The amazing - and sometimes distressing - world of animal rescue
Jean · Dec. 2, 2006
It's hard to believe that a year ago, I hadn't even heard of SAINTS - in fact, it was about this time last year that an internet acquaintance asked me if there was any way I could help out with a dog in need in my area. I couldn't help with that particular dog, but I did offer to lend a hand with "quick and easy" tasks associated with animal rescue. And so she steered me to an internet board for people involved in rescue in BCâ€¦and there I volunteered my services.
And Carol responded and invited me up to SAINTS. The rest is history. No longer just interested in doing "quick and easy" tasks, I have instead found my passion in life, met amazing people and even more amazing animals, laughed more than I've laughed for a long time and learned more than I've learned in many years of formal education.
One of the most amazing, eye-opening aspects of this past year has been learning about the incredible network of rescues that exists in BC, and their desperate need for money, for volunteers, for supplies. A year ago, if someone had said "animal rescue" to me, I would have thought only of the SPCA. Little did I know there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other organizations in BC working to help the multitude of animals that need help - animals that someone who once thought they'd like a pet then abandoned, mistreated, or decided they no longer wanted because it was too big, too small, too old, too excitable, too crippled, too dirty, too much of a nuisance.
Heading into the Christmas season is scary to me because I know full well that many more animals will be given as gifts, sometimes displacing other animals who are then tossed out. And in a few months, there will be a flood of young animals show up in the shelters when the owners decide that this dog or cat or rabbit or piggy or whatever isn't quite right for them and their household.
It is discouraging, sometimes, to see this endless flow of unwanted, mistreated, unloved animals. It is overwhelming when even with the extensive rescue network in BC, there is often "no room at the inn". For me, it is still worthwhile work because five minutes at SAINTS, five minutes with the donkeys or the piggy or the dogs and cats and other critters and I know that however little we can do, however little our dent is that we leave in the world of rescue, we have in fact made a difference in the lives of some very special animals. And they have made a huge difference in my life.
However, I do feel somewhat helpless when I hear of a wonderful piggy sanctuary (www.heartsonnoses.com) struggling both financially and physically to keep going. It is the only piggy rescue I know of despite the fact that people continue to buy and abandon pigs as pets. So even though this blog is about SAINTS, I hope if our readers have a little extra time or money and can spread themselves just a little thinner, they'll give some thought to helping out a very special place in Maple Ridge. I'm sure Petunia would approve.