Rescue Journal

i was thinking today...

Carol  ·  Jan. 23, 2014

oh god carol! please no more thinking again!!

ooops sorry but I do have a hard time turning off my head.

I want to talk about dysfunction in shelters and rescues, really any charitable general terms, not specific to here.

I would be hard pressed not to be able to identify many shelters and rescues that I personally know of that have or had internal problems of significant and counter productive divisions amongst staff, or volunteers or administration or various combinations of all three. lines get drawn and before you know it the organization and whatever its original mandate was is in risk of blowing apart. and what is interesting is..the people who are the most closely involved and affected are either unaware of the danger rapidly approaching or past the point of caring.

sometimes I wonder if this is the adrenalin rush that blinds us all to the fact that while we are bickering and stabbing each other in the back..the animals are surrounded and breathing the toxic fumes of our anger, bitterness and distress.

if I were to use an analogy of what politics does to would be an abcess (sorry but I am a nurse so my analogies are drawn from the familiar.) anyway...

some nick or cut or even a bruise that damages the underlying tissue starts to gets rubbed or scratched or picked at and opportunistic bacteria start to sneak in. the bacteria start to multiply and devour more of the healthy tissue to take over more room. the abcess sits deep and hidden and is unknown to the host until some of the tell tale signs and symptoms begin to appear. by the time the host figures it out and can try to deal with it, the infection has built a volcano that runs deep down to its core. untreated abcesses can turn into septicemia and eventually kill the host.

in order to heal an abcess...heat is applied to bring it to the surface and help it come to a head (nothing ever heals if it stays hidden) and then it has to be lanced, drained, and flushed to reduce the bacteria count. next you give appropriate wound care and follow up antibiotics...and then it can heal cleanly from the bottom up. you can do other helpful things can educate on how to avoid deep infected tissues, and you can practice preventative measures disinfecting small cuts and scrapes, application of lotions and creams to keep skin healthy so it can survive the occasional scratch and cut and you can encourage an appropriate diet and lifestyle to improve the overall general health. it is always a good idea to consider also all of the risk factors and other contributing factors that led to the development of the abcess too.

in any case..once it is fully and deeply imbedded, it is an impossibility to heal an abcess if you do not get to the root of a half assed job, or hope it goes away on its own (and the first time it might) but it just keeps coming back, over and over again because the infection is still there, it just might be taking a nap for a month or two.

now I am not suggesting that people are abcesses or even the direct cause of abcesses because that would just be stupid. but people can introduce or spread the bacteria that destroys the tissues and feeds the infection or even provide the bacteria with an environment in which it can flourish and grow, by some of their choices or behaviors.

we have to understand this... rescues/shelters get sick and sometimes die in many internal and dysfunctional ways. walk into a shelter and witness the staff on one side and the volunteers on the other or see the ranks of staff (or volunteers), split down the middle and fighting each other. watch rescues blow up and split or shut their doors altogether.

when abcesses hit animal organizations... no one is immune and everyone gets sick. and sick people cannot look after animals well because they feel too crappy themselves.

I personally think it is important to keep rescues healthy FOR the animals and that's why I ponder these things.

on a more personal and specific to saints note...while considering all of this, it behooves me to consider the part in any infection process, that I also play. I may need to practice more preventative measures myself. I know how to heal an abcess and I will do what has to be done but will I be careful enough not to nurture another one on some other day?

that is the million dollar question for me today.

and this is the point of my always thinking..if I didn't bother to think, how could I possibly ever get better at this?



I get it .. and Thanks Carol.. you know how I am with abcesses..apparently reading about them seems to effect me in the same way as draining them.. Gag Gag Gag