Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This shit aint easy!

Sometimes trying to juggle everything is darn impossible. I know people who aren't involved in dog rescue really understand how it all works and don't understand the work that goes into it but it takes everything in my power not to scream at them when they put demands on me. "I want you to bring this dog to my house tomorrow" Oh you do, good for you. ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!

My favorite line from people is "well I guess you just don't want dogs adopted do you?"
Yes, your right I should drop everything and forget about sleeping or eating which I barely do anyways and come to your beckon call.

I know it isn't their fault and I try to explain to people how rescue works. We aren't a shelter, we are a bunch of VOLUNTEERS (WE MAKE ZERO MONEY) who have dogs living in our homes until they can find THE RIGHT home, not just a home.

We work, we have families, we have pets of our own, some of us have children and/or grandchildren.

We do all this rescue stuff in between our regular life.

Every dog that we get in takes a lot of work. First shelters from ALL over Ohio contact me and ask me to take this dog or that dog. I get a KILL LIST (nice name huh?) of dogs who are in shelters and if they aren't taken out that week THEY WILL BE DEAD BY END OF DAY FRIDAY! How is that for having something hanging over your head? You can't save them all but you scroll through a list of a 100 dogs looking at their sad eyes praying that they won't die but you don't have room for another dog so it isn't up to you but another rescue who maybe has room.


Then if we do have room I have to look through the list and determine which dogs we can help. Usually what I like to do is pick the dogs I don't think anyone else will take and of course JRT's or JRT mixes. because that is our/my specialty.


Then once I figure out how many I have room for I have to figure out how they are going to get from the shelter to me.


Then once they get to me, I have to worm them, put frontline on them, collar with tag on them and settle them in to a kennel. Sometimes the kennel they are supposed to share with another dog they don't get along, sometimes they are sick when they come to me so I have to scramble to set up a crate separate from everyone else.


The next day I usually give them their shots and figure out when to get them scheduled to be spayed/neutered, rabies shot and heartworm test. Once I get an appointment set up I have to figure out how I am going to squeeze that into my schedule... between working and taking care of all my animals, my farm and oh yea normal stuff like groceries, laundry, etc.


In between waiting for the vet appointments I am getting their pictures, getting to know them, figuring out if they are good with cats, kids, like men, like women, personality, etc. I am getting them up on line for adoption and hoping that a foster home will step forward to take them.


Now doesn't forget I want each one of have enough attention while at my house so I try to spend time with them and let them play in the fenced yard at least a few hours a day. I also need to clean their kennels everyday, make sure they have fresh food and water everyday, getting any medication that they might need, make sure they have toys, treats and beds (sometimes they de-stuff the beds... LOL). Meanwhile trying to have a "normal" life....


And you know what makes it all just a little harder. When the dog is aggressive... either towards people or other dogs. IT DARN RIGHT SUCKS!

Last night one of the new dogs I got in attacked another dog so badly...I HAVE NEVER seen a dog act like that before. He ran up and attacked this dog on a leash for absolutely no reason. He grabbed a hold of his face and just wouldn't let go. No matter what I did, including taking the hose and spaying him.

I am not going to get into the details but it was BAD! And after I got them apart he was trying to still go after the other dog who at this point was in the corner shaking.

Needless to say this wasn't the first aggressive thing he had done since I got him in and he acted up one more time after that so he is being put to sleep today :-(


Sucks even more because I have someone interested in him but there is absolutely NO way I can in good conscience allow that dog to go to a home. If a child was in the way of his "attack" mode that child would be toast.



Roberta @ Silverwalk said...

A hound I had taken in for another rescue killed my Penney and in doing so, incited my Pit Bull to join him. I lost 3 dogs that day :(; yet, a year later, received an email from the couple who had brought him to me, castigating me for being a "poor" shelter, how they had NEVER seen any such behavior from him (why did you give him up as a foster? why do I have friends who were frightened for me with this dog around?....). They wished they had never brought him to me; I told them I wished they had not either, because my Penney (my dog) would still be alive - and I included the best photo of Penny in my not scathing reply. I almost walked away from rescue after Penney's murder.
You forgot one thing: the PAPERWORK. I suck at paperwork but it is so necessary so adopters and other rescuers get the right information, besides meeting license requirements.
NOT EASY - but mostly, very rewarding :).

Dog Rescuer said...

OH THE PAPER WORK! The endless, endless paperwork. Keeping track of every penny you spend, every penny you take in, making sure each dog has a folder with all medical information in it, trying to remember who gets frontline on what day, who gets heartgard on what day, entering every adopter into my spreadsheet and following up at least 1 time every year. OH THE PAPER WORK!

Luckypaws said...

I know how you feel :( I had a dog PTS due to aggression and got all sorts of non-rescue people telling me that I should have bought an enclosure and kept this dog in it for the rest of its life, away from my children and all our other animals. Yes, what a brilliant life that would have been.

Anonymous said...

I know there are many, many rescues out there that do not believe in putting dogs to sleep But when the dogs have aggression issues that bad then it is the best thing for everyone. Why should I have to be the one to keep the "bad dog" when there are soooo many other good dogs out there that need to be saved. Why should I have to give up one more spot in my home for this bad dog and not be able to save one more good dog? Why should I have to put my own dogs and family on guard because we never know what this bad dog is will do? Why should my dog trainer waste his time on this bad dog that may take years to rehabilitate when we can help many others? It gets very frustrating to hear the comments from non rescue ppl who do not have to deal with this stuff everyday.
This isn't easy! But we do it for the dogs. In the end we say a prayer and hope everything works out for the best!

Anonymous said...

So sorry that you had to make such a tough decision but I would do the same in your situation. We can't save them all and, as someone else said, why spend time and resources on an aggressive (or otherwise unadoptable) dog when 6 more that you COULD have saved and adopted out in a reasonable amount of time will be killed simply for lack of space.

Rescue ain't easy, for sure, but we keep doing it for the ones we can make a difference for.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of another writing I read once (poem, blog, call it what you want). Maybe you can take solace in it :)


Anonymous said...

Wow! I rescue dogs in Indiana - my reaction to reading your blog was YES DAMNIT! NO KIDDING! OH YEAH! Yep, I can relate, oh yes had to put my second dog ever down last week because he took hold of me, would not let go and attempted to back me into a corner - the entire time trying to pull my hand off of my arm, I cried out of pure rage when I had to put him down - NOT at him! At the DAMN (*&^%$# IDIOT who made him that way. It was not his fault...it was a humans fault...as it most always is. As I say daily, I don't like people much, but I love my dogs more every day! Hang in there and KNOW someone else is going through the same bs you are hun! And yes, our world revolves around ONE adopter of course! lol
Just Scratch My Ears

Ivy said...

I absolutely love the way you write. Straight from the gut and hold nothing back. You truly let people know all the hard work that goes in to animal rescue. I know that animal rescue isn't cheap eaither. So if you are needing donations let me know and I will send you a link to my Pet Supplies Store that will generate 10% donations of all sales for you. Thanks for being there for the animals.Ivy admin@unametheprice.com