The Price of Getting Involved
Over two decades ago, when I started down the road of rescue, sheltering, and then later building this Organization, I knew I would give up a lot:
I didn't mind paying the price - and I still don't.
What I did NOT know is that:
I'd be branded a "[insert your favorite radical animal org] wing nut"
A "crazy cat lady" (even though my work has always involved dogs and cats as well as assorted wildlife)
A "radical vegan" (for the record, I am neither Vegan nor Vegetarian)
Suffer rejection from family, friends - and the dating pool.
None of this stopped me - nor will ever stop me. Sadly, I do know the stigma and lack of family support often attached to animal sheltering and rescue has stopped others from volunteering as much as they would like - or from volunteering at all.
That's a loss for everyone, not just the animals because solving the problem of 9,000 animals killed every day just in USA shelters alone, and taking care of the homeless animals at risk, will take the effort of all of us, not just some of us.
It will also take not only the building blocks of spay neuter, micro-chipping, and fostering, but also compassion and understanding for those doing a majority of the work, instead of labeling, shelter shaming, berating, judging, and rejecting.
Sometimes I think we need support groups for us "crazy pet ladies" (any "crazy pet dudes" out there?) to keep us propped up against the viral force of trolls, bullies and general haters and manipulators.
It's too bad love and support doesn't go viral, instead of hate and tragedy.
Fortunately this work comes with a lot of fuzzy hugs and kisses that keeps my head up and my focus clear. I wear the "crazy" and "wing nut" labels I've been given proudly because helping homeless and shelter animals that need love, medical treatment, compassion, and care is nothing to be ashamed of, nor feel defensive about when confronted.
For all those "crazy pet" people out there, I salute you! Be Proud of it! And most of all, thank you for helping homeless and shelter animals.