opinions are great...i have so many of my own. and most of the not related to animals are pretty uneducated and off the top of my head...mostly because i really don't care all that much about non animal/non nursing/non family things.
but there is a recent discussion on the rescue forum about paying foster homes..like all open discussions new paths go off into different directions....now there are discussions on not paying volunteers, but paying directors...paying with government money but not paying with donations..and finally..what caught my interest (again, cuz someone in rescue ALWAYS says this....) not paying staff wages with donations...like paying wages to care for animals in rescue is somehow wrong.
think it thru....
volunteers volunteer their time when they have it and when they have the inclination...most volunteers in animal rescue work their outside paid jobs...monday to friday. volunteers are giving freely, you can't really hold them accountable for everything needed surrounding running a full rescue...you could try, but good luck cuz they do have lives outside of rescue.
saints went to paid staff when i broke my ankle several years ago. nothing like a broken ankle and a wheelchair to wake you up and make you realize...animals need committed and responsible care 24 hours a day whether you can walk or not. and staff members can be held accountable for the jobs they get paid to do..they are not giving a gift here..they are getting a paycheque. just like i get paid to be a nurse.
and i truly believe that our quality of care has greatly increased since we went to paid staff. the staff are consistent, they know and care about the animals as much as i do because they are caring for them 30 hours a week. they know what has to be done and they know what to do when the unexpected crops up. they can adjust their workload to meets individual animals needs. they are not just responsible for the cleaning...they are responsible for each animal's entire wellbeing...their health, their meds, their individual personalities and feedings. they are responsible for all of saints when i am not here.
so when something new has to be done because some animal's care level has changed..they are that animal's responsible caregiving team and they follow thru and plan how to meet those needs.
so i don't quite understand why in rescue..."paying staff wages with donations" is considered a bad thing? do donors not want rescued animals to receive the very best and most consistent care especially when there are not enough regular and committed volunteers to care for them 7 days a week?
i am really happy with how things work around here...monday to friday we are covered by our regular caring paid staff and on the weekends the animals are cared for by our amazing volunteers...for us and for the animals it works well.
we have our bumps in the road...we have our challenges to overcome but we also have the best people to do this...paid and unpaid who all work together to ensure that our animals are cared for well.
it is ok NOT to have paid staff in rescue too..if you have great volunteers and a lot less than 130 sick, leaky and old animals all living together in the same place. but i don't think making blanket statements like "we are 100% volunteer with no paid wages" makes anyone better than someone who does have both volunteers and paid staff.
there is no way saints would be near what it is today if we did not pay wages. our paid staff have allowed us to implement many things into our daily animal care...regular med administration and reviews, 2 or 3x weekly, weekly or biweekly theraputic bath schedules for our skin disease dogs, consistent outside/exercise breaks for all of our dogs, consistent socialization plans of care for our poorly socialized or traumatized, daily familiar assessments on how any particular animal is doing, access to immediate vet care in an emergency and most of all a very consistent routine each day which all of the animals appreciate..they like to know who is coming and what is happening next in their day.
for us it works out more than ok..it works out great. wages are one of the best investments we make in caring for our animals well every day.