I guess I don’t understand what you do

KeepCalmLike many animal rescuers, I am guilty of assuming that the whole world knows what goes into animal rescue.  How could it not be common knowledge that this is an all consuming career that doesn’t provide for sick days, or holidays, or even weekends off?    It is demanding, challenging and fulfilling work.  Most rescuers are not paid for their efforts and for those who are, it is a small amount.  Animal rescue is not something that can be done half-heartedly.

But not everyone is aware of that, as I was reminded one night recently when I was late to a friend’s dinner party.  My friend, the hostess, was obviously a little miffed at my tardiness.  I offered my sincerest apologies, explaining that it had been a stressful day at work and an emergency came up, and it couldn’t be avoided.  She looked at me with a confused and accusing stare and said, “I guess I don’t understand what you do.  Don’t you just sell dogs?”

I’m sure my face fell as I felt the sting of her words that seemed to minimize the importance of what I do.  Not wanting to deal with the feeling of being insulted and hurt in a group setting, I smiled and moved on to another subject.

I realize it is my fault if some of my acquaintances don’t have a clear picture of animal rescue.  Of course, my nearest and dearest know what I do and how important it is to me.  But sadly, true animal lovers who really care and WANT to hear your rescue stories are few and far between.   When I’m in a polite social setting, I try to restrain myself from sharing too much.  Some people aren’t animal lovers, while others are too sensitive and can’t bear to hear your stories of rescue.  So, out of respect, I keep it simple.

Most people can’t relate to what I do and probably refer to me as that “crazy dog lady”… and I am fine with that label.  In fact, I embrace it.  Because to me, animal rescue is a calling, a ministry, a passion… it is job that can build you up and bring great joy only to strip you down and break your heart.  It is the best and the worst of humankind.  It’s a roller coaster of emotions, because in one day you can fall in love, fight back rage and mourn a loss.

Every single day, rescuers have to interact with people who either “just don’t get it”, or simply don’t care.  People from the public enter our facility and demand we solve problems caused by their irresponsibility, neglect and ignorance.   And when our resources are depleted or our foster homes are filled to capacity and beyond, they become enraged.

Every day we are presented with beautiful cats and dogs that will likely be destroyed unless WE find a way to help.  It’s a hefty burden to carry and it has made many of us great at thinking outside the box.  Most rescuers are excellent at juggling space.  If one dog or cat can crash at this place then that frees up that space to put this one!  It can be exhausting!

The objective of a rescuer is not to make life easier for humans or to make them feel better about abandoning their responsibilities.  Our goal is to save the life that would otherwise be lost because of the selfish decisions made by humans.  I will never understand how a human can look into the eyes of a dog or cat and not see the life that is inside there, the soul that is present.  That animal is not “just a damn dog” nor a “nuisance cat”.  It is a living, breathing creature capable of feeling and experiencing pain.  These animals are also capable of great, unconditional love. They bond with us and they communicate with us.  How can ayone look into those eyes and NOT see that?  How callous must someone be to look into those eyes and SEE IT, but not care?  In the end, it’s not the human that suffers, it is the animal.

Rescue animals can show you the beauty of forgiveness.  I am in constant awe of a rescued animal’s resilience.  Just being amongst these injured, yet hopeful, souls is a beautiful experience that is difficult to explain.  The bond you develop with these creatures is incredible and strong.  Once you’ve nursed an animal back from the brink of death, it is a challenge not to feel anger or contempt for the person who caused it.

As humans, we are advanced, evolved creatures.  We are able to problem solve, communicate, reason, etc.  However, we can be a barbaric species.  Humans can be selfish, cold and uncaring.  We should try to learn a thing or two from our four-legged friends.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could be strong enough to survive the cruelty of the world, yet pure enough to forgive completely, to be able to love unconditionally with no expectations, and to be perfectly content living in the present?

According to the City of San Angelo Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Operating Budget Report, a shocking 14,116 cats and dogs entered the San Angelo Animal Shelter.  Of them, only 14% were adopted, 9% were redeemed as lost pets by their owners, while the rest were destroyed.  That means that the City of San Angelo Animal Control has a kill rate of over 77%.  This is the third highest kill rate in Texas, with Harris County having the highest kill rate of 82%.  The city operates the shelter at a budget of over $738,522.  Are you okay with that?

