Rescue can be terrible. It is heart-wrenching, and I spend a lot of time crying. I’ve watched puppies carried to euthanization rooms because nobody wanted them, pregnant females killed. I’ve seen prison inmates who work at shelters leading their favorite dogs to their deaths, sobbing all the way. I’ve nursed puppies around the clock with fluids and medicine, only to have them die in my arms. I’ve spent hours picking ticks off of puppies who were dumped on the side of the road by someone who figured someone would pick them up, or maybe they didn’t care whether they were found or not. Watched people come to shelters with boxes of puppies, or elderly pets, and leave them without looking back, or answering their pets pleading cries to come back. I’ve watched animal control officers leave work crying in frustration and anger because no matter how hard they try, nothing seems to change. I’ve seen people beating their animals in public, chained outside with no human contact, dogs tied to fences along the highway. I’ve lived in SC for six months, and not one day have I driven anywhere and not seen a stray dog, often so thin they can barely stand.
It can be overwhelming, and sad, and infuriating. We spend hours on the computer, writing pleas, biographies for the dogs, talking to people local to us, emailing to answer questions from potential adopters, making trips to the vets offices with sick dogs, and taking daily care of dogs. Not just any fosters we might have, but all of our personal dogs, many of whom we have because no one else would take them, un-adoptable for behavioral or medical reasons. We all have full-time jobs and families, who at one time or another, have sacrificed for us, missing events, or vacations, or other things important to them because we’ve had to take care of a sick dog, or we had to do transport. It is worth it. And most of the time our families agree. Despite wishing it to be so, none of us are independently wealthy.
We are a small rescue. A drop in the rescue bucket. There are bigger rescues that rake in thousands of dollars a month, that charge bigger adoption fees, that have articles written for the Examiner, or that get stories on the news. We don’t have any of that, and for the most part, that’s OK. We didn’t start our rescue to become nationally known, or for any glory, or pats on the back. We certainly didn’t do it for the money. But what makes us less worthy of help? Do our dogs not matter? Is what we’re doing, though on a much smaller scale, any less important? Rescue is expensive. There are pull fees, vetting fees, medications to treat illnesses, transport fees, food costs, ongoing equipment costs for crates, blankets, exercise pens. The cost varies from dog to dog, but it generally ranges from 250-600 (if a dog has a variety of medical issues). We don’t alter a fee to reflect the individual cost of each rescued animal. By rescue standards in New England our $395 adoption fee is low. It means we rob Peter to pay Paul. It means we have to ask fosters to buy food on their own. It means we have to strategically schedule vet visits around adoptions so that we can pay for the visit. It sometimes means shut-off notices on our own utilities because we have to cover bills with our own personal funds.
We have rescued puppies with parvovirus, an 18 year old dog from a cruelty case, a shih-tzu who was unrecognizable as a dog when I first saw him, a 16 year old blind poodle, a 4 year old bait dog with a shattered pelvis who was left lying in a shelter on a cold cement floor with no pain medications for 10 hours before we could get to her.
We’ve saved 53 dogs since Jan 1st of this year. Maybe they would have been rescued by others if we hadn’t been around, but maybe not. Maybe the families that adopted those 53 dogs would not know the love of those special dogs. It is just as likely, given the scope of the over population of dogs in SC, that our 53 dogs would be dead now if we hadn’t taken them. It chills me to even think about. I keep most of our dogs in my home before they travel north. Every dog that has left my house has known love and a warm bed, however briefly. They have all moved on to families that cherish them. Rescue gives me, gives US, purpose in life. We make a difference, however small.
How can I convince you? What is it that I could say to convince you to give me a dollar? If we knew each other in “real life” and I asked you to give me a dollar to buy a soda, most of you would probably give me one. I think saving the life of a dog is so much more important than a Dr. Pepper. We have posted our plea for the last several days, and we received one donation. And it will help, any donation would help at this point, but our need is so much greater. If we have to close, and the possibility is a real and impending one, my soul will be crushed. DO-Good Dog Rescue was born out of a need to do something that changes not only the dogs’ lives, but peoples’ lives as well.
Please help us. Its one dollar. Over a month its 3.3 cents a day. We don’t ask for a lot, but it’s make it or break it time.