This was written by one who happens to view these problems in the same manner as do many large national corporate executives who refuse to involve themselves with rescue organizations or to be more helpful in their efforts.
I am saddened to see a disturbing trend that Animal Rescue people around the country can become entrenched in the political and personality conflicts that seems to defeat the whole purpose of rescuing those more defenseless then ourselves. I'm sure this is nothing new, however it's something that NEED's to become extinct.
It appears to me that by the very nature of the work we do, trying to save as many animals as we can, we can become lost in the concept that ONLY *I* can do the job right. Instead of noting how much someone IS doing we feel the need to point out the things that they aren't doing, or that we might do differently. Unfortunately that is the very disease that corrupts the foundation of Animal Rescue. It is easy to become so focused on the bad things that we see, we forget about the good things we see. This continuous negativity, can strangle the roots of any rescue organization and cause irreparable damage. When time and energy is spent focusing on personality conflicts and intolerance of other methods that might not exactly match our own, it takes that much time and energy away from the business of saving animals.
In a perfect world all VOLUNTEERS would have 28 hours a day to dedicate to the animal rescue work that they do. Everyone would agree on training methods, care protocols, and placement standards. Each foster would have enough room to house all their foster animals in a home atmosphere instead of a kennel, the rescue organization would have enough money to furnish the best food, treats, and absolute maximum suggested veterinary care available.
But alas, this is not a perfect world. Rescue VOLUNTEERS juggle jobs, family, their own pets, medical issues, personal problems, AND their volunteer work. Standards shift, beliefs and ideals may clash with others, but I choose to believe that each VOLUNTEER is doing everything THEY believe they can to help the organization. And I haven't walked in their shoes. I don't know what bills they can and cannot pay, at fights they may be having with family and friends. I don't know how many hours they already dedicate to Rescue so I shouldn't judge what they do give.
Today as I sit at work, dealing with the reality of two fatal accidents, and juggle Animal Rescue calls about various issues, this whole struggle sinks home. On one hand I am struggling with the concept that two people will not go home today. Their families will never have the opportunity to spend time with them again. EVER. The good that these people might have done in their communities in the future has now been lost. And I wonder about what would be said if one of those people had been me, or any other Animal Rescue volunteer.
Would I be appreciated for the things I had done, the accomplishments I had achieved, for the effort I made, or would I be criticized for my methods, judged by all that was left to be done?
In this electronic, fast past, hectic world I believe we have at times lost sight of the very foundation of "good will to man". We have forgotten, or don't have time to remember, that, caring, compassion, and kindness are the very foundations of what Animal Rescues are based on.
So the next time we are prone to criticizes someone else's job, point out their flaws or faults, discourage someone else's efforts because their methods don't match ours we need to stop. We need to consider their efforts. We need to praise and acknowledge the good they ARE doing. If we want to save animals we have to save ourselves from each other first. Otherwise we lose the very people who are willing and able to help us accomplish our goals. We need to stop jumping to conclusions and attacking each other before we discover the facts and consider all options and beliefs.
Our methods may be different, our standards may not be identical, but our goals are the same. Words can hurt, they do cause pain, they can scar, and they can cause retreat, flight, and failure. Or they can cause hope, they can cause accomplishments, they can cause change and success. We decide which by our actions, our tolerance, and our understanding. Are we going to work to our maximum potential or are we going to get lost in the struggles of politics and egos? And who suffers the most when we are lost?
Some thoughts to ponder. A Concerned Rescuer in America