I am an animal rescuer!  I have held puppies and kittens in my hands when they were first born.  I have held an injured dog in my arms as it died.  I have bandaged wounds and treated illnesses.  I have physically removed dogs and cats from inhumane, deplorable conditions.  I have fed them, watered them, medicated them, loved them and buried them.  I have circulated petitions.  I have begged breeders to think twice before breeding their dogs.  I’ve held the hands of a woman saying goodbye to a pet her neighbor poisoned.  I have placed a puppy in the lap of a child who lost his father.  I’ve cleaned up urine, feces and vomit.  I write grants asking foundations to help us in our effort to make San Angelo a better place.  I attend meetings and seminars.  I fight to stretch a budget.  I stay current on legislation.  I monitor state and local politics, and I beg for money to pay veterinary bills.  I am animal rescuer, and I don’t sell dogs, I clean up messes created by humans!

 UPDATE:  This is my very first blog post, and I am overwhelmed by the response I have received from everyone!  As a rescuer (as I’m sure many of you are well aware), there is never enough time in the day.  But I hope to add to this blog as often as possible, and I would be honored if you would subscribe and give me your feedback.  Again, thank you all so much!

65 Comments

  1. Teri July 11, 2013 5:36 pm Reply

    Very well said. Unfortunately so many “rescues” are really nothing more than a brokerage and that gives a bad name to everybody and makes people skeptical about donating to any rescue. Far too many in my area only care about certain breeds of dogs that they can “flip” for a profit. It is truly sad that these places mislead people for financial gain. Keep up the good work and thank you for being an honest-to-goodness rescue.

    • RJ July 12, 2013 2:37 pm Reply

      I have been in animal rescue for 30 years and I have yet to make a profit on a dog….
      When I have a successful adoption I am always pleased but when I look at the numbers I always come out with a negative figure….
      On my last adoption I was really pleased as I was only $28 in the hole excluding food, treats and time

      But because of a few unscrupulous people our jobs are made harder…
      Before anyone donates do your homework…
      Meet the fosters, look at the vet records, read their contracts
      If these people will just hand you a puppy for money without doing any reference checks and home visits then they are not a true rescue…
      If the dog or cat have not been fully vetted and microchipped they are not a rescue..
      We are not just going to give you a pup without proof that they are going to a loving home

      The sad reality is that people do horrible things in the name of rescue but these few should not denigrate the work of a true rescuer.

      http://find-love-train.com/

      • Catnip Trails July 16, 2013 1:32 pm Reply

        Thank you RJ… I agree. I’ve run a rescue for 17 years and have never made a profit on a single pet. My pockets are always empty, but my heart is always full. I realize there are puppy-brokers, and unscrupulous groups out there that call themselves rescues, but your advice to adopters is right on target. Adopters: Do you homework and make sure you’re adopting from a legitimate rescue.

        http://www.catniptrails.com

      • Jackie Siniard July 18, 2013 1:57 pm Reply

        I have rescued for years also and have never ever asked a penny from the person whom I have secured adoption. It is not about the monies, its about finding a loving home for the child you have rescued

    • Catherine July 12, 2013 8:55 pm Reply

      I have dogs I have spent over $500.00 on in vet bills- money I will never recover for an adoption donation. If you are in it for the dogs that’s what you do. it’s never going to make money and is always in the red. All our local rescues struggle every day to survive financially. Thank God for the generous people out there who do care. Definitely go see where you donate to, you’ll know.

      http://www.happydogadoption.petfinder.com

    • Amy July 13, 2013 12:59 am Reply

      I agree some rescues work as brokers, but in my 30 years of rescue and saving in excess of 6,000 dogs from southern states. The brokers are in the minority and really good true rescues should not be “lumped” in with them. Please, please always consider what you say, before saying it. Please think about donating to one of those good reliable rescues in your town, they need you. God Bless.

      http://adarrescue.com

    • jlong78 July 14, 2013 7:03 pm Reply

      I am saddened by this comment. I am involved with many of the rescues in the Houston, TX and not a single one, has ever in their history, made a dime off of a dog. Their blood, sweat and tears go into every single one. I can speak from experience in rescue – each puppy costs me between $500-$800 to rescue – my adoption fee is $200. Each adult dog can cost between $300-$1000 and their adoption fees are $150. And my donation requests are higher than most of the rescues out there. Every breed in my city has a rescue – and I would bet my entire life savings that 99.9% of them would say about the same thing. Over 300 dogs and cats are euthanized here per day. We have 1.2 million dogs homeless on our streets – rescues don’t have the time or effort to try and manipulate the system with those types of astounding numbers – and if they do – they don’t last long, especially in the modern days of social media.

