A few months ago I posted about our newest family member, rescue Pit Bull, Ellie Rose. Today I am honored to present an interview with Kelly Stadler, one of the co-founders of the organization that saved her, Big Spring Second Chance Rescue.
Big Spring Second Chance Rescue was founded just this past summer. What brought about its creation?
Well, it’s funny. I always tried to be involved in some form or fashion of rescue and one night I was looking on FaceBook (FB) to see what was going on in Big Spring. I had asked last November or so if the Big Spring PD would get a Facebook page for the animals to get them more exposure. While everyone likes to bash the pound, it comes down to them being short staffed and simply not having the man power to do such things. I admit, it is about a full time job to post, field inquiries, and collect info and network the animals.
ANYWAY, I had stumbled onto a Lost N Found page for Howard County and this is Jewel’s page and she had a photo of dogs, “Knocking on Death’s Door.”I was just sick that nothing had changed out there and more wasn’t being done to “DO SOMETHING.” Jewel and I began talking via Facebook and then we spoke on the phone the following day. Mind you, as most rescuers know – we were texting on FB about 2 or 3 in the morning, hell bent on placing those dogs SOMEWHERE. She called and we began talking about how together we were going to get this done. It is hard for me most of the time because I am in Austin.
I told Jewel I would give her a $1,000 and wanted her to save what she could. We started getting coordinated and buying kennels and trying to get foster homes. That first week in action, we pulled 23 dogs. We have just tried to build and keep up momentum from then.
What is a typical day like rescuing animals?
BUSY! HAH! People don’t realize how busy it can be. As I am sitting here writing this, I took a minute to call a vet to bring two of my foster dogs in for their 2nd round of puppy shots and I couldn’t believe it is already 12:30! This morning I called the pound to get the “black list” and I try to get as much info on the kennels as I can – sometimes it is less, sometimes more. From there, I am working on coordinating a pull between Jewel and my stepmother; a dog that was scheduled for euthanasia this morning is going to my stepmother’s sister in San Angelo. Trying to coordinate his “pull” and transport. THEN I spoke with a foster about a vet bill that I still need to call and pay.
BSSCR rescue and future therapy dog
THEN I called American Airlines to schedule transport for a Pit Bull (Staffordshire Terrier if AA asks – they don’t transport Pit Bulls) to catch a ride to South Carolina to be a therapy and seizure alert dog for a 16 year old boy. Then I give that info to Jewel, who has to have him there tomorrow. THEN I created an album for our Facebook page to get the dogs up there that are scheduled for euthanasia tomorrow- 5 dogs, one of which I realize I don’t have a picture on – have to call pound back and ask for pic. I then call and pay the vet bill owed in Big Spring. Update my “funds spent” spreadsheet to find I am back to $2,500 in the hole. THEN I thought I would finally sit down and try to answer your questions. I want people to “get it” and be more involved. Rescuing animals is fostering, networking, making calls, going to the pound to get info or pictures . . . people should volunteer more in that regard.
How do you select the animals you take in?
Honestly, we try to take dogs that are in imminent danger of being euthanized and that are not other dog aggressive or human aggressive. We don’t do breed specifics. We try to save the ones in trouble. We prefer the healthy ones, but we have been known to rack up thousands in vet bills to save some sick ones!
We have battled Parvo, Tick Fever and Kennel Cough amongst other things that we have lost a battle or two to as well.
How has BSSCR impacted Big Spring during the past few months?
Our Ellie, rescued by BSSCR
I would like to think we have impacted Big Spring in a positive way with the first being “EDUCATION”–people need to realize they are the problem when they refuse to spay and neuter their pets. They don’t realize that while they may not see the problem in the pound, they are the cause of it if they don’t “fix” their animals.
I would also like to think we have opened up the world for people to realize how many awesome dogs are euthanized and that the City pound is not the problem. Everyone likes to sit back and blame the pound and say ugly things; it is not their fault to clean up everyone else’s mess. We have seen LITTERS of PUPPIES dumped overnight at the pound. I honestly do not think the public at large realized how many tiny pups are just dumped and in turn euthanized. We are raising awareness and that is an awesome thing.
Many people avoid shelter or rescue dogs because they have misconceptions. What would you like people to know about the animals you rescue?
