Friday, December 14, 2007

The 1 in 10,000

There are 10,000 new blogs created each day. Two of those are actually interesting.

This one may be interesting because I am a dog. A mixed breed. Or as some may rudely call me, a mongrel. You can call me Buddy - everyone else already does.

OK, perhaps dogs don't type. Perhaps I'm dictating this to my secretary. Perhaps I'm channeling this through my owner. Perhaps my owner prefers a handy pseudonym. Whatever.

I hope you find this an interesting read. But remember, in blogs, as in life, there are no guarantees.

Since any form of communication is a good one, we’ll at least utilize this Wag Tale blog to spread news, information, and, perhaps, a few outright lies. The little white kind, of course.

Welcome to the world of WAG – formally known as Walton Animal Guild, Inc. Our simple goals are to prevent animal cruelty and end the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals in Walton County, Georgia. However, like most goals (lose weight, quit smoking, save money), there are many steps to take before success is realized.

One of those steps is gaining solid community support. Since the success of an organization is in proportion to how needed their services are, let’s take a look at what animal services Walton County currently offers:

1. Outdated, underfunded and undersized government animal control shelter.

2. No evening or weekend hours at shelter.

3. High shelter euthanasia rates.

4. No humane education.

5. No community-supported low-income spay/neuter programs.

6. No targeted low-income pet health programs.

Until now, there has been no "voice" for animal issues in Walton County. But there won’t be any changes planned or funded until governing officials feel there is a demand. If we don’t speak up, there is no demand. So it is our responsibility to be that voice.

Over the next few entries I’ll post some info on where we are, a "Walton County State of the Animals," so to speak. And while it won’t all be good news, there are certainly a few positive trends.

Here are a couple - Walton County is growing at a fast rate and becoming much more urbanized. Our population in 2006 was nearly 80,000. Officials predict a 75 percent population growth between 2000 and 2015. These new residents are typically well-educated, with higher incomes and an expectation of better services.

Pet ownership is at an all-time high. An estimated 63 percent of US households own at least one pet, according to the Pet Product Manufacturer’s Association, and spending on pet products has increased significantly. Record numbers of baby boomers, singles and young couples are monetarily indulging their four-legged family members.

Put those two facts together and you have a population of educated, savvy voters that place an importance of animal services.

Time for a change, perhaps?

'Til Later, Buddy

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