Rescue Journal

the reality of the ripple effect....rescue 102

Carol  ·  Apr. 2, 2010

piss off the wrong person and not only will you feel the ripple effect but any animals you hope to save will feel it too. there is a 50/50 chance you will survive this, depending on a few things.

like what other people take in consideration before casting final judgement against you.

most folks aren't stupid, they really do have a functioning brain, so when there is doubt they will look at a couple of things.

what is the work that you say that you do? do you in reality do what you say that you do? what are the contributing factors, what are the issues that affect how you do your work?

do you not only talk the talk but can you and do you walk the talk too?

are you honest? are you trustworthy in every way? are you rational, responsible and reasonable?

what do you hope to gain?

and then most interested folks will look at the accusers and ask themselves the same kind of questions.

it is a a process of figuring out the truth of the matter. it is a process of deciding which side of the ongoing battle is white, which side is black, and which side is grey, and then deciding where they are most comfortable with the winner residing..far right, far left or in the middle somewhere.

you never know which way the ripples will go until the folks on the sidelines start casting their votes..they in actuality have the power to decide the ultimate fate.

a lesson in learning for everyone was the battle over TG a few years ago. an isolated shelter in the north trying to help more dogs in a single year than most rescues see in their lifetime....trying to help more dogs in a day than most even see in a year. TG was a grassroots, bare bones basics shelter with no money and little support.

and the campaign began, some southern rescuers went to a northern rescue and did not understand the issues, made some pretty sweeping judgements, and then set out to destroy. there was no attempt to understand affecting issues, there was no consideration of not only the numbers of dogs in need but of the numbers of dogs already saved. there was no thoughtful solution or plan in place of who would take over the rescue of hundreds of northern dogs should their campaign bear fruit and the shelter was closed.

the negative judgements were circulated on the of a piece of old rusted machinery, pictures of 50 recently rescued unspayed/, unsocialized, ematicated dogs who the municipality was ready to shoot and who came with their chains and dog houses and without 50 food bowls who were fed from the ground and remained safely chained to their houses while sterilization surgeries were booked, while fences were erected while new kennel space was made. all of this was eventually accomplished within a very few weeks and the chains and the dog houses were then put away.

the sad reality is, because the southern folks had no conception of what the reality of rescue meant in the north, they made quick and negative judgements based on emotions/knee jerk reactions and not with much thinking. and they shared those judgements EVERYWHERE.

of those 5o dogs..only a handful are still there today. most have been adopted into family homes and a few remain there because they are unsafe to adopt.

luckily for TG sheila and i made the long trip ourselves to see, and what we saw, we judged differently. we saw happy, healthy, affectionate dogs, no sign of any abuse or neglect, we saw a family struggling to do the best they could wiith the very little they had.

some stories have happy endings...that one single battle that appeared would bring TG down, that made them want to quit...made them stronger. it brought them more acknowledgement and support for the very difficult work that they do. i am sure they still struggle like all of rescue do, but they do not struggle alone anymore, they have a good support base that struggles along with them....and even more dogs were saved.

had sheila and i not made that trip? had we not decided to not only judge for ourselves but share our judgements with a different perspective too? who knows where the ripples would have fanned out to and what ships they would sink.

we are responsible for the judgements we make and the judgements we choose to share. we are responsible to think critically, objectively and examine the issues surrounding the obvious. it is the hidden, not known things that really do affect the reality.
we can decide to help a boat to sink or help it to float. we can decide if our ripples in the pond are ripples for positive change or ripples to end possibility.

we are captains of ships that cause ripple effects, it is our responsibility to ensure what ripples we cause, do in fact have positive effects.
our responsibility is not in proving ourselves right...our responsibility is to ensure that homeless animals have compassionate and respectful and safe harbour at night.



hornblower said "When people disagree, sometimes it’s not that one group is uninformed or uneducated or hostile or out to destroy as you suggest; it’s merely that they have assessed the evidence and drawn a different conclusion than you."

Agreed. Whole heartedly.

Although, to merely base your opinions on a few photographs, and internet say so on message boards, and to not think/research deeply about the lack of rescues north of us is seeing/hearing only one side. ( hmmm. did I sound judgmental... or merely more personally educated on that particular issue? )

It IS wicked up there. Do you ( a generic you ) see puppies in shopping carts offered for sale outside of grocery stores for $5 in the lower mainland? By children? It's common north of us as is common south of our own borders.

In this circumstance, thrown the opportunity/horror of saving the lives of 50 dogs all at once, and working with f**k all almost, they did a helluva a great job. I'll repeat that. A helluva great job!


while everyone makes judgements hornblower, the issue becomes what is done with those judgements. i am not assuming anything other than rescues and rescuers when presenting opinions or judgements about others need to make sure they understand the issues clearly first. to do otherwise is irresponsible because the public assumes we actually do know what we are talking about. there are lessons to be learned everywhere, in the past and in the present. no one can possibly deny that TG does in fact rescue hundreds of dogs each year from certain death and horrible circumstances and does in fact find them very good homes.

i don't care what opinions others choose to draw, what i do care about is that those opinions if incorrect or misinformed and publically broadcasted do not directly damage the lives of homeless dogs.

some may not care, but i actually do.


You are assuming you were right in your assessment and the other folks were wrong.

I disagreed then & I still disagree.

It's a shame you've raised this again because honestly it is (ironically) judgemental and a bit arrogant.

You are not some arbiter of BC rescue and it is not up to you to label these 'southerners' as incapable of forming their own rational opinions.

I do agree with you that we all have a responsibility to be cautious with our judgements & words. We also have a responsibility to speak out when we think things are terribly wrong.

You are quick to defend rescues and the SPCA and organizations, and quick to attack anyone who raises a criticism of them. I do understand this to a point & I do recognize there are people who do nothing but complain & tear down.

But surely there has to be room for criticism and there has to be at least some respect for the judgements others make when presented with data and photographs and stats and sometimes, the actual animals involved.

When people disagree, sometimes it's not that one group is uninformed or uneducated or hostile or out to destroy as you suggest; it's merely that they have assessed the evidence and drawn a different conclusion than you.