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My Resolution for the New Year

Jackson County, Florida, is mostly rural. There aren’t many job opportunities for the approximately 47,000 residents. Drug addiction, particularly to methamphetamine, is a major concern. The median income for a family of four here is $36,404, and 23.70% of children live in poverty. (source: Wikipedia)

Many of the people who live here own pets. And many of those pets are not spayed or neutered.

I'm talking to you!

I don’t preach, but I do talk up spay/neuter and why it’s a healthy choice for pets. I even provide information on low-cost clinics in the area.

The problem is, those low-cost programs are at least an hour away for many people in this area.

I have entertained the idea of starting a low-cost program in this area. It’s needed. And I think that through such a program we could educate people about other aspects of responsible pet ownership.

But I am also hesitant. I don’t have much free time as it is, and this will take work.  Also, while the service is needed, I don’t know how badly it’s needed or if it’s particularly wanted.

I have resolved to at least look into the possibility.

This is where you come in.

I have never done anything like this before. So I need you to share your experience and your ideas. I’ll want you to share your money too, but that will come later. I need your encouragement to help me keep going when I fall flat on my face, which may well happen.

I have decided that my first steps will be to approach those in the area who already work in the arena of animal welfare and feel them out. I need to see what’s been done here in the past, and what local support would be available for such an undertaking.

Send me all the positive energy you can muster, and wish me luck!

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About rumpydog

I am a malamute that was rescued by her. I live with June Buggie the cat. I blog about animal welfare and responsible care of companion animals at rumpydog.com. You can follow me on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE my Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

50 thoughts on “My Resolution for the New Year

  1. Good luck with your new goals!

    Posted by Ingrid D. | January 2, 2013, 5:51 AM
  2. Good luck! Sounds like a worthwhile idea

    Posted by themisadventuresofmisaki | January 2, 2013, 6:29 AM
  3. Good luck Rumpy, strength and patience.

    Posted by stanzebla | January 2, 2013, 6:50 AM
  4. bestest luck Rumpy!

    Posted by marviiilous | January 2, 2013, 7:02 AM
  5. Good luck Rumpy and Jen – that is a big project. We’ve worked with many organisations that run programs like this and there’s a lot of work involved but they get fantastic results. Try and visit with some near you to get advice on avoiding the pitfalls.

    Posted by Animalcouriers | January 2, 2013, 7:02 AM
  6. An alternate way to accomplish your goal could be to arrange a network of volunteers to periodically shuttle a few pets to an already existing clinic. That way you are utilizing the “skilled” infrastructure already in place, which is a limited resource and probably harder to come by. It may be easier to find a few people with occasional chunks of time & a vehicle. The clinics may even be willing to lend pet carriers for the day. Good luck!

    Posted by dearflash | January 2, 2013, 7:06 AM
  7. Wonderful. You are absolutely right to check out what is being done in that area already. I also recommend you talk to Bob Rude, of Rude Ranch in Davidsonville, Maryland. http://www.ruderanch.org/ They started with just a few FIV cats about 15 years ago and now opened a spay and neuter clinic this week. Best of luck. The world needs people like your Mom, Rumpy. – DogDaz

    Posted by dogdaz | January 2, 2013, 7:22 AM
  8. I am wondering whether it would not be more cost effective to begin by providing a transport service to the low cost clinic. I was one of those poor people once and our biggest problem (other than cost) was getting an animal to and from the appointment. So how about you begin with a door to door service for a flat fee, and see how many people would utilise this service. if you are inundated with requests then maybe think about a clinic of your own. The first step is to get in touch with your would-be clients in a way that they can agree to your help but maintain their dignity and learn something along the way. Anyway, just a thought.. c

    Posted by cecilia | January 2, 2013, 7:50 AM
    • So was I, and treating people with dignity is of great importance to me. I like the idea of volunteers transporting. I want to talk to the folks already working in the area first; they know what’s needed far better than I do.

      Posted by rumpydog | January 2, 2013, 7:57 AM
  9. Rumpy I didn’t realize you were another Florida dog! Mom has been up in your area a number of times on geocaching trips and agrees that the economy there (as in much of Florida) is not in great shape (understatement!) I applaud you for trying to get this going…It’s going to be a lot of work for you I’m sure…Education is always key and rural folks can be slow to change …You & Jen have probably already seen this but JIC I’ll share it here for you http://www.spayflorida.org/Directory.html Keep us posted on your progress

    Posted by Gizmo | January 2, 2013, 8:17 AM
  10. This is a great idea, I can’t offer much of my help since I’m not in the US at the moment, but when it comes to raising money I could help with some fun activities in here.
    Kudos

    Posted by Doggy's Style | January 2, 2013, 8:23 AM
  11. Wow! That’s a life changing cause, Rumpy. We have the same problems here. Spaying and neutering can be very very expensive. Even more expensive in the city I am currently living at. In fact, it’s three times more expensive here than in the old city I was staying at.

