Rescue Journal

i am going to write you an issued based, non personal post about something i have always been concerned about.

Carol  ·  Apr. 2, 2010

Domestic Companion Animals Confined in Cages.

i have an issue about animals confined in cages in animal rescue. I do not like bird cages, rabbit cages, xpens, crates or kennels, they make me feel uncomfortable. (this would be my opinion and how i actually feel.)

i understand the necessity of confining rescued animals to a safe and restricted area. I understand the reality that it is much easier to safely manage varying numbers of animals with different temperments and issues and needs and prevent altercations and accidents if confined and separated from danger by plastic and wire.
i understand that when there are not enough foster homes, some dogs must remain kenneled for months at a time as the only solution to prevent euthanasia. (these would be acknowledging the rational and realities behind the use of cages and the issues that do affect their use)

i do believe tho that with thinking outside the box, with looking at confinement from an animals perspective, and by willing to make some actual changes in how we are prepared to do things, we might be able to remove some of those perceived barriers for them. (another opinion with a proactive approach)

matching animals with similar easy going personalities together can allow several to live together in the same room. by building wire gates across open areas where lots of people travel thru (family rooms, kitchens, reception rooms in shelters, makes animals feel more inclusive and less isolated too, gates on doorways to offices and maybe an unsocial animal can feel more at home in an office with furniture than in an empty cement kennel or cage, sharing staff rooms and volunteer areas with a social dog or cat or two...and laundry areas with a cat who likes to lay on top of warm, freshly folded laundry...are good options for making homeless animals feel safe and like they belong somewhere where they are welcome too. (still an opinion but one with possible solutions)

and i also understand that unless left free outside with no fences, every domestic animal is in some way actually caged. but if we can remove their preception of confinement, then in some way they do feel more freedom.(this acknowledges that in reality almost all animals are somehow confined.)

i find that confining animals behind what they perceive as a barrier, creates anxiety and a sense of not being happy because they are prevented from making choices on where they would like to be. (this i believe to be not just an opinion but also proven by shelter based research which i am too lazy to actually look for right now.)

i also find in our shelter that by removing what they perceive as barriers whose sole purpose is to keep them where they are...and by giving them the perception of more freedom to make choices (we have areas that are 2 connected rooms with the door between always open, we have areas that are a single room but have access to an enclosed outside area too, and we have single no other access areas that we disguise from being perceived as cages by furnishing with couches and chairs and tv's with gates that allow some but limited interaction with the next room.) that their stress level decreases and they become more content and accepting of living in an animal shelter. (this is an opinion based on personal experience.)

not once did i point fingers and berate another rescue or shelter group for kenneling their animals, for crating and rotating, for sticking dogs in xpens...i tried to respect the reasons and realities behind these choices and offer other possible solutions. not everyone who reads this is going to agree..but they will not feel personally attacked because i did not in any way shape or form suggest that...

no roving dog rescue and the humane society of timbucktoo are living in the dark ages and accepting donations while torturing dogs and confining innocent and defenseless animals to small kennels and crates because they are too stupid and lazy to house them more compassionately AND they want that donated money to buy a new car.
(this would have been an aggressive, confrontational, and personal negative attack on two other (hopefully) nonexistant groups...all it would have accomplished (if it was real) is an ongoing and very bitter, waste of time and energy, feud.)