I apologize in advance…this post is sort of all over the place…but it’s just all important stuff that I feel like sharing! Read, try to make sense of it, and enjoy!
Being in the rescue world is very rewarding, but it can also be so frustrating! There seems to be a never ending stream of non-committed dog owners. People who don’t see the point of spaying their dog, but want us to take the entire litter of puppies that they didn’t plan for and don’t care to keep. People who think it’s ok to dump their senior dog in a shelter, because they can’t handle the end of life. People who don’t give their dog monthly heartworm prevention, and then expect help paying for hundreds of dollars worth of heartworm treatment. I know we live in the age of technology, where most things are within our reach at just the touch of a button, or the swipe of a screen…but what happened to good old fashioned work?? And patience? And respect? We constantly get people calling and emailing and Fb’ing us multiple times, commenting “I emailed but haven’t heard anything back”, even though our auto response specifically requests that we be given 48-72 hours to reply. Our president makes it a point to reply to every single email and phone call, even if it is a request about the wrong rescue, or a situation that we can’t help with. Our vice-president is always willing to find a way to help, too. The Last Hope Rescue board members are all people who have volunteered TONS of time, fostered many dogs, and worked their tails off (haha get it?!) to help the rescue.
There is so much that goes into running a rescue. Unfortunately it is not all freedom rides, adoptions, and happy tails. There are rules and by-laws to follow. There is constant marketing and branding needed. There are hundreds of calls and emails to tend to. There is social media to increase exposure. There are relationships to be kept, like with wonderful businesses and vendors that support the rescue. There are thank you notes needed, LOTS of them. There is community education needed, too. This is all stuff that the board members (and other amazing, dedicated volunteers) are working on, on a daily basis.
My responsibility for the rescue is running the social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, as well as the two adoption sites, RescueMe and Petfinder. I got into that because the “position” opened up, and the rescue needed the help, so I offered. It’s a small way to help, but I genuinely put a TON of time into it. I get to learn a little about each dog, through the pictures and descriptions that I am given, and I try my best to edit pictures and describe the pups in the best way possible. I also get to help the courtesy posted dogs, who sometimes are at major risk of being taken to a shelter unless we can find them a home. The thing about a rescue that everyone should understand though, is the hard work that goes into it. It’s not all glory, rescuing, feel good moments. That is actually why I started volunteering at the shelter. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a part of the rescue, and feeling like I am doing my small part to help the founders with their mission to save dogs’ lives. However, I was missing being hands on. I wanted to really feel like I was helping a dog in need, even if only for a short four hour shift. That is what I love about volunteering at the shelter. You get to work with the dogs, walk them, bathe them, give them one on one attention that they are craving. Sometimes it is really hard to leave, knowing that the dog may not be there when you get back. But that is where the rescue balances it out, for me anyway. The shelter is where I get to give my love and attention to a handful of dogs in need. The rescue is where I get to help save lives.
I feel like I have finally found my passion in life, and though there may sometimes be tears, frustrations, and heartbreak, the rewards of helping these amazing pups (and the grateful people and wonderful adopters that we meet) is all worth it to me! I am thankful every day for the Last Hope Rescue crew, both the two and the four-legged alike!
Well, that is all I am going to ramble on about tonight! 😉 All of the dogs in this post are available for adoption through Last Hope Rescue (except my nosey Oscar of course). Please contact the rescue at LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, if you’d like to adopt one of these wonderful dogs!!