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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"I couldn't do what you do."... Then do something more!

"I couldn't do what you do."

I hate hearing that statement.  I think we all do.

It is usually stated by an animal lover, when they learn about or discuss our animal rescue work. It is usually followed by "I would take them all home." 

The statement is said with good intentions and likely meant to be complimentary and caring. But it is a burr in my side when I hear it.  That statement is not a "get out of jail free" card.  It does not justify a person's inaction. 

I usually remain quiet about it.  I listen as they tell me that their spouse would divorce them if they took in one more animal, or that they would get kicked out of their house, or that they would need an acreage to maintain all the animals they would have, if they could have...

Again, it is said with good intentions but taking a homeless animal into your home temporarily or permanently is not the ONLY thing you can do to help us "do what we do".  As a matter of fact, there are things that almost any shelter or rescue is in need of your help in doing, and it does not mandate you taking another animal into your home OR you writing a big check! (Although we would be most grateful if you did either!)

Every shelter has a wish list.  A wish list is a compilation of things that a specific shelter needs in order to continue to thrive.  Sometimes the item is something they do not have and would like to have in order to benefit the shelter.  But most wish lists include items that shelter uses frequently and could use your help in stocking up on those items.  These items often include cleansers, bleach, pet food, paper towels, litter, printer paper.  If you have a shelter in mind, check with them as some items might have a specific preference.  For example, maybe they prefer a specific brand of food that the animals are used to eating, or a type of litter that works best in their environment.  These items may mean you spend only $5 extra on your weekly shopping trip, but that $5 means so much more when you walk in the door of the shelter carrying goodies for our furry friends.

In a previous blog, I gave many unique suggestions of ideas, some of which include fundraising parties, hitting yard sales, crafting ideas, photographing a shelter's pet, sharing links to the shelter's pets on social media websites such as facebook and twitter, and many more ways you can help your shelter without spending a lot of money.  Please read "Help your local animal shelter while on a budget" for some amazing low-cost and cost-free ideas.  Some of the ideas listed are very creative, fun, and shockingly easy!   http://vetrescue.blogspot.com/2011/02/help-your-local-animal-shelter-while-on.html

The point is, you do not have to "do what I do" in order to be an important part of animal rescue.  But if you care about animals, remaining inactive is hurting those animals you claim you "wish" you could help. 

Step up! Do what YOU can!  I know you can do something.  I know you can inspire friends to do something, too.  But you cannot sit idle any more, because you become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. 

Next time I see you, I want you to say, "I couldn't do what you do, but you have inspired me to do something more!"  And what you are doing, is likely something that "I couldn't do".

I think I, too, will do something more.  My response when I hear, "I couldn't do what you do", will now be "then what can you do?".  Perhaps that small statement will lead to an enlightening conversation resulting in the christening of a new animal rescue volunteer.  And that small statement won't cost me a dime, but the change could be priceless.




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41 comments:

Mary Murray said...

It is so wonderful to read your posts again!

Theresa said...

I have missed your blog. So grateful you are still at it. You make me cry, get mad and get off my butt. Thank YOU!

Tammy Hartwig said...

Boy have I heard that...MANY times!!! A burr in my side too! I usually say, you never know until you try. Then however, I do go on to explain tha MANY other ways that they CAN help. EXCELLENT blog; thank you for putting it into words!

Maggie Hess said...

excellent!

Tammy Hartwig said...

Boy have I heard that...MANY times!!! A burr in my side too! I usually say, you never know until you try. Then however, I do go on to explain tha MANY other ways that they CAN help. EXCELLENT blog; thank you for putting it into words!

Agape Fosters said...

Lisa!!!! Can you help me??? : ) XO
Good blog!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your writings. I am a foster and enjoy it thoroughly. As you know, it's with great satisfaction to watch a foster go into their new, perfectly matched adoptive home.

Having recently volunteered with a rescue for three years, I resigned due to the abhorrent attitude towards volunteers. The founder knew best.

One of the of the other issues is that dogs are being hoarded. They get pulled from one situation and are put into the exact same situation when being pulled
but it is thought they are being saved. I am torn as to why this occurs. The Saver's dogs are also being neglected while other are being 'saved'.

