The Tazewell Animal Rescue Coalition is very pleased to be making our introductory post! It may not be widely known, but Steemit has already helped fund our efforts in Central Appalachia. Since June of this year, our Director’s personal Steemit account has been dedicated to the cause of supporting the rescue and several needy animals who’ve come our way. Conversation with certain influential Steemians has revealed a true philanthropic heartbeat in this online community. So now the rescue itself will have an official presence, bringing you frequent updates and news about the animals whose lives were saved or improved by the generosity of people using this platform.
Tazewell ARC serves one of the most downtrodden regions of the U.S. Central Appalachia is known for poverty, drug addiction, poor health care, skyrocketing high school dropout rates (1 in 4, in some areas, like Richlands, VA,) and a declining population. Read more about these troubling statistics HERE. Corruption exists in local government that bears alarming similarity to that in some developing countries. Most municipal animal shelters are considered “high kill,” meaning that many healthy animals who enter those facilities are destroyed for lack of adoptive homes.
There’s no doubt that spaying and neutering pets can put an end to the unbalanced supply versus demand in rural areas like Southwest Virginia. But solutions are seldom as simple as they sound. The closest high-volume, low cost spay/neuter clinic is more than an hour away. Funding is difficult to obtain, especially through the major animal welfare organizations that typically devote less than half of one percent of all donated monies to grant programs for local shelters. Volunteers are as rare as hens’ teeth in regions like Central Appalachia. Indigent populations tend to view charity as a receivable resource, not a profferable one.
Typical overhead for this organization is minimal. We do have a private facility, though the rescue is considered “home-based” under Virginia law, rather than a shelter. Recurring monthly expenses run about $200. (This is a combination of electric, water, dedicated phone and internet service.) Food for the dogs runs about $300 per month. Part time kennel help (who has agreed to receive payment in SBD) is $360 per month. Veterinary costs are best calculated per dog. The average cost to vet a dog for adoption or transport across state lines is $300 per animal.
While these are not the only expenses we incur, it’s safe to say that for approximately $850 per month, we could keep the doors of this rescue open indefinitely. This is a miniscule amount compared to what some major public shelters require. What’s the possibility we could generate that kind of support on Steemit? Would people donate SBD and STEEM to this cause? Could our posts eventually gain enough value to have payouts on that scale? And what kind of posts would make people more likely to upvote? What would Steemit audiences really enjoy seeing from us?
We’d love to see thoughts from people in the comments. Ideas, too. Someone associated with this rescue through Steemit will be attending Steemfest in Lisbon next month. We hope he comes back loaded with a head full of revolutionary concepts and plans, as well.
In the meanwhile, let us show you some of the dogs that Steemit has saved. Tazewell ARC would absolutely have been forced to turn these animals away had we not had backing from people willing to toss large upvotes on posts and comments and donate any spare SBD they could.
Meet Bailey! Bailey was the first project. He came to us after being abandoned along a busy mountain highway. He was malnourished and suffering from sarcoptic mange. Funds were raised to treat him for all parasites and vaccinate him for all of the core canine diseases prevalent in the U.S. Bailey is now awaiting neuter and microchipping so he can catch a transport to our rescue partners in New England. This means we need to raise at least $100 more dollars to get him ready for adoption.
Next is Lena and her ten little bundles of joy! They came to us malnourished and very wormy after being abandoned in a rural neighborhood. They have been rid of parasites due to a generous donation through Steemit, and are now ready to begin their series of puppy shots. We need to raise at least $1500 to cover all the vetting required for mommy Lena and her big litter before they can be legally adopted or transported across state lines.
We believe our cause is worth it. All of the animals we’ve shown you here are highly adoptable and will find homes easily in the New England region of the U.S. There is no reason any of them should have been tossed aside or thrown away like garbage. It is our belief that Steemit could help us make a big statement about animal welfare as well as the need for spaying and neutering. Will you join with us and start changing the world, one Appalachian dog at the time?