You are all, every one of you, heroes. You are the most caring and compassionate people I’ve ever known…but you are also sometimes the most vicious.
I get it. Every day you deal with the aftermath of what some awful person has done to an animal. You’ve seen things nobody should see. You’ve helped animals who by all appearances didn’t have a chance. You’ve railed against a judicial system that most of the time doesn’t take animal abuse seriously enough. You’ve pushed your rage and sadness and despair deep down inside yourself, because to wallow in it just gets in the way of what needs to be done. Every day you steel yourself and see what needs to happen, and you do it.
I know how sometimes you just need to speak your mind, slap people down, and educate educate educate, because there are a lot of idiots out there, and a lot of sick, deranged people hurting animals.
But I have to call you on something, because I think it’s easy to get lost in that mindset. The majority of people who are following you on social media believe in you and in what you are doing. Some of them are rescue people themselves, some of them aren’t. Do you know why the non-rescue people follow you? It’s because they care about animals, because they believe the rescue community is made up of heroes, and because you give them hope.
I’d like you to try to remember that, the next time you snap at them; the next time you call them do-nothings; the next time you devalue them for being armchair activists, the next time you criticize someone who’s trying to help…because let’s face it: we need them. Even the ones who don’t have the knowledge or resources to catch feral cats, or foster a dog, or donate money, or transport, or organize a fundraiser. Even the ones who comment “Somebody please help this baby!” or “Prayers for this baby!” We need them because at the very least, they care. And even those who can’t do anything else, can share your posts so they reach a larger audience. You know that networking is key. And maybe, instead of snapping at them you could steer them a little bit, get them to go just a little bit further…because that person following you, the one who cares…just might be a future rescuer.
The photos in this post are screen captures from a movie by Brian Wilson about some of my personal heroes of animal rescue, Animal Rescue Corps. The rescue footage was taken during a puppy mill rescue in MS. The people at ARC always act in a professional manner, and you’ll never see them slamming anybody, in rescue or out. They are far too busy for that nonsense.
Please “like” ARC’s Facebook page share their posts, and donate if you are able. They are the big guns of rescue, taking on cases that involve dozens if not hundreds of animals.