Digests.

SEPRR will occasionally crosspost. However, if a Crossposter will not join the SEPRR mail list, and expects us to manually post it for them, we will not do so after the first few messages unless there is discussion about the arrangement and an agreement in place. Recipients often construe SEPRR as the source, instead of being the crossposter. When there are errors and issues, they pursue SEPRR, not the original sender. 

I hope rescuers found this useful.

**CANCELS TONIGHT** Memphis TN to New Windsor NY T'port Thurs updt: Fri/Sat April 22/23 ~ Left Behind Labbies - 5 LEGS BY 10PM TONIGHT

2 Chocolate Labs need their Rescue Ride from Memphis to New York this weekend.

Need Drivers from Greenville TN to Harrisbirg PA BY 10PM TONIGHT

Share on The Twitter

The driving segments below need drivers! 
Leg 7 ~ Greeneville, TN to Bristol, TN (I81)
51 miles ~ 0 h 50 min

3:20 pm ~ 4:10 pm


Leg 8 ~ Bristol, TN to Wytheville, VA
73 miles ~ 1 h 05 min

4:20 pm ~ 5:25 pm


Leg 9 ~ Wytheville, VA to Roanoke, VA
73 miles ~ 1 h 05 min

5:35 pm ~ 6:40 pm


Leg 13 ~ Hagerstown, MD to Harrisburg, PA
77 miles ~ 1 h 25 min

12:25 pm ~ 1:50 pm


FYI: For those new to rescue transport, these transport  functions the same way as a relay race. Each drive commits to driving a segment, usually 50-100 miles, and then hands off the "passengers" to the next driver just like handing off a baton. In this way, a transport can take rescues thousands of miles  and provides a fun way for people to become involved in the Companion Animal Rescue Movement.

To set up your own RescueTransport or Alert, and to promote it using Social Media and Email networks please review the information at the link in the following "Tweet":

RT @seprr How to Post a Rescue Alert on SEPRR & Social Media: #petrescue #gapolitics

Original Post sent by Denise Santoro:

*this pair was left behind by a transport ~ need to move them*
Friday/Saturday April 22/23, 2011
Memphis/Jackson, TN to New Windsor, NY
Sampson and the pup
Crossposting is greatly appreciated ~~ please do NOT post on Craigslist!!
*Passenger info below*

All legs are F~L~E~X~I~B~L~E!  10 minutes added to each leg for transfer and potty breaks. All legs will be monitored.  I'd hate to miss your offer to help, so please EMAIL ME DIRECTLY AT THE EMAIL BELOW if you are able to assist. DO NOT RESPOND TO THE LIST or I may never see your offer to help!  If you would like to volunteer only as BACKUP if the leg doesn't fill, please indicate clearly on the email that you are volunteering only for BACKUP. We also appreciate offers for BACKUP if a leg is filled should an emergency occur.


Please return leg being offered along with the following information (if you have driven for me previously, only update changed items):
Martha Chandler ~ momof4mutts64@yahoo (.com)*
*email only as I work full time
*Please utilize the auto response I have on my email for guidance*


Friday April 22 (all times CDT):
Leg 1 ~ Memphis, TN to Jackson, TN (I40)
84 miles ~ 1 h 20 min
7:00 am ~ 8:00 am

Leg 2 ~ Jackson, TN to Hurricane Mills, TN (I40)
63 miles ~ 0 h 55 min
8:10 am ~ 9:05 am

Leg 3 ~ Hurricane Mills, TN to Nashville, TN (I40)
78 miles ~ 1 h 10 min
9:05 am ~ 10:15 am

Leg 4 ~ Nashville, TN to Monterey, TN (I40)
90 miles ~ 1 h 20 min
10:15 am ~ 11:35 am

Leg 5 ~ Monterey, TN to Knoxville, TN (I40)
*time change ~ one hour ahead*
89 miles ~ 1 h 25 min
11:35 am ~ 1:00 pm **CDT**
12:35 pm ~ 2:00 pm **EDT**
Filled by Julie ~ thanks!

Leg 6 ~ Knoxville, TN to Greeneville, TN (I81)
65 miles ~ 1 h 00 min
2:10 pm ~ 3:10 pm
Filled by Bob ~ thanks!

Leg 7 ~ Greeneville, TN to Bristol, TN (I81)
51 miles ~ 0 h 50 min
3:20 pm ~ 4:10 pm

Leg 8 ~ Bristol, TN to Wytheville, VA (I81)
73 miles ~ 1 h 05 min
4:20 pm ~ 5:25 pm

Leg 9 ~ Wytheville, VA to Roanoke, VA (I81)
73 miles ~ 1 h 05 min
5:35 pm ~ 6:40 pm


Saturday April 23 (all times EDT):
Leg 10 ~ Roanoke, VA to Staunton, VA (I81)
88 miles ~ 1 h 30 min
8:00 am ~ 9:30 am

Leg 11 ~ Staunton, VA to Strasburg, VA (I81)
79 miles ~ 1 h 25 min
9:40 am ~ 11:05 am
Filled by Vanessa ~ thanks!

Leg 12 ~ Strasburg, VA to Hagerstown, MD (I81)
63 miles ~ 1 h 00 min
11:15 am ~ 12:15 pm
Filled by Edith ~ thanks!

Leg 13 ~ Hagerstown, MD to Harrisburg, PA (I81)
77 miles ~ 1 h 25 min
12:25 pm ~ 1:50 pm

Leg 14 ~ Harrisburg, PA to Allentown, PA (I78)
82 miles ~ 1 hr 30 min
2:00 pm ~ 3:30 pm
Filled by Don ~ thanks!

Leg 15 ~ Allentown, PA to Morristown, NJ (I78/I287)
71 miles ~ 1 h 20 min
3:40 pm ~ 5:00 pm
Filled by Kathy ~ thanks!

Leg 16 ~ Morristown, NJ to Newburgh, NY (I287/I87)
Filled by receiver ~ thanks!

*Passenger info*
Passenger 1:  Sampson
Breed: Chocolate Lab
Age: 9 yrs
Gender: Male
Size/Weight: 60 lbs
Spayed/Neutered: Will be done at rescue
General temperament: Sweet, very gentle and calm, loves to ride in the car
Any Special Needs:  None known
Mandatory Items Provided:   Vet records, leash, collar and Health Certificate
Crate: Optional, not provided                       
Reason for transport: Kill facility to rescue (avoided euth by 10 minutes!)
Vaccines: UTD

Passenger 2:  The Pup
Breed: Chocolate Lab
Age: 2.5 yrs
Gender: Male
Size/Weight: 50 lbs
Spayed/Neutered: Will be done at rescue
General temperament: Very sweet, put more active than Sampson
Any Special Needs:  None known
Mandatory Items Provided:   Vet records, leash, collar and Health Certificate
Crate: Optional, not provided                       
Reason for transport: Kill facility to rescue (avoided euth by 10 minutes!)
Vaccines: UTD

Sending Temp Foster:
Lauren ~ laurenhyoakum@gmail (.com)
Memphis, TN
Receiving Rescue:
Hudson Valley SPCA
Joannie ~ kayjonnie@aol (.com)
New Windsor, NY