Rescue Journal

the benefit of the doubt in rescue

Carol  ·  Jan. 19, 2012

in rescue we draw conclusions and make decisions, plan actions (or inaction) based on what we are told, what we actually see, what we have learned from past experience..and sometimes just from our gut. the issue with rescuing animals is..there are few absolutes....most of it is simply a guessing game but pulling in clues from not only the current situation...but also the past.

don't ever sell personal past experience can take some small or big thing you learned from a rabbit and apply it to a dog or a cat..or something learned in rescuing a sheep to a pig or a horse. my initial knowledge on illness and aging came from caring for did not take me long to realize that aging and illness in animals (whatever species...) shares common problematic themes.

sometimes our assumptions leads to animals losing their lives...all of us involved with ed assumed this old chow was going to be a total jerk..and honestly here at saints...we still treat him cautiously/suspiciously..nervously watching every move that he makes. but in fact, ed is a much safer and nicer dog than many others around here..he is far..far better behaved and trustworthy than jesse or phoebe. the problem is..that shared experiences has taught all of us that chows are total jerks.

i always question certain things...especially feral or wild labels simply because of how many marshmellow "feral" cats i have seen...i have had many over the years livng with me.

there is a horse in trouble, running with a herd of "wild" horses. the assumption is if he is running with "wild" horses, then he too must be wild and not safely salvagable. the doubt that entered my mind the horse wild or not?...and that leads me to many horses in that herd are born and bred wild? and how many are just discarded by humans that grouped up together into a running loose herd?

at first i didn't know the answer to this, but later i was told that someone was able to clean and trim his feet..that says..oh..not wild..this is a throw away and can be helped. next i heard..why waste time and resources with an old, broken downer with horrible feet who falls down in the snow and ice and has been driven out of the herd when there are so many more "viable " horses in desperate need...(ie rehab-able, adoptable, sale-able)?

and past experience makes me think of pops...a total waste of space, time and money...a waste of things that are important to us but were not a waste to pops they were a precious gift. luckily for pops, our mandate is not to help the "viable'..our mandate is to help the ones that no one else wants. looks like this horse will be getting some help from some really fine people.. i have offerred saints as a back up in case we are needed.

i think this old, falling down horse with overgrown feet who has been kicked out of the "wild" herd deserves the benefit of doubt at least. doubt keeps the door to rescue possibility open...and that is a very good thing...for him.



Carol, the news said there's a huge snow fall expected tonight. If I hear anything else I'll let you know. You might want Ryan to come back up for the night cause I'm not sure if anyone will be able to get up tomorrow. I'll be able to walk down no matter what.


god pops was one lucky little soul to have found saints. i think how many more pops are out there, how many more crosbies, , and how many more odies, not to mention all the other animals at saints. for everyone at saints how many more are out there hoping for some sort of better life. it truly sucks that animals are not regarded as being worthwhile by so many and there are truly so many that fall through the cracks. look at our beloved cole, look at our rosie, and percy ,our emily and joy, who only meant food to someone else. they all came here with the utmost of admiration, love and respect. i believe all living things have a right to this as do all people. i look at my animals that i have and they are so dependent on me for everything, and i give them everything they need and more. i took them in when no one else wanted them and i am responsible for them and i know that what i have and want to do. i just wish everyone else felt the same way. but there is always a solution to the problem and lots of times it is saints. these are the lucky ones and all of us welcome them with loving arms and lots of positive feelings. they deserve to feel good about themselves and feel loved and happy. i just wish places like saints did not have to exist. but thank god they do.


Carol - I'm going into my third day of no water at my house - so not fun! Thankfully my daughter lives close, so I'm hauling water all day. Have a heater in the crawlspace trying to de-ice the pipes, but so far it hasn't worked. I was also under my kitchen sink with a blow dryer yesterday - didn't work for me either. I think we're stuck with waiting for the weather to warm up. It's inconvenient with my brood of animals, strays, birds, squirrels etc. But that's nothing to what you must be going through up at SAINTS.

Loved your last blog on every life being precious.

Lori Paul

This is why you, Carol Hine, and your experienced people are invaluable to us well-meaning but naive animal advocates... there's only so much we can learn from our own pets over the years and so we look to you as a resource...this is why my husband and I are part of the 1000 Saints program...we love and admire you so much! Hang in there...spring is only 60 days away :)


Hey Carol, I'm not sure if I can dig my car out of the snow so if I can't I'll just walk down. So I'll be at work sometime between 9-9:30 depending on how my car digging out efforts go.