    We pray for your success in this endeavor. Always remember that when the going gets tough, we’ll always be here for you.

    Happy 2013.

    Regards,

    Haopee

    Posted by haopee2 | January 2, 2013, 8:23 AM
  12. go rumpy go! i bet if you start it (help) it will come!!!
    good luck, i hope you do it, all those animals need your help.
    You rock!
    happy new year!
    love
    Jimmies Chew

    Posted by jimmie chew | January 2, 2013, 8:24 AM
  13. This is a wonderful New Years resolution. I actually just wrote a blog post about my boyfriend’s beloved Boxer, Hannah, who actually just died from breast cancer. She was never spayed – Spain isn’t very knowledgeable about the benefits of fixing their pets – and because she wasn’t, it was the reason she got cancer. Check out my post and feel free to use it as a reason to spay and neuter your pets. http://palmtreesbarefeet.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/hannah/

    Posted by Palm Trees & Bare Feet | January 2, 2013, 8:24 AM
  14. Sending you my good vibes.
    Blessings,
    Goose

    Posted by Goose | January 2, 2013, 8:25 AM
  15. Hi Jen – I will contact my friend Journey, Co_president of the Manchester Animal Rescue League as she has organized many low cost spay/neuter programs. She may be able to give some advice on how to start.

    Posted by Isaiah's Mom | January 2, 2013, 8:40 AM
  16. Great resolution, Jen and Rumpy! I know it must be really hard to accomplish it but we’re all with you!
    There is one low cost clinic in Tokyo as long as I know but it only accepts feral kitties. They provide free transport service, as well.
    In my city, people can get a little support for the fee of neuter and spay for their pets from the animal department of the health center in the city, so people let their pets get fixed more and more.
    Good lucks with your New Year resolution, Jen and Rumpy! 🙂

    Posted by eripanwkevin | January 2, 2013, 8:47 AM
  17. Am sending all the positive energy and vibes in the universe for your much needed venture! good luck!!! take care
    x

    Posted by Old Kitty | January 2, 2013, 8:53 AM
  18. that’s a big job up ahead.. lots of luck 🙂

    Posted by starlight | January 2, 2013, 9:46 AM
  19. A very worthy venture to look into. We wish you well. Keep us posted.

    Posted by Frankie Furter and Ernie | January 2, 2013, 10:13 AM
  20. Encouragement and best wishes are sent from Belgium ( a tiny country in the West of the European Union).

    first of all those who are thinking of buying a dog should learn to get to know the responsibility it brings and should be aware that a dog is not just a play toy or a show off piece.

    It is good that you shed a light and see what is already done in your area. Approach those in the area who already work in the arena of animal welfare and feel them out and showing them that you want to co-operate is necessary to come to a good and believable healthcare system for the fourleggers.

    Check out what is done in the past, but do not think because it did not work at that time, that it would not work now. Perhaps the enthusiasts tried to do something good, but the time was not yet ready.

    Co-operation with several organisations, veterinaries a.o. and what local support would be available for such an undertaking is important. I do hope you can get some people and organisations interested.

    Good luck for a good start in 2013.

    Posted by marcusampe | January 2, 2013, 10:38 AM
  21. Reblogged this on delia1979.

    Posted by delia1979 | January 2, 2013, 10:48 AM
  22. It took me a moment to figure out where Jackson county is. I’m from Tallahassee so I’m a bit familiar with the area. Have you tried talking to a shelter or speaking to city officials about how to get the program started?

    Posted by ilovecats | January 2, 2013, 11:04 AM
  23. From small things big things one day come! Awesome that you are taking these first steps – good luck!

    Posted by Will and Eko | January 2, 2013, 12:12 PM
  24. Positive energy vibes being sent to you from downunder *pawhugs*

    Posted by Jessie & Jane | January 2, 2013, 12:34 PM
  25. Definitely approaching the other animal welfare people in the area will help. They may have a better feel for what is needed and how to go about achieving it. Plus you can gain supporters so you don’t have to do it yourself. I would think that trying to do something like that yourself would be very difficult. Good luck! This is a great New Year’s Resolution.

    Posted by ILoveDogs | January 2, 2013, 12:54 PM
  26. Good Luck in this extremely important endeavor!

    Posted by cult of otis | January 2, 2013, 2:22 PM
  27. Important stuff! Good luck.

    Posted by Genevieve Petrillo | January 2, 2013, 2:59 PM
  28. I think this is a very wonderful idea! Even if you can spay and neuter just a few, it will still mean many fewer unwanted and homeless pets in the long run. Every bit makes a difference — often a much bigger difference than we might think.

