I was going to start this by apologizing in advance for my anger and language. But you know what? I’m really not sorry.
I read this article the other day that really struck a chord. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hidden or un-followed a rescue organization’s page because of the crazy amount of drama, negativity, and ranting that goes on. Let’s face it, everyone in rescue knows the horror stories that are out there and the purpose of getting into rescue is so we can actually rescue! Yet so many times I’ll see a post for an animal in need of help and I can practically count the seconds until the fireworks start going off.
“I hate people!”
“Who would do this???”
“Someone pleeeeease help this cat!!!!” (As if “someone” could not be the person posting…)
Then 30 messages and countless exclamation points later, you know what happens? People forgot there was an animal to be helped.
All that wasted energy. All that negativity that drove possible rescuers away. All that….anger.
The other day I saw a post for a cat in need of re-homing because their owner was terminally ill. The amount of judgment that went around regarding why other family members couldn’t step in was mind-boggling! 25 messages later, no one was talking about the cat anymore. I’m always tempted to jump in to try to be the voice of reason:
“How do you know there is family?”
“How do you know if the family already has their own pets that may not tolerate a cat?”
“How do you know if the family has a lifestyle that can accommodate this cat’s needs?”
“Who are you to determine if this faceless, mysterious “family” you seem to know is suited to own a cat?” And on and on… But I never get involved in those arguments. I simply sigh and turn away.
And that is exactly what animals in need DON’T need! They don’t need people to turn away. They don’t need rescue sites being hidden.
They need support. They need to be in the spotlight. They need to be allowed to let potential adopters see their true, beautiful selves.
If you call yourself a “rescue”, if you want to get homes for these animals, for goodness sake STOP THE DAMN DRAMA. Page admins, be admins! Keep focus on what the next steps are! Stop arguing about how “the original owner never should have declawed this cat!” and that “they are assholes!” FOCUS. Keep on track. Clearly define the next steps. Implement – and actively enforce – a policy for posting and comments. Ban the bullshit.
The bullshit is preventing rescue from being successful.
And that includes the bullshit you start. You know – the listing that says “URGENT!!!! THIS DOG’S OWNERS ARE DUMPING HIM OFF TO BE KILLED!!!!” and all the subsequent “I’d like to EUTH the owners!!!!” responses that follow. There is nothing of use in those listings or responses and YOU ARE NOT HELPING.
Engage people. Make them want to visit your site. Make them tell their friends about you. Share success stories. Stay calm and focused. Look at some of the most successful rescue sites out there and follow their lead.
Without it, you only exist to point fingers and place blame and you are making sad situations so much worse. And I know that’s not what you want.
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