Monday, October 24, 2011

CLOSE TO HOME ANIMAL Kathryn A. Gainard of A Dying Art Co.

    Res.cue: verb   \’res-(,)kyu\
    Transitive verb
    To free from confinement, danger, or evil: save and deliver

    A simple enough concept… to save and deliver from danger. Or at least, it should be. Upon getting to know some of the founders of the Close to Home Animal Rescue, I realize that it’s not as simple as it should be.

    Founded in 2010 by Amy Quinlan, Katie Sojka, Rose Ann Hack & Krista Milford, the rescue was thrust into the almost debilitating surge of homeless animals in Northeast Ohio. The basis for the rescue is simple: an all foster, all volunteer network of people dedicated to saving the abused, neglected and abandoned animals of the area. And the name, Close to Home Animal Rescue, encompasses those ideals. Not only meaning that it works hard to help the local animal need, but also that their adoptable pets are “close to finding their forever home.”
    They tirelessly work with the local pounds, trying to find foster houses for those pets on the short list to euthanasia. A sad and harrowing plight, as the need is far out-weighed by the amount of fosters and rescues.
    They also offer a unique Senior to Senior program that allows senior citizens the chance to adopt older pets at a discounted rate. Many older pets wait so long to find a home and this really helps with that dilemma as seniors are more inclined to want a pet that’s more docile and easy to manage.
    They fight an uphill battle, along with the other rescues across the world. It’s a silent struggle for the most part as animal abuse and neglect is still put on the backburner in most people’s minds. Luckily, they took some time out and answered some questions for me in the hopes we can educate even more people and share the perspective of a rescue worker.
What made you decide to start or be involved in a non-profit rescue shelter?
    AQ: I wanted to see a rescue that represented all different types/breeds/sizes of dogs. It was clear that there were many breed-specific rescues. Also my hope was to have a rescue that had a place for senior dogs.
    RH: After working as chief deputy dog warden in my county, I felt the need to keep my sanity by involving myself in the “happy ending” part of animal welfare.
    KS: There can never be too many rescues. Right? It has been a lot of work and is still very rewarding at the same time.
What do you think is the major issue facing shelters and rescues?
    AQ: The lack of laws. Even if we had enough space or funds, without mandatory spay/neuter and without stricter abuse penalties there are too many waiting to come in.      
    RH: Wow! So many issues… it’s not just rescues and shelters. There are major issues throughout the legal system (lack of laws, lenient laws, no basic guidelines pertaining to rescues/shelters,) ignorance from the public (regarding spay/neutering… and simply ignorance in general.) Rescues and shelters not working together by allowing personal issues to take precedent over animal welfare…
    KS: Overcrowding! More spaying and neutering must take place.
What is a major misconception about rescues and shelters that you feel hinders what you can or should be able to do and get accomplished?
    AQ: Definitely that the general public does not realize that vets do not “donate their time.” They charge rescue organizations anywhere from 10% to 30% off depending upon the service but that is still a great deal of money when you couple it with our gas, food, monthly flea and heartworm preventative. Breaking even is the best you can for with 80% of your dogs and that barely helps with our senior to senior program or the injured and sick.
    RH: One misconception is that the rescue will take any and all animals in need. If we only had the resources to do just that!
    KS: Some people think they should just get a dog for free. Adoption fees are “too high” for a fully vetted animal. I’m not sure if they think the vets take care of the animals at no charge.
Do you think awareness is becoming more prevalent or is ignorance still bliss when it comes to animal abuse and rights?
    AQ: I definitely feel awareness winning on this one. It seems our generation in the ages of 30-50 are much much more aware and the older crowd is more difficult and/or slow to come around. I see more and more families becoming involved teaching their children compassion!
    RH: It seems to me that awareness is more prevalent simply because I surround myself with a population that feels the same way I do concerning animal abuse and rights. However, when I (painstakingly) wander outside of my group of friends I find that people are more comfortable with the “ignorance is bliss” theory. They would much rather believe that someone else is fixing the problem then face the fact that these things are occurring, in many instances, right in their own backyard.
    KS: Both! Some want to know and learn, while others don’t want to know the truth of what is happening out there.
Lastly, if you could impress one thing upon the populace about animal rights, abuse and welfare, what would it be?
    AQ: Nothing is going to change until the laws do. You can be a part of the change. You should be a part of the change. If we can stop animal abuse we have a great chance of stopping abuse of spouses, children and all living things. Many studies show that animals are the first to be “tortured” and individuals escalate such behavior eventually to humans. If it is not enough to you that animals are being abused then take it a step further and think about your Mom, Dad, son, wife, or brother…
    RH: I would impress the fact that people should treat their pets as they would their children… unfortunately, for many children and pets that is exactly how they treat them. I have witnessed first-hand that we live in a very sad society.
    KS: Not to turn a blind eye. Don’t think that if you can’t foster you can’t help an animal in need. Educating the public is helping an animal. Doing what you can in a way that you can is better than nothing. The innocent need you in whatever capacity you can.
To learn more about Close to Home Animal Rescue or to find your next fur-baby visit

Article written by Kate of ADyingArtCo. on ArtFire where you can find many of Kate's creative projects for people and pets, as well as at her website: Kate is a very active volunteer with the Crafting for Animals Guild and uses her talents generously to help the guild in every way she possibly can.

Kate is one of many members participating in the coupon week now (from 10/23 through 10/29) to help raise funds for the Close to Home Animal Rescue, the spotlight charity for CFA Guild during October in honor of National Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month. Read all about the promotion HERE or the box below, and get the coupon code so you can shop with Kate and the other guild artisans during this week.

Use coupon code 10CTH-CFA at participating stores to help Close to Home Animal Rescue


Creative Critters said...

This is such a wonderful article I had to share it on my blog as well (with full credit given to Kate, of course). CTH is doing a wonderful thing by finding these poor animals forever homes, especially the hard to place ones. I hope we're able to help the shelter and raise some much needed funds this week!

Debra at Sleepy Cat Designs said...

What a great interview article! So nice to hear from the volunteer/staff of Close to Home and learn more about their goals, concerns, and hopes. There are so many shelters working hard to rescue, care for, and find homes for hundreds of needy animals. Maybe one day we will have no more homeless pets as a result of education, awareness, and continued hard work on the part of all the people out there like Amy, Katie, Rose Ann, Krista, and Kate (many of whom are in our guild too). Thank you all for taking the time to open your hearts to us at CFA. We really want to help raise some money for CTH this week with our coupon promotion! Keep up the fantastic work you all are doing.

Kanweienea Kreations said...

Very well written article and fantastic interview. I also hope we are able to raise some money for this rescue this week. Keep up the good work!