Rescue Journal

bad night

Carol  ·  Dec. 31, 2009

daphne coughed all night long. i gave her extra lasix..i gave her extra torb. it occurred to me very early this morning that maybe she was overheated and felt confined in her sweater so i stripped both her and shadow and turned on the ceiling fan...i am waiting to see if that settles daphne's cough. please let it be just something that simple and ridiculously easy cuz otherwise.....

i realized last night that eddy's face looks just like eddy that not weird?

tula and bitsy are turning into bathroom seeking freaks.

tula is such a very nice cat...she is funny and perky and interested in things. she is interactive, she is chatty, and she is very, very pretty. she is here because she made 2 big mistakes in a row....she pissed off the neighbors by hanging out on the family's townhouse complex roof and she bit AAC when they received the complaint and tried to remove her from where she wanted to be. the AC officer told the family she was dangerous and needed to be PTS. the family ended up in one of our vet clinics totally traumatized and sobbing about having to put their lovely little cat to sleep. the vets called us and tula came here. tula was 13.

there is a thread on brindle again about owner surrenders and biting dogs...ok, so this has nothing to do with tula cuz she is a cat.
but we do have owner surrenders here of biting dogs, and other dogs who don't bite but really needed surrendering.....animals suffering from lack of attention, lack of medical care, lack of even the basics of responsible care....animals about to get knocked off because suddenly they actually came to the attention of their owners and their owners said...shit are a real mess and i don't want you around me any more.

and the unspoken rescue feeling is...."ethical" rescue does not take owner surrenders. their owners messed them up so let the owners deal with the problems. ok...let's expect a drunk to act sober...let's expect a thief to guard the crown jewels, or a liar to tell the truth, or a cheat to play an honest game of anything.

it is not going to happen by any stretch of the imagination. irresponsible people do not become suddenly responsible because we tell them to. so then what is the answer?...let them put their own wrecked dog down....that will teach them a lesson? really?...who tells anyone they have never met, to end the life of an animal they have not met either???? (there were pages of "humanely euthanize chyna" advice on brindle...folks were even offering to pick her up and do it for her...huh????!!!! chyna only needed some medical care) they didn't care about that animal's life for how many years and now they will care about ending the problems by ending their lives altogether?

highly unlikely.

another suggestion was make them pay a "HUGE" surrender fee...ok, that is going to happen too..the animal is worth little to nothing to these people. and since when does rescue hold animals lives as hostage for big money anyway? shit, nothing pisses me off more than anything than someone offering me money to try to get me to make some room around here for some desperate dog in need.

i turn owner surrenders away a lot...esp. in the last few weeks...i bet i have turned away at least a dozen dogs (even one whose owner out and out asked if i would change my mind if they would pay me?" yeah...NO!!!

i do try to take from the pounds and the shelters first..and hey if an owner surrender is in dire straits..i will try to take that one next. animals really do need rescuing from many different places. last on my list to help are animals already in rescue...they have already been "rescued" so why do they need to take up space here?

and here is something that some folks don't know about rescue but you learn it when you have been around for awhile.....when you "rescue" an just signed a contract in blood (theirs and yours) that you will be there for them for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

let me spell this out clearly, what exactly this means....

it means...if you take in an animal and then adopt them out and the adoption EVER fails...the animal comes directly back to your shelter or house.

it means...if one of your animals EVER ends up in a pound or another go and get it immediately and take it back to your shelter or your house.

it means if you accidently take in a pain in the ass animal that no one ever wants...that you keep and WANT that pain in the ass animal forever yourself.

animals in rescue NEVER become as disposable as unrescued animals out in the general public.

over the years i have ended up with quite a few theoretically "adoptable" animals that no one will ever adopt (they accumulate over time)...oh well...that is to be expected....they can't all be easy, happy fairy tales...some are just a bit more difficult than that. BUT rescue's job does not depend on convenience and ease, it depends on the words of promise we give.
anyway...tula is a really nice 14 yr old cat now...both she and i would be really happy if in this new year she could find the home of her dreams.



Happy New Year Everyone! I hope that 2010 brings good health, love and wealth to all of the Saints. Missing you all. Love Rae


I must be terribly naive but I didn't know that I was being "unethical". I do take owner surrenders. The dog is likely going to end up needing rescue sooner or later so why not sooner? I don't know what their other options are. Take it to the SPCA? Sell it or offer it for free on Kijiji? Either way it will likely end up being unwanted for the same reason it was unwanted in the first place. We always seem to find a place for strays and those coming from the pound. I'll take the others if I have room. Do I ask for a surrender "fee"? That seems absurd to me. To me, paying me to take the dog seems "unethical". A donation is always appreciated but isn't expected. It also came as a shock to me that other rescues will not even consider taking a dog that has bitten. Well, humans being as stupid as they often are, it probably bit for a very good reason and likely not one that should cause it to pay with its life. And yes, we have permanent fosters and we do expect that adoptions that fail are returned to us. Abandoning the dog because we failed it by placing it in the wrong environment is just plain wrong!


