i want to talk about the exploitation of homeless animals in shelters, rescues and pounds.
Carol · Nov. 26, 2010
homeless animals can provide many things that humans want...a paycheque, sometimes a free or cheap place to live if there are living quarters on site, warm and fuzzy, feel good moments, a certain personal powerful pride.."i work in rescue" "i help save animals"...the opportunity to fullfil some childish dreams..like becoming an animal whisperer or Dr. Dolittle, or mother theresa. it can bring you a sense of respect or belonging or purpose or validation from the outside if you are missing it within.
everybody gets something from them..one way or another..be it emotional, physical or financial..we are ALL getting paid.
and it is the animals who are paying us..for paid employees of shelters or pounds...that is where the money comes from..donations, fundraisers, municipal or government funding to the animals to help make their lives better. that money is theirs, they are the reason it came..and they are the ones who may not actually sign the paycheques but those cheques are written in their names from their bank accounts.
for the warm and fuzzy seekers..it is the animals who pay for this too. they are the ones expected to bring out those feelings for you..if they were not there..neither would you be there too...you'd be home doing something else. for the ones who are looking for the world to perceive them better, the animals provide us with the fuel..are we not such angels and saints to give up our lives to help those poor homeless ones?..we must be such amazingly kind and generous people.
humans will always exploit animals in one way or another..i think it was god's second rule. but what we forget is we too have our own price to pay..we have to meet our responsibilities to them too.
there are many shelters and animal welfare agencies sinking in cess pools of staff and/or volunteer bickering, the infighting and sabatoging that goes on is beyond believable..it pretty much is totally shameful. the people who accept their paycheques of either money or emotional filling and then do not provide the care and comittment that they promised to do..they spend their time instead in either work avoidence or rocking the boat and stirring the pot, creating as much chaos and disruption as they possibly can.
and who is getting ripped off here? of course it is the animals themselves..the budgets are crashing because the staff are too busy fighting or simply not doing their work, the volunteers are pitting themselves against the staff and the managers...the entire atmosphere of a place that is supposed to be about compassionate and respectful caring turns into a war zone and then a ghetto of power seekers, lazy sonaofabitches, dissatisfied people, liars and cheats and con artists too.
we do have a responsibility to fulfil if we choose to work with homeless animals...we don't take their money and not do the job they paid us to do...that is quite frankly ripping them off. we don't take up their time with making us feel good if we are not willing to work hard to make them feel good too...that is just really unfair. when we choose to give our time freely without a paycheque attached..that does not give us the right to disrupt where they live or cause stress to the others who are supposed to be using their energy in caring for them well. if we are going to take from them, then we better be willing to give back to them and what we give back..better be good.
homeless animals are not a free or easy ride to a happier or easier life. homeless animals are a lot of hard work. and if we are not willing or able to do that then we need to be looking elsewhere for whatever it is that we want.
homeless animals never promised to be the means of fulfilling human wants and needs. we said we were going to be fulfilling their needs...did we lie when we said this to them? did we really think we could just keep on using them?
they have been used, they have been used up so much that most of them just expect more of the same.
i say..they have paid and paid and paid and paid and once they hit shelters or pounds or rescues or sanctuaries..they should finally be done paying.
so here is my advice for folks who volunteer or get paid to work with homeless animals...leave yourself and your needs at the door, you are there to clean their current home and make sure they are absolutely comfortable. you are there to make sure they have fresh food and sparkling clean water, to brush their coats, to take them for walks, to find them good homes, to keep them safe and free from harm, you are there to meet their emotional, spiritual and social needs as well as their physical ones. you are there to be responsible for them and their care that day, you are not there to grab what you need and turn your back on them while you fulfil your own human needs.
no staff or volunteer in any animal shelter should EVER be arguing, fighting, or sabatoging someone else.
no staff or volunteer should EVER not do a direct animal care task really well.
no staff or volunteer should EVER put an animal at risk by not following the rules.
that i am sorry to say is the nonnegotiable 3 rules expected of the humans who choose to work or volunteer in animal shelters..if you don't like those rules..go somewhere else.
keep human wants, needs and problems out of homeless animal shelters..these guys are homeless and have had tough and crappy lives, the last thing they need is petty human problems adding more difficulties and stress to their daily shelter life.
i want to say a HUGE thank you to our saints staff and volunteers for NOT ripping our animals off...you folks give back as much or more then you get from them...and that is why the saints animals feel so well loved.