Rescue Journal

i think we live in a society of such great untruth now

Carol  ·  Aug. 11, 2010

that we just expect things not to be true.

sorry..crazy does take time to dissipate.

liar, liar. pants on fire...except our pants are flame retardent now.

i so want rescue to be about animals...but the reality is not. it is about, me, the guy across the street and down the road.

medical care is kind of the same thing....we assume if we are sick, we will be taken care of...maybe...maybe not. every year, i see more of the maybe nots but that is not what the governments and insurence company's will tell you. they will tell you, you are in very good hands.

some truths are personal....william did not want me to say that there were too many animals here because i said that...he did not really want to know how we got a kennel licence because i said that too. he wanted everyone of us to feel the same as what he felt on his one visit here...uncomfortable.

that hurtful blog that was written about me...was not even really about was about how someone else felt inside, about what someone else believed.

truth is a tricky thing because as humans we can and do twist it to suit our needs...we learn this in infancy. truth is only true to us if we can get someone else to believe us.

so where does that put me?

i don't know. i find this so confusing. where do i put myself on the spectrum of human truthful living?

i think for those of us who do really want to be truthful beings...we struggle. we consider not just others but ourselves too.
but it is the others who so affect me. when i close the doors here at night and it is just me and the animals..i am so comfortable here. i am so at ease with the truth about them and me, i feel good when i look around me. it is when the doors open each day again that i lose this comfort of true belief.

nurses do...we look upon suffering and we try to sooth it away with our hands and with the tools available to us. that is my truth. at night when i see the animals on clean beds or clean floors, stretched out and sleeping peacefully with full food and water bowls within easy reach,,with soft bodies that are pain and fear free...i feel like i did when i did rounds at midnight with my human wards...a sense of rightness..they are all well, their minds, bodies and spirits are at ease at this feels good. this truly affects me personally.

i don't know if i can, or even should try to question this, to try to remake saints into something different than it already is, something that more humans are comfortable with.

the problem with slipping over into crazy sometimes, is things sometimes feel clearer but are harder to really see.



Carol opened the blog up to questions. William asked.. Try not to be too hard on him (not altogether sure what he questioned or what was answered) but the blog/ Carol was up for questioning. I too gave questions (in fact a few offered by Carol.)

I am sure Carol and all the volunteers at Saints do all they can. But good to get some input if you ask for it I would think.


Oh yea ... and for those who are wanting to assist in the effort to help our companion animals as well as our farm ( read food ) animals, who may not be physically able to shovel the poop or haul hay from one end of a field to another ... monetary contributions are always extremely appreciated.. but you can do more.. we need stronger legislation on cruelty laws & requiring spay & neuter, we need to stop the sale of animals in pet stores & shut down the puppy mills & brokers , so gather your friends of like mind & fight the battle from that side..perhaps we'll meet somewhere in the middle.


Wonderful poem Ann .. I used to write poetry all the time when i was younger.. perhaps I will go back to writing in order to express & release some of the emotions running thru me during trying times.


sandy is my third dog i adopted from saints. I had adopted Ozzie and Honey and Oz passed away. So I brought Sandy home. I still lived with my parents at the time and my mother had a small fit when I brought her home, but then met her and fell in love with her. I moved out and my parents wouldn't let me take her with me. And sandy didn't want to go either. She wasn't a fan of Honey's random walking and I was bringing Wesley home for weekends and he was too much for her, so she stayed with my parents. She is very happy being in a single dog home with my cat Loudcat as her best friend.
She had horrible fireworks phobia when she came to saints (she was originally surrendered to a vet clinic for euth because of 'severe destructive separation anxiety') She ate the car seats of both of my parents vehicles and ate herself out of the house through the cat door twice (during halloween season). Then her hearing started to decline and along with it any anxiety.
She really is very close to being the perfect dog (ignore her previous issues), she is lovely all around. And has the right home (not mine) to spoil her.
She is currently wondering around at work trying to find someone to pet her.


great poem ann! nicole, im still catching up...who is sandy? did she come along before or after jenny?


dear carol:
thank you for everything you do.

dear william:

I too visited Saints this year during open house and I too donate what i can, which is why I feel I can ask you to think about the tone you used in your writing which was read as aggressive and condescending by all of us readers. As a reader of the blog and not associated with saints any other way but described, please stay away, as you are not contributing anything at all but irritation and frustration.


carol (and renee), the MR spca kids are coming tomorrow, around 11am. Zoe and I will be out there by 10am. I will do the big dog room and zoe can do the kitchen.
and tammy, sorry but i will have to wait until tomorrow to post about my guys (including harvey). i didn't have time before i left for work.


