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  #1  
Old 09-07-2006
Maima Maima is offline
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Default Educating the public: how successful?

Newbie-poster, non-ACO here, with a question I'll throw out there...

How successful do you feel you have been in educating the citizens you come in contact with about: --the humane treatment of animals? --animal control ordinances? --your job in general?

I guess it might be kind of hard to tell without doing some kind of survey of the people you've met, but how do you feel about the above, personally?

Maima
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Old 09-08-2006
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Some yes, some no. Depends on the person. Generally I find people are willing to listen and learn ... just not willing to do anything that's going to cost money or time, or be inconvenient.
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Old 09-08-2006
doggz109 doggz109 is offline
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I'd have to agree with Winnie....people will listen until it inconveniences them in some way. I usually have the toughest time with poor folks who really barely have enough for their family (and I usually tell them that their pet IS a part of their family). It's tough to say it but I sometimes try to convince people to bring their animals to the shelter and surrender them instead of continuing to get the "minimum" level of care.

The other group I have problems educating are recent immigrants. They have always done things a certain way in their country and sometimes have a hard time adapting to what the laws are here. Not to mention language barrier difficulties.

I will have to say that the one common language is money and they will ALL listen to you if they think you will be citing them or taking money from them in some way. Then they suddenly perk up and listen to what you have to say.
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Old 09-08-2006
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Default people education

My thoughts same as above. People will listen they just won't do anything that costs money, time or effort. I'm in a farming town so the mentality is not the highest when it comes to pets. They don't seem to care if the dog falls out of the back of the pickup, don't understand the concept of taking their dog for a walk instead of just letting it out the door to run at large. Really hard to get most people to license. They don't seem to understand the reason for it even though I give them the talk on lost dogs and returning them to their owners faster if they do get out.
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Old 09-08-2006
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LiHammy LiHammy is offline
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You take the small victorys were you can get them. everyone else that has chimed in is right on the money. depending on where your working and the situation.
I will say, that in general, Humane Education has made great progress in the past 20 years.
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Old 09-19-2006
carrie_cat carrie_cat is offline
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Default Culture clashes and language barriers issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by doggz109
The other group I have problems educating are recent immigrants. They have always done things a certain way in their country and sometimes have a hard time adapting to what the laws are here. Not to mention language barrier difficulties.

I will have to say that the one common language is money and they will ALL listen to you if they think you will be citing them or taking money from them in some way. Then they suddenly perk up and listen to what you have to say.
I just found out about a case of a couple of older women in Columbia, MD (a neighboring county to me) cited for neglect. I know it is not PC to say this, but based on their names, I would be confident that their first language may not be English. And I wonder when they first found a stray cat outside their condo door, if they had ANY way of knowing where to turn other than to bring the cat into their home. One cat leads to another. The case is being described as a hoarder case.

I just can't help thinking that MAYBE they are compulsive and are true hoarders. And MAYBE they had no clue who to ask about getting cats fixed. And very likely they had neighbors threatening them long before this that "if I see those cats on my grass I'm gonna get Animal Control to get them GONE" Do you think the women even understood anything except the tone of voice? Do you think they had real alternatives? I am not sure. (Granted, I know only what I've read in a quick report on this situation and I'm imagining what happens here in my own county).

Culture differences are big problems, and I don't think many people outside the animal care/control fields appreciate how language differences can impact on community systems. In the case I'm describing here, I doubt that any of our local organizations had materials available in the women's native language -- I would guess they are Eastern European or Middle Eastern.

The cats pay the price, again, for human failings.
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Old 09-19-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doggz109
I usually have the toughest time with poor folks who really barely have enough for their family (and I usually tell them that their pet IS a part of their family).

Now there's a line I'm going to use next time ... THANKS!!
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Old 09-19-2006
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UCDW880 UCDW880 is offline
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Depends on the topic. I've had incredible success with spay neuter education, including getting a lady who formerly produced about 45 kittens a year since it was "natural" for cats to have lots of babies to finally let me spay all her toms and cats.
Puppy mills? I think we have totally abysmally failed at educating people about good sources to get puppies, ie why not to buy at pet stores, what our shelters have to offer or how to interview breeders. I think we spend way too much time preaching to the choir. That said, I also have to say, I don't know how to educate properly on that issue.
Animals at large.....I get lots of people reformed when they realize the dangers of allowing a pet to run at large, first. Second, I spend time teaching people how to keep their pet from running out the door. Fix the door dashing and your stray patrols reduce significantly.
Kids safety topics....good one. I had a child being chased by two pit bulls. I came squealing up, leapt out of the truck. The kid got off his bike and "stood like a tree". I managed to get the two nasty dogs to chase me. He asked me if he could go, and I told him no, not just yet. I got the dogs a little farther away, then told him to GO. If he hadn't stopped, it would have been ugly. Then I got flagged down by a puppy owner who told me that he was so happy that every single kid that wanted to pet his dog all stopped and asked permission first. So, I have to keep my fingers crossed that that's a success.

But there are always people who flat out refuse to listen, and refuse to comply with the law. And that, my friends, is JOB SECURITY!!

MB
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Old 09-19-2006
tbendall tbendall is offline
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Job Security..... hmmm. While I have to agree, I really want to do myself out of a job.

I use education every day. I prefer to educate than citate (although we all know hat sometimes there is NO alternative!).

I go to schools, summer schools, neighborhood watch meetings, anywhere I can to spread the word (taking a puppy from the shelter always helps )

We also have an arrangement with the local cable company for our own city channel. I already have slides which form part of the overall city info and I am working to get on to the "Safety Scene". This is an interview format with various aspects of public safety. Police, Fire, Weed and Seed etc.

I know that a lot of our citizens cannot afford cable. But it also plays constantly in various public buildings.

A lot of time is spent on handouts which are available at City organized events. These explain leash laws, City license requirements, Rabies control and humane treatment.

It's a huge rock to break down and we are slowly chipping away at it.
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Old 09-19-2006
carrie_cat carrie_cat is offline
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Default True, some topics are harder than others

It is true, it's easier to get people to change in some cases than in others.

I know that I started keeping my own cats indoors when our new young adopted cat was out in our sturdily-enclosed porch, and we came home to find him nearly disfigured by a big intact Tom that had burst through one of the metal mesh screens on a window! Before that, and at our other house, in a more suburban setting, I'd had no clue at all that even a cat that DIDN'T wander from its own yard, could be in trouble! It also cemented the wisdom of indoor-only, when the old outdoor cat who "came with the house" so-to-speak, wouldn't come when I called him one cold, rainy night. (We found out we couldn't bring him in the house or he would spray EVERYWHERE -- though our vet told us that he had no testicles -- but he was okay in our attached garage in the worst weather periods). I wondered for weeks if he would just show up again, but he never did. I still miss him, he was a very unusual cat!

Anyway. Talking spay/neuter with people from different cultural backgrounds, that's where I don't do well. And elderly people, who grew up with a society that was SO different than things are today, who just don't see a reason to change. Change, is hard.

I don't think most of us are well-prepared to compete with video games, cable television programming, MP3, all of the short attention span of many people today. We need help to craft our messages so they're really short sound-bites. As you can see from my posts, I'm at a disadvantage when it comes to quick bits!
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