      • E Wyatt July 26, 2013 1:12 am Reply

        Does Houston have a catch/neuter/release program for cats?

    • Mary Jo July 14, 2013 10:27 pm Reply

      I don’t know any rescues that flip. They are all up to their eyeballs in Vet bills and begging for fosters.

    • Lou July 14, 2013 11:11 pm Reply

      I founded a breed rescue 10 years ago and am very connected to the community rescue groups. It has been my expereince that most (limited intake)rescues are in it for the right reasons. In reality, if you are a group that pays the bills primarily with adoption fees, you need some “flips” in the mix to pay the bills sick or injured animals produce. In the end, you have to be a good business person to balance your intakes between very ill or injured, easily treatable, healthy but senior and healthy and younger. It is a very emotional business to run. It is all consuming and I am a “volunteer” position.

    • Ann LaGoy July 16, 2013 3:43 am Reply

      There is no money making in true rescue. I, and all the rescuers I work with, have paid time and time again out of our own pockets. I now think of every single purchase in terms of how many cats that purchase could spay/neuter instead!

      http://www.facebook.com/AnnLaGoy

    • Animal rights advocate July 16, 2013 11:59 pm Reply

      I don’t know where you live but I don’t know of ANY rescue group or rescuer who makes money on rescuing and adopting out the precious souls they rescue. Each dog saved costs hundreds of dollars paying for spaying or neutering, shots, many times heart worm treatment, injuries or illnesses. There is NO such thing as ‘flipping’ or financial gain in rescue. Please do your research and don’t insult the many, many awesome rescuers who give their time, energy and personal money to save animals abused, abandoned and neglected by so called humans! Shame on you for what you wrote!

    • Terr July 17, 2013 12:50 am Reply

      My husband and I have been involved in dog rescue for the last 13 years. Not one 501(c)3 group we volunteer with has ever made a profit. They typically operate “in the hole”. As a family, I’d love to have back the thousands we’ve spent of our own money helping homeless, abused, neglected, and injured dogs. No wait, take that back, I wouldn’t change a thing, wouldn’ take back a dime. We’ve rescued, fostered and placed hundreds of dogs. We’ve housed hundreds of dogs in our home. We’ve reguarly spilled blood, sweat and tears through the years. Every soul has been worth it. Every soul has been priceless.

    • leti July 18, 2013 1:21 am Reply

      I don’t know where you live, but I don’t find that to be true.,,,

    • Nancy Tucker July 18, 2013 1:06 pm Reply

      I’ve been involved coordinating with 1,000s of rescue groups all over the country and I know of none who make a profit, I’ve heard of scammers but don’t know any personally. I am not a wealthy person but coordinated a rescue out of Miami Dade “Shelter” (hellhole) to have a darling little mutt transported up to me for me to foster. I didn’t know he had a fractured leg. He had such a happy spirit despite the pain he was in. I spent $3,000 of my own money getting him surgery from a specialist and had to contain him so he could heal. My small house was disrupted by the pen in the living room for 6 weeks, I had to clean up after his accidents several times a day. I had to put a plastic bag on his cast everytime he got to go on a limited walk outside. Once he healed, I paid to have him neutered $200. Plus food. Then I had to screen for the best home for him … advertising him and checking people out. I finally found the perfect home. They were not wealthy either so they gave me $150. This all took my savings so it was my Christmas last year ,,, but I was OK with it because he was a darling boy and deserved a life … and it made me much happier than a stupid new purse or overloading children with more toys that they don’t appreciate. This is only ONE story and there are so many people who are so much more heroic than me. But my heart aches when I know that millions of loving animals are abused, homeless … killed because there is no home for them. For God’s sake people, spay and neuter your pets, adopt … don’t shop. Their lives are precious. When I was sick and living alone … my human friends were nowhere to be found but my little dogs gave me a reason to keep going. I do this for them. Love you Delaney and Roni.