To the arm chair critiques

It is human nature to be critical.. for example someones baking of a cake for an event. Me thinks many of the negative posters here would be muttering to each other about how they would of put sprinkles on it or chocolate would of been a better choice. The bottom line is they didn't bake the cake and it was an act of unselfishness, all the ingredients and the time it took to do it .. the things that didn't get done for her self was given freely. It is a good thing and if everyone could of done better why didn't they bake the darn cake??

But they didn't bake this cake.. and none of us are born professionals in the rescue work we do. We learn as we go too. We are not perfect but we put everything we have into it and more that is why we are in debt and it has nothing to do with personnel gain. And unless your in the ditches with us and sacrificed as we have along side of us as long as us how can you really voice an educated opinion unless your doing the exact same job? Sounds arrogant doesnt it.

Last week I posted to a rabbit rescuers picture of a perfect rabbit enclosure she thought to use as a model for new rabbit lovers. I looked at it for ten minutes and thought to comment that I would do it such and such way. Who was I with my 10 minutes of rabbit education to evaluate something she has given over 20 years too?

It appears what has been sacrificed is still not good enough.. How much more can one give if they are already giving everything?

Ask yourself if you would give everything you owned /worked for away freely for someone else ?? Would you give up your home? Would you give up your entire paycheck? Would you prioritize your life so that everyone and everything else came first ? We do..

We have given up everything that is a normal existence to everyone else. We don't get to go home at the end of the day - we are in this 100% and 24/7.

Also don't forget that every personality trait that has been attacked is exactly the same character traits required to pull this off and the driving force behind what we did with our lives in the first place. If we were complacent personalities there would one less shelter and everyone who has come into our care would of been gas boxed, heart stuck or slaughtered by now. Your not the one faced with these decisions daily, if we dont take them they die.. we are.

Next time you visit we will hand you the proverbial needle and verses being squished and stuffed in, you choose the ones that should of died you look into there story and eyes and be the one responsible .

This would be done so Fluffy has more room like in your house that is not the reality of rescue or we would only have Fluffy. And I am so sorry Fluffy. Now your going to have to share your home and me,and with 20 Spots because they had no where to go and in order for me to do this we are all going to have to make sacrifices so we can save these 20 Spots. And when Fluffy died I died with her because I had to share myself with those 20 spots and she became a Spot herself and now she is gone.. . And those if us doing this job are the only ones who will know this kind of pain and sacrifice because this is our reality.. we are doing this because we loved them so very very much.

I am so sorry Fluffy and forgive me but we saved 20 Spots and this is how we get threw the day. And we loved all 21 of those Spots equally

And please give us some slack with the comments that come out of our mouths sometimes or dont get said as there are 50 plus lives/projects/losses on our minds at every given second and sometimes the words just don't come out or out right.

Every morning I look around me and wish I could do better and more. And we could if everyone was like us and gave everything they had to give and more . Can you imagine what a wonderful place it would be then and how many more were saved? We pray for that every day.. to do more, to do it better and all for those of us who have chosen to help the ones who cannot help themselves.

Please give all you have so we can do more and do it better.

And if you think Spot is not happy where he is , please inquire about adoption.


That poem is perfect, Ann - love it!

I think transparency is a very good thing, but it is time to move on from this. One disgruntled former employee's public lashing out does not negate the fact that the animals at SAINTS are well-cared for, valued and safe. It had no credibility to me.

For what it's worth, I always leave SAINTS with a very good feeling. To see the little beasties up close and personal is such a treat. It is not, and cannot, be a perfect place ( no place on earth is ) but it is a perfect example of humane love and compassion as I've ever seen.

