Drama in Helping the Homeless

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.)

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Sweet Stella

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.

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Bonded hubby & wife, Izzy and Trooper (seriously, they even had puppies together!)

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.)

Lover boy Pace
Lover boy Pace

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! 

Bootsie, LHR's first Jacksonville adoptable!
Bootsie, LHR’s first Jacksonville adoptable!

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.

Rosette-This is Stella's mama, and she needs a home too!
Rosette-This is Stella’s mama, and she needs a home too!

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.

ADD MADDDIEEEE

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. 

Where has the kindness gone?

So, yesterday I saw two things that baffled me, and I thought I would share. One is dog related, the other is not.

Non-dog related story:

Yesterday I was sitting at a busy intersection, and someone’s car broke down right in the middle of it. Within seconds, the person behind me was beeping and throwing his hands in the air, not taking one second to realize that NO CARS were moving and obviously something must be wrong! The dad gets his young son to run around & hop in the driver seat to steer, while he begins to push the jeep, up a hill, with TONS of traffic staring at him. Maybe 10 feet away is an adult male. He chose to stand there and watch, instead of helping. Then there were 4 younger males (maybe 14 yr old) waiting to cross the street. One of them ran across, and mouthed something like “Can I help you?” That young man proceeded to help push the car into a nearby parking lot, while his 3 friends continued to walk across the street, literally walking around the car to pass by the parking lot, without helping. I was so glad that I was up front & center to see this, and that my own 6 yr old son was with me. You can bet I took the opportunity to explain the difference b/t the boy that helped, and the other 4 people, including an adult, that ignored the situation. Jayden, being 6 years old, said that he would be too worried about finding his way home and how would he know if it was a bad stranger. I explained, in the best way that I could, that sometimes you have to have faith, and just be kind. I don’t know who I was more baffled by. The adult that just stood there, or the 3 boys that watched their friend help.

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Dog-Related Story:

Jayden and I got home last night, around 7:30pm. It was dark out, and my neighborhood doesn’t have much lighting. As we get out of the car, a miniature pinscher runs up to us. He has no collar on, and there is no one in sight. As we are saying hello to him, I see someone about 5 or so houses down, at their car. I shout down the road to ask “Is this your dog?” She says, “Yeah.”…and continues to walk in to her house. What the?! So as Jayden and I are walking in to our house, the dog is following us. He stopped to smell something, and we popped inside. Then I had to take Sassy outside on a leash, because she was just spayed that morning. We walk out the door, and there is the min pin, still hanging out in my yard. As I am letting the dogs say hello, I see the girl driving in her car from the end of my road back to her house. I assume she was looking for the dog..although, her windows were up, and she was driving rather fast (hello, your tiny dog is black, running loose, and it’s dark out!). So I continue to walk Sassy around my front yard, with the other pup following us around. I look down the road, and see this girl get out of her car, look down towards me, and walk away. She doesn’t call his name, doesn’t ask if I can still see him, and doesn’t apologize that her dog is in my yard, nothing! Not to mention, she is lucky that Sassy is nice. What if she tried to attack the dog?! He’s in MY yard! She finally made some sound with a water bottle or something, and the dog went running. Again, she said nothing to me. Isn’t it the neighborly thing to do, to at least say “Oh yes, sorry, that is my dog” and then at least ATTEMPT to call him out of my yard?! I am a dog person (and obviously so is my child, since he insisted “we bring the dog inside and take care of him like he deserves”), but there are plenty of people that are not. There are plenty of children that don’t like dogs.

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What has happened to this world? Why do we only show kindess or respect for others during horrific tragedies? What happened to treating others as you want to be treated, on an every day basis? I am by NO means perfect. I can’t say that I’ve never yelled in traffic, or that I haven’t had a dog run off around the neighborhood. But, I try to always use my manners, show respect for others, and I try to treat others as I want to be treated. I tried to explain karma to Jayden, saying that if we were broke down, how we would really need help because I am not strong enough to push a car. So, you offer to help because you are a good, kind person, and knowing that one day, you will need someone to step up for you. It’s a shame that these days we think it is such a big deal when someone shows a simple act of kindness, like holding a door open, offering to help a person in need, etc. Shouldn’t it be the other way, being a big deal when someone is rude or impolite? Maybe one day this will change. Until then, I will challenge myself to be kinder, more respectful, and to be the best role model for my little boy, who I hope will grow to be a man with a great respect and appreciation for all living things.

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