About two months ago, I got into rescue dog advocacy. Loving and caring for animals is my raison d’etre, a sacred and selfless lifelong calling.
Besides which, I preferred it to the monotony of waiting out the pandemic. Perhaps you resonate with such sentiment.
As I step further in, however, I’ve found this to be a very challenging way to help animals from
afar. It’s all via the internet and on the telephone. This kind of advocacy involves high stakes at-risk animals in shelters across the country needing help before the clock strikes twelve, taking them along with it. Time is always of the essence and loss feels as eminent as a sunset.
And yet, there is beauty and hope to be found in people coming together, united by nothing other than the common bond of hearts in love with dogs and aided by technology. Dogs who have been cast aside or abused by others, in pain, neglected and uncared for by their trusted two-leggeds, or just never cared for after they grew from puppyhood. It feels to be a crazy, emotionally weighty and tenuous movement at times, and yet, it’s all there is to help the true victims in our society in a state of rapid decline. We network, communicate, advocate, coordinate, and in cases where the dogs are geographically situated close to the rescues able to pull them (for the privileges must be applied for and the rescues must be financially supported), physically extricated and placed onto the safe couches of foster care. From there, they transition into furever homes, often after training and any other attendant needs are met.
I’ve met some awesome people. Fellow rescue dog advocates and networkers — Rhonda from Pawsitive Gratitude, who updates me daily on dogs in need of sharing and networking, supports and encourages my involvement — and Sheryl, founder of Pet Pardon, an app designed to track pledges for “condemned dogs” by rescues and advocates wanting to support them.
Are there wins in this movement? To be certain, YES, ABSOLUTELY! Bella Vita Rescue stepped up this past week to rescue Rockefeller, a long-haired German shepherd on the kill list with Devore Animal Care Services in California. Flynn is safe in Denkai Animal Sanctuary’s foster care coordinator’s living room up here in Colorado. After being at risk of death for his burn injuries and infection at the San Antonio Shelter by Central Texas Ruffugees, he was personally transported with six other puppies en route to 4P4L outside of Denver by the founder, Marla and her husband.
Then there’s Tyson, the blind and deaf fifteen-year old Staffordshire terrier dumped by his owner for age-related decline after a lifetime in their home, pulled by the gentle hand of grace into foster care by the Philly Bully Team. Cereberus, a two-year old boxer/Staffordshire terrier mix, was pulled out of San Antonio’s jaws of death before the Saturday morning Ten O’clock termin
ation date by Rescue Pets Serving Vets. Pledges were made and donations honored in the process, all of which are given by those loving on these sacred bringers of light and love in the world. More financial aid is always needed for the rescues involved, and grants during this time of Covid-19 feel in short supply.
It’s all a movement in process — created out of necess
ity and born of love and passion for animals. It’s geographically expansive, uniting animal lovers all across the states, many of which drive and fly all over this blessed planet to cradle the furry bodies in need and transport them to safety. Omar, with Alpha’s New Life Adventure, brings along his own dog with every transport out of Texas, and volunteer pilots with Pilots ‘n Paws fly the precious cargo of homeless pets into new homes each hop they get.
I feel heartened every day for the unification and success of this movement and the ability of a small group of people to effect change in the lives of the most vulnerable and innocent. All dogs want at the end of the day is s bit of food, lots of love and a warm place to rest their heads at night. Is that so very different from any one of us?