This is an issue that I would like to discuss with you but not on an open forum such as this.

Thiago daLuz said...

Great post. We were just asking our Ottawa veterinarians the other day about ways we could help out. It feels good to know we can, but at the same time it's sad to realize there's so much that can't or isn't being done.

Jason Knight said...

I have never really thought about it, but I see what you mean. I respect what the veterinarians here in Eagle, ID do. One of my closest friends helps out with a local vet.

Jared Tilgner said...

This is a good blog. Thanks for posting about veterinarians. Do you know a vet in Eagle, ID?

Novato Animal Hospital said...

When do you plan to post again?

veterinary online said...

so nice post

Anne Lawrence said...

Isn't it funny how often people say things like that? A friend of mine is a veterinarian in Ottawa and he always gets people telling him how great the work he does is. And he's just like, it really doesn't take that much work.

Harlin Quincy said...

I agree, there are to many people who are all talk no walk. If you say you want to help then just help, don't just say you can't because you can't "take them home". Taking them home would be a really bad thing to do most of the time. Donate to shelters and talk to different places about how you can actually help.
Phillius | http://www.barringtonanimalhospital.com

Kurt Cooks said...

Thanks for the tips about being a veterinarian! I can't wait to use them.

William | http://westlakeanimalhospitalinc.net/

Rachel said...

Thanks for the post. I appreciate hearing the other options that are at hand if and when I find an animal that needs to be rescued. While there is not room for animals at my house, there are other things I can do to give animals the attention they need.

Rachel Zane | <a href="http://osullivananimalhospital.com/>O'Sullivan Animal Hospital</a>

Nancy Jorden said...

I love my animals. They are mine and husbands children. We always want them to be happy and fed. We just moved into a new area and need to find a vet. Is there someone can suggest?

Alena Mauer said...

This is a great read! I try to do my part to help with animals. It breaks my heart when I see them being mistreated.

Alena | http://healthypetalaska.com/Meet%20The%20Staff.html

John Bond said...

I want to be a veterinarian when I'm older. I like the idea of being able to help animals for a living. Recently I've decided to go to college and major in it.
John Bond | http://www.irrawangvet.com.au

Afton Christine said...

Years ago I worked dog resue. I didn't foster or pick up dogs; I transported them from one part of the state to another. Usually a dog was heading to a foster placement. So, yes, it's possible to help animals without doing what others do. It takes everyone! Thanks for what you do. . .

Jak Manson said...

I need to find a veterinarian that is in and is based in my area that can help my pets out. I am not saying that it is going to be something that they will have to worry about, but accidents happen. I will need to know where to taken them if something was to happen.
Jak Manson | http://www.meadowviewvet.com

Paul Bear said...

It seems like part of a legitimate apology includes "how can I make it better." Animals can't speak in full sentences, but they still ask for things in their way, and say "thank you" in their way, too.

Paul | www.vavetspecialists.com

Holly James said...

Wow, I love that statement and I hear it way too often! You really don't know what you can do until you try! I love animals and have really close relationships with my dogs. They deserve the best care possible and should be treated as humans are treated! I am grateful for vet services that are offered to take care of animals to the best of their ability.
Holly James | http://www.courtenayvet.ca/

Tim Johnson said...

You are so passionate it is incredible. I understand what you mean about always wanting to be able to do more. You clearly have a passion as a veterinarian. I hope I can find someone as passionate in the new city I'm moving to. http://www.denvilleanimalhospital.com

Jennifer Davies said...

Thanks for the post. Very insightful-- I've certainly used that phrase around veterinarians before. I'll be much more careful with how I say things in the future. It really is intended to be complimentary, not an excuse. Veterinarians have a vital role in our society.

Jenn | http://www.faithfulfriendsanimalhospital.com

Zeda Jackson said...

I love all of the ideas you have suggested like fundraising parties and yard sales. Those are simple and easy things that can really help you earn money for a more worthy cause like this. Also, anyone can do it! that's what makes this a great task.

http://www.gulfportveterinarian.com/services/

Tony De Azevedo said...

There are some people out there that are so amazing and that do so much. I wish that I had more time to rescue animals and to care for them. When I was little I wanted to be a vet, and some days I really wish that I had followed that path. http://www.aranahillsvet.com.au

Anonymous said...

