ICHBA Mission Statement
I Could Have Been Adopted is an animal advocacy group in Robertson County, Tennessee. We are a 501c3, under the umbrella of the Robertson County Community Foundation, and have been active since November 15, 2012. Our mission is to facilitate the rehoming, altering, and vetting of 100 Animals per year to keep them from being turned over to a government-run animal control facility.
Our mission is accomplished by forming a partnership between a family that’s considering surrendering a dog or cat to the county shelter and I Could Have Been Adopted. The family surrendering the animal becomes a foster providing food, shelter, and love for the animal. At the same time ICHBA assumes responsibility for vetting, promoting, and finding a home for the animal. While this is the ideal situation, we do have a small network of families who, if available, foster an ICHBA sponsored animal.
Go to http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelterid=TN743 to view adoptable animals.
Ten Reasons to Spay and Neuter by ICHBA
1. A man driving a pick-up truck threw seven puppies into a field on Kinney’s Road. Six were rehomed. One was never found.
2. Eight puppies dumped at the Splish Splash Laundromat were diagnosed with Parvovirus. Five were saved and rehomed. Three died.
3. A torn-up male dog was found on Route 49. The vet concluded that he had been a fighting dog. His injuries were treatable, but the dog was so aggressive that he tried to tear everyone’s head off. He had to be euthanized.
4. Last summer we found a six-week-old puppy in an oak tree on the Springfield Greenway during a thunderstorm. Eight months later, he’s still living with a foster family.
5. Nine puppies in a cardboard box were ditched on the doorstep of a local Robertson County thrift store.
6. For no apparent reason, a family decided they didn’t want to take care of their healthy six-year-old cat anymore. They took Sally to the vet to be euthanized.
7. An elderly woman died, leaving Fiona, her beloved ten-year-old cat behind. Not one of the remaining family members wanted to keep Fi. Her fate is unknown.
8. An allergic mother-in-law refused to visit her son for the holidays unless they got rid of their cat Ethel. Ethel was neutered, then released into a cat colony.
9. Sugar Ray, a boxer with a face only a mother could love, was abandoned at the OK Campground. He’s deaf and nobody wants him. He’s been living with a foster family for six months.
10. Sara and Floyd were found on Flewellyn Road. Both suffered from starvation and mange. Sara was so close to death that a turkey buzzard had already started to eat her. Both survived.
This is just a sampling of incidents ICHBA has encountered. To help us prevent further suffering, please have your pet spay and neutered.
LOW COST SPAY AND NEUTER CLINICS within 50 miles of Springfield, TN
A Cold January Call
The woman called during the coldest January Tennessee has experienced in twenty-seven years. She and her boyfriend couldn’t keep the four eight-month-old pups living in their backyard. I Could Have Been Adopted (ICHBA) offered to provide all vetting services and find them forever homes if during the transition the couple sheltered and fed the pups. She said no.Within ICHBA’s small network of foster families, we had room for two of the puppies and agreed to foster them. We did ask the couple to have the mother of the pups spayed since every rescue agency’s goal is stopping litter after litter of unwanted puppies and kittens. When the couple agreed, ICHBA made the appointment and told the clinic to charge its account. At the clinic, the staff discovered that the dog was very pregnant. If spayed, her fourth litter of pups, days away from being born, would be euthanized. The owners chose to proceed. No one knows where the first and second litter ended up, but the pups from the third litter had never been named, vetted, or fixed. Shortly after rescue, the two pups began exhibiting alarming symptoms. They were diagnosed with the very contagious Giardia, which compromised their health and that of the fostering families’ animals. ICHBA left numerous voice mails and texts informing the couple about the infection and the risk to the animals left on their property, but they never got back to us. All of this could have been prevented if the female mutt had been fixed before the first litter. Please have your dogs and cats spayed or neutered to help control the animal overpopulation.
One female and one male cat and their offspring can produce 420,000 kittens in 7 years.
One female and one male dog and their offspring can produce 4372 puppies in 7 years.
The Gift of an Animal
Around the holidays potential adopters regularly ask: “Do you have a puppy for our four year old for Christmas?” I hate to say it, but I cringe every time. Unfortunately, this time of year requires animal rescue agencies, like I Could Have Been Adopted (ICHBA), to be extra cautious. Often a gifted cat or dog loses their luster soon after the tree comes down and becomes relegated to a crate in the corner, surrendered to an animal control facility, or tossed out on a country road.
“It’s a surprise,” potential adopters plead. But any responsible rescue agency doesn’t release their foster animals without home visits attended by the entire family, including children and other pets. Don’t assume a child will love an animal because they came on Christmas morning. A puppy or kitten wearing a red bow is both romantic and nostalgic, but it’s also unfair to both your family and the animal to expect an instantaneous connection.
There is only one tip for gifting a cat or a dog: don’t do it!
The decision to adopt an animal is a long-term financial and emotional commitment. It should be a decision made by the entire family, including other pets. Is your cat or dog socialized? Would they accept another member into your pack?
Also, please consider your family’s schedule. Kittens and puppies are like babies. No one would leave a three-month old alone for eight hours, so please don’t assume you can lock your animal in a crate for the same length of time. In many ways kittens are easier to care for than puppies, but they have teeth and claws like needles, which often unintentionally frighten young children.
As far as your family’s financial obligation, both kittens and puppies need regular veterinarian visits, including several months of vaccinations starting at seven weeks. If not, they are vulnerable to contagious, life-threatening diseases, which are more expensive to treat than preventative care. The cost is significantly reduced after the first year, unless something catastrophic happens, but include animal care in your budget for the life of the animal.
1. Google the cost of caring for an animal for twelve to eighteen years. In your search include both minor and major expenses.
2. Consider your lifestyle. Do you have the time? Does your family enjoy pet-friendly activities?
3. If you decide to give the gift of an animal, start with a stuffed one. Include a note stating that the adventure of finding a family pet is beginning and allow everyone to have a say in finding the perfect dog or cat for your family.
4. Keep in mind that “You become responsible forever for what you have tamed.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery