Rescue Journal

wondering again

Carol  ·  Dec. 2, 2007

there will always be people who come to saints and leave here feeling uneasy. it is difficult to conceive of a place so full of unwanted animals. you would think that someone would want some of them, that at least some of them would be treasured someplace else besides here. but for most of them, there simply is no other place for them to go.

when i look around me in the evenings and i see so many sleeping in their beds, i wonder too about a world that places so little value on the ones that i find so special. i look at them all and know that but for here they would mostly be dead and it makes me sad to think of a world without our saints to be with.

sometimes i get hurt by the judgements of those who think i have not done this as good as it can be. the main objection is always the numbers of animals living here. i don't think anyone thinks these animals are not loved, i don't think anyone thinks they do not receive the care they need. i don't think anyone thinks they don't have a nice place to live or that we don't do our very best to care for them all well and make them happy.

but i think they see too many and that causes them unease and that worries me sometimes too but then what do you do? who should not be here? who has another home waiting? who has someone else who is willing to take over caring for them? who here is wanted in some other place, that is the right place for them to be?

none of them do. all of them have only here. at least for now, maybe someday, someone will want someone here. and it will be the right fit for all. and who in this house do i think should not be here? there is not a single one.

i don't know what the answer is to the unease that some people it me that has a problem? or the animals who live here?

or is the unease from something inside of some people that just can't conceive that there are so many unwanteds with no where else to go?

and how many is too many? how do you pick the magic number? is it only the right number that makes this place what other people are comfortable with? and is that number the same for everyone or does it change depending on each person's need?

i so want to live my life by everyone else's rules, and bask in that safety of acceptence by compliance to the dictates of the general world. but like the animals here, i don't fit. our world is unique to us, it has to be unique to fit all of us in.

i wonder if there is such a thing as validation on the day that we die. i want what i give to the animals in their last moments, that feeling that they are ok, they are who they are supposed to be and i loved them for all that they are. i want to know that i had as much value and purpose to them as they had for me.


Hillevi Dodson

The fact that question yourself and your ability to care for any more animals at SAINTS tells me that you are not a hoarder. You realize what it takes to care for and love each and every animal at SAINTS - a hoarder would think that just taking in the animal would be enough. You know better. You do better. You and your volunteers give of yourselves every day in whatever way best serves the residents of SAINTS.

I love and respect what you do. The day you don't question your ability to properly care for the animals is the day I start to worry.


I'm not sure how to say exactly what I'm feeling but here it goes. Although I don't get to visit Saints as often as I like I read your Blog daily and it makes me feel like I kinda know whats going on. I love all of the saints and I really respect what you all do there. The senior animals of our world have had their voices taken away and Carol you have given it back to a small part of the population. Each resident of Saints is given food, water, medical attention and lots of love. Most important of all they are given the security of knowing Carol and her helpers will keep them safe. I hope someone does that for me when I get old and kinda bitchy.
A hoarder wouldn't be able to recognize those needs and wouldn't be able to fill the animals emotional needs as well.
Carol you rock!!! I totally respect what you do and how you do it. Saints is a magical place for the old leaky animals that land there and for the people who are lucky enough to spend time there.


I think it may be a question of shame, Carol, more than judgment.
When people come to SAINTS and see the vast numbers of animals that nobody else wants, it's a bit of a shock. "How can the world be such a cruel place?", "Why are people so irresponsible?", "Who could dump a lifelong friend?".....but once the initial shock wears off, and those same people realize that the SAINTS are not homeless,they are not unloved,they are not neglected, they are SAINTS. Yes there are many animals at SAINTS, but each and every one of them is there because they had nowhere else to go.
That's where the shame comes in. If the people who are critical of the numbers of animals at SAINTS are brave enough to vocalize that sentiment, and then are asked to foster or adopt a SAINT, just how many are willing to step up to the plate? Precious few, we all know that. And they are ashamed, or should be, of their cowardice.
Everyone has an excuse for not taking on a senior, too few years with an animal is heartbreaking, they can't deal with illness, they can't deal with incontinence, blah, blah, blah. When asked why they can't take on a younger SAINT, or a stable senior, or a healthy rabbit, there's always an excuse. Shame comes out as judgment or maybe nonchalance, but it exists. They know damn well that all their talk won't help, that being critical causes nothing but hurt, but they go back to their ivory towers having said what they needed to say.
I get so damn angry when I hear the word "Hoarder". Does any person in his/her right mind think that Carol would add a single extra animal if she didn't have to do so in order to save that animal's life? People who bitch and complain but do nothing need to shut up and go away.