Animals are a valuable gift in our world. They lift so many other people, so why shouldn't we do our best to lift them? There are so many animals that get turned to the street and there aren't enough shelters and supplies to take care of every homeless animal. We can do our part by just doing the little things required to keep homeless animals healthy and safe.

Jane Abbott| http://healthypetalaska.com/Meet%20The%20Staff.html

Gerald Vonberger said...

I think you're right. There are things that everyone can do to contribute in different ways. What doesn't work for one person just might be what's perfect for another. This post has a great message to it. Thanks! http://www.sunvalleyanimalhospitalnc.com/

Jerry Boggs said...

I want to join your campaign to make people more supportive of their local veterinary services and shelters. It doesn't take much to help out. In this case, a small donation could save a life. Asking for support will also raise awareness about proper animal care.

http://myranchobernardopethospital.com/rancho-bernardo-veterinarian.html

Megan Jones said...

You are right that we can do something for animals without being a vet. There are little things that can be done by a majority of people. Sometimes the little things are biggest when put together.
http://www.metroanimalhospital.ca/

leachmark707 said...

I agree, I couldn't do veterinary work. I can't deal with blood because it makes me queezy. Also, I get too attached and that would be hard. But I do a good job of caring for animals. I have adopted a a few animals that I can care for, and I volunteer in the local humane society. I also try and help others who are looking for pets and recommend them adopt rather than breed.
Mark Leach | http://osullivananimalhospital.com/

Lacey Rockwell said...

I have so much respect for veterinarians. My dog has gotten sick, and hurt so many times, I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have someone to take him to when things happen. We go hiking all the time, and it seems more often than not, he ends up getting hurt.

http://www.tranquillevet.com/services.html

Jim Tracy said...

I have always thought of veterinarians as animal rescuers. I think it's awesome that there are people out there that do what you do. It really is a cool thing to see. There's nothing quite like it, I feel like. http://www.sandownveterinaryclinic.com.au

Hendersonrose92 said...

This was truly an inspiring article. Thank you for putting us good intending folks in our place. I would like to make my New Year's resolution vow right now. I want to do more public service for people, and animals. I'm going to see if my local animal shelter has a wish list. I'll have to take a look at your previous blog to see your other suggestions. Thank you again for this.

http://www.abvma.ca/

Zach Thalman said...

I have a lot of friends who hear the same things all the time like that. I remember when my friend actually said that and now he is actually working at a clinic after thinking he couldn't do it. I think really we can do anything we want. http://www.riversidepethospital.ca/en/services.html

Jennifer Davies said...

That's an interesting take on a statement I thought was harmless. I can see where the irritation comes in. Veterinarians sometimes have to make hard choices, but it's always for the best. It's a very hard line of work, but a very fulfilling one as well. Just "loving animals" isn't enough to ensure their health or happiness. That takes a professional. | http://tlcforpets.net/

Nancy Jorden said...

This was a great blog. I think that it is important to have a vet that you can rely on. I have a vet here at home that does a great job with keeping the animals in a good mood. I hope that I will not need to find another vet for myself. http://www.faithfulfriendsanimalhospital.com/

Jason Strong said...

Ever since I was little I have wanted to work with animals. There are so many jobs that work with animals, but I think I would love to go the veterinary route and help hurt or sick animals. Things like this inspire me to keep learning more about it.

http://www.keebovet.com/collections/portable_vet_ultrasounds

Lacey Rockwell said...

You said you hear this all the time, but I know I couldn't do what you do. That's why I have so much respect for people who work with, and help animals. I would get way to emotional, and too attached to each animal that came through the door. This was a great post, it really opened my eyes to what veterinarians think.

http://www.fischeranimalhospital.com

Hollie Truesdale said...

I have loved animals for as long as I can remember! I'm glad I ran across your blog because I have wanted to rescue animals, even though my mom wouldn't let me growing up. We already had a few cats in the home and I admit, it probably would have stressed them out to introduce other cats so often. However, when I get my own house, I hope to foster animals when I can. Thank you for all the good work you do! http://www.bearssanimalclinic.com