Rescue groups are currently taking a massive hit in their sustainability.
The first is that, being largely volunteer run organisations, the average age of the average rescuer skews older. Retirees and established rescuers who unfortunately, find themselves restricted in their rescuing due to health concerns around COVID-19. Of course this behaviour is sensible and unavoidable, but nevertheless makes a huge difference to the number of pets able to be cycled through the rescue/foster care process.
Secondly, bans on group gatherings has meant a greatly reduced opportunity for adoption events and fundraisers to take place, meaning the money rescue groups would normally have to rescue is drying up. Without money, rescuers can't rescue.
This is being seen first hand by the number of pets available for adoption on PetRescue; the lowest in more than a decade.
Just 3,400 cats for the whole of Australia, and 1,600 dogs.
But do you know whose income is completely unaffected by being asked to stay indoors? Or even a lack of adoptions? You guessed it. PetRescue.
They can keep on churning out their virtual mail, their relationship building communications and working to take credit for all the work rescue is currently doing, while in the comfort of their home offices.
PetRescue still have a large paid staff coordinating their social media feeds and online fundraising. Their staff will still be paid executive wages. They will still pay their two Directors (and the Director’s wife). They will still take over a million dollars a year of the community's money to run a website.
Their strategy meetings will barely skip a beat heading into their next online fundraiser using the stories and photos of animals, without having even the slightest bit to do with saving their lives.
They have people still receiving a wage to schmooze corporates to donate large sums in the name of rescue, but where no money goes into animal care.
They can still strategise. They can still yoga. They can still video chat each other. They can still add new donation features to their website. They can still produce content to mislead the public into thinking a donation to PetRescue helps pets.
In short, their core business is completely unaffected, at the same time rescue groups struggle to keep operating.
The most important thing you can do during this crisis, to help homeless pets, is to financially support your local rescue group. Even if they're not running a fundraiser, send them a few dollars. This is the only way groups are going to survive to be able to rescue into the future.
PetRescue have paid staff working hard to produce content to maximise donations and oversell their involvement in the rescue process (which is essentially nil). PetRescue rescue no pets. They feed no pets. They vet treat no pets. They help no rescues. All of their resources are spent on furthering their own charity goals. So while rescue groups keep helping on the frontline as much as they are able, PetRescue will be churning out communications, solicitations and brand building strategy to keep their donors giving.
Please share this to your contacts so that people aren’t mislead into thinking that a PetRescue donation will be going to help pets, and that monies intended for rescue groups aren’t redirected into PetRescue’s bank account during these vital times.
Oh, and please give cash money to your local rescue if you can.
The fundraiser went out. *rolls eyes emoji*
Just 4,800 pets on the website nationally. While rescue is in crisis, PetRescue's looking to cash in.