Ummmm I think we should have a rule that you can't post about an animal that does not have it's picture up in the " Our Animals " Section . I know I am the biggest pain in the butt about photos , but when animals are mentioned, it is human nature to go looking for the picture so you can put a image to who you are reading about...and from there... who knows.. that connection can be made just by the picture & if all works out...BINGO ... Tula finds herself in a safe forever home with people she can call her own.

My apologies for being the picture pest and great post, exspecially the part about making that life long commitment to them ....I always assumed in rescue that was a given..silly me.

Wishing everyone a safe & Happy New Years Eve, and may 2010 bring us 1000 homes for SAINTS and a safe spot to land for those on the steets....everywhere

Yvette~Turtle Gardens

I too understand where you are coming from - we rarely take in owner surrenders - we take feral/strays first then pound dogs and maybe if there is room then owner surrenders. We rarely get surrender fees with our ferals/strays - we are preventing the SHOOTS by taking them in. And they often come in in multiples. We have also taken behaviourally challenged dogs from other rescues. We rarely get "easy" dogs but we do send out "easy rehabilitated" family pets. And some stay here forever - they just aren't good family pets. And we always take our dogs back - no judgment just a safe haven. We also help with medical bills if needed. It is all part of "rescuing" whether it is seniors or all ages. It is all about the animals and our responsibility to them.


Good post Carol.

I WISH I had the power to change the hearts or minds of those calling us to surrender an animal, but I dont... none of us do. As always, it is the animals who ultimately suffer. So, while we try to problem-solve first, it becomes apparent very, very quickly who truly is seeking a solution to keep their animal friend, and who is kidding themselves by thinking they really "have no choice". There are too many animals and too little time to spend trying to solve an unsolvable problem because the humans simply do not want to solve it; they just havent told themselves this yet. In those cases, we simply take the animal in a way that uses up as little time as possible (*these are animals that would not do well in traditional shelters -- seniors, pee-ers, behavioural-challenged etc.) so while we too try to take animals from shelters first, sometimes ultimately we are just saving the animal from yet another change in their life.

And as to surrender "fees" or "donations"... well, they either come or they dont (mostly "dont"). They are not required for us to take an animal either, but we do ask the family to have the animal SNAP's immediately before coming to us. But again, it is not a requirement. If someone ASKS us if there is a cost, I will tell them "There is no cost. However, we have agreed to take this animal into our care, and we are committed to be there for him/her for the rest of his life, including whatever costs are associated with that... dentals, senior vet care etc. so feel free to donate what your conscience dictates" Often their conscience doesnt dictate much... oh well.

Some people do think that money will magically make room in a shelter that is full. I suppose with some rescues, this is actually true, unfortunately. With some people, I have seen that their donation offer does come out of genuine understanding that they truly are responsible for this animal, or it comes from genuine desparation. In others, it is out-and-out bribery. It used to bother me that some people paid for their "sins" via dollars instead of guilt, however, I have come to believe that just as I am powerless to change the hearts of those surrendering their animals, I am also powerless to make anyone feel guilty.

On the flip side, we had a desparate person offer a fairly substantial donation if we would take their behavioral-challenged animal. Due to the behaviors (and the fact that this animal would not last in most shelters / rescues) I agreed to take the cat. The financial offer had no bearing as soooooo many people have talked about donating but when their back is facing the shelter and their animal, it rarely comes to fruition. We problem-solved with the person who agreed to try some of the options, and with small improvements, had a change of heart... they couldnt give up their animal after all. I told them to contact us again if they were once again at the end of their rope. They sent us the donation anyways... plus some. This was a first.

And I wish more "Rescues" would read your comments about their responsibilities to the animals they have adopted out over time. Taking only the "easy" animals isnt really easy at all, because "easy" can turn into "hard" in a year... or two or fifteen. If that kitten you adopted out 5 years ago to a home that was supposed to be indoors-only, let their cat out and it contracted FIV, YOU are responsible for it... and the solution shouldnt be to KILL IT because YOU dont have the facilities.

OK, I better quit before I start to rant in multiple paragraphs on your blog :)