the rescue trench of relentlessness.

Posted: October 14, 2017 at 7:02 pm

i always feel minimized, marginalized, brushed aside when whining about how hard rescue is and the dreaded “compassionate fatigue” comes into play.
my compassion is not fatigued, trust me it is in full flight and blossoming which is why some days i just feel so sad for all of the needless suffering around me.
why on earth wouldn’t i be sad when day after day animals facing hardship and death are placed in my path?
in the past few weeks…4 horses, 1 goat, 3 pigs, 6 cats, 4 dogs, 1 cow..and i don’t even see our inbox anymore..erin has been dealing with way more than that.

of course i feel sad, and of course i get tired, frustrated and angry sometimes too. i put my entire life on the line to help a couple of hundred animals every year. and for every one we say yes to…10 or more sad souls are no.

and its hard to hear over and over how much they are loved because i really don’t understand it. if they are so greatly loved..why are they in such heart wrenching trouble? why is no one fighting for them, standing up for them..why is the answer to give up on them and cut them loose and hope for the best in this not so nice world?

animals die all the time..sometimes they are killed kindly sometimes they die in horror, alone and afraid.
mo and i were at the auction house last week to look at a couple of horses that were picked up as strays. next to them was a pen full of emaciated cows, crowding around to be near us, one bawling over and over..terrified…please someone help me.
it was awful. i can still see her face, i can still hear what she was saying. and mo can too.
luckily the horses were picked up by another rescue because we really did not have any more room, i was trying to figure out how i could take them on and pay for their board myself.
but those sick and skinny cows went to slaughter, that crying desperate one is silent and dead now and i did not lift one finger to help her.

so please don’t insult me and wipe away the pain i sometimes feel with cliches like compassion fatique. if my leg was broken, i obviously would feel pain. if my heart and soul takes a beating, of course i will hurt in many ways. if one of our much loved animals dies, yes i will shed tears and i will grieve for every animal that we turn away for lack of funds or lack of space. but it is that very compassion that thrives so well inside me that isn’t the least bit tired… like the energiser bunny it just goes and goes, banging the drum of compassion over and over no matter how much it hurts, no matter how long it takes to be there day after day, year after year for at least some of the lucky ones.

burn out isn’t in my make up and neither is giving up. i am not going to sit compassionately fatigued, amongst sad and broken laurels crying my poor little eyes out. i will bitch and i will cry, and sometimes i will roar with pent up raging fire, and i will plug along, getting it done the best that i can. because my compassion is not exhausted, it is alive and well..some days i am just sad or mad and it oozes out.

changes

Posted: October 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm

bratwurst is home from his surgery. it is not going well…he is not moving his back legs, he is unable to pee on his own. we have him set up in a cage in the TV room and he is totally pissed off at being confined and wrecking his cage. i just pulled all of his saturated towels out that he dumped into his water bowl. luckily he is so cute because he is an expensive royal pain in the neck.
hope floats that third time pays for all and the little bastard will walk again.

balto is out on a trial..he needs to get along with the resident dog. balto can be picky and choosy about his friends…hope floats that he likes this new friend.

i have been thinking about summer…that frightened and sick little goat who found us a couple of years ago. we saw her thru her chronic mastitis, we saw her thru her arthritis and infected knee. finally we were actually making progress to get her healthy and then boom out of no where…cancer invades the bone of her bottom jaw and life is over in the blink on an eye.
sometimes life just seems so unfair.

fancy is slowly coming along.
can’t decide if donatello likes his new habitat..he certainly is not looking all that enthusiastic. this is weird because we built him a GREAT turtle habitat!! i don’t know a lot about turtles…maybe they don’t like change?
hah! maybe turtles and people have something in common… i know a lot of humans just like that!
newby noelle however has made herself right at home…now there is someone who weathers change like a champion.
who’d have thought a turtle would out-sensitive a cat???

rest in peace sweet summer

Posted: October 10, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Our beautiful goat Summer passed away today. She has had chronic knee problems and finally she was feeling better after this last surgery. Then suddenly she did not want to eat more than a few bites of food at a time. Believing Summer was in pain, we called out our awesome farm vet Brent to have a look. Brent wanted to do xrays, and sadly they confirmed the worst. Summers knee was fine, but she had developed cancer in the bone of her jaw. Bone cancer is very painful, and the difficult decision was made to let her go before the pain took over. Thank you Agwest Veterinary Group for your care of our girl.

