U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Thread summary:

Rescue members: proper pet care, local shelters, volunteers, foster coordinators

Old 06-02-2008, 09:27 AM
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 16,321,163 times
Reputation: 7582


You know, we’ve had a lot of threads on what it means to be in rescue, whether rescues are intrusive, and the purpose behind the multitude of questions that are asked…and what constitutes “rescue”. Everyone’s definition is different, I’m sure…but sit back and let me tell you a very personal story, preceded by my own interpretation and some justification for why we do what we do.

Rescuers wear a thousand hats. If you take home that stray on the street, congratulations! You’ve joined our ranks! If you adopt from a shelter, you’re a rescuer. If you educate your neighbor on proper pet care or spay/neuter or BSL or whatever – yep, you’re a rescuer! This includes the mostly anonymous who pick up extra collars or bandanas at the dollar store, who throw an extra bag of food or kitty litter into their car at the grocery store and drop it off at the local shelter, the ones who donate to their favorite cause or shelter…but let’s talk about formal rescue, the nonprofit ones, the organized ones, and all the people it takes to pull it together.

Some rescues are large, some are small. There are folks who do intake, who receive dozens of pleas per day and unfortunately have to deliver the bad news that there is no room for “just one more”. They network, they talk to other rescues, they forward emails, they make phone calls. They educate the surrendering home on how to possibly work it out to keep their pet. They listen to the most ridiculous stories you have ever heard – but they work. There’s the webmaster who keeps it all current. There are the temperament testers who go into shelters or homes and see if an animal has the proper socialization skills or the potential for socialization that would make the pet a candidate for rehoming. There are volunteers who review adoption or foster applications. There are the ones talking to the vets and making home visits. There are foster coordinators who make sure everyone who can has a pet that fits their home, makes sure that the pet is well cared for, maintains a constant flow of info between the foster home and the rescue and a potential adopter, makes sure every animal in their care is vetted and ready to roll. Rescuers are the ones sitting at the bookstore at Christmas wrapping packages for a donation…or washing dogs on a hot Saturday afternoon, or fighting BSL. They maintain records on all dogs past and present. Someone is managing the money behind the scenes. Someone is coordinating volunteers. Someone is helping to drive that pet to the foster or forever home, and at $4 a gallon for gas, that’s a labor of love. They make hard decisions that aren’t always possible, but they do what they do out of sheer love.

Rescue members donate their time, their heart, and all their energy to protect the pets who can’t speak for themselves – and they do this with ZERO pay and often no recognition. Although it seems easy enough on the surface, managing animal AND people personalities can be challenging at best…it is out of sheer commitment that they do what they do, and I’d like to publicly commend each and every one of you who has a burden for the homeless and unwanted animals. You ARE making a difference each and every day. Though you may not get any extra applause here on earth, the galaxy is a better place for your efforts. I’m humbled and honored to know every one of you that gives of yourself without reserve.

And now a story of how a rescue pulled together for the good of one dog. One OLD dog.

Many of you read that I lost my senior Rottweiler this last week – Miss Girl, who was rescued at age 12. Pretty old, huh? She was in south Louisiana with a family who couldn’t keep her. Dad had abandoned the family, mom had no education or job and three small children to feed, and they had to move into Section 8 housing that would not allow them to keep their beloved Miss Girl, who had been with them since she was a puppy. Contact was made with rescues everywhere. Unfortunately, no one had room for this older senior on such quick notice, so the volunteers began working on an “independent” adoption – finding a home willing to take on this Rottie privately. We heard through a long chain of a man in Ohio willing to take her in for the rest of her days…and there the story falls apart. He was more than willing – and the owners at first were ready to send her on a long transport via car and volunteers thousands of miles away. It sounded good on the surface, someone with experience in large breeds who professed to love seniors. It all looked good….and then one volunteer took it upon herself to run a very quick check on the email address associated with the potential adopter…and what she found would horrify the hardest of souls. Through some sharing of public postings we were taken to a world we would all rather not know about – this potential adopter was strongly, strangely, publicly into animal pornography. He had bragged on other sites that he intended to adopt this senior, and what “fun” they would have. Oh, it was very real, with graphic descriptions and even secret sites with pictures. It was sickening, disgusting, and more than I personally ever wanted to know about the perverted things that go through people’s minds.

I’d had this dog on my mind since the first plea and this was the final straw. Obviously, we immediately put the skids on that adoption and turned the information over to local pet advocates and the FBI. Whether it went anywhere, I don’t know – but I do know one week later I made a 400 mile trip to Mississippi and picked Miss Girl up to bring her to our home. At 12 years old we didn’t think we would have her too long, but I knew she would be safe…and she graced our home until last week – over four years. What a life-changing experience that was, one I will always hold in my heart.

