i was talking to someone last week who asked me how to go about starting their own rescue. i am always torn about this question. i know the animals need more people in rescue. but i have seen rescue gone wrong and how devastating that is to those animals. and i have also seen rescue done well and what that costs too.
rescue is one of those things where everyone has an opinion. everyone has their own idea of how things should be done. its like this giant, endless kitchen with a thousand individual opinionated cooks all trying to make their own special rescue soup.
i have been a nurse and a rescuer for about the same number of years. nursing is far easier.
i never encouraged my kids to become involved in rescue, its too full of all of the things that i never want them to have to go thru. i always say that rescue is not personal. it is about doing a job that needs to be done. however even tho it is not personal, it is still personally difficult. which is a bit of a conundrum.
this is not an endeavor with a lot of personal choice, many times it is filled with days of just slogging thru the crappy stuff.
i have been on many pedestals and i have been knocked into the mud. i have been defined good and evil by others opinions and judgements.
sometimes it is uncomfortable, sometimes it down right hurts but you do learn to live with it....
by repeating over and over.... it's not personal (even when it feels like it is.)
but how do you tell someone that if they go into rescue they have to personally be able to live with whatever comes their way. you can and will be the good guy and the bad guy in the very same day. you will be lauded and sneered at, you will trust and be betrayed. and you will always be alone because every single person around you can leave if they choose to but you will always have to be that last person who stays.
at some point in order to survive in rescue, you have to build walls.
now those walls can be a prison or they can be a cathedral. you use the same stone.
i think as we grow in rescue we are like the little pigs and learn that houses built of straw and sticks do not survive strong winds but good solid stone walls will.
this is why i am so determined to move saints beyond me...saints has always been about how we care for our animals. saints stands on our everyday actions and the work we do. saints is not a person, it is a purpose.
the next time someone asks me how to start their own rescue i think i will say....build the organization first, let the organization plot the path, take the risks and do the hard work. organizations aren't personal. no one can really hurt an organization that does good work.