Milo ED Lynne Tingle Advocates for the Animals

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The need for loving help for the animals is as significant now as it has ever been. Milo ED Lynne Tingle makes an impassioned appeal for YOUR loving help this holiday season – as well as for actual change in the big picture – in this feature in BAY WOOF’s December issue.

What a year we’ve had in animal rescue! Not just here at the Milo Foundation, but every rescue organization has been under siege trying to save lives. Animal shelters across the state are packed to overcapacity with dogs, puppies, and kitties, too. But it’s the canine count that’s off the charts this year.

What is the solution? As always, the simple answers are to increase spay/neuter services, increase rescues, and find more foster homes. But the reality is more complicated.

First, there are simply not enough veterinarians in the state of California, especially not enough for this post-pandemic time. There are more dogs in homes than ever before, but there are also more dogs being dumped and having puppies due to a lack of low cost spay/neuter services.

Second, there are no holidays in the animal rescue world. It is a 24/7 job, and the holidays are no different. Even worse, it feels like we have lost two decades in our fight to end euthanasia. The hard-won successes in that struggle are vanishing, with shelters again euthanizing healthy, adoptable animals for lack of space with more dogs coming in their doors daily.

How do we get more spay/neuter options and more veterinarians – and fast? Could second-year vet students get a reduction in their student loans and take a semester or a year off in a paid position to perform spay/neuter and basic care for shelter and rescue animals? Could they then have the choice to go back and finish schooling to become a full-fledged vet with their student loan diminished?

Or could veterinary colleges develop a “Spay/Neuter Degree” that would let students work in shelter clinics and spay/neuter establishments getting animals fixed so they can be rehomed?

Clearly, we need political advocates to create change. There are just too many animals in need. Backyard breeding – planned and unplanned – needs to stop, and spay/neuter bills need to pass. We can agree to make allocations for true dog fanciers and breed-specific responsible breeding, but we must stop the puppy mills and the irresponsible breeding of puppies solely for profit. So many mother dogs are living in horrible situations, pumping out puppies constantly, many of which may later wind up in shelters.

During the pandemic, countless people purchased puppies from Craigslist, which is unfortunately full of scammers, profiteers, and puppy millers. Now many are surrendering these grown dogs, abandoning them as their lives have become busy again and the dogs have become inconvenient. If this is you, please figure out a way to keep your dogs.  Shelters and rescues are not the answer.

In fact, let’s all take a long holiday from breeding! Milo has rescued purebred puppies and gorgeous mixed breeds that are available for adoption right now. Meanwhile, the calls still pour in daily to help pups and nursing mother dogs dumped in the orchards, fields, and streets of the Central Valley.

How can you help?  Home Fur the Holidays is the Milo Foundation’s program to encourage the fostering of moms with puppies and dogs of any size and age. If you are home this holiday season, please consider giving them a home at least temporarily. A cozy place to land even for a week is immensely helpful. This can be a family act of love and giving and it truly saves lives.

So this holiday season, won’t you give a dog a break from a shelter kennel? Milo has found loving homes for over 1,600 animals in 2022, but the pressure is on for the New Year.  We currently have eight mom dogs and their litters and help is needed – your help. Every foster saves a life, as does every adopter of the wonderful pet they take home.

Life, joy, and gratitude are priceless, for humans and animals alike. So please join Milo this holiday season by adopting, fostering, volunteering, or donating to the Milo Medical Fund to help provide the extra veterinary services needed for injured and broken homeless pets.

For whatever you can give, everyone at Milo and at all the Bay Area rescues will be so grateful. You’ll be making a difference in the life of an animal in need. And what could be a better gift than that?

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