quick updates

Posted: October 7, 2017 at 7:20 pm

fancy is still really shy but doing ok…i think she feels a little bit safer in the medical room.
new senior cat noelle is settling in well. she is a real people fan but not so fond of poppy’s out to steal her food!
owen finished donetello’s new turtle habitat, dionne will set him up in it this weekend. THX owen and dionne!!
carl’s new solo, frail, elderly llama’s winter house is all set up..THX to wade and arnie! carl has his very own little cottage right next to dee dee, his favorite spot that he chose.

remember little foster dog bratwurst…2 spinal surgeries within 3 months to prevent paralysis?

well that little bugger blew another disc and had emergency surgery at Boundry Bay on friday. thank god for his foster family… A. for recognizing immediately what was happening so brat was in surgery within those first critical hours and B for donating $2500 towards his $7000.00 surgery. this time the neurologist fixed the new blown disc and the 2 disc’s below as a preventative measure. so with 4 discs now repaired and fused, hopefully that little brat will quit blowing the discs in his spine. hope floats that this is it. cuz we can’t keep rescuing him from a life in a wheelchair..third time hopefully is the magic number.. in any case he will be coming back to saints for the next few weeks once he is released from hospital so we can ensure he gets 24/7 post spinal surgical care.
that dog is sweet and adorable but he is an expensive pain in the ass.

the good news today is…
little rocky went off into foster care with lisa… sid’s(rip) fabulous foster mom.
and dudley was adopted by carolyn (kyle’s adoptive mom)..kyle was also a parapalegic daxie that came to us far too late to keep from a life in a wheelchair.

no one wants to live in a wheelchair..life is much easier for those who can walk and run.

hope for humanity

Posted: October 5, 2017 at 7:29 am

do you know why animal welfare will never get better? it is because it relies on humans and we are stuck in a vicious circle of human issues. we can’t get past our ignorance…our arrogance that somehow we are actually better. i don’t mean just better than the animals…i mean we think we are better than most other humans too.
until we realize that we don’t have all of the answers, that we aren’t necessarily smarter than joe blow, that our arrogence in looking down our noses really hasn’t accomplished all that much…we are hooped and so are the animals who need us so.

i have been doing this for more than 20 years and i have less answers now than i did way back when.
for 20 years i have been fighting the same battles over and over again…new names, different faces, same game plan….make it thru the day, help as many as i can, try not to burn any bridges and tomorrow may have some progress made.
that’s the problem with being a dinosaur, you live in the never ending circle where the end just doesn’t exist and you have been around the same block over and over again.

the problem is every time you turn around there is an animal in need and all of us working so hard every day can’t even come close to meeting all of the need.
but hey that doesn’t matter because i can console myself with..i am better than x, y and z.
except i am really not better…i still make mistakes, i still don’t really know it all, and the problems and their solutions are in reality, so much bigger than me.

its not about helplessness or hopelessness or those dreaded words..compassionate burnout.
it’s about accepting the fact that one person, one group, one society, one organization can’t do it all….can’t do enough.
we are outnumbered 100,000 to 1..try winning that war…it absolutely cannot be done.

so what do i do?
i don’t know.
the only thing i can think of is to keep doing…one animal at a time..on bad days maybe 2 or 3. and try to keep hope floating that one day humanity will get better…if not now, maybe for the generation that comes after me.

SAINTS AGM October 22, 2017

Posted: October 2, 2017 at 3:18 pm

In accordance with SAINTS bylaws Part 3 (Meeting of Members) Section 13
We will be holding our AGM
Date: October 22nd, 2017
Time: 12 PM – 2 PM
Location: SAINTS Shelter 33860 Dlugosh Avenue Mission, BC

Everyone is welcome, members and non members. It may seem dry and done only to fulfill a necessary government requirement but it also can be very informative. In the last few years we have given a lot of information about our organization. Our statistics on animals (how many were adopted, fostered, passed away, came in), financials for the year, and any significant growth and successes we have had. We love to share this info with people so please consider coming.

