What is the difference in impact between having a rescue shelter and having a vet clinic?
Just by the numbers, a vet clinic has the ability to diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate more animals and in a better environment than any rescue. In direct care, it is the most bang for your buck by far.
Let say a clinic is open 5 days a week for 50 weeks a year. That’s with Tet and Christmas/New Years weeks off.
On even the slowest day possible, we can assume 5 clients. These are sick or wounded animals, new pets needing vaccines/sterilization, animals brought in by rescuers. Just 3 minimum, which is frankly completely unrealistic in Da Nang as there will easily be more in a city of over a million people.
At those very conservative numbers, we are still able to have contact with a minimum of 250 animals per year and just as many pet owners. Add to that the tens of thousands of animals that will not be born from unsterilized animals as we would ensure all clients were also able to be sterilized and vaccinated, and we are looking at hundreds of thousands saved in just a few years.
Those animals that are diagnosed and treated properly, something rare with local vets, are often able to go home and be with their own families who now have the right information about nutrition, vaccines and sterilization, and basic animal welfare. Aside from giving an animal a chance at getting better, the owners now are better educated owners. If they are unable to go home, they will get the critical care they need at a clinic that is actually clean, sterile, safe, and stress-free which no local vet can provide. The education of the owners has an exponential effect that we cannot even measure.
A cat can have around 14 kittens per year, a dog around 21. Together that is more animals than we even have in our shelter right now, just from one dog and one cat being unsterilized.
That’s 4375 animals NOT born if half of the 250 animals we see are dogs and half are cats.
Can you name ANY rescue in southeast Asia able to take on that many animals? Anywhere in the world even?
For every dog sterilized whether from a private owner or rescue, thousands of babies will not be born into a world in which there are not nearly enough loving, lifelong homes for them and little access to proper veterinary care. They will not be born into a country in which they are nothing more than a commodity to most people, something to be cute for a while, then tossed aside the moment they have a problem. They will never be on the streets, never be stolen or poisoned for dog or cat meat. They will not suffer from reproductive cancers or the common Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumors which is rampant in Vietnam.
IF YOU WANT TO SAVE ANIMALS IN VIETNAM, YOU WANT A VET CLINIC, NOT A SHELTER.
What can we do as a shelter?
We are stuck with capacity limits of the property we have now, which currently we will not stretch beyond 40. We once had 22 dogs in the shelter and it was an absolute nightmare for staff, the neighbors, and the animals themselves. Without a clinic that we can trust to give proper diagnoses and treatment, none of those animals should even be with us anyway. What we are doing now with the 30 animals we have is irresponsible. I am the first to admit it. That is why we have tried so hard to first move to Hanoi to use the international vet up there, and then when that failed, to close entirely and move our animals away from the country, then now that that won’t work, we MUST get a new clinic in central Vietnam so that we can continue our mission we have been on for over 6 years in Hoi An to end animal suffering.
Without the ability to adopt out animals locally anymore because the absolute lack of competent veterinary services regionally make any tiny issue a crisis, there is no way to have new intakes. We just can’t take animals that we can’t get homes for. We are also thousands of dollars in debt to our US nonprofit lawyer, former staff, and plenty of bills that keep on coming which we do not get nearly enough funds for.
Our only impact right now is on the lives we have already saved. They are the most valuable thing we are doing now, and as a rescue, this is what we are so proud of. They get the best care within the lack of resources we have, they are safe, and they are loved until their forever families come along to adopt them in areas in which they are able to access competent vet care. They do not live in a filthy hoarding facility like most shelters in Vietnam and they are not put down because we have no money for them. This is responsible rescue that involves a lifelong commitment to every animal we take in.
At BEST, we can help these 30 animals a year, assist in getting a few animals fostered, and organize treatment for other animals not on our property. Without a clinic, this is ALL we can do.
So we have a choice to save 30 MAXIMUM in one year with a shelter,
at the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM, 250 clients/rescues plus preventing over 4000 new animals being born.
Which would you choose?
The highest impact we have beyond direct care is our vegan advocacy. Getting people to keep animals off their plates saves a minimum of 90 animals per person per year. While it is message most kitty and puppy lovers do not care to hear, it is the only way to end animal suffering for good and we will never stop helping people to make this connection.
We desperately need your help in finding a head vet internationally and the investment we need to get off the ground. I am in Switzerland at the moment and am able to travel anywhere in Europe to meet with someone who can help. We are not done. Far from it. We just cannot do this alone. Let us know if you have any contacts that might be useful. This will take an army.
So far not a single one of the largest organizations internationally have even responded to our requests for help. This is going to be private investors only at this point based on how this has worked out so far. I cannot get to interested parties on my own, so please help us to find them if you can.
We are specifically looking for people with experience and interest in private equity funding for start ups, angel investors in the veterinary and medical field (does that even exist?), and crowdfunding for startup capital.
As I have spent the past 6 years working to gain the knowledge of how to do this work better, for the first 3 years I did so without salary while living on student loans for my Masters degree, and then have been only taking a salary that pays me enough to feed myself and keep me drowning in coffee. When other people my age were building their careers and income potential, I was working my tail off saving animals in Vietnam for a pittance. I chose a different path which I do not regret but it comes with some disadvantages. I do not have a savings account. I have no investments or assets. I have 6 figure student loan debt, maxed out credit cards, and not a shred of credit to get a business loan.
What I bring to the table is knowledge and the memory of our horrible experience in our previous clinic to teach me some very hard earned lessons, a delusional level of optimism, and energy that most cocaine addicts don’t have on their worst binge. I just need an MBA to give us some guidance so we can make the lasting impact that we have been working on for the past 6 years.