Many hands make light work
One of the things I love about my favorite rescue group, the American Black and Tan Coonhound Rescue (ABCTR, www.coonhoundrescue.com), is that the group is large enough and organized enough to offer people who want to help any number of ways to dive in and do something.
Too many rescue groups depend entirely on one or three exhausted humans, who are run literally ragged, financially and emotionally spent, by the overabundance of dogs needing help and not enough people to do the work that needs to be done. Sometimes, this is attributable to the group’s leaders, and their inability or unwillingness to cede control of certain tasks. But sometimes it’s simply because they hadn’t thought to ask people to take on small jobs. If you get enough people doing small things, it can truly add up to more dogs saved.
For example, a couple of weeks ago, I transported a dog from the ABCTR’s West coast coordinator’s center of operations (a terrific dog boarding and daycare facility, www.paradisedoggiedaycare.com), to another person about five hours away, part of a chain of volunteer transport people who delivered this darling hound over 600 miles to her new owner. It was fun, and so very rewarding! I got to take a fun road trip with a friend, and both of our adolescent dogs rode along and enjoyed some new experiences along the way. Neither had been in a car for that long, and because we stopped multiple times at highway rest stops, they got to meet and greet strangers and strange dogs in several places – a great experience for our adolescents!
The person I delivered the dog to was a pilot, who flew the dog as many miles as I had driven, but in a fraction of the time. We met at an airport in Medford, Oregon. Because it was a hot day, my friend and I brought all three dogs into the lobby of Million Air, the “fixed base operation” at the general aviation part of the airport – where the pilots of small planes can come inside and arrange for parking and fuel and so on. It was delightfully air-conditioned in there, and the staff all seemed to be dog lovers. People came out of offices and off the tarmac to meet all of our dogs, and pose for pictures with them!
Best of all, by the next morning, we started seeing a stream of photos of the dog in her new home, enjoying her new sofa and toys and mixed-breed dog “brother.”
And because the ABCTR had the means to place and transport this hound girl to an owner hundreds of miles away, a place opened up in a foster home elsewhere, for another hound who needed to get out of a shelter and start the decompression process.
Financial donations, fostering, training, photography, web design, transport – good rescues can use people for any and all of these tasks. Consider looking for a good rescue group to help today. It’s a great feeling.