Monday, April 4, 2016

Rescue Economics. When the Expense Costs You Your Ability To Care.


Lately I am finding myself questioning the grey lines between the black and white. The definitive Yes's and No's. The right and the wrong gets blurry and hard to decide. The more I see the more I try to tip-toe and spare all around me. It is not the life of bliss and skipping through fields of daisies. This is real-life death and despair, and shit, it sucks sometimes.

Not too long ago a fellow rescue friend vehemently argued with me that it was "excessive that a cat dental could cost $400." She refused to listen to all that goes into those dentals and how anesthesia, doctor time and expertise, and the degree of care and responsibility that we invest into them influences the clients final cost. She is a rescue volunteer who has helped hundreds of cats over many decades whom I respect but, I fear that her perception of the overwhelming need has diluted her recognition of what "ideal care" is. It isn't hard to get to this place when the assembly line of TNR's disfigures your ability to recognize optimal or acceptable and has replaced it with quick, cheap and processed. She also has never had to stand witness to the stress, fear, and deep anxiety that riddles every surgeon who has to be dentist, anesthesiologist, veterinarian and humanitarian. When you lose the individual in providing for the masses you are losing the trees for the forest..

Another uber rescue wizard Facebook friend posted this.. it reminded me once again about how much we have to do and how difficult it can be when there are bean counters in the ranks.

I am appalled by a private message I received by a "Facebook friend" about the little chihuahua family, Annie and her puppies from the Houston shelter in Texas I rescued.

I was first just going to ignore this message and un-friend her and not let it get to me since everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I am not even sure how she ended up as one of my friends if she doesn't have the passion of compassion for animals since I am pretty selective whose friend request I accept.

But my blood is boiling by what she said:

"Why would you spend so much money on these dogs in Texas where so many dogs in your area that need rescue? You could have saved 20 dogs for the amount you are wasting on these."
WASTING??????? I am WASTING money on rescuing dogs????

First of all, every penny I have spent and continue to spend in the rescue of a dog is never WASTED and very well INVESTED as every needful soul is worth saving. NO dog ever deserves to be in a shelter confused why they are there and why their life would be at jeopardy and could end at any given moment.

This little family had no control over their situation that ended them up there, nor had they control over being sick and miserable. They didn't ask to be there, trust me.
We put them there! Ignorant people who won't get their dogs fixed and turn the blind eye to the neighbor who breeds dogs in their back yard. If everyone would spay and neuter their dogs and take responsibility, this little family wouldn't have ended up there.

Spaying and neutering makes a big difference: Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens! 8 Million dogs and cats enter shelters in the U.S. each year. More than 1/2 won't make it out alive.

I can't save them all, but I made a difference in the life of little Annie and her puppies. I can only focus on the "Starfish Story" and keep saving one at a time.

My dear Facebook friend: "You tell this little family they are NOT WORTH saving by WASTING money on them." I can't. I will do everything and anything to save them, with much blood, sweat and so many tears, and every Dollar that is needed.

I am not going to unfriend you with the hopes that you will follow their rescue journey and see the joy and pride they give me, and everyone involved with their rescue, and everyone who supports animal rescue and enjoys following these precious souls. And the love and joy they will give and receive by the families who will adopt them is the biggest reward. That to me is PRICELESS and that is why I continue what I do!!!!!!

As we always say in rescue, "we have lost our minds but found our souls" but I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Annie and her puppies

No one can argue that there is a forest of need and a million trees being overlooked. But, God, don't let me finish this journey not seeing those eyes, that warm nose, giving that little soul a hug and telling them how much they are loved. 

This is Paisely. She was surrendered with her sisters at the local shelter. She was not spayed, she was kept in a cage, and sent to us as a last ditch effort to help her presumptive rare medical condition. After three vets, vaccines, anesthesia, and one misfortune after another she was found to be pregnant. She is the epitome of the faces of our broken humanity. The overlooked, minimized, and disposed of. She is now with a foster mom who loves her and will be there for her. She is the forest and the trees and all of the faces that compassion beholds.

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I can also be found in the vet hospital, mostly kissing pets. Meet me anytime at Jarrettsville Vet in Jarrettsville Maryland, I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice. 

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