      • E Wyatt July 26, 2013 1:31 am Reply

        That dog needed an angel, and you were there! I think I hear bells–can you see your wings yet? 🙂

  2. Chris Didear July 12, 2013 2:30 pm Reply

    God Bless you and the selfless sacrifice and hard work you do to save lives of animals. You have my deepest respect, admiration, and gratitude.

    • Julie Finkelstein July 16, 2013 2:30 am Reply

      Thank you, most of my work a day world and rescue has been with these loving animals, I appreciate your respect. It’s not easy, until you work with your heart!

      http://www.facebook.com/julie.finkelstein.7

  3. Katherine July 12, 2013 6:29 pm Reply

    <3 You read my heart.

  4. Peggy Robertson July 12, 2013 7:34 pm Reply

    AMEN and a Big Thank You!!

  5. Donna D’Apolito July 12, 2013 10:39 pm Reply

    I am not a rescuer as stated here as to what a rescuer is, but i have 5 cats and now just one dog that was a rescue. I have a blind and deaf Catahula dog. Chance was transported up here from Austin, Texas for me. My daughter is deaf and we figured that we could give a deaf dog a good home. I put in for a deaf dog on the internet at rescue areas. I was contacted by a rescuer that she had a blind and deaf dog and would I be interested. That scared me, but I started doing research in regards to blind and deaf dogs. I thought we can do this with touch signs. Now my main problem was having the monies to pay for the dog as well as trying to get him transported up here. God blessed me with the girl not charging me for Chance and some people working together to bring him to me.

    I just lost a very scared chihuahua that was a puppy mill rescue. She was 7 years old when I got her. Not only did she have ? litters of puppies, but she was pg when rescued. When she had her last ones as they were being weened she took on a litter of 3 kittens who’s mother had been killed and raised them before she was fixed. I had her for 5 12 years. I had one cat that i had for 17 years. I knew that she was not going to last much longer when a girl who rescues and has 5 dogs needed someone to sponsor for a cat who was pg. I figured that was ok and could have my pick of the litter. That was 6 years ago and the vet said she was between 7 and 8 years old. I don’t think that I am sponsoring her any more lol. I have 2 kittens from the litter in which one got hurt and I swore I would always take care of her. Then my grandson and a friend went to the movie theater and brought home a tiny kitten that could hardly eat and was loaded in fleas. Then our daughter had a stroke and I wound up with her cat.

    I have a daughter who is deaf and paraplegic (hit by a drunk driver when walking home from the store 11 years ago) that I take care of. My husband has had dementia for years and now has ahlshimer (cannot spell that). I disabled myself. Our money is tight but My family will never go hungrery. I am very blessed with the most wonderful vet that deals with rescues and we have a barter system working arangement that helps both of us.

    The thing is you are so right, no one will understand what we do or why we do it. The one thing that I know is that I cannot look at the web sights that have a lot of rescued animals. I joined a web sight for deaf and blind dogs that I thought was for tips and help on dealing with deaf and blind dogs, but guess what it is mainly about dogs that need a home. I have to get off of that group. I have more that the city ordances allow where I live and believe me if I look or see I would have more, but have to be realistic that I am sure that all rescuers have to do. God blesses and depends on all of the rescuers, weather it is one animal or 50 to take care of his angels that he has put here for us.

    • Wanda C Moody July 15, 2013 12:33 am Reply

      Donna, thank you for caring & for all that you do. I, too, am a rescuer, like you. I have had so many feral cats to come to me that have been starved. I cannot & will not let an animal suffer or go hungry. In the past year I have paid to have 14 cats spayed/neutered thru our low cost spay/neuter clinic which I volunteer my time whenever I can. At the moment I have 20 cats, Some range from 6 months to 15 years+. People have dumped pregnant cats at my house because they know I am. If only more people would spay & neuter their animals, maybe we would eliminate a lot of these “unwanted” animals. All the cats that have come to me were not unwanted & I have given them food, love, a place to sleep & be comfortable which is what they want & need. They all have given me much happiness & it is what I should do for one of God’s creations!

  6. Anger July 13, 2013 2:11 am Reply

    Bravo!