Violet Morse

I have never made a comment before, however here goes.
I think older people should take an older animal to love as they are both in the same boat. I am 69 and my husband is 80 and we have a 12 year old dog who is very healthy, but if I didn't have a dog, I would certainly take one of the older small dogs. I like the big dogs too, but can't have one in our park. I also have two younger cats that I rescued. Wish I could take more, however am over my limit now. Sure it is hard when a pet dies, but I think of all the love and care we have given each other and know they are now safe at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for me.
Bless you Carol for caring and loving these animals.
Vi Morse


Once all my young guys have passed , I will only take in seniors, never before did I realize how many seniors out there end up needing a place in the last years, months or even days of their lives . I can understand some situations that this occurs, however many times I've been saddened & shocked to realize people will simply stop loving or caring when it gets inconvient for them. Volunteering at SAINTS for these last few years has opened my eyes to so many aspects of animal welfare that I was not aware of.

People I work with & some friends often ask how I can handle it , being out there seeing these guys... my only answer is that they need to come out a few times to SAINTS & see the true magic that exhists there. For instance, it was my privledge to have the 1st snow dog walk with many of the SAINTS dogs on Saturday morning, if only I had a video camera, you all could enjoy what i did walking down around the pond. Musgy acting all young & foolish , Dexter so excited & happy he tripped in the show a couple times in his rush to be out & about, Cole & Maude ( the mauranding Huskies ) rolling & diving into the drifts ... or perhaps it was a frozen pile of horse poop... but they sure were having a blast. To think these guys would be dead in all likely hood had SAINTS not been there is so very sad to me.

Yes the numbers can be a bit overwhelming, & if they weren't being cared for or seemed unhappy , I wouldn't be a SAINTS volunteer . I think people get spooked because of situations they've heard about or perhaps seen ( hoarding/rescues gone overboard ) but if those same people came out to SAINTS on a fairly regular basis , or at least several times... then they too may see the real magic. Thank you Carol for going forward with your dream & help making a dream of mine come true too.


To give a senior animal the gift of a home for a couple of week, months or years outweighs the sobbing that I do at the end of my time with them. Yes it is gut wrenching but they have been given a home that makes them feel loved and wanted again. Me crying for days really seems such a small thing when I see the big picture. I have lost two senior cats within 6 months (16 and 20) this year and I will probably shed tears now and then for ever but I also have two more (from SAINTS) one senior and one special needs who are thrilled to be here. If you have love to give an animal be it young,old or special needs there is always someone waiting for you....................................


they don't take a piece of my heart when they pass sharla, they give me their heart instead and it is their hearts that bind together and make my heart stronger.
i don't hurt more from losing a loved one after only 3 months or 3 years or 13 yrs....the loss of any love hurts at any time.
but to not have loved bill or wilbur or wee hopeful bug or tom or michael, to not have loved sweet pea or dexter or ogidie now? that would have been the real tragedy.
people are not afraid to adopt seniors because they might lose them one day...they are going to lose whoever they adopt eventually no matter what. they are afraid of what loving them now and every single day actually means we have to give it all right off the bat, there is no easing in slowly as we grow old with time slipping by...they have reached the time when every single moment counts....that puts alot of pressure on us to be all there for them.
that is what hurts me the most sharla...failing at making all those lost moments count cuz there are too many for just me.


I think you have to be a very strong person to do what you do Carol.

I can only speak for myself, and I myself would struggle with adopting a senior and/or ill animal. Not because I don't think they have value, or don't deserve a nice home and a nice owner, but it would be tough for me to sign up for the inevitable heartache it would bring.

I have a senior cat I've had for 11 years and adopted from the SPCA as an unwanted adult cat. I know he is going to die someday and I will be devistated, but I also know I've given him a great home and life (I hope), I got to really know everything about him and simply enjoy him for many many years. To me that makes it easier (again, I hope).

I recently lost my bunny, who was 9 months old. I only had him for 3 months, but it crushed me. I bawled for 2 days and it was horrible. I don't know how you do it, losing so many saints that get into your heart. Maybe over time it has gotten easier for you, I don't know, but for me, I am not there. Maybe others aren't either, and that's why they choose not to adopt senior animals...I'm sure everyone has their own reasons.

For me to adopt an animal that doesn't have long to live, to get to know and love them, give them the special care they need, and then to lose them, would be so hard on my heart.. maybe that is being selfish, but it's how I feel at this moment.

What you do takes a very special person.. with not just a big heart, but a strong one. Every animal takes a piece of you with them when they go I'm sure, and when it's your turn to see them again, I have no doubt they will all be lined up.. tails wagging, meowing, mooing, etc waiting to thank you for saving them and making sure you know just how much you are valued, just as you did for them.