Rescue Journal


Carol  ·  Aug. 8, 2008

animal exploitation is one of my very favorite topics of conversation. unfortunately i never really explain it well enough for anyone to understand what i am actually saying about it. so here i go again to see if i can get it across better.

first the question....

are you an animal exploiter?

if the answer is no, sorry wrong answer.

if you eat meat or wear/use any kind of made from animal products, if you take medications or use cosmetics or cleaning supplies tested on animals, if you make your living from animals (groomer, breeder, vet, vet tech, pet photographer, kennel worker/operator, trainer, behavoralist, pet store employee, pet product manufacturer, the list goes on and on) if you take your pet to obedience classes, agility classes, trials, shows, if you write books about them, or post their videos on utube, publish their pictures, or use them as examples for teaching, if you share them as therapy animals, or walk them to get some personal exercise, or have them guard your sheep, your tv set, or the grass in your backyard, if you eat the eggs they lay, if you share funny/sad stories about them, if they make you feel good inside or keep you company, or teach your child about responsibility and respect, did you get a tax receipt for your donation to your favorite animal charity? have you become a rescue angel, a training guru, an animal whisperer, a celebrity, because of the work that you do?...then sorry... you are an animal exploiter.

every single one of us is in some way exploits animals. step one is admitting it...step two is looking at the ethics of it...step three is ensuring no abuses of it...and step four is ensuring fair payment for it.

if we don't admit it then we remain, ignorant and callous users.

if we don't look at the ethics involved then we never move forward to better practice.

if we don't police ourselves, then we allow our exploitation to run rampant.

and if we don't pay them well, we just take advantage and grab another freebie.

the animals at saints are paid very well, on a continuous basis for any and all liberties i take when i am sharing them with you. i use them for teaching, i use them for entertainment, i use them to keep busy and to give my life value and purpose, i use them to help change the world. i use them for companionship and as an excuse for one of my many bad moods. i use them for that rush of "oh my god...that is so very beautiful, so sad, so sweet, so fascinating, so incredibly different than i once thought." i use them for all kinds of things that directly benefit me, but in return, i ensure, it benefits them right back again.
and i pay them, every single day by providing everything they need from me in every way i can, by giving them hope and a better life. and i thank them for what i take from them, i know i am taking and what they are still giving and i am so very grateful to them for all of this.... what a gift they are to me.

and part of the payment to them, is my heartfelt vow that they will not be exploited unfairly, unknowingly or used for anything that they do not feel a positive result. this is their lives here, as much as i can, i ensure that belongs strictly to them and no can take without asking and without paying them for what they take away.

all of us have warm and fuzzy's here, all of us feel so special when we are with them, all of us laugh and cry and become better people because of what we find behind these gates with the saints crippled crew. we learn, we grow, we give and take, we benefit in ways we don't even know.

but we give back, and we give back, and we give after day after day and being here with them is a priviledge and a burden of responsibility, that we never ever forget.

mo gives up every weekend, eva and lynn, and laura and lana, and brenda and kathy and nicole, shelley and susan, jodi, francesca, maria, tammy, deb and chris and zoe give up to serve and give to the animals too...every single one of them is here to pay these guys back for a lifetime of disadvantage when no one before thought they were owed a damn thing. and then there is the donors, like diane who religously sends funds, or the anne's of the world who donate karunda beds for their comfort while they sleep, there is pat and ernie who find us food and the chilliwack ladies who host garage sales and how can i even list everyone who gives back to them here....
we all are very careful of what we still take from them, they really have given more then their fair share, none of us take from them without giving back, day after day after day....we give them our loyalty, our protection, our blood, sweat and tears, we give them a clean and comfortable home, enough money to pay for their vet care, and plentiful food so they never feel wanting, we give them our compassion, respect and concern, we give them our constant effort to see them all smile and some of us have even given some of them homes. we haul their food into here and then scoop out their poop when they are done, we mow their lawns so their home is neat and tidy and fundraise to build them outside play runs...i can't even list everything that is given back to the animals here, i just know when it is given and the next payment to them has been received so everything here is balanced.

i am an animal exploiter at saints, but i pay for this and so does everyone else around here and we watch for 1,2,3 and 4 while we are exploiting them and they are exploiting us, to keep it honest and fair.



I know that I will never, ever be able to repay my dogs for all they give me. Chris and I talk about this every now and our egos are fed by the love and loyalty of the family members we call "pets". We also have a cat, and I have two hedgehogs, and Angelina has a Cockatiel, and they all give more than they receive, too, well, except Bella, the Maine Coon, who is a princess who demands 100% devotion from her subjects.

Dogs are such remarkable creatures. They bring a dimension of raw and unbridled passion for their people, even when those people don't deserve it.

I've always been blessed with rescued dogs, and I spend a great deal of time and energy trying to make up for the mistakes, ignorance and just plain cruelty that others have inflicted on my best friends, but it's not just that, I like to think that I love my dogs so fully and wholly because we are a team, and I'm giving back. I can't just love an animal because someone else used, abused and threw her/him away.