Home PawsTalk – Primary Mission is Dual Focus Companion Animal Rescue Wildlife Defense To help provide a common base from which rescue centers, and those who volunteer their resources to help them, can quickly assess available assets nationwide. Given the overwhelming numbers of homeless, abused, and neglected companion animals, combined and co-operative efforts have become critical. The many rescue centers and volunteers throughout America have always supported each other generously. We now need to reach hands farther than our neighborhoods or our states. From the largest centers to the scattered individual volunteers, we need to act in concert. Simply put, we must all stand together to save lives. Why network volunteers? Consider: When the unthinkable occurs – a rescue shelter experiences a tragic epidemic; they quarantine their facility. What might this mean for the continual influx of new rescues? Foster-care volunteers for the shelter, while sufficient during normal operation, can become overwhelmed and unable to meet the sudden increased demand. What can be done? Until the illness is under control, often the shelter has no choice other than close their doors to incoming animals. With an established network of verified volunteers, this heartbreak can be lessened. In addition, such a network could provide temporary additional volunteers to aid the shelter in its escalated daily tasks. Consider: Rescue shelters are facilitating adoptions out-of-area more as time goes on. Some are able to allow adoptions from out of state – even out of country. Once an out-of-area adoptive family has been verified, the next daunting task is to arrange transport to the new forever home. While it’s not uncommon for big hearted volunteers to drive a pet many miles to their new home, what if the new home is several states away? Even if standard carriers (plane, bus, train) were reasonably economical, there are some concerns for pet safety, especially when traveling alone as cargo. A nationwide network of verified volunteers could meet this need without excessive burdens. Consider: How many times have rescue centers and groups heard the call for immediate help? There is a dog that is starving on a chain. There is a cat whose owners moved and left it. There is a ferret on Craigslist that is living in a tiny terrarium. There is any one of these companion animals found with grievous wounds with no safe place to go. It lifts the heart to see so many rescuers leap to those challenges. Yet we are scattered about the country, often too far away to help – searching everywhere for a shelter to contact in the area. A nationwide network of shelters and verified volunteers could help provide needed support. Consider: New zoning laws negatively impact a long-standing rescue shelter. Certainly every volunteer in the area, as well as all local people who are aware, will step up to the plate and defend the shelter with emails, phone calls, and personal visits to the authorities involved to plead the shelter’s case and show the level of community support they hold. When needed, these same people will hold or attend auctions, give donations, and work to make the public aware of the need for aid. With a nationwide network of supporters, hundreds of emails and phone calls would become hundreds of thousands. This concept also applies to legislation affecting companion animals. Those involved in rescue efforts comprise a tremendous number of people. Many others work tirelessly to change legislation that is detrimental to companion animals. Other major and ongoing efforts involve defense of wildlife. Humane treatment of livestock animals is supported by additional groups. Walking united where the goals are common to us all, we could be an immovable force. The Challenge This is more challenging than it may sound. There are thousands of rescue facilities in the United States. Each facility has its own volunteer network including sometimes hundreds of supporters. This begs the question: How can we help? How can each of us help? PawsTalk, in concert with Paws Across the Nation, intends to enable rescue facilities and volunteers to work together across America. Will you help?