“5 Things I Learned From Working for an Animal Shelter by Bernard Lima-Chavez” is a well-written article that addresses something that is a canker-sore on the face of the animal welfare community, especially the online community.
I spent several years participating in the online rescue community working day and night sometimes just trying to save one dog or cat. I spent hundreds of dollars either on the one dog I personally sponsored (Kuma) or that I gave to rescues to help pay for dogs and cats they were saving. I have never cried so much in my entire life nor felt as much joy. It was truly an emotional roller coaster.
During this time, I encountered a ton of toxic negativity, sweeping non-fact based judgements, accusations made, holier-than-thou attitudes and the urgent need to be right, to be the hero and to be the only “true” rescuer in that community. As if it wasn’t already stressful enough losing hundreds of dogs and cats every day because foster or forever homes couldn’t be found, time and time again you would see some yahoo who thinks they know everything jump into a thread at the eleventh hour yapping about how everything we’re doing to save this dog or that cat is wrong.
That toxicity was one of the major reasons I backed away from actively participating in the online rescue efforts. I also know several awesome hands-on rescuers who also backed away deciding they didn’t have time to waste answering to those who thought they had a right to judge every move the rescuer made.
All that judgement does absolutely nothing to save a cat or a dog.
So I am really please to present a really well-written article that every person involved in the animal welfare community both online and off should read and take on as their new mantra. Quit judging and start doing!