I would like to know the misconceptions. My problem is, I have been in Austin too long where we are all about animal rescue. I often forget that not every city, town or resident has had the “fog lifted.”
Fact of the matter is this: rescue dogs are some of the most gentle, healthy and loyal companions you will EVER be lucky enough to find. They train easily, they are not aggressive, they are very wanting and deserving. If you want to pay thousands for an inbred dog that every other person has, or one that has been through the puppy mill (health issues alone with that are staggering), that is a sad choice. Rescue dogs are ONE OF A KIND. They are a true blessing. They are a rare find and they are amazing animals. I can’t imagine ever “buying” another dog . . . rescues only around this house.
I love this clip to explain how I feel about rescue dogs:
Caso: Territorio de Zaguates from GARNIER BBDO on Vimeo.
Here is another link about them – humans dwell on a past where a dog is ready for a bright future!
What should people looking to rescue consider when adopting a pet?
They should know they are saving a life first and foremost. If you can’t make the commitment and vow to love and care for that animal and if there is an inkling this poor animal will wind up in the same situation, go buy a stuffed animal. Every dog we adopt puts breeders behind and hopefully puts an end to that situation.
They should consider the long term commitments they are making to have a pet. They need to think about things that having a pet brings about: potty training (accidents will happen; think about how you will react and train), chewing (flip flop casualties are aplenty here . . . again, how will you react and train), medical needs (spay/neuter; annual vaccinations; Heartworm preventative). Many dogs require grooming. There are monetary responsibilities that also come with these guys: treats, toys, beds, food.
They need to think about what it takes to be a responsible pet owner and make sure they can commit to give this animal a home and a family (not just a backyard and occasional “pat on the head”).
What are the biggest challenges BSSCR faces?
Honestly – funds. There is never enough money or foster homes to get it all done. We eventually want to open a shelter. Anyone living in that area right now knows that land or anything for that matter is ridiculously expensive and we can barely cover vet bills. We need more steady donors. You don’t have to give $1,000 to make a difference. Pledge to give $5/Month. Or whatever you can. A steady stream of donors along with foster homes.
People don’t realize the backbone of a rescue are foster homes. For example, if I chose to keep, say the first 5 dogs I brought through my house, I would have not been able to save the other 30 we have brought through since we started. Since I am committed to saving as many as I can, my home is a forever foster home. I am able to save WAY more dogs doing that than keeping them all. Also, foster homes need to realize they play a much larger part than opening their home. They need to be able to send us pics and bios while socializing the animal as well as take their fosters to and from adoption clinics. Fosters are a RARE find right now.
What are your long term goals?
Long term goals is to open a shelter and get Big Spring set up with a spay/neuter program similar to what City of Austin has with Emancipet. To be having a conversation like this with no puppy mills, no dog fighting rings, no animal cruelty . . . RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS. Everyone spreading and raising awareness.
Aside from adopting, how can people help your organization?
Volunteering time and help at adoption clinics or helping the few fosters we have transport dogs to and from vets. There is so much more to do – Foster, Donate (Time or Money or Supplies). We need igloos for the upcoming winter months, we need a trailer to haul supplies to adoption events, we need bodies to water/walk/feed dogs while at adoption events. We are so short staffed it is not even funny. Even if you check our page and choose a dog to network and get into a rescue – there are so many way to GET INVOLVED!
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Spring-Animal-Rescue/476720355744802
Donation Site: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cbmHb/ab/61aIX1
How can people keep in touch with BSSCR for updates and events?
We are having an adoption event 10/26 at the Big Spring Tractor Supply: 1104 West I20 from 11-5. There will be a bake sale from 11-2 as well as a raffle for a chance to win gift certificates to My Favorite Place; 10 different Local Restaurants and Le Posh Pooch.
They can check our Facebook page – we usually keep it up to date on all things current. We will be hosting a dinner and silent auction at Hotel Settles on 12/14 and would love any donations for the silent auction.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-Spring-Animal-Rescue/476720355744802
Our website is www.bsscr.org
Our other Facebook page with adoptable dogs or to sponsor a dog is https://www.facebook.com/debtfreepets?ref=br_tf
Our donation site: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cbmHb/ab/61aIX1
Thanks so much to Kelly and Jewel for the wonderful work they have been doing. As Kelly shared, there are so many ways to get involved, whether you are local or not. Help save lives.