Thanks
SAINTS Board of Directors

puddle jumping

Posted: October 1, 2017 at 8:53 am

we live in a world that’s not necessarily honest…a world where words are manipulated to sound good but hide the underlying truth. we know this to be true so we either become distrustful or we become embracers of anything that actually sounds decent and good.

remember the days of coconut oil and noni juice? miracles in a bottle guaranteed to cure whatever ails you?
remember People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that killed 95% of the companion animals that came into their care?
remember the No kill Nation that sent hundreds of thousands of dogs into k9 concentration camps when death might have been kinder?
what about not euthanizing healthy animals?… what is healthy? does thyroid disease that is managed by a twice daily pill count? what about needing a dental, or daily eye drops? arthritis, diabetes? are those with these conditions healthy or not if they can be successfully managed medically?

look, lets be honest…we don’t want to talk too much about the actual specifics here…its the general feel good idea that counts. but the truth of the matter is “healthy” is a relative term, it can mean a lot of different things depending on perceptions, policies, budgets and beliefs.

and it is not just animal rescue that suffers from a lack of bottom line truth….we in fact learned these techniques from a larger not so honest world.
we don’t trust our governments, we don’t even necessarily trust the people we actually cast our votes for…sometimes we vote for what we perceive to be the lesser of 2 evils.
but we pretend to trust what everyone is telling us because to do otherwise would mean we either become mindlessly compliant or we become one of those rabble rousers rocking the boat.

we need to understand what we are fighting for…in my case respectful and compassionate care for all animals. and how can i advocate for this if i am not actually practicing it?

it is the hard stuff, it is the crappy stuff, it is the heart breaking unnecessary stuff that some days became necessary that teaches us that this world has to become a better place. the warm and fuzzy fairy tale shit just reassures everyone that everything is really ok.
but its not.
we live in a world that is filled with white lies. it softens the multiple blows to the egos of mankind.

we want to be great because we said so not because we do so.
saying it is easy, doing it is hard.
and there is the risk…we are afraid to drown in the hardship of it all.

fear keeps us from moving forward. and what are we afraid of?
that we are not good enough or strong enough to learn how to swim in endless oceans.
so we stand on the beach of “sounds good enough” and wish we had the courage to plunge in.

we can do more than just imaginary puddle jumping, we can build real boats and bridges but we have to tell the truth regarding the problems and issues or else how can we possibly find real solutions?

“chaos as it swirls..it’s us against the world…”

Posted: September 28, 2017 at 8:11 am

those words from this year’s gala video, resonates with me so strongly.

the ultimate fate of all domestic animals depends on the wants, the needs, the decisions, the whims of humans….breeders, owners, rescuers…we hold their fates in our hands.
how must it feel to be so helpless?
hoping against hope that their world can be gentle and kind.
sometimes it is, sometimes its not.
and they never actually get the choice.
“chaos as it swirls, its us against the world”….that is their voice.

saints foster chicklet has passed away

Posted: September 26, 2017 at 11:04 pm


Chicklet (and Charlie) came to SAINTS in January of 2016. Their previous family was overwhelmed, and just could no longer care for them. As two dogs already 13 and 14 years old, who both needed medical care, and neither had great housetraining habits, their options for finding a forever home were slim. Charlie found his forever home first, and he is still doing fine. Chicklet had to wait a bit longer, but she too landed the home of her dreams! Anita and Curtis fell in love with this sweet girl, they took her home, then they took her everywhere! Chicklet became a real traveler, she went camping, she went everywhere her people went. Chicklet passed away last Friday after a battle with a highly aggressive cancer. She will be missed terribly by her people, and by everyone else who has ever met her. We are very sorry for your loss Anita and Curtis, she was one of a kind. Special thanks to Eagle Hill Animal Hospital for your care of Chicklet.

Our Successful Wishes 4 Whiskers Event

Posted: September 26, 2017 at 10:44 am

Thank you to all the animal sponsors, table sponsors, silent auction donators, and everyone who came to our event purchased and auction item and held up their hand and donated to our sponsorship auction. Together we raised $45,000!