The New Westchester SPCA Animal Rescue Center
Of all charities, the least well-funded and perennially broke are the animal charities. Thousands of kind hearted people caring for more than their own skins battle every day for dollars against the behemoths of the nonprofit world. Consider the algorithm at play. A charity like the Alzheimer's Foundation can raise millions upon millions, mostly from the 11% of 65+ aged that have the disease and their families. As they begin the process of decay and as their loved ones see the deterioration, what action can they take but to donate?
This is the model for almost all charities. Self-interest propels the fundraising. You have cancer, give to the Cancer Fund. You are worried the environment will make your children's life miserable, give to the Sierra Club. And on and on it goes. There are a myriad of charities for every human ailment there is, and they all do well. The exception to the rule are the animal welfare charities. Not directly impactful on human lives, animal charities are the 'leftover crumbs' of the giving world.
This is why when we noticed the new $9 million dollar Rescue Center for the Westchester Country SPCA we were in awe. In the animal world where people are gravelling for pennies, here was a new home built from ground up to house 250 pets. Wow, what it must be like to be a God in a Godless land. There are actually only four animal charities that garner any sizeable donations... PETA, ASPCA, HSUS and Best Friends. Other than these four, everyone else works on pennies and hearts. And it takes a great big special heart to give of yourself with no funding and no self-interest motivating you.
In their desperation for funding, many charities have turned now to a disaster model. More emotionally-driven, they rely on the outcry from pathetic cases i.e., 'Save this dog that was dragged behind a truck and set on fire' garner a lot of attention and a lot more of donations. Social media is good at rallying support around these extreme cases. Cries to 'help us save him' on social media seem to be the only guilting that work. Sadly the animal often dies despite best efforts, because many of these cases are so extreme. Even if saved, vet bills topping $5,000 are not unusual. But this is the model that works, thus it's the model everyone has adopted. The lion's share of donations go to saving a few extreme cases. Meanwhile, thousands of animals are silently killed every day in socalled 'shelters'.
The place animals hold in the hierarchy of society is a perplexing one. To most, they are considered lower than humans and yet higher than plants and insects. They are mammals and have human feelings and emotions, unlike insects and plants. Many consider the treatment of these creatures at human hands to be unacceptable, but then again so are the horrors of war and other human made degeneracies. Sensing a duty to this 'middle world' we have created charities to help animals. No such item exisits for plants or insects. Sadly our caring has not extended to ensure sufficient funding of these efforts.
Yes, Virginia, money can buy life! And the lack thereof results in death whether animal or human. The wrangling and twisting animal well-wishers have to do in order to be selfless is a metaphor for the ills we humans carry into the 22nd century. Unless one fears metamorphosing into a cat or cow one day the people that love our animal friends are condemned to the life of the beggar.