Organization Update

This week we received complaints again from the neighbors about the smell of animal poop, which anyone who has visited us can tell you isn’t an issue. These same neighbors constantly throw trash over our fences, one has put a machete to my throat after throwing bricks at me because I returned his garden trash dumped on our property. The neighbors on the other side routinely abuse their developmentally disabled relative and I’ve had to threaten them with a butcher knife. Having a shelter where we are tends to be full of annoyances from outside our gates. Now our landlord insists we should pay for fixing a septic system which has been broken year after year by no fault of our own and currently works fine. He says again he’ll kick us out if we do not pay the entire rent on exactly 1 June. He also does not want to renew our lease in September after 5 years. Then he said he’ll consider renewal for a raise in rent, which we can assume will not be small given the increase in property prices in our neighborhood which is becoming more and more crowded with expat houses and even hotels, all from being essentially countryside when we moved in 5 and a half years ago.

We have put thousands of dollars into the animals’ enclosures and the safety of the wall surrounding the property in addition to the barn we built which we would need to dismantle and take with us. It~s not a small task to move, yet conditions make it impossible to consider otherwise.

As it stands,Hoi An lacks the basic vet care we need to manage a rescue and without a private clinic with international vets regularly on staff, it is simply irresponsible to carry on here. It has been this way for nearly 2 years since our own clinic closed due to staff and funding problems. Da Nang is not much better in terms of vets, and we still would rather fly an animal to a vet in Hanoi or Saigon with some measure of medical competence than waste money on a clinic locally with such pitifully poor standards of care and vets who think they are beyond reproach. 

We tried to move to Hanoi yet got no financial backing for that and lost our shelter there prompting the move to close entirely as the constant fight to stay open was not worth it any longer. I still have no interest in spending my life recruiting for 20-somethings looking for experience with kittens in their backpacking journey or fighting daily for funds against organisations speaking only of the dog meat trade and deepening the destructive speciesism rife in rescue while hoarding animals with no vet care. Personally, I don’t want this life anymore and the animals deserve better than what we can offer. 

As a result of a forced move out of Hoi An, a city now becoming so crowded with tourists and filth from resorts that it’s not at all the charming city I once loved enough to settle in, and because we can’t fly out our sanctuary animals due to export restrictions from epidemics right now, we will need to move closer to Da Nang and focus 100% on getting a for-profit vet clinic with our existing business license staffed by at least one permanent, full time international vet. This is both for our animals and for so many others suffering at the hands of the poorly trained and equipped local vets. To be able to even attempt any kind of mass sterilisation project would be impossible without having a base clinic in a major city supporting it. 

So it looks like yet another search for property begins, along with search for investors, NOT just donors and grants, to join in a veterinary project that has some financial sustainability. Nonprofits cannot even begin to address the complexity of the problem here and the lack of funding is just far too stressful to bother carrying on with anyway. In the end, it’s run by humans, myself in particular, and I’m beyond fed up with nonprofit life. I’m all for social enterprise, but the prolonged stress of not making ends meet for the animals and myself is a nightmare I would not wish on my worst enemy. 

I very badly just want to get to my job. I miss saving lives. Now I spend my days drowning in debt and paralysed by the menial tasks of fundraising and recruiting, unable to respond to the many animals that need us and our own at home also in need of basic health care and the security of emergency care within reach 24/7/365. They deserve better than what I have been able to achieve on my own for them. I will need a team of reliable, mission-oriented, and experienced professionals behind me (unlike before…). The search is on for property and people so hang in there as we shift towards the work we needed to be doing all along.