Monday, November 29, 2010

Are We Saving as Many Lives as Possible?

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving with families, friends and pets. We had a great week. Lost Dogs of Wisconsin reunited Lucy, the German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix with her 83 year old owner and got her home in time for the holiday after 27 days travelling the roads of Waukesha County.

We had some weird weather last week. I was on my way home from the barn when a tornado warning was issued. I ducked my "used, but new to me" Ford Explorer under a gas station overhang for fear of hail damage and listened to the storm's progress on the radio.

Weather forecasters are doing an awesome job these days. It struck me that they're in the business of saving lives also, just like our shelter directors.   I wonder if any weather forecasters are dinosaurs or naysayers - stuck in a rut, still doing things the way they did twenty years ago.  I bet not - especially those that want to keep their job.  It's probably "keep up or ship out" in the meteorological business.

Can you imagine a weather forecaster saying "Those new methods don't work - lives won't be saved.  I'll just keep on using my old maps and outdated technology."

The forecaster I was listening to was using ultra-modern technology plus asking for listener participation and tornado sightings through Facebook and Twitter. The accuracy of the predicted path was amazing. No lives were lost although properties were severely damaged. Without the forewarning, there could have been casualties.

I think the animal welfare world can learn a lot from others that are also in the business of saving lives.  Ambulance services, fire extinguisher and smoke detector sales, air traffic controllers, hospitals .  I can think of dozens more. Can you?

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. ~Henry Ford

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