Lori Paul

It's so easy to criticize...I thought your question as to what the complainer was doing to help homeless animals on his end was fair and had less respect for his position when he claimed this was a purely defensive response on your part and irrelevant.
He thinks that the animal's emotional needs cannot possible be met in crowded conditions and many of your volunteers, in the trenches, disagreed vociferously. Who can say what any animal's emotional needs are and determine with any degree of certainty when and if they are being met? Is being alive at SAINTS better than being dead at the spca? This is not a rhetorical question. I have seen people and animals who were suffering so greatly that death was a mercy (and so have all of you) but to make the decisions as to when to end a life and to come to love each light before you watch it fade, this is the thing that very few of us could do. Carol, please don't spend anymore of your precious time trying to please those who disagree with you. Let go of the need for external validation and just keep tuning into that feeling you have at night when it's just you and the animals and you know it's a far better fate for them than they were headed for. Trust this and let people say what they will. You represent something that many people will want to take a swing at so you'll do yourself a big favour if you find a way to stop taking it personally. The ones who know you know and the ones who don't never will get it. You're not crazy, you're just becoming your own authority (as we all should) and putting away childish things (like the need for understanding). Let it be enough that you have hundreds of supporters who admire your efforts and just enjoy each moment of your life! It's an amazing one!

Ann C

If dogs could talk what would they say
They moved me here to SAINTS today

My legs are weak, my backs not strong
So now there's nowhere I belong

I used to have a family
But they have all abandoned me

But wait this looks a happy place
With lots of friends who share their space

A warm blanket & my special bed
I'm cosy, loved & very well fed

My tail is wagging what do I see
Someone from the barn is coming for me

That means I get to go and play
Or I can just rest here all day

I'll never lack for company
'Cause all my friends are here with me

I once was told when I was a pup
That I'd grow old when I grew up

And that no-one would care for me
But that is wrong, I clearly see

A slice of heaven here on earth
Where I am valued, I have worth

My special person shares her home
So I will never be alone

And she'll be there for my final walk
That's what they'd say if dogs could talk.

Jane Stanley

Marisa (and Carol), I think that your last Comment is so well-spoken and so true, for me. In my reading of all of this over the last few days, I can see that the 'human" factor is perhaps the most difficult thing to manage in running any non-profit organization. I think also that by allowing this to be all out in the open, it serves to educate those of us who care to learn. Thank you for all that you are, and do.


Sigh. I have been involved in rescue for a long time now and I don't have the answers either, Carol. Sometimes I look at a place and I think it is idyllic and how could anyone ever question it? But then I will read a blog or speak with someone and they WILL question it. And they are not always mean and nasty people but intelligent, caring, insightful people who raise good points. And then you look back at that idyllic place and you start to wonder.

But, I guess in the end, it IS about human personality conflict. Some people are very head-oriented so they will see a shelter and think about budgets and legal requirements and numbers of animals and costs of materials and vet visits and how best to lay out things and these are very valuable ideas. And other people are heart-oriented and will only see the numbers of animals who need saving and how best to comfort them in a thunderstorm or which snack they like best when they are grouchy. And this is, of course, important too. And some people will mix the two but it will ALWAYS be to varying degrees and someone else will have a different head/heart mix and that's when I think the conflict starts.

Again, no answers. We humans create a lot of drama where there need not be. And our egos are very easily bruised and our feelings very easily hurt. We need to find a way to work with each other so that the animals are front and centre and not our own agendas.

I don't always know who to believe in these blog firefights but I have been reading this blog from the beginning and I'm not sure I know any other Shelter Founder who shares so completely and so openly what happens in her life. All the ups and the downs and her own inadequacies. I think it takes a big person and a brave person to do that. I think that is a person who is always questioning herself and wondering what is truly the right path. That is not to say she is always right or doesn't rub people the wrong way. None of us get along with everybody, especially when we are in positions of power.

Sorry, this is a long comment. I just feel it is one of the central problems in animal rescue. The impossible to remove human factor. We should all be questioning our dealings with each other and whether we are truly working in a positive direction for the animals in our care. They desperately need us to figure this out.

I feel that SAINTS puts the animals first. But I have a different mix of head/heart than other people who may not.