When I joined the rescue world, I started out as just a foster. I attended events and asked the boss ladies lots of questions, in order to learn about the rescue. I started to become more involved, by helping in any way I could. Eventually I was checking adoption applications, helping with home visits, and then I had the opportunity to run the social media for the rescue. Social media is a fascinating thing. It can be a wonderful tool. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends, see pictures of vacations, and kids. You can also follow people that have similar hobbies. I started following local shelters, rescues, any local businesses that had to do with dogs basically. I also quickly unfollowed those sites that like to count down the days until a dog is going to be put down. The ones that use big bold lettering, begging you to save this poor soul from death. I understand why they do it. I appreciate their urgency. But, for me, I just can’t take it. I have learned how bad it is out there. I know that I will never be able to help every dog in need. I will never understand why people abuse helpless animals. I don’t need the sad, sweet faces of urgent dogs shoved down my social media throat. That is one great reason to follow rescues. In general, rescues don’t use those dramatic techniques to obtain adoptions. Usually, once a dog is in a rescue, they are safe, so while they might be in need of adoptions, the pups aren’t urgent like they are in shelters. (I’m not saying that you shouldn’t follow or network for shelters. There are just certain ones that are too hard for me, personally, to follow.)
If you ever follow any of these pages, you might have seen the negative comments. And if you haven’t seen them, well you probably just aren’t looking hard enough. For example, there is a page called Taters Time to Shine.
It is run by a young girl, and her adventures as a pittie mama, an animal advocate, as well as a few other positive things. She often shares adorable pictures of her dog, Tater. He is her service dog, and he is a great example of what a pit bull-type dog can be. He is always smiling, running around playing, having a great time! Apparently she has recently experienced social media bullying. I don’t know the specifics, and I do not know this young lady, nor do I know the people involved. I am only stating things that I have read. The things that have been said to her are things like Tater looks vicious in his pictures because his teeth are showing, alluding to the fact that she isn’t a good pit bull advocate because of these pictures. Now, I don’t know about you, but have you ever seen a happy dog smiling withOUT showing their teeth?!? I sure haven’t! She has experienced such meanness lately that she was considering taking her page down.
There is a story going around right now about a rescue in California, who refuses to return a dog to it’s owner. Basically, the dog was lost for a short period of time, and while the owner was searching, the pup ended up in the hands of a rescue. The rescue then adopted the dog out. On the same day of the adoption, they were contacted by the original owner, wanting her dog back. The rescue took the stance that they had already completed the adoption, and they didn’t feel the owner tried hard enough, so they were not going to give the dog back. There is a lot of he said/she said involved, and several different opinions about who is right. As I was reading the story on another dog-related site, I started reading the comments. Complete strangers, who have no relation to the people involved, were being so incredibly nasty to each other. Fighting over the points they each were trying (and failing) to make. If someone said they thought the owner should be given the dog back, someone would follow it up by calling them an idiot (with a few other choice words mixed in). I can’t understand this.
(Here’s one of the many articles about this situation: click here.)
As I was scrolling through those comments, just about to move on to something else, I saw a comment that caught my eye. Someone was saying that this behavior was typical of rescues, that they have tried adopting through a rescue before but they asked too many personal questions, like their past pet history. A rescue…adopting out dogs that humans have already failed at least once…asking about the care you provided your previous pets…gasp! Craziness!
I don’t get people who are argumentative just to be mean. People who look for the bad, negative things in all situations. I am not saying don’t be opinionated. It’s ok to be passionate, to be an advocate for whatever you believe in. But why do we treat each other like this? Especially in the rescue business, shouldn’t we be working together? People are often bashing rescues for taking too long to get back to them, for adoption fees being too much, for asking too many questions on an application, or even for declining an adopter. These haters don’t consider the history of the dog, the things we’ve seen, the amount of care, vetting, and love we have put into the dog.
Surprisingly, there is drama within the rescue business too, meaning between rescues and within rescues. This is not including Last Hope Rescue. I can honestly say that while of course there are difference of opinions, and people getting stressed out about things, etc. There is really never any drama between the LHR board members. We work well together, we help, we reach out to each other. We have the same passion, and we do what we need to do to continue our rescue efforts. Sadly, this is not the case between other rescues. That kind of drama, whether it is within the rescue or towards people reaching out to the rescue for adoption or assistance, is what spoils people’s opinion of rescuing. As members of the rescue community, we should be putting our judgmental opinions aside, and helping the animals. THAT is what we are supposed to be doing. Helping the animals who have already been failed by someone else. We are their bridge, from hell to happiness. That might mean dealing with a clueless owner, or rude adopters, but we should remain polite and professional. Because if we aren’t, we are ultimately hurting the animals.
We should be educators. We should be helpers. We should be rescuers.
All of the dogs pictured in this post are in need of forever homes. Please contact LastHopeRescueFL@gmail.com, if you are interested in adding one of these wonderful pups to your family!
*Disclaimer: Other than the specific pages or rescues mentioned, I am not speaking of any particular page, rescue, or person. Everything I’ve said is my own opinion, stated in my personal blog. I always welcome comments and opinions, however any negative/rude comments will be immediately removed.