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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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23 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/