Facts and Myths on the Life of a Fabulous Pet Lady

I used to call myself the Crazy Pet Lady. But after I wrote a blog about the stigma put on animal rescuers (one of which is being called crazy), I decided to go with a new name that reflects how truly fabulous and wonderful it is to spend my time helping animals in need.

I get a lot of comments  - some good, some hateful - on what I do, in person and on social media. I also get hate mail. When I was teaching Volunteer Orientation at the shelter for many years, people made a lot of assumptions about my beliefs on animals. So I wanted to put some facts out there to clear up any myths people may have come to about my life as a Fabulous Pet Lady!

MYTH: You're a crazy cat lady.
FACT: I have always had dogs and cats. Mr.Frisky was my first rescue cat. He was a cat living on the streets who I took in one Thanksgiving. He was about 1.5 years old and a Russian Blue mix. He lived to be almost 20 and was a very special cat in so many ways. His rescue propelled me into my lifelong rescue work, and this Organization was conceived and named in his honor. 

MYTH: You hate dogs.

FACT: I have always had dogs and cats. My first rescue dog was a 7 year old Siberian Husky who Mr.Frisky took great pleasure in bossing around! I've had assorted dogs of all shapes and sizes ever since along with the assorted cats. They all get along. Having cats and dogs is not mutually exclusive - that's another myth! 

MYTH: You must be rich, or have a husband/family that supports your work.
FACT: I am not rich. In fact in the last three years, I have slipped from having savings to being in debt as making ends meet grows tougher; especially with veterinary bills that reach 5 digits. As for the husband and family comment, I have neither. I do have family but they are in equal financial circumstances (or worse off) and are in no position to help. I work full time at an hourly job with no benefits and no paid time off - for any reason. I was fired from my previous job for taking time off (unpaid, with permission ahead of time from the previous Manager, one afternoon a week) for Milo dog's chemotherapy. Oncology clinics for animals are not open nights and weekends. My medical costs me $400/month with a deductible of $7,000 before benefits kick in. I do my rescue work, take care of my own special needs animals, and run AskMrFrisky.org by myself in my "spare time", unpaid. I have no help.

MYTH: You must hate people who buy from a breeder.
FACT: With shelters and rescues endlessly full, I do prefer to see people adopt and or Foster. Especially because many shelters and rescues end up with purebreds when puppy mills and irreputable breeders are busted. If they choose to buy, I urge them to ensure it is a reputable breeder, not a puppy mill. I always advocate good pet care and lots of love.

MYTH: Why do you have [name a country] on your worldwide list? I guess you agree with the horrible things they do.  

FACT: I intend to find every person around the global helping animals in need, and get their organization listed so they can connect with adopters, fosters, volunteers, donors. Animals do not care about borders, religion, race, politics and the other things humans have used against each other to create strife, war, and poverty for thousands of years. Animals just need help and I intend to help them. I leave personal viewpoints at the door. I believe Doctors Without Borders has a similar mission although I am not sure.

MYTH: You only care about animals. 

FACT: I help the people helping animals. I also help friends, relatives, and strangers including homeless people. Again, like having cats and dogs, it's not mutually exclusive. 

MYTH: You have shelters that euthanize on your list, so I guess you agree with killing.

FACT: I intend to find every person and organization around the global helping animals in need, and get their organization listed so they can connect with adopters, fosters, volunteers, donors. If they are euthanizing all the more reason to connect the with partner rescues, adopters and fosters to get the animals into homes and rescues before they are euthanized. Underfunded, dilapidated shelters need even more exposure to get funding so they do have adequate room, space, staff, food and medicine. My personal goal is to see every animal in a home or sanctuary; failing that to see every animal in a shelter or rescue with the 5 freedoms system in place and no time limit. This takes funding, staff, volunteer, adopter, foster, partner rescue, municipal, and taxpayer support to achieve. That's a FACT.

MYTH: You agree with the politics of your Followers.

FACT: Like my handle says, Follow Mr.Frisky if you love animals. If you want to Follow to help us help more shelters, rescues, sanctuaries connect with potential adopters, fosters, volunteers, and donors, I will follow you back provided you are not peddling porn or harmful information and images. I do not have to agree with someone's  politics to appreciate that they shared a Mr.Frisky post about a rescue in desperate need, because that share could result in connecting the rescuer with someone that then provides that need‚Äč

Shelter Stories: A Mr.Frisky Blog

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