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When Good Rescue Goes Bad

FF_Logo_Mascot By: Carol Bryant, Social Media & PR Director, FIDO Friendly magazine

I’m not accustomed to op-ed writing and I’m not exactly sure why; in fact, I may have discovered a new-found interest in sharing my opinionated prose for the sake of dog.

As the Social Media and PR Director for FIDO Friendly magazine, I see a lot of sad, disheartening and horrific dog neglect and abuse cases cross my inbox. To the best of my ability, time and resources, I do all I can to be the change, as the BlogPaws adage goes. People who are involved in rescue and advocate for the welfare of animals are my heroes. No offense, but for as much as I love pro football, those who score a winning touchdown or split the uprights for the extra point are not my heroes (unless of course, they advocate for animals). The down in the trenches, doing what they can for the betterment of animals folks: YOU don the invisible S beneath your attire.

So what happens when good rescue goes bad? The blog I write has recently been nominated for three DogTime Petties award. With ardent fervor and slide-across-the-floor ala Tom Cruise “Risky Business” style, I rejoice. The greatest part of this process is the $1,000 in rescue group funding that is awarded to winners. To groups who are struggling to get by, day by day seeing the intakes and sacrificing of themselves, this money is as good as a bar of gold. So if FIDO Friendly wins, it would be my greatest joy to split the financial award between two wonderful dog rescue groups. I announced my intentions and went on my merry Facebook way.

Then the letter hit my inbox. “How about supporting my group that has been helping dogs since 1988 instead of a 2010 Johnny come lately.”

How could I have lived 42 years and never had a sip of Kool Aid from the “good rescue gone bad” drama?

Truly? Really? You didn’t just go there. Once the thoughts of “whoa, nuh uh” cleared from my mind, I deduced, as Rod Serling wrote, “people are the same all over.” And in every bunch of loving apples, therein is a not-so-ripened one.

I won’t throw apples back; just not in my style and not worthy of keystrokes. I did ponder how to reply, what great words would change negative Nellie and cause her to see that we who rescue are all a part of a greater network of paws joining paws.

And so I wrote. “Thanks your input and concern. I just want to help dogs in need but will not engage in Fido50 the politics of who should get what and why. As long as dogs are being helped and the money used appropriately isn't that what rescue is all about? You ALL are saving lives. Continue the journey. Live that philosophy. Dogs need us. No matter who saves them – getting them good homes is what it’s all about. Paws joining paws.”

I hope the message is pondered, perhaps marinating in her mind a bit, and if there truly can be a change, then maybe for the good of dog, she’ll reconsider and see that we are all in this together.

There are some paths I will walk down and they generally involve four legs traipsing by my side.  It has been my experience that a path of negativity and division generally leads to a dead end. Unite paws and be the change you want to see in the world.  Yes, I truly love the BlogPaws mantra.

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  1. It’s often hard to justify ones self – to folks who have an agenda, Carol. No doubt she deserves support. As do all people working on behalf of our animal friends. You did the right thing. Did you encourage her to join the community and connect with like-minded folks? We can embrace the world – and with each little step, each dollar, each donation of supplies, we make lives better and happier. Animal lives and our own lives.

  2. Indeed, Yvonne. She was encouraged to be a part of the change, join in and become a part of a united front instead of a narrow division. Whether she will or not remains to be seen, but I tried to educate. 😉

  3. Thought for the day: ‘It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit.’ ~ Robert Yates

  4. Carol…congrats on your nomination! I’m sure the two cocker groups will be thrilled with the donation. Unfortunately, what you experienced is not unusual. In fact, on my association Web site, I have had to include a notice in the FAQ page that the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals is not the “rescue police” after receiving a number of emails from groups bashing other groups.
    The politics in the humane world are real and sometimes scary. Recently, I hosted a teleseminar with HSUS about the problem of attacks on humane groups. It’s a disturbing trend. I’ve also written blog posts with titles like “Why can’t we all just get along?” I’m sorry you had to deal with this type of thing, but if it’s any comfort, you aren’t alone. As you say, there are a lot of heroes in the rescue world doing their best for the animals. But there are also some real nutballs too 🙁
    I’m looking forward to meeting you at Blog Paws!
    – Susan Daffron

  5. That was a great reaction… as you have said your self the path of negativity will only lead to more negativity. And after all if someone is going that route isn’t it up to you and me to help them change that?
    I think you made the right choice where many would’ve reacted in anger.
    Kudos to you and your blog, I have just started reading it but I’m enticed. Seems there are lots of good people here. 🙂

  6. Thanks so much. There’s safety in numbers. Always makes me wonder how many more animals can be helped if egos were out of the way. Love the quote, Terry. Look forward to meeting you at BlogPaws, too, Susan 😉

  7. Don’t take it too much to heart, Carol. I’ve been involved in rescue for 20-odd years, and there — as in everywhere else in life — you meet all types. Some folks just don’t know how to ask nicely — which might have something to do with why that person’s cause isn’t getting a lot of donations. Some humans were poorly socialized as youngsters, too.
    The other thing I’ve learned in my time is that people are going to do what they’re going to do, and you’ll never have to look very far to find someone to tell you that you’ve made the wrong choice. Just shine them on, be glad you’re doing what you’re doing, and keep on going.

  8. I have a Shih Tzu boy who I got from a breeder, sorry Carol! The truth is that although I adore my little animal and I spoil him rotten, I’ve been feeling guilty for not going through the rescue process.
    Consequently, I recently decided to adopt from one of two different rescue organizations that came recommended. I filled out their respective applications and waited for a call back which never came. So, I called them both and was told, by both, that they became aware that I filled out two separate applications and that they were negotiating which deserves my business more.
    Can you believe it? They were in a tug of war game while animals were waiting for good homes!
    Thoroughly disgusted, I still wanted to adopt so I turned to yet another rescue organization that responded immediately and I am now a proud owner of a second Shih Tzu boy.
    All is well that ends well?

  9. It is a good thing to do rescue and adopt rescues; I have been doing both for a long time. However, I refuse to be made to feel guilty for also owning two well-bred, gently-raised, mentally stable, purebred dogs whom I purchased from breeders whom I know well. They’re well-socialized, healthy, and their ancestors have had multiple health checks. There is nothing there to apologize for.
    The best thing about these two dogs is that they present a stable influence for other dogs who haven’t been as lucky. My other two are rehomes — one given back to his breeder by the owner, the other given to us when his owner died. My old dog has taught the house routine to a number of fosters over his 14 years, and he has been unfailingly kind to puppies.
    All dogs deserve kind, good, and stable homes. I will be forever grateful to my old dog for helping needy dogs on their way to theirs. I would go right out and get another dog just like him, but he is the last of his line. When they made him, the mold really did break.

  10. I totally agree and understand, Karen. I do what I can to help dogs in need. Love that you said “All dogs deserve kind, good, and stable homes.”

  11. This was an insightful post. I would think people would be on the same page when it comes to helping animals. It’s not about the ‘ego,’ it’s about helping the animals.

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