  7. Mary July 13, 2013 2:05 pm Reply

    Your odds are better supporting a rescue, then a puppy mill,or backyard breeder. There are a few bad apples in rescue, but there are NO good apples running a puppy mill, or back yard breeders filling up our shelters. The idea that “most” are brokers is a major exaggeration and does little to help those trying to solve the huge kill rates in shelters. “if” you are not participating by donating, transporting, fostering, or volunteering for adoption clinics, or working hard on animal welfare issues, then you actually have not earned a seat at the table of animal welfare. What you have is an opinion and like all humans, those seem as plentiful as the cats and dogs getting dumped in our shelters. The idea that anyone is doing rescue to get rich, well, I hope you didn’t pay for that hotel seminar.

    • Jody July 14, 2013 8:01 pm Reply

      Thank you, Mary..for saying what I was too inarticulate to say without cursing.

    • Libby July 16, 2013 8:28 pm Reply

      Well said, Mary!!

    • Nancy Tucker July 18, 2013 1:34 pm Reply

      Thank you for clarifying … this is the total truth. Legitimate rescue organizations do NOT make money … they depend on donations and the assistance of volunteers. Puppy Mills are the biggest cause of the problem … and “Brokers” are the creeps that take the puppies out of this miserable existence and make it sound like they came from some loving home … displaying them as well bred and cared for. NEVER buy from them. And NEVER buy from a backyard breeder. Why buy when so many precious creatures (full breeds AND mutts) are put to sleep only because they have no home. Keep checking your local shelters for your new best friend or search shelters or legitimate Rescue groups using http://www.petharbor.com/ or http://www.petfinder.com/ Adopt … don’t shop. Spay/neuter. Volunteer. Donate. Foster. Thank you.

  8. Patty Dadamo July 13, 2013 5:30 pm Reply

    Thank you for all you do!!

    http://www.facebook.com/pattydadamo

  9. Awilda Velez-Rodriguez July 14, 2013 8:21 pm Reply

    God bless you for all that you do. I volunteer with the wwwmsrh.org and I understand how hard is to train people and let them know the hard work of rescue organizations. Just keep up the good work and the faith. Again, God bless you always.

  10. 10yappingdogs July 14, 2013 11:13 pm Reply
  11. Wanda C Moody July 15, 2013 12:22 am Reply

    Very well said! Thank you for writing this. Wish more people understood & cared!

  12. Rashda/Mina Khan (@SpiceBites) July 15, 2013 3:37 am Reply

    Thank God for people like you and thank you for sharing! So proud f my sister San Angeloan 🙂

    http://twitter.com/SpiceBites

  13. Karen Malone July 15, 2013 10:53 am Reply

    I’m not a rescue person. I just kind of fell into this a few months ago and have fostered, adopted and found homes for several others. I have gone from 1 dog and a cat to 3 dogs, 2 cats and another dog that I am trying to find a home for that is currently living with a wonderful family near Ft.Worth. I am not a rescue person, yet. Give me time though. I’m still learning.

  14. Sherry Shillenn July 15, 2013 1:24 pm Reply

    So discouraged with the percentage of euthanization rates. Will we ever make a dent in it? I just keep soldiering on with my work but I’ll be doing it til I’m over a hundred years old at this rate….

    http://ewoof@wyoming.com

  15. Debbie July 15, 2013 3:18 pm Reply

    Your written word, expressed my thoughts. You do more than a great job! God Bless.

  16. Felicia Sparks July 15, 2013 4:41 pm Reply

    I used to live in Robert Lee (outside of San Angelo) and applaud you for making a difference there! I work with rescues here in Dallas and it is hard enough on the non-decision making side (I mostly help with transport). I just can’t imagine how hard it is on your side! Thank you for writing an article that articulates what rescues go through! BRAVO!

    http://www.facebook.com/fsparks

  17. London Sanctuary July 16, 2013 1:54 am Reply

    Wonderfully written- and I am forced to agree with the comment about “flipping” sometimes being necessary. In a perfect world with plentiful funding, the group that I founded and run would only pull seniors and cast-off hunting hound dogs- but in order to take care of THOSE special souls, we are forced to pull cute, fluffy puppies just to keep some money flowing. I don’t like it. But it’s necessary, because the cute puppies CAN be adopted out fairly easily here- seniors and hound dogs almost always become “care for life” sanctuary dogs. Sad reality.