Folks, this is revolting and it is an extreme example – but you need to know what happens in the bigger picture. Except for one person, Miss Girl would have lived in HELL for however long she lived…so the next time someone feels a rescue is too intrusive and asking too many questions, tell them this story. Tell them we ask because we CARE about not just placing an animal in a home, but making sure that animal is in the best and safest of homes. They cannot speak for themselves – in a very real way, they are at our mercy. They depend on us to look out for their needs and to protect them from harm…and that is the purpose of rescue.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 06-02-2008, 11:41 PM
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,215,112 times
Reputation: 3397
Thumbs up Miss Girl would be proud you told her story, Sam

We all need to keep Miss Girl's story tucked away in our minds.

We don't want to think these monsters are out there, but we know they are. Who knows how large their numbers might be. Their victims are silent and easily hidden from the world.

We had a well-publicized case here in Jacksonville where a dog was used in a whorehouse. Somehow, someone has the decency to alert the authorities and the dog was swiftly removed and placed into a special adoption - no details were released to the public, the dog's identity was kept under wraps for her protection.

I'm sure these stories are the tip of the iceberg. I shudder when I see a members post here on CD that they are looking to give up their dog...in whose hands will the dog end up??

Miss Girl was saved and Miss Girl has a voice...she'd be so proud Sam .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-03-2008, 01:47 AM
Location: Texas
8,062 posts, read 16,213,016 times
Reputation: 3701
OMG, I got sick to my stomach when I read what might have happened to Miss Girl. Bless you, Sam, and the bless the rescue volunteers who prevented disgusting things happening to that dear old soul and for giving her a loving, safe home! I have an elderly collie who's now 12 (I rescued him when he was 6) and I'm going to give him and all of my rescued kids extra hugs right now!

In the city where I used to live, a sicko was picked up for child molestation. A young woman he was dating turned him in when she inadvertently found videos at his home of him molesting small dogs. I think they filed animal cruelty charges along with rape of a child charges and I hope they put that creep away for a long, long time.

There are people in this world who hate innocence and glory in perverting it. I hope there is a special place in hell awaiting them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-03-2008, 02:07 AM
Location: Mannheim, Germany
35 posts, read 135,212 times
Reputation: 21
Default Rescue "again"

I agree with both of you!
My husband and I had a HORRID descision to make when the Army transferred us overseas to Germany. We had a pit/coonhound mix at the time, 2 years old. Since we lived in a rough area, and my husband was often away, our choice of protection was a dog who was loyal and had the potential to scare people off, and was wary of strangers. I had him neutered, walked him frequently, obedience trained him, never trained him to attack or anything rash like that...but he had a suspicious nature about unfamiliar people...with which he saved me from 3 separate could have been disastrous experiences. This dog was my guardian and a precious and valuable family member for me and our then 4 year old daughter (who was his napping partner).
When we found out where we were headed and the restrictions they placed on him, we got him evaluated for his temperament...and because the testers were strangers (and I was not allowed to introduce them to him properly)...he failed. I was heartbroken, and considered staying in the states while my husband was overseas...but my marriage proved to be more important. We begged family members to take him, but he was either too big or the city ordinances forbid his half-breed status despite him being a favorite at reunions and the like.
So, we put an ad in the paper for him, three months before we were due to leave. We checked shelters...but he had failed a temperment test, so no chance. We had many, many responses....from KNOWN dog fighters and people we knew (thanks to small town knowledge!!!) had been investigated for animal abuse/neglect, etc. Maybe we had just worded the ad wrong...but after over $200 worth of ads and three months time...
We decided that rather than let him go to be tortured, used as bait for dogfighting, or worse...to fight himself or be starved...then we would put him down ourselves. We dug his grave in Ohio in December, and remember him fondly.
We tell ourselves we did the right thing for the family by getting him in the first place since he had saved us more than once, and that we had let his memory stay honored and dignified by the end he had. Our Jackson will be remembered fondly.
Cheers to everyone who keeps dogs, as well as other animals, from torture, starvation, or cruelty at the expense of just making sure they are alive at any cost. Thanks to the responsible rescue groups who coordinate such things for others, too. They were not able to help us, but they do amazingly difficult jobs with little reward and much abuse from others.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-03-2008, 10:10 AM
Location: Tejas
7,550 posts, read 16,386,697 times
Reputation: 5087
Sorry for your loss. You did good though, gave a good dog a good home.
We saved a very abused Great Pyreneese and gave him his best years before he passed. I think dogs have short memories. They are so willing to trust us when they are in a good home, even after abuse and neglect.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-04-2008, 08:49 PM
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,479 posts, read 7,034,238 times
Reputation: 1908
Ahh, Sam, you've touched my heart again....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2008, 01:01 PM
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,283 posts, read 17,245,080 times
Reputation: 3759
What a touching story. I'm happy to know that she had her last years with you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 06-05-2008, 03:01 PM
Location: Melbourne, FL
1,006 posts, read 5,082,409 times
Reputation: 633
Everytime I read such a horrible story of what people do to animals of any kind, I just can't phantom how this is tolerated or how people just turn the other way and walk on by.. and say.. its just an animal. Then there are people like you, Sam, that are so unbelieveably caring and go to great lengths to keep the animals safe and sound. I truly salute you! I'm so touched by your story as I have a very big heart when it comes to animals myself. Like you said, we do what we can to help and to rescue as many as we can.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top