Learning To Power Rescue.

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None Of Us Has The Luxury Of Time.

Especially not the pets locked away on death row in high-kill shelters, with the clock quickly ticking, and not the rescuers trying to figure out how to save them. You must adopt a mind-set to act quickly and figure out details later, such as possible behavior issues, medical issues, etc. Sadly, high-kill “shelters” still operate all over the country; so, as a rule, you don’t have time to think about rescuing a pet, like I thought I did with Ramona (see earlier post “It Should Not Have Ended This Way”).

You need to act first and figure it all out later–learn to power rescue.

A Rose by Any Other Name?

Don’t be fooled about “shelters.”  Too many of them are anything but.  “Shelter” is too often code for “killing machine.”  People need to be aware that way too many shelters in our country are still high-kill and operate under old, close-minded protocols, using euthanasia as their first choice to manage animal population.  They extinguish precious animals’ lives, and justify the murders by blaming fake reasons, such as lack of kennel space, lack of people willing to adopt, the animal has behavioral issues, the animal is fearful, etc.  Of course an animal is fearful — look where he is!!  The chaos, the smell of death in the hallways, fear of all the strange people and other caged animals around him.  But take him out and away from those halls of hell and watch him blossom.  Sadly, “shelters” still exist that won’t be bothered to give animals in their supposed care such a chance.  In these cases, the shelters aren’t shelters at all–they’re killing machines.

Whose Job Is It, Anyway?
Hope and her precious babies, all killed by the “shelter.”

Another thing “shelters” do is put the responsibility and blame on us, the public, whether the animals live or die.  They assign animals an arbitrary 72 hours to live, then pretty much just sit back and wait.  If no one steps up to adopt or rescue him within the 72 hours, the “shelter” feels justified in killing the poor animal–as if they had no choice, they were forced, it’s not their fault. The beautiful mama lab in this photo, ironically named Hope, and her newborn pups–every last precious one of them–were murdered by the shelter.  Instead of protecting them and finding homes for them, in the way that “sheltering” means, the “shelter” decided it was easier and more cost-effective to just get rid of them.  Even though rescue organizations were standing by, offering and begging for the lives of this innocent family, the “shelter” took the shameful way out, and killed them, all of them, one by one.

Certainly not all shelters are this cold and ugly, but sadly too many still are.  Truth is, it should be squarely on the shelters to advocate for the animals–it’s their job–to set up new programs that pro-actively prepare the shelter animals behaviorally and health-wise so they have the best possible chance at finding caring, responsible new homes; and to create public and media outreach programs that make more people aware of the pets needing homes, and encourage those folks to foster and/or adopt. Nathan Winograd, founder of No Kill Advocacy, has a regular blog that addresses the failure of shelters nationwide to show compassion toward the animals they have charge over.  Nathan created the No-Kill design that truly saves the lives of shelter animals, not kills them behind closed doors.  Visit these links to learn more.  I’ve spoken about Nathan and the No Kill Advocacy in previous posts.  Their efforts have resulted in profound improvements nationwide in sheltering.  Because of them, “a no-kill nation is within our reach.”

Learn To Power Rescue.

To anyone who considers getting involved in pet rescue, know this: You Must Be Prepared To Go All-In. There is no halfway. Prepare yourself to act quickly so that situations like poor Ramona and Hope don’t happen should you hesitate. Prepare yourself to be flexible because you typically will not know the behavioral or medical history of most pets you will rescue, so you’ll be dealing on a daily basis with many unknowns.  Learn ahead of time what you can to be best prepared to handle tough situations.  You’re going to need every bit of emotional, mental, and physical strength you can draw upon.

Above all, prepare your heart.  Rescue is an extreme labor of love that will change you from the inside out.  Once you commit to saving and protecting these vulnerable lives from those who would hurt them, and experience the power in this simple act of love, you will never be the same.  And, while it will hurt like hell, that’s a good thing.

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God Bless and Happy Pet Parenting!

With love and good wishes,
jeannie.   ?

About jeannie:  I’ve been pro-actively involved in pet rescue all of my life. I founded Milagro Senior Pet Refuge© (Phoenix) in 1998, and BareFootPets (TM) in 2008. Animal welfare has always been and will always be my heart’s work. If my only legacy is that I save a handful of precious souls that would not survive otherwise, I’m good with that.