It is always exciting to develop a community program, but some programs only work on the drawing board. One of the local women’s shelter approached us to assist with the police department on dealing with incidents involving battered women. That sound like a wonderful program, right?
The idea was that some women will not leave their abusive situation because of a pet in the household. So the police would arrive and pick up the battered woman and her pets to take them to safety. It was a feel good program for everyone; except for the pets.
When the program was first developed, I had to constantly rewrite the program weekly. We needed a bailout clause because once rescued from the abusive situation, most of the pets were abandoned. In the first case, the woman jumped aboard a passing 18 wheeler truck and was never heard from again. That incident forced us to set holding times and create abandonment clauses.
Just because a program feels good doesn’t make it a good program. I hate to admit it, but I have created similar programs in many localities, only to help one or two women. Although the program always ended in failure, I felt it was worthwhile for the one or two women that the program helped. And given a choice, I would do it again and again.
Special programs are a good idea, but it is important that when creating programs to help people, you need to look out for the welfare of the animals that are involved.