the rescue job description

Posted: April 12, 2010 at 7:23 am

today is the first day of new staffing levels…we are going to miss louise on so many different levels..i am not going to list them all, i will just get depressed but what i am dreading the most is probably stupid to most but it is true none the less…answering the phone messages.
i am thinking i should check those today. too bad i could not cut costs and save money by cancelling our phone service…rescue life with no phone would be quite nice.

not all the messages are bad but they all have something in common..they require a response…responses take time that i don’t have. refusing animals are not as quick as a simple, no. you have to listen to the problems and the stories and the desperation. then you have to offer solutions that no one is interested in because they already have the perfect solution in mind. then you hear the disappointment (or the anger), you offer your sympathy and best wishes, hang up and carry worry for that animal around for awhile. it probably doesn’t last long, the worry i mean, before another animal in trouble pushes that worry over to them.

last week louise told me, someone called for the first time on thursday night before good friday..it was a long weekend, she got back to them on monday morning. there were 2 more angry and escalating messages calling us names because the first message had gone unanswered. louise is nice, she still returned the call politely and just explained it was a long weekend and then dealt with the problem of saying what the message already said…we are full and not taking any new animals in.

i have been trying to compose a new message for folks to hear and maybe understand better but i am having trouble with it…how much simpler can you get then, saints is full and not accepting new animals at this time?

most of the ones i come up with are just plain rude..i don’t want to be rude. i just want to protect myself and saints from hearing some horribly sad stories that either i can’t do anything about or even worse..that are so upsetting that i actually do cave and let the poor animal in.

louise was great…she just tossed off the facts to me…2 15 year old cats want in…she tried to keep the sad stories to herself as much as she could….i’d say no, she would call them back and try to offer alternative solutions to the problem.

there are advantages to paying others to do what you don’t want to do. but i can’t dump this on one of the other staff because they will have much more important things (like absorbing louise’s building of animals needing care) into their own reduced working hours.

sucks to be where the buck actually stops….right next to the god damn phone.

we will have a quick meeting this morning…i have been thinking over the weekend and do have a plan for the things that i can take on, that the volunteers said that they can help with, that will free up enough of the staff’s time to take on the mp animals care.

like (but not limited to)….i will take on the afternoon field runs for the dogs and scooping the upper field and loafing sheds when i get home from work. i can do this because i can combine them..i can have the dogs in the field with me while i wield the wheelbarrow and pitch fork. they don’t care if i am forking shit as long as i am out with them.

i can take over the second set of feeding and meds..i can do that at 5pm and shift the bedtime meds up to midnight..there aren’t that many bedtime meds so it is not a big deal. i can also absorb the laundry that does not get done during the reduced working day.

and this is my point in this post..in rescue, you need to be flexible. you need to be able to shift things around depending on the individual and unique challenges of each day. this is why i have so many animals here..i can pretty much always figure out some way to actually care for them. and what is interesting is that while all of the contributating problems are often complex..the solutions are relatively easy..if i am willing to roll up my sleeves, pick up some extra work and figure out ways to do things differently.

there will be no suffering of saints animals here during the hard times…the staff, the volunteers and myself will make sure of that….it is our job and we are good at it.

5 Comments on "the rescue job description"

  • Mauro Salles says

    There is a troubling situation and I need to ask you some questions:
    (1) SAINTS is a non-profit organization. Are there discounts on water and light bills?
    (2) The link “How can you help SAINTS?”, from the website, lists several ways to help. Taking the wishlist, for example, do you receive sufficient quantities of medicines, food, treats, etc? Another example: do you see the flyer posted in schools, pet shops, bars, malls, etc?
    (3) The purpose of (2), in other words, is how the website is disclosed, because it is the starting point. This is not a criticism but a comment based on professional and personal experience: sometimes it’s hard to direct people’s attention to something.
    (4) Do you ever give lectures open to the public, showing what SAINTS is, and featuring some of the boys and girls (I know, no mongolian monsters)?

  • Carol says

    you are right that the website is the starting point and i think you are trying to gently tell me that it is woefully out of date…there are animals who have passed away still on the living pages, animals in permanent foster care that are not listed anywhere and newer animals living here who are not included on any page.

    things change around here so quickly, new in, old out to homes somewhere and the never ending cycle of those who lives have ended here. the blog is up to date because it is the daily diary, the web stuff piles up like some other stuff around here..put off til tomorrow or next week or til there is time. by then it is overwhelming and just falls further behind.

    nicole is the only one here who can do the website..she works full time rotating day/evening, night shifts..plus has her own saintly crew of half a dozen ever changing of palliative guys and she does things for us that i don’t even know about til later like making sure we are part of that animal welfare ethical animal care association (i forget it’s name). i need her out here on at least one of her days off to help us with direct vet tech things…that is a 6 hour visit for her, one hour there and back and 4 hours here to work.

    the website has to be done by someone who knows the animals fairly well because if they have to wait for me to write up bio’s, it never gets done.

    it is one of those realities in rescue that hurts us in some way (like me burying and forgetting emails and phone messages)..like all of saints it is a huge undertaking…(there are literally hundreds of pages to update and create.)

    sheila hit the nail on the head when she said, saints grew too fast before we are able to manage all of the infrastructure stuff and before we were finacially stable to ensure that the communication/point of contacts components were as well cared for as the animals themselves.

    i don’t think any of us envisioned how fast and how big saints could grow in 5 years…we are way beyond what i envisioned for even 10 year plan in terms of number and types of animals, in terms of the site improvements and reno’s for animal housing, in terms of how well known we are now.

    but some things did not grow at such a fast rate, some things grow for us more slowly….we can’t concentrate on the slower things because the animals and their needs keep us so busy.

    it frustrates folks some times because if we would just do some of the infrastructure stuff better the animal care stuff would be easier too. but it is a vicious circle that i create in that i keep taking in animals as soon as a spot becomes available.

    i have a hard time saying…sorry, can’t save your life right now because we need some time to work on the website or i am behind on the emails and the paper work.

    it just seems like such a shitty excuse to give to someone about to die…..but honestly? it is a rotten reality that i somehow need to do.

  • Mauro Salles says

    No, no, Carol. I wasn’t trying to tell you that website is out of date. My focus is different: despite living far from there, I believe you have a (temporary) lack of good people to help and, no doubt left, there are MANY people willing to help in different ways. I’ve been thinking about alternative ways to disseminate what SAINTS is, but viable ideas have not emerged yet. I suggest you put this point under discussion in the blog, because I bet that will appear creative, efficient and feasible ideas. You, Colleen, Sheila and the other ladies can not do everything alone. You need a bigger team or a small army.

  • Carol says

    lol…well you should have been trying to tell us the website is out of date cuz it is!!

    i get what you are saying now…good point..i will think on how to present it on thr blog so folks can offer suggestions.

  • Mauro Salles says

    Months ago I wrote something like “my English will kill me someday”. ItΒ΄s coming!!! LOL

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