This post is not going to be a happy one. Its coming from a place - run ins ive had with people and opinions over the last few weeks.. who don’t seem to understand what Rescue is.
I fell into rescue accidently. I needed a job, i liked animals and my local shelter was desperate and would hire any one who would work for their crappy pay, loved animals and seemed remotely capable. I don’t think they expected me to last, I just.. could not walk away. It is much harder to walk away when there is a dog in front of you. Staring at you.
I talk about making donations to shelters on cam, about my shelter wishlist and about my dogs a lot on cam and twitter. I try to keep it positive. I try not to let you guys think about the bad stuff too much. I know its not sexy, and its not why you come to MFC. You come to relax, have fun.. be entertained. But this is important to me. Its really important to me that you guys also realize that walking pups and fostering and talking about rescue isnt something I do to make myself feel better about shoving dildoes in my pussy for money on webcam for lots of money. I’m not an amazing person. I’ve let animals down. I took a year off from rescue when i started camming because I was just..done. I could not do it anymore. There are plenty of times I could have done way more and didn’t.
Rescue is why I’m on this planet. And rescue isn’t pretty.
The two dogs above are dead.
The first one was so sick with worms and starving that despite me sleeping the night in the isolation room to administer IV fluids, he passed due to dehydration, worms, shock and weakness.
Trooper died because he went crazy in the shelter. We tried everything we could but he kept getting more and more aggressive. On christmas day - with no volunteers and no staff - i stepped away from the yards to walk a dog and eat my lunch. When I came back he had got into it with another dog and he was injured so badly - that the vet did not think he could recover in a shelter environment. We did not have a foster capable of handling his needs. I held him as he died.
The reality is, when I was in director of a rural no kill shelter - housing 60-100 dogs.
Over 50% of our population was under 6 months.
We were aborting pregnancies up until the final days on a monthly basis.
We had no cat facility. The local politicians would not put out for a spay/neuter program for ferals. There were no spay/neuter programs.
I did not have the skill set or time to campaign for one.
The local animal control was contracted for a 8 hour day monday thru friday. Outside of those hours the local police were supposed to handle calls. Of course, if you called the local police-telling them there was a dog on your property you would be advised to wait till morning or “shoot it”.
Then they’d tell them to look up the board members or in the phone book. Or me. Maybe i’d come get it at midnight after my 10 hour days for $55 a day.
The local city kennels were a strip of 10 outdoor kennels that were at the back of a construction lot. There were no fans, no blankets, just chain link and a roof. There were no excercise yards. No adoptions. The policy was to hold a dog for 3-5 days to see if it was claimed, then to euthanize.
on the weekends the dogs were supposed to be fed and cleaned by the local police with the help of a few inmates. Many days they would forget.
If a dog tipped over his kennel, or his water bowl barking at the other dogs through the wire -no one was there to see him die of dehydration and heat.
if a dog got into a fight through the fence, no one was there to see him bleed out.
As a result, we would go over and check (and ultimately feed and water and care for) those dogs every weekend. We would also check on them at night. We provided fans in summer, blankets in winter. we paid for a fence around the edges so we could exercise the dogs. We walked them.
One time, I found kittens one animal control officer had been stomping on and throwing in dumpsters, so he didn’t have to deal with complaints about them.. He had borrowed food and traps from me.
Our shelter was no kill. We pulled our dogs from the city kennels.
What that meant was, it was essentially our job to decide who lived and who died. if i take this dog, who might be adoptable..and care for it, vet it, feed it for 6 months.. how many dogs do i have to sacrifice to do that. It was the eternal debate. YOu never knew if you were making the right decision.
at least half of the dogs the city kennels received were heart worm positive. at the time, the treatment was expensive and required the dog to be kept kenneld (calm) for over three months through a series of painful injections. If i took a heartworm positive dog (curable, and by all means adoptable) it meant I was commiting a kennel for at least 3 months, and funds.
Once a man came to the shelter and threw rat poison over the fences.
At night, people would drive up and dump dogs. Tie them outside, or just drop them in the fields at the end of the road. Sometimes they were dying. Sometimes they were dead when we got there.
Many times it was boxes of puppies. Frozen to death before I got there in the morning.
We had dogs in our kitchen. In our hallways. In our examination rooms. In our toilets.
we had crates stacked to the ceiling.
we had dogs in crates in the back kennels.
My body reeked of bleach and sanitizer. We cleaned with military standards because we were so terrified of dogs getting sick.
We made use of prisoners to staff the shelter. We had a fantastic program that allowed us to take in men serving longer sentances on good behavior at the local jail. But many times we’d pull from the local jail population for day labor.
Sometimes, I would be alone with them. I quickly learned to dress in oversized scrubs, no make up, hair up tight and to walk and talk like a man so I would not put myself in a situation where I might be raped or assaulted. We hid the drugs.
One winter, to keep from having to kill all the dogs in the city kennels - we frantically fundraised and erected a temporary building and filled it with crates and gas heaters. We covered the shivering dogs with blankets at night. Then we did loads of laundry in the day on the pee soaked blankets.
And then, I’d sit on the phone and deal with people who were angry at me. Who thought I didn’t care enough to come and get a dog they wanted to rescue.
Then I’d sit on the phone at home, going through applications from the northern states. Where they have more money, and better spay neuter laws. Where people who wanted puppies were finding there were none in their local shelters. So we would transport 70-80% of our dogs to the northeast using transport services or volunteers.
I try to remember that there are many causes in this world. That children are dying. women are being raped. That animal rescue is not for everyone. That people cannot give what they dont have.
But, sometimes I go to bed an think “its just not enough”.
Please do more, if you can.