Living in Limbo: An Unfortunate Consequence of the No Kill Movement

Living in Limbo: An Unfortunate Consequence of the No Kill Movement
Pearl was rescued from a high kill situation but is now languishing in a kennel where she has lived for several months.

Update 11/12/15 Pearl has now been adopted although the challenges she faced still impact many rescued dogs.

This is Pearl, whom you may recall seeing here before. She entered the animal rescue system through Golf Rose Hospital and Boarding in Schaumburg, a facility that is contracted by several NW Chicago suburb municipalities to take in strays found in their townships as a holding facility.

What is a holding facility? Just what the name implies. Golf Rose (GR), just as any animal control shelter, must hold stray dogs for seven days to allow possible searching owners time to retrieve lost pets. Unlike many animal control shelters, however, as a holding center, Golf Rose is not an adoption facility.  This means there is only one way out for dogs that are not retrieved by their owners: A rescue pull.

A rescue pull, explained in some detail here, means that a licensed rescue organization (typically staffed exclusively by volunteers) takes the shelter animal into their possession, placing them in a foster facility or adoption center of their own. The animal then remains in their care until a suitable home is found, unless severe medical or behavioral problems necessitate they be humanely euthanized. (Even 'no kill' organizations do euthanize, but at a rate less than 10% of their animals.)

As a holding center, Golf Rose is not obligated to house an animal beyond the mandatory hold period, nor do they. This places all their unclaimed animals at extremely urgent risk for euthanasia unless rescues act quickly to pull them to safety. Happily there is a new transfer team, (those are explained here) known as the Northwest Rescue Network Team which hopes to dramatically reduce the number of dog lives lost. More on them in a future article.

But for now, let's turn back to our Lady of the Hour, Miss Pearl.

On one hand, Pearl represents a victory. This senior stray made it out in time from one of the most precarious sheltering scenarios in our community, thanks to PACT Humane Society, housed inside Bloomingdale Petco, 40 miles west of Chicago.

Score 1 for the No Kill Movement!

But this is the part people tend not to think about: She's been in limbo for some months now and she is languishing. It was hard not to cry for her when I saw her today.

I'm not putting Pearl up here to make you sad. I'm introducing her to ask if together we can help her.

If we sincerely want to move toward a humane and functional No Kill community where animals thrive, we have to be willing to work together to achieve that. Social media is an absolutely critical factor in helping achieve this end and one in which we all can take part. It's why I volunteer my time doing this blog, and I hope it is why you will help extend its effectiveness by using that clicking finger.

Together we can support the volunteers on the front-lines housing these animals that 'no kill' advocates say deserve a chance at a happy life.

Ready to do your part for Pearl? Here is what you need to know: Pearl is an absolute doll with people but she's had a rough life. She's skinny, calloused, and has some discolorations on her fur. However, something about her and those soulful eyes just touches the heart of everyone who sees her. To those who know her, she is beautiful even if her body bears the evidence of a difficult life.

Pearl is the dog who makes everyone say, "Oh, that sweet girl, I'm sure she'll get a home." But then they move on to look at the prettier, younger, perkier dogs.

There hasn't been an available foster home for her because most fosters have pets of their own. Pearl doesn't like other dogs, nor can she be in a home with cats. What she needs is a calm, mellow home where she can be the only pet and just be loved on. Screaming running kiddos would probably be too much chaos for her to deal with. She's good on a leash and great to take walks with and if you have a pile of comfy blankets to let her next in afterwards, she is all about comfort. Who can blame her, she hasn't had a lot of that in her life. She's housebroken (I had her at my house for three days after her spay surgery which is how we know this.)

A word about her 'kennel' space if you should go see her at PACT. Being at the adoption facility where a lot of dogs share space stresses her out so she is housed separately. Hence,  as you see in the video, she is in what I'm not sure, but think may have been a bathroom at one time in the back of the Petco that PACT occupies. It's spotlessly clean, but still...it's white tile all around, constituting her scenery for a few months now.  Sure, it keeps her from seeing other dogs, but isolation carries its own stress. If she seems a little lackluster when you peek over the half wall to give her a look, please take that into account. You'd be a little down in that situation, too.

She's resigned herself to her circumstances and she is safe but maybe one of you reading this can help her find her way to something much better...

Contact information if you can foster or adopt:

PETCO Bloomingdale: 412 W Army Trail Rd., Bloomingdale, IL 60108

PACT Voicemail/Fax: 630-375-7017
Petco Store phone: 630-307-1210

Adoption Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am - 7pm Sunday: 11am - 6pm
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