On a whim, I pushed the Colorado Springs Homeless Network website up today and did a publicity post on reddit for it, hoping to get some feedback on other available resources in CoS for the homeless… I was completely not prepared for someone to actually sign up.
Queue running around like mad figuring out my next steps. We’re now toting a forum, and I hit up a friend, Doug Gilchrist, for some logo ideas. Because we’re both weird, there is now a Homelesaurus for the CoSH mascot/logo, because we want to make puns about homelessness going extinct. …it’s a work in process.
Opinions from an ex-homeless gent on the spay/neuter debate. I found it really enlightening.
Jeremy: “I’ve been homeless with dogs before, and I understand that it’s really hard to, for those people like to give up just any aspect of control, like, in their their life, like with their dogs. Like, a lot of times they’re right, a lot of times they’re not. Like, it’s completely different from raising an animal inside, and they just don’t see that. A lot of them are just like free spirits, and they’re like ‘oh, let them do what they do, they’re animals, let them live’ and this that and the other thing and they really just don’t know, they’re under-informed.” (00:09)
Jeremy: “They’re just irresponsible. It’s the long and short of it, and they don’t want to be told how to be responsible.” (01:15)
Jeremy: “Honestly, like, there’s not much you can say, like, you can’t talk to a lot of these people logically. They’re just gunna fight against it. They’re gunna fight the– instead of fighting the argument, they’re going to fight the debater. You know they don’t have a strong argument, they don’t want to be convinced otherwise.” (01:34)
Jeremy: “Do outreach and some people will respond and some people won’t, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.” (01:58)
Jeremy: “You’re going to get some response, and you’re going to get some negative response as well. Like, I love what you’re doing.” (02:28)
The gent that chimed in about his pit at the end of Q-Ball’s interview is one I’d met before Downtown– he was the first person to make me realize that not everyone would want to spay/neuter their pet, even for free. His words from our first meeting, “my dog’s not broken, why would I fix her?” are the cause of this entire escapade.
Aaron: “My dog’s not broken, why should I fix her.” (00:10)
Aaron: “So if my dog gets pregnant, and she gets- she has some kind of a health risk from it, and I’m neglectful about that, then it’s on me and not my dog.” (00:34)
Kate: “So if, if your dog ends up pregnant, are you not concerned about some of the, the costs that come with-” (00:51)
Aaron: “She is pregnant.”
Kate: “Are you worried-”
Kate: “-as a future puppy papa? Not at all?”
Aaron: “I’ve been a puppy papa before and I already know what to do if there’s any problems with the pregnancy, it’s really not that hard if there is…”
Kate: “So you don’t really know where they’re going to end up (the puppies).” (01:24)
Aaron: “Mostly to friends and other street kids, as long as it’s someone I know who’ll take care of a puppy. Which, I’m not going to be moving around the way I do now when she has her puppies, so during the time she’s nursing and they’re getting ready to be weaned, I’m gunna actually have someone who I, can feel that I can trust that can take care of the puppy or not, and I’m really not that worried about it.”
Aaron: “I’m gunna make sure the puppies are vaccinated before they go out.” (01:56)
Kate: “And you’re not worried about the finances on that, either?”
Aaron: “Not really. Um, once I get a violin my life will be a lot easier again, and I’ll be able to make the money very easily to get the vaccinations for the puppies, so it’s not really a big deal to me.”
Aaron: “We need animals in this world.” (2:28)
Aaron: “If someone else wants to get their animal spayed or neutered, then let them. It’s not for my dog.” (02:43)
Warning: the ‘b’ word is said a few times (being the dog’s name) and near the end someone else drops an f bomb. I’d like to note that she was very, very well socialized for having been abused. Hats off to Q-Ball’s handling of her.
Q-Ball: “I wouldn’t want nobody to cut my lifeline off…so why would I allow them to cut her. If it’s time for her to reproduce, it’s time for her to reproduce. God made her that way. Just like abortion, I don’t believe in that.” (00:04)
Q-Ball: “I would not keep a living being out of having their right for reproduction. If it came time that she couldn’t do it anymore and it would hurt her, yes I’d do it.” (00:44)
Q-Ball: “…if she had pups, she would- they would go to good homes.” (01:36)
Me: What if it [the dog] ends up being a risk to the people around you?
Q-Ball: Then I would do away with the dog. Especially somethin’ like a pit. Once a pit tastes blood, it’s done. (2:29)
At this point, I’m interrupted by my next interviewee and his dog Lucy, chiming in that ‘his pit has tasted blood before’ and defending her gentle nature (more swear warnings). The exchange is pretty interesting, starting at 02:36.
The very, very first impromptu interview I conducted (you can tell, don’t judge me) at the park by Marian House in Downtown Colorado Springs, where I asked peoples’ opinions on spay/neuter. The first people I approached were Tracey, Charles, with Tracey’s beautiful German Shepard– they were very welcoming and warm!
October 1st, 2015
What are your thoughts on spay/neuter?
Charles: “…[as an] animal parent, you have to understand the consequences. There are a lot of people who love their animals, have litters, and don’t want ’em so they just give them to the pounds and they get euthanized. To me, that’s just about as bad as having a child and throwing them into the system.” (00:40)
Tracey: “…it’s the same thing as letting your ten year old go out and get pregnant. If they weren’t a good parent, they would allow that to happen. That’s my best friend right there. I mean I would bend over backwards for her because she actually helps me, so if I knew it was going to harm her, I wouldn’t allow her to have it.” (2:24)
Tracey: “Yeah, they’re animals, but they’re also part of you, too, so you have to look at it as a standpoint of actually being a parent.” (3:03)
If you want to, listen to the full, uncut and unedited file:
Armed with a newly purchased Sony recorder, a hand-me-down replacement phone after I laundered my Nexus, and a lump of terror in my throat, I took up an invitation to see Colorado Springs’ Street Petz at work. ‘Work’ being at the easily missed side alley between the park and the Marian house.
Theirs was a lone, unassuming SUV with the trunk popped open, piled high with gallon and sandwich bags full of cat food and dog food. I only saw dry but I overheard someone asking for wet dog food because his girl (a pomeranian) wouldn’t touch the dry stuff, and he didn’t get turned away.
Lined up on the sidewalk were a variety of people with a variety of dogs, all of whom were amazingly well behaved, considering that they were being pushed up against strange people, strange dogs, and getting jabbed with vaccinations. The Street Petz personnel- three wearing Street Petz t-shirts and possibly a fourth helping hold dogs for the shots- worked quickly and efficiently, making sure to double check when people thought their pets last had their shots, how old the pet was, when they’re due next, reiterating the information with as much professionalism as any vet. Even if someone was just getting dog food, they asked if they needed any shots.
I waited in line to introduce myself- it hardly seemed fair to cut- and when I got there, felt compelled to make it brief and get out of their hair so they could get their work done. That led to the impromptu decision to conduct interviews about peoples’ opinions on spay/neuter. The following series of posts are those interviews, of varying quality, length, and viewpoint.
Oh, and this picture of Chenelle and her kitten Diamond:
I was waiting behind her in line and got the picture long before I thought about doing interviews, so unfortunately I do not have her audio.
I saw a total of two cats amid all the various dogs, both kittens.