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Please be kind to shelter workers and volunteers

Discussion in 'Rescue & Adoption' started by dh8, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. dh8

    dh8 Hot Topics Subscriber

    I'm the first person to push for adoptions and rescue but please have a heart how you talk about your pet's origins.

    You adopt a rescued animal from a shelter or rescue group to save an animal that was abandoned or worse by their owners. Yes, not all shelters are great but even the worst shelters have people there working hard to make improvements. I have done shelter and volunteer work and you really don't know how hard it is to do when your really care about the animals.

    People are often proud to say they rescued an animal "from a shelter". The shelter workers and volunteers are not the abusers and don't have control over bad and irresponsible owners dumping too many animals on them to house; resulting in euthanasia. It is very hurtful to hear how someone rescued an animal from your group when you work tirelessly to find good, happy homes for pets.

    Adopting and rescuing are both vital parts of a positive circle to help animals and people. One is not more important than the other but how you say it can be very hurtful to people we want to continue to be a first line safety net for animals.

    Thanks to everyone who has a heart and adopts or rescues or works in shelters or rescues! If I left anyone out, forgive me...you know what I mean! :)
    • Like Like x 8
  2. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Actually, for me, I always say 'I adopted' rather than 'I rescued', because, like you said, I didn't do the rescuing. I just gave the Forever Home. :D And I always give a heartfelt thanks to all the folks working in this line of work. It takes a special kind of person and one with a lot of heart and compassion. :ty:
    • Like Like x 6
  3. Dobs4ever

    Dobs4ever Hot Topics Subscriber

    While I understand what you are saying animals are "rescued" from a life as a shelter dog and that is not in any way accusing anyone at the shelter of abuse. But it is not an ideal situation for any dog to live long term in a shelter situation and that is probably why people say that the "saved" the dog from shelter life.

    I know it is hard but you can't let it get to you or it will drive you nuts. You have to have the confidence to know that the vast majority of folks never have that negative thought enter their heads . They simply means they are rescuing a dog from having to live its life in a shelter instead of on someones couch. Nothing persona intended at all.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    As a side note, Brandy here (in my sig) was a rescue dog, and we are SO grateful to the wonderful people who pulled her from the kill-shelter and then decided to foster her until we adopted her. I have photos somewhere, and one of these days I will post them. Poor thing was terrified of everything, skin and bones- you could see every bone in her hips and spine. The kill shelter told the rescue group that the previous owners had given her up because they were moving somewhere that didn't allow pets. Personally, I think it was someone who took her in as a pup but stopped caring for her when she was older and "no longer cute."

    I may slip up every once in a while and say something along the lines of "she was rescued from a shelter"- I'll be honest and say that I think it's possible I even said something along those lines today! But I promise you I don't mean that I did anything other than adopt her from the wonderful people who fostered her. And I will always be 100% grateful to them for what they did for her. She is a sweetheart- and our family is blessed to have her in it. :dog2:
    • Like Like x 4
  5. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Exactly! I've never had anyone have a bad word for a shelter and rescuing from one only means what Suzan said...that you gave them a life on a couch instead of the shelter. I STILL think about the people involved in rescuing Kali and feel warmly towards them for it!

    Doesn't that just infuriate you!? :mad:
    • Like Like x 5
  6. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Hell yes it does! Especially considering all of the issues she had- some she STILL has. Like the SEVERE separation anxiety. The fear of being in an enclosed space. And when we first got her, she had no idea how to play. We eventually got her to catch a rope and to bat at our hands with her paws, but every other toy and game was confusing and scary to her.

    She is so much better today. But it's only because of many years of work.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    She looks like such a sweetheart and happy that you are her Forever Home! :)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ingrid H

    Ingrid H Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I don't work in a shelter or rescue, but I feel that I know the difference in words that people "should" use when speaking of the origens of thier pets. Ladybug came from my local no-kill shelter and I always say that she was adopted. I didn't save her when I saw her in a pen and paid to take her home with me. She was already rescued. She was surrendered. She's been a joy and a big problem ever since I got her.

    The actual words do matter. Rescue is different from adoption. I doubt that the workers at my local shelter loose too much sleep over how adoption is worded. They are pretty much happy to get the adoption fee and get rid of the dog. People who adopt can call the process what they want.
  9. dh8

    dh8 Hot Topics Subscriber

    Didn't mean to upset anyone with the comment. I've done a lot of shelter work and it's hard when you hear those slips especially if you work in a municipal shelter that has no choice but to euthanize because of overcrowding. The turnover of caring people there is really, really high and it's where they are needed the most.

    Also HATE the pet dumping excuses-we're moving, having a baby, don't have time and the general my pet is crazy/dumb/whatever for people who fail to properly train them. It's beyond heartbreaking when the pet is really old, too. I once had someone bring in a 7 week old pure Siberian husky they just purchased the night before, angry with us because the pet shop "never said the puppy would get bigger" and wouldn't give them their $700 back. They actually asked what i would give them for the puppy before they just signed him over.

    Some shelters are super bad too. I called one high kill shelter in CA that frequently has Dobis hoping to take 1 or 2 if they came in together and it was ridiculous. You'd think they'd be happy to adopt so quickly to a great home. Called and emailed...finally caught someone on the phone who had zero interest in talking to me and said the dobi was going to a rescue-didn't matter if I'd take him into my home directly or not.

    But then you come across amazing loving people who will do anything for their dog too. There was a homeless man in Manhattan when I worked in the shelter system there who loved his scrubby old pitbull like I love my dogs. He spent his last pennies to get a microchip in case the homeless shelters found the dog when he was looking for work and brought him in. His dog had a much better jacket than he did. He'd walk 30+ blocks to pick up donation dog food when times were especially tough. (I don't advocate pets for the homeless but see no reason to take them away when they are treasured and super well cared for.)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    oh dhorner8, I bet you have some crazy stories to tell! My sisters had some doozies when they were working at Petsmart- and it's not even a shelter. (just a dumping ground for people who can't be bothered to look up the address to the shelter.) Just know that your work is definitely appreciated here, and I'm sure that even when someone slips up and says one thing when they mean another, 90% of the time people know what hard work shelters and rescues do, and we are very grateful for it. :ty:

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