    http://www.thelondonsanctuary.org

  18. Lonnie Sinclair (@4dogangel) July 16, 2013 4:46 am Reply

    Love this article and feel so lucky to be a part of the wonderful people who do this kind of work 🙂

    http://twitter.com/4dogangel

  19. barbiepc July 16, 2013 1:53 pm Reply

    Thank you, and may God bless you for your calling as an animal rescuer. I am a volunteer, and foster mom for Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas. My friends do not understand how I can foster these precious animals, while helping to find them a good and loving home. I confess, I have five rescues that we have adopted. Thank you for sharing your story, and compassion for ‘rescues.’

    http://barbieperkinscooper.wordpress.com

  20. jme July 16, 2013 3:51 pm Reply

    this is very well said! i have found too that it is the people closest to us that get it the least…i felt at first like i was doing something wrong- how could my life be dedicated to these animals, and yet a friend/ family member doesn’t get it and asks me to rehome their dog- and then find them another?? it is truly baffling, but rather i remember the hundreds, now thousands, of people and pets our work has affected…the people that DO get it…the reality though is most people probably won’t- but that can’t affect our resolve! and clearly it doesn’t…but i was with you on every single word of this piece. besides those that don’t, there are many who really DO get it, and we all silently applaud each other, and ourselves…but mostly it’s the head butt from that cat you saved, or a gentle lick from a shy, injured dog…that is all the reward we need to do it again. the roller coaster ride all ends there 🙂

    http://www.motleyzoo.org

  21. Tracey Bryant July 16, 2013 4:33 pm Reply

    Thank you thank you thank you…you beautiful person <3

  22. Amanda July 16, 2013 4:54 pm Reply

    How anyone could ever hurt a 4 legged fur kid is beyond me. Our dogs and cats, (we have 5, all rescues) are not animals to us, they are family, and God help the person who would ever even think of hurting them, cause there would be one ticked off Mom ready to defend them. We do understand what it is like, our last rescue was on the verge of being put down as “unadoptable” because she snapped at anyone who got close to her. We begged, pleaded, and worked with her, at the shelter, for a month to build enough trust with her that we weren’t going to hurt her. How would you react if you were left to starve, chained behind a house, with no food, water, or shelter, and beat every day. She still won’t let people she doesn’t know get near her, but also takes her cues from us, if we remain calm, she settles down quickly and will eventually warm up to people, as long as we are there with her. She trusts that we won’t let anyone hurt her. We still feel the previous damage done to her by inhumane previous conditions, a poorly healed rib that was either cracked, or broken, from what we guess was a kick to the side. A broken tail, that she struggles just to wag, to show us she is happy. She has been with us since January, and the difference is night and day, her personality has taken a leap for the stars and wants nothing more than to be close and loved. Our oldest dog was the only surviving pup from the litter, because neglectful owners didn’t bother to get them their vaccines. If we have to go with out something, so be it, our “kids” come first. Our middle dog was a rescue from Tennesee, because the family thought she was a cute puppy, not realizing how much energy and space Weimeraners really need. Yes, our furniture may be chewed, and not worth much, but the dogs don’t care what it looks like. They are happy to have a comfortable place to lay their heads and snuggle with us.

    • Wanda C Moody July 16, 2013 8:54 pm Reply

      I feel the same way, Amanda, about my cats. My husband & I do not have any “hooman” kids, only our fur babies.

  23. shonnalikens July 16, 2013 5:19 pm Reply

    This blog explains what it takes to be a Rescue Organization. They are all very caring individuals looking to make a displaced animals life better. Lets pass this around so that others can be made aware of the real work and dedication of these organizations in hopes that others can join them in either becoming a foster or adopting an animal in need as we did. We are so Blessed to have been given the opportunity to adopt Calhoun from the Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas. Thank you to all the dedicated workers an fosters associated with them. Shonna and Ed

    http://shonnalikens.wordpress.com

  24. anna d July 16, 2013 5:28 pm Reply

    I personally want to thank you for doing this for the animals. Without people like you these poor soulds would ahve no voice and no chance.

