Rescue Journal

sad thoughts

Carol  ·  Apr. 7, 2011

when best friends animal sanctuary started their "no more homeless pets" was in response to the irrefutable knowledge that the combined efforts of all of the rescues together each year can and will rescue thousands upon thousands of animals...and still not even make a dent in the horror of homeless animal lives out there.

now that is pretty damn sad.

and i think that is what most speaks to the real heroism (or stupidity) of rescuers...we keep fighting a war in which we and the animals all around us, simply continue to be overrun and slaughtered by the irresponsible hordes.

we can fool ourselves for awhile about the importance of the one or two or one hundred or one thousand or ten thousand we saved....but eventually we look up past those few and see the carnage surrounding us a few feet away.

rescue is an imaginery island in a vast ocean of global animal despair....a few make it to never-never land...the majority never get the chance.

i have two really sad stories inside me that i want to share. they pretty much mean next to nothing in the grand scheme of things but the hopelessness of it all is still sitting there.

the first is a stray dog that i saw on the road a couple of weeks ago. he was a dirty white cole-looking dog..maybe a husky and shiba cross.
he had little pointed ears and a compact solomn face and he was limping along the side of the road ahead of me, not really going any place.

i pulled over and called to him and he stopped and looked back at me. as soon as i started moving towards him, he started moving away. i had 2 small dogs in the car that i was bringing home from the vets. i called him again and he stopped and looked back again and as soon as i moved forward he turned away and moved on again.

i didn't want to start chasing him..chasing dogs on the side of roads is not a very good idea. so i drove up ahead of him and stopped and got out of the car. he looked at me consideringly for a long moment and then turned up a long country driveway.
i stood at the side of the road and i watched him moving away..i didn't think that was his home..i think he just wanted me to stay away. he turned around and laid down facing me about 300 feet away. i could feel his weariness, i could feel his real need for this busy body human to quit bothering him and his sore leg.

it was almost 6pm on a friday or saturday night..i had 2 dogs in the car...i still had the barn guys to put to bed and i did not have time to keep goofing around with this quietly serious loner guy. i left him.
i called animal control and left them a message and went home to drop off the dogs and put the barn guys to bed. when i was finished i took a drive back up there but that dog was gone. i kept my eye out for him the next day when i was out driving around but didn't see him again.

sheri from animal control called me a couple of days later to tell me she had him and he was safe.
yesterday i stopped in to drop off some specialty food for an allergic dog they had and asked if his owners had claimed was still there. his leg was better with the enforced kennel rest and when the staff took me to his kennel to meet him, he was quietly pleased with the visitors and the treats that the staff had. he gently wagged his tail and softly sniffed my hand...he was still a very contained and dignified dog but he was now trusting and friendly.

the staff think he is about 6 years old and they will most likely find him a new home..there is no big huge rush, their numbers are low, and he is safe and in the care of really good people.

but why was this deep and dignified dog limping dirty and unkempt alongside of the road? and where is his family? why haven't they been looking for him?

my guess would be that they just never really cared about him.this really bothers me and now it seems this loner, dignified dog who has nothing at all to do with saints has taken up some kind of haunting residence in my head. i need to get him out of there..he is not and will not become a saint.

the other sad story inside of me, is about our newest saint dixie..but that full tale is still unfolding on the pages of her very own story and i don't know the ending of this one yet.



every once in awhile something happens to reinforce the belief system. i remember a news clip from hurricane katrina, people all over new orleans refusing to leave without their pets. i know it didnt happen often enough but it DID happen. did you know vancouver is now training their emerg personnel to resuscitate pets? granted, for the benefit of humans but its a drop in the pond, one that people like you create.(otherwise we have shitty stagnant cesspool water and nothing ever changes)

Carol Ann

after i read such sad things i hug the stuffing out of my three beautiful dogs. No one else wanted them and i am sooo lucky to have them. They fill my days with love. I just wish all animals could be treated with love and respect.


I think an enormous difference has been and continues to be made in the lives of animals. I think that dent you speak of is getting bigger and bigger every day because of the hard work and dedication of rescuers everywhere. I believe that one day there will be no more homeless pets, and animals will not be used as commodities. It probably won't be in my lifetime, but I know it will happen.

But, I am also not mired in rescue every day, surrounded by people's former pets, so I can see how one would get to a point of despair. But please don't believe for one second that the work that SAINTS and other rescues do is barely making a difference, because the truth is that work is part of a huge, collective push forward for humane and compassionate treatment of all sentient creatures.


Your story is sad Carol and I'm not denying how impossible the work is in animal rescue. No matter how many are saved there are 100 to fill it's place. But I really disagree when you say we aren't making a difference. Because I look around and I think, yes that is 1 of the 50 cats that were turned into that high kill shelter this week. But you know what, to that one cat, my efforts and those of the people who also work so tirelessly doing this work, is the reason it's still alive. We are it's world.

I once read a quote somewhere, that no one can do everything but everyone can do something. So I'm doing my something and it means a hell of a lot to those that I've saved.


oh, yay for Dixie!!!!
I cry for these dogs, too. I have spent the last 28 years in "the South" and if I have learned nothing else during my tenure here it is that in "these parts" life is really disgustingly cheap. I live off one of the busiest roads in the county... I mean full dump trucks going 55 in a 35 mph zone who couldn't stop for a child if they wanted to and wouldn't even consider stopping for a dog or a cat. People living along this road have their dogs loose in their yards all the time. My vet recently found a wonderful home for a kitten who just "magically appeared" in our driveway one day while we were having a yard sale. He said people around here take any animals they can't re-home and drop them off at the ends of cul-de-sacs and figure someone there will take care of them... never mind that there is a no-kill shelter here in town... driving there might be too inconvenient. We had, until recently, four cats (one died from hemolytic anemia) and not one of them came here with us when we moved here in May 2008. We found the one who died in a parking lot down town, one came from the Humane Society, one walked into the yard one day and never left. The fourth one came to us from a "family" up the street who moved to Houston... took 3 of their cats with them and simply left him here to fend for himself so he is ours now. In one way I'm glad they did that because he is my most favorite cat and I adore him, but the mind-set involved in being able to do something like that is beyond my personal comprehension. I am 65 and my oldest dog will be seven next winter. In the event of my demise while they are still with me daughter would take excellent CARE of them, but she would not LOVE them the way I do... she is simply a cat person... no harm, no foul. So when I go to the great beyond, my desire is that they will go to breed-specific rescue so they can find homes where they will be loved and cherished, not just cared for.
I don't understand how someone could do this type of thing... if you can't care for your pet anymore, or even if you don't WANT to care for your pet any more, and if you are too lazy/stupid to try to re-home it, a lot of these guys would be better off being PTS than being set adrift to fend for themselves.


hopefully not..if she comes here, she will stay here...we are hoping to find her a home while she is still in boarding....but we are going to commit and see her thru, one way or another and not pass her on to another rescue.


In my sometimes overly-vivid imagination, I see this once adorable little white puppy who has now turned into a larger dog (who knew the puppies grew up!?!?), stuck in an outdoor kennel/run someplace, or maybe tied to a tree, watching the family coming and going, getting thrown a bit of food now and again, until one day someone suddenly decides that he'd be "better off" if they just dumped him alongside the road so he can find his new home. And then this non-complaining, non-imposing, just waiting for a bit of attention from ANYONE, dignified soul standing on the side of the road after his person just dumped him off and left. And now I'm crying. People truly suck.


"Our newest saint dixie"... does that mean she will be actually coming to saints?