    Posted by onebluedog | January 2, 2013, 3:24 PM
  29. Good luck Rumpy!! I’m sure you’ll succeed 🙂

    Posted by Bluejellybeans | January 2, 2013, 4:20 PM
  30. That sounds like a great idea and we are hoping it all works out. We have never been involved in getting something like that started so we can not be of any help to you. We can encourage you though to not give up easily if this is what you want to happen. Wishing you all the very best in your efforts. Hugs and nose kisses

    Posted by Chancy and Mumsy (Mag) | January 2, 2013, 4:21 PM
  31. Important undertaking. All paws sending hope and energy!

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | January 2, 2013, 4:48 PM
  32. I’m sending a whole whack of positive energy to you and even more purrs. Spaying & neutering is oh-so-very important. I myself was neutered at about six months and do you know what? One of the best things that ever happened to me! That, and gettin’ my very own peeps, of course.

    Purrs,
    Nissy from Nerissa’s Life

    Posted by orientallily001 | January 2, 2013, 5:24 PM
  33. u should definitely do something like this. wifesy volunteered to work on a mobile spay and neuter van when she was just out of vet school. us should talk to the local or nearest vet school about it because those vets/ new vets in general will usually donate their time for the experience/ practice. and a van is the way to go. u just pull it up to the area that doesn’t have the low cost program and go. hope it works. and keep me posted. i think it’s a great idea. happy new year. xo, sm

    Posted by sweetmother | January 2, 2013, 6:19 PM
  34. That is a wonderful, wonderful idea!! Social media is a great way to spread the word on your great cause…many of us bloggers have FB pages, Twitter accounts, etc, and I know that we will be more than willing to advertise on your behalf! 🙂

    Posted by Jessica | January 2, 2013, 6:28 PM
  35. Good luck with your heart felt work!

    Posted by Karen Wan | January 2, 2013, 6:45 PM
  36. That is a wonderful idea…just wonderful

    Posted by Jo Bryant | January 2, 2013, 7:26 PM
  37. Good luck. It’s a wonderful idea.

    Posted by BJ Pup (new name for Lynds Fisher) | January 2, 2013, 7:27 PM
  38. This journey you’re setting off for is amazing Rumpy!! You have my support all the way!! I respect animals like you and your hoomins!

    Posted by LifeOfBun | January 2, 2013, 8:32 PM
  39. I wish you good luck and I hope you manage all your positive goals. I’m wagging my tail with joy to you…

    Posted by Μάρσα | January 3, 2013, 3:18 AM
  40. Good luck pal!

    Posted by Basil | January 3, 2013, 3:22 AM
  41. Happy New Year Rumpy! We are sending you all kinds of good vibes to help you in your new endeavor!! xoxo Chloe and LadyBug

    Posted by bichonpawz | January 3, 2013, 4:28 AM
  42. In our rural area a small group of friends had the same idea as you hence Paws with a cause was adopted and they have federal support with adopting out strays and educating the area on the importance of spaying animals. They are supplied with bowls and materials to store food by our Tupperware store with the products that are returned under warranty as we do not send them to the land fill if they are not needed to be returned to Tupperware. Best of luck into your endeavor and perhaps there is a grant in your area that can assist with the cost.

    Posted by TammyeHoney | January 3, 2013, 12:50 PM
  43. We wish you well. It’s not going to be easy, not just money to find but attitudes to change. Good luck, we are cheering you on x.

    Posted by shacklefordlb | January 3, 2013, 1:09 PM
  44. This is a great idea (we need one in our town too — similiar statistics!) Have you considered contacting local vet clinics, animal rescues or even the local/state chapters of the ASPCA or Humane Society about this idea? May be a mobile clinic could be possible if there was cooperation for the project. May be form a local committee of volunteers who could help with finding funding and sponsorship. Where there is a will, there is a way! I’m sure you aren’t the only one who would like to see this become reality. Keep us posted!

    Posted by saymber | January 3, 2013, 3:11 PM
  45. Prayers and blessings sent your way! 🙂

    Posted by eof737 | January 3, 2013, 3:39 PM
  46. Sounds like a great idea–godspeed!

    Posted by Smaktakula | January 5, 2013, 1:17 PM
  47. That is so good of you, Jen, really.
    My two-cent(avo)s: I agree with the earlier commenter that the cost & logistics of transporting the pets is a major factor and one that you can look into. Here in my city, one of the animal welfare groups goes to low-income, densely-populated areas at least twice a year and conducts a mobile spay/neuter clinic. They usually have to stay for two days because the demand for the free service is huge.
    Goodluck! 🙂

    Posted by tita buds | January 6, 2013, 10:09 PM

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