  25. John Livingston July 16, 2013 6:10 pm Reply

    We work with Tennessee Scottie Rescue… this is my story about Pierre.

    http://jlivingstonjr.blogspot.com/2012/02/who-would-anyone-want-old-dog.html

    http://jlivingstonjr.blogspot.com

  26. Kyndall July 16, 2013 7:25 pm Reply

    I invite anyone who thinks I’m making a profit on the dogs adopted out in my all-volunteer breed-specific rescue to do my work for 1 month. If there is a profit I certainly don’t see where it is.

    http://www.azdoberescue.org

  27. Meg July 17, 2013 12:04 am Reply

    I’ve been in rescue for nearly 7 years and it’s a heartbreaking as well as heart rewarding task we set ourselves……A beautiful explanation….

    http://www.dogdayz.vpweb.com

  28. Kathryn Sullivan July 17, 2013 12:52 am Reply

    This brought tears to my eyes. You are an angel to do so much for animals that can’t defend themselves from people who don’t get it. Soon I am going to volunteer to help. This really was a great eye opener for me to read. More people need to help in any way they can. Thanks for writing this.

  29. Judy Eurich July 17, 2013 2:04 am Reply

    Thank you for what you do. You are truly a godsend to so many dogs and cats. I am a rescue mom and have known and still know the love of a rescued animal. You are an amazing human being.

  30. melanie smith July 17, 2013 4:17 am Reply

    AMEN!

  31. Crystal Mitchell July 17, 2013 8:43 pm Reply

    My husband and I started our rescue toward the end of December, 2012. We started it in part because every time we turned around dogs and cats were finding us. We’ve always had animals, pitts and chihuahuas are my passion, personally. I’ve been called lots of things, but an animal hoarder is the most common. I try to explain that I’m not hoarding them, I do adopt some out when the right person comes along, but we have several that are a part of our sanctuary, due to age and health issues, will be with us until they cross the bridge. We have dedicated our lives, money, and spare time to these animals and yes it’s heartbreaking, while at the same time rewarding. We get hundreds of requests a day to take more animals and some days we just can’t deal with it. I sit and cry for the ones we can’t save. I get on facebook and share the animals, hoping someone will want them, but at times I just can’t. We both preach spay/neuter to everyone we know, most generally we’re ignored. I try to explain why nicely, my husband gets a little more in their face, but it rarely works. He and I also volunteer at a low cost spay/neuter clinic twice a month. I love working there, it’s such a good cause and it’s so nice to know that maybe because there will be fewer puppies/kittens born, maybe some of the shelter/rescue animals will be adopted. Right now, my husband is dealing with terrible burn-out. We’re both exhausted, and because of all the rain we’ve had recently, the inside dogs spent more time inside and are getting restless. It’s tempting to quit, but at the same time, I will NEVER subject our animals to being without a home again. The most memorable dog we rescued was from a city shelter, I saw her picture on facebook, they said she was a pitt cross, about 4 months old. She was emaciated and already had battle scars all over her. I went and got my husband and we struck out to the shelter. When we got there, they brought her out to see us, the first thing she did was rolled over for us to rub her tummy. She was found in a “dumping area” for dogs, had bite marks all over her, and an infected joint from a dog bite. She was actually older than 4 months, about 6 months. She weighed 14 lbs. They said she’d weighed 12 lbs. when she was brought in. I couldn’t leave her there. 1st thing we did was went to McDonalds and got her a plain hamburger. Then to PetSmart for some good food. I carried her into the store like a baby, got some strange looks, but she got so excited to see all the food. That was the first part of March of this year. Now, she weighs 40 lbs. is gorgeous and the sweetest baby, her name is Fenix! Every day she lets us know how much we’re loved. That’s the reason we continue to do what we do regardless of the heartbreak and hardship for us.

    http://www.strayacressanctuary.org

  32. Merrie Ritter July 17, 2013 10:39 pm Reply

    Thank you and your husband for being animal angels! God bless you! <3

  33. April July 18, 2013 2:24 am Reply

    Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! You’ve said everything I’ve ever felt about rescuing. I don’t run a rescue but I do bring them into my home and I volunteer at a local rescue (more often than my family understands, I’m sure). It’s not only a calling but an addiction (a good one) to help homeless animals. And you are correct – it’s 24/7. I am sharing your blog so more people may gain an understanding of what all it takes to save animal lives. May God Bless ALL that you do.

  34. Rosa July 18, 2013 2:46 am Reply

    Thank you! Well said.

    http://www.e-rescue-houston.org

  35. Debora July 18, 2013 9:06 pm Reply

    God bless you!!

