Our success is difficult to measure or express in numbers. How many animals per year do you have to place in a new home to be considered successful? How many cats must be neutered to successfully combat omnipresent overpopulation? On the other hand, how many kittens fished out of the rubbish do you have to bottle-feed to feel successful?
Animal welfare, this cannot be over-emphasised, is multi-faceted and versatile, and sometimes also rather contradictory. This is probably the case all over the world, but it is definitely true here in the Mani. For example, on the one hand we invest a lot of time and money and persuasion to successfully implement cat neutering programmes. Their aim is to slowly reduce the number of new-born cats, because neither the cats nor the males can produce offspring after sterilisation – quite simply.
On the other hand, we set the alarm clock eve-ry three hours for weeks, day and night, to bottle-feed kittens found in a rubbish bin somewhere. Which will then, should we man-age to raise them, again provide for new off-spring if we did not immediately take them into our neutering programme. Absurd, paradoxical, perhaps even crazy? You can certainly see it that way, but for us animal welfare activists, what counts at the end of the day is the quality of life of the four-legged friends we take care of. And as far as that is concerned, we actually have tons of success stories to celebrate. Because every single animal that comes under our protection experiences an immense improvement in its living conditions. Some may take a few days or weeks to realise this. Some also need to get well, to settle down, until they realise that life under our protection can be very much worth living.
But all, 100 per cent ALL creatures that have made it into our care are just so much better off from that point on, than they were before. Be it as a puppy abandoned in a ditch, or as a seasoned, distrustful stray dog using any cover to stay out of sight, or as a blind and help-less kitten. Success stories without end …