From the Heart of a Rescuer

“A person once told me that they had never met anyone as passionate as I am about spaying and neutering. Kind of a weird thing to be known for but I will take it.
It is hard for us to see when other groups work in a community but don’t do spaying and neutering and returning.
If they are not doing it BUT are taking puppies (and kittens and dogs and cats) then they are basically part of a large puppy mill type operation.
Zoe’s has our SNR program – Spay Neuter Return, and it also stands for the Saner way to Rescue.
And it is.
And it works.
We still have some work to do in one of our first target communities.  There is a roaming pack of dogs that we are going to start fixing as soon as the weather is consistently warm enough. It will be tough on us emotionally. We will be trapping dogs (between 8 and 20 or more) at the dump and fixing them and releasing them – unless we can find fosters and other rescues to help us take them in – but many of them may be feral and in reality that is a very difficult animal to place in foster or in adoption. But it must be done. It will prevent so much suffering.
Because we have been so effective in this community there is only the one group of loose dogs left. We get requests to help with spaying and neutering before problems start and people know to call us for help. Our reputation is good. We are seen as honest and we don’t ever judge people. We help. It has taken time and dedication but we have won people over. Suspicion and fear is turning to trust.
Our rules are simple on the face of it.
We don’t steal animals – we build relationships – if an animal needs help we see what we can do first to improve that animal’s life by offering vetting, fixing, food, dog houses and by sharing what we know.
We are respectful – always. No matter what. It is a basic human decency and we do not run people down to their faces or in public or almost anywhere – if we need to decompress about a tough situation we chose private ways to do that.  It is foolish to do work when you dislike the people that you are serving anyway, you always catch more flies with honey.
We remember the big picture. We are here for the long term and to change the world. That takes time and often short term pain.
We help so much more than by just taking some animals out, we have actually reduced the problem and are not needed there nearly as much.
This means we have been able to move into a new rural community.
We are also becoming more active in areas of Edmonton itself, usually inner city or trailer parks – where feral and abandoned cats are a problem and cat overpopulation can be staggering.
The fostering and adoption parts of Zoe’s are very important – they are for the animals that have no alternatives.  If not for us – they would have no where to go – equally as important is supporting communities to become independent and able to prevent the problems that lead to SO many animals needing our help.”