  36. Lisa Brueckner July 19, 2013 6:37 pm Reply

    thank you all.

  37. Jeanie July 19, 2013 9:19 pm Reply

    I loved loved loved that article. I’ve been volunteering at the local Humane Society since 1993, have fostered well over 300 animals and I know several people think I am a hoarder. My fosters don’t stay; they get good homes, or in a few cases, a loving home in which to die. I was one of the 2 original foster Moms for our shelter. In addition I volunteer at the shelter itself 2 – 4 days a week. I love what I do. But it hurts sometimes to see the “concern” in other people’s faces. One former friend even called up the HS and screamed at them that they were taking advantage of me and had to stop. They don’t, by the way, give me more than I’m willing to handle.When I adopted a dog and told some friends, they said in disapproving voices “Oh, Jeanie!” I pointed out that I had not adopted a dog for ten years. They were shocked. Apparently they think that the animals come into my home and never leave. This “concern” btw doesn’t stop them from contacting me when they find a stray or have a pet that they need to “get rid of”. Nor do they understand when I have to miss things because I have to bottle feed some babies or have run out of money for entertainment purposes, having just splurged on better quality kitten food on a limited income. I’m very lucky, however, in that my family understands (and in several cases have traveled several hundred miles to adopt some of my fosters). And there is a lot of mutual respect among the rescuers in this town. It would be very lonely to have to do this on my own.

    http://muttlvr3@comcast.net.

  38. Schnauzer Lover July 27, 2013 2:00 am Reply

    I would just like to ask this question. What do rescue organizations do to deal with the cause of this never ending problem of unwanted pets? I am new to the US so perhaps I’m missing something. This seems like a never ending battle. Unscrupulous breeders and uneducated pet owners – who is doing something about this?

    • Crystal Mitchell August 1, 2013 4:34 pm Reply

      I’m gonna jump in here and respond. As the owner of a very small rescue in Central Texas, the number of unwanted pets is unending and overwhelming. As a rescue we take what we can, depending on size, disposition, needs, etc. Others, we look for someone to take, beg someone to take, whatever it takes. We, personally, also volunteer at a low cost spay/neuter clinic, so we also preach spay/neuter, that’s the only way this will ever be stopped, stopping all the babies being born. It’s very frustrating to talk to people about it only to hear “well I just want her to have 1 litter.” That’s when I start throwing out statistics of the number of dogs and cats euthanized every day across the country. I’m sitting here this morning, totally exhausted, we have 45 dogs for my husband and I to care for all alone, and get a call from a friend that someone found 11 6-7 week old puppies dumped on the side of the road and just left them there. Fortunately, homes have been found for several, but I still may wind up with some of them.

      Another thing that I’ve seen some shelters doing is shipping their animals to other parts of the country where there is more demand for them rather than putting them down. I’ve seen this recently and hopefully it will help in the longrun.

      We’re all trying to work together on this, but until more people spay/neuter, I don’t see a solution in sight.

      • Jay Cannaday August 2, 2013 11:20 pm Reply

        Here in NE Florida, more often than not when I start throwing statistics at folks, the typical answer is “so what, ain’t my dog gettin’ killed”. I’ll go postal on one of these idiots one day, I have no doubt. It doesn’t help that there’s a vet here that actively discourages spay and neuter, saying it “ain’t natural”….

        https://www.facebook.com/jay.cannaday

  39. paxgirl August 4, 2013 2:01 am Reply

    So well said; your heart spills out over your words. Thank you for all the lives you’ve saved.

    http://paxgirl.wordpress.com

  40. Crystal Mitchell August 8, 2013 11:49 pm Reply

    One of the many things I’ve learned during the course of rescuing animals is the number of people who actually don’t care. I totally understand about going postal. I’ve had to control myself several times! I can’t believe a vet would actually discourage spay/neuter. I don’t know of any around here to discourage it, the ones I know actively encourage it. They’re just as tired of seeing unwanted animals as we are. Poor babies, and it’s not their fault! If more people would care just a bit, it sure would help the rest of us who are running themselves crazy and spending all their money trying to save as many as we can.

    http://www.sstrayacressanctuary.org

  41. Margaret December 31, 2013 5:42 pm Reply

    Wonderfully stated. Thanks for being you.

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