Popular Posts

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pet Rescue Groups - Heros To Me

I was invited to speak last night to the Metro-East Petlover Coalition (MEPC) meeting. The MEPC is  a gathering of personnel from area humane groups and animal control departments.  I'm embarrased to say that prior to my invitation, I was unaware of this group's existence, but it was thrilling to know that these folks have such a desire to improve animal rescue and welfare that they gather once a month to listen to speakers and exchange ideas about how to improve their effectiveness. It got me thinking about the people who do animal rescue, and how highly I regard them. So I wanted to share some of that with you.

In my career as a veterinarian in private practice, as well as my job at Rabies Control, I have worked with or volunteered for several dozen humane organizations. In most of these organizations, the "workforce" is composed primarily of volunteers and minimally-compensated employees. A lot of these workers have regular jobs, just like the rest of us. They have bills to pay, and mouths to feed at home. In spite of that, they spend many hours every week, using the family vehicle to transport dogs and cats from animal control facilities (or just about anywhere where they have been abandoned) to rescue shelters, adoption events, vet clinics, and/or foster homes. Trust me, the animals are often dirty, stinky, agitated, and VOCAL. These folks are volunteering to clean cages, litter boxes, kennels, floors, and walls. They volunteer to spend their weekends at adoption events and fundraisers. They are usually doing the most un-glamorous jobs you can imagine.

But amazingly, these folks will tell you that the best part of their week is when they're doing these dirty jobs for the pets they've pledged to rescue. As an animal-lover, I can tell you that these people are heros to me, and the community in general. They promote responsible pet ownership, help reduce euthanasia rates, and campaign for better treatment of animals. Yes, there are some nutjobs in the ranks, but even they usually have good intentions and are dedicated to the animals. They're sometimes just a little self-righteous, or just simply misguided.

I am honored to be able to work with these heros. I've said it before, but I truly believe that the privilege I have of practicing veterinary medicine is accompanied by a responsibility to help homeless pets in the community. My role is easy when compared to the efforts of my many friends in animal rescue and relief. God bless you.

No comments:

Post a Comment