The bottom line: It isn’t easy

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, September 22, 2016

Left: Bruiser Right: Zeus

Left: Bruiser Right: Zeus

Today’s tale will be more about people than it is about animals.

Most people are aware that I maintain two 501c3 funds that are for the animals: a personal fund, Lennie’s Fund, Inc., and an urgent care fund maintained at the FHS shelter. 

The Foothills Humane Society fund is for major cases and urgent care for animals that reach the shelter in need of medical and sometimes psychological help, a large endowment by a dear supporter, Bettye Logan, who is responsible for many of the major cases you’ve read about the past two years. I miss her and the wonderful conversations we had. Someday I’ll tell the story of this fascinating lady and how she honored me with her love and support. There are many others who keep my funds afloat. Please don’t stop, my kids need you.

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My goal since I have been physically working with the shelter has been to keep as many animals out of FHS as I can and that includes working with many other rescues and rescuers. Helping those that reach the shelter still remains a top priority. Cases in point are the latest two that Lennie’s Fund assisted: Bruiser, a 9-year-old Shitzu mix and Zeus, a 1½-year-old German Shepherd.

Bruiser had such bad and rotted teeth that they had to be removed and it broke his lower jaw in the process. He is toothless but healing and doing well, believe it or not. He is currently residing with Verna Wilkins at Forever Dream Dog Sanctuary. Verna is one of the rescuers that Lennie’s Fund works with.

Zeus is blind in one eye and we can only make assumptions to what caused his problems.  All indications point toward some sort of abuse. He’s a sweet boy and the last I’ve learned, he is being fostered by Ashley (cutie) and Foothills, with Lennie’s Fund  handling whatever he needs.

When I first arrived at FHS there was less than a 50 percent live release rate for the animals. Today it is above 95 percent and some consider that a no kill, which is not true.  I think to myself, “What is acceptable, so that the bottom line can be achieved, 10 percent, 20 percent?”

If the bottom line is funds, the animals will suffer. Don’t get me wrong, many mistakes are made and some people are in the pipeline who do not put the animals first. An animal that is psychologically or physically irreparable will be humanely put to sleep.  This being said, everything in our power to alter these problems when possible should be tried. I personally can account for many animals that would not have made it before that have reached loving homes.

Reaching the bottom line in my mind, saving as many as possible, is not easy at all. I am just a small voice in this matter. Over the years I have stood among giants.

Steven King, who I have known from the beginning, works tirelessly for the animals and there isn’t a chore too small or too large that he won’t tackle.

David Pritchard, the new board president, ever since I first met him I was pleased by his love and devotion toward the animals.

Sue and Richard Wallahara (owners of my Gizmo), are tireless in their efforts and I’m honored to call them friends.

As always there’s Dana Mayer, who now heads Po’Kitties, but through the years has been instrumental in saving countless lives. I could name more but I must not ever forget the great staff and wonderful volunteers both old and new that make it all happen.

Many people like to give their advice on how things should be done. Believe me, I’ve heard it all over the years. My favorite is when someone sends me the implication, “Lennie, I love what you do, if only you’d do it my way.”

I suppose these advice givers mean well but their bottom line and mine are completely different. As far as I’m concerned I believe in the old adage, “If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem.”

Finally if you think there is a better way to do it, then just do it; your help in these matters will be more than welcome. If not, then leave those of us who are in the trenches alone, the work we do is hard enough on our hearts as it is.

Thanks for listening.