Rescue Journal

bless our ignorant little hearts....

Carol  ·  Dec. 6, 2014

the problem with rescue is there is not a university program to teach us how to do this. there is no Bachelor of Rescue degree to ensure we have at least a basic working knowledge of rescue in general.

so most of us just wing it...we fly by the seat of our pants and hope we can get it right at some point as we learn and grow thru experience.

but there are obstacles to this...firstly, the whole cup is too full with knowing it all to squeeze any more learning in. and second is the other real obstacle which is basically learning the not helpful stupid shit.

we are responsible for our own learning...we can learn things that will benefit us and the animals we rescue or we can learn a bunch of beyond even stupid that helps no one and causes more unnecessary suffering.

and really if you don't know the can you choose?

i chuckled at a facebook post that came thru on my news feed this week. it was written by an innocent who was trying to get folks to donate to help her save a death row dog from miami. trying to help that dog is a good and kind thing..asking folks to join her and donate..i suppose is ok IF she actually has it in her to rescue the dog, follow thru..thick and thin, and does not drop the ball (or in this case the dog.) that part of the whole endeavor is a bit of a crap shoot.
anyway..i got my chuckle because she posts that if the dog is not saved, he will suffer from a very cruel euthanization practice called "heart stick." she bravely takes a leap of faith here and explains to those that do not know
what heart stick her it means they poke the dog over and over with a stick in the heart until they "get it right"....which i assume means, the poor dog eventually dies.

ok...well that explanation is a little bit misleading...a heart stick is a euthanol injection directly into the heart muscle instead of a vein. it is a reality that it is far easier and quicker to train someone to give an euthanol injection into a heart than it is into a vein.
whatever....i am not here. to debate which is kinder or more humane..only that the information given be understandably correct.

it really is ok not to know something as long as you take the time to look it up....correctly....and ensure that the info we find is actually accurate.

trying to learn how to rescue on the internet is lunacy...not everyone on the internet knows what they are talking is quality not quanity. it is about actually understanding the info that you do find and that brings me back to my most favorite rescue skill needed....the ability to think and learn critically.

just because someone who thinks they know... says it..does not mean it is real. they may just be making it up, they may have been given misinformation, they may have misunderstood whatever information they were given.

critical thinking has nothing to do with criticizing but everything to do with sorting thru garbage to get to the unspoiled fruit. to find the stuff that is real...this is an important tool for rescue.

not all dogs are just poorly understood, abused or neglected and unhappy beings who just need someone to love them to make everything ok. some of them are nightmares for the unready....some of them need much more than love. they need knowledge and skill and patience. above all they need that commitment that rescue is there for the long haul..not just for handing out hugs.

rescues like to post their resumes...long litanies of all of the wonderous miracles they have achieved, of all of the knowledge they have accumulated, of every experience experienced that makes them great today.

lets be clear here...there really are no miracles in rescue..magic does not exist. most of what we do is pretty damn ordinary, plain commitment to learning and hard work. if we are lucky we learned some good and honest things along the way..and if we are smart...we keep learning new and helpful things on each and every new rescue day.

but we need to take care and be responsible that the learning we do, actually does have value. learning to be a shitty rescue
is not much help to the animals who are hoping that someone decent and reasonably proficient is there to help them..not make matters worse.

so bless our kind but ignorantly innocent rescue hearts whose real job in rescue is to grow our brains to be as big as our hearts so the animals who need us are not inadvertently betrayed.



Another great insightful post. Knowledge is everything, no matter what the application is


i know you said you're not here to debate, but it's actually way easier to train someone to give an IV injection than IC.
intracardiac injections are not a recommended option for euthanasia unless the animal is heavily sedated so they don't feel it (as per the AVMA recommendations). and from someone who does them often on injured wildlife (we always choose a vein if it's viable) that come in - it's not that easy to do, especially if they are not sedated appropriately.

I'm actually very surprised that they are allowed to do IC injections for euthanasia, even in the very crappy shelters.