This Explains A Lot
December 19, 2011
Categories: Animal Welfare
A lot of common questions about animal rescue are answered here in a single screen shot. This is a correspondence I had with a woman in Nova Scotia over the last few days via Facebook. Some people use Facebook to connect only with actual friends and family, but in my case, most of my "friends" are people I've never met in person, and I use the page more as a public, online 'presence' that's available to anyone who wants to look at it. Because the vast majority of people who add me as a friend are doing so because of my rescue work, this is what it says in the 'About Me' section of my profile: "Please don't use Facebook to try to place an animal; go to www.olympicanimalsanctuary.org/placement.html. Please don't tag me in photos I'm not in, and please don't include me in messages to multiple people. Thanks for understanding." That's the only thing it says there, in fact.
I accept every friend request, and then I unsubscribe from the people I don't know. Sorry if that's you, but if I don't do it I won't see status updates from people I know in real life. So when I got a friend request from this woman in Canada, I accepted it as I always do. The next thing I knew, she had added me to a group called "SAVE BRINDI AND FRANCESCA FROM THE CITY OF HALIFAX!!!!" I don't like that feature on Facebook; I shouldn't be able to be added to a group without my permission. But I neglected to mention it in my profile information (although you'd think people would infer that I wouldn't be into it), so I couldn't be too upset. I looked briefly at the group page (very briefly -- not long enough to discover that the Francesca in the group's name was this woman, not a second dog) and messaged the woman who added me. The screenshot here is the exchange that took place; I don't expect you to read the entire thing, because I have no intention of doing so myself. (She also added me to a second Facebook group.)
I said at the beginning that this answers a lot of questions. Here are a few of them:
- Why do rescuers burn out? The difference between me and a lot of rescue people out there is that they would have actually read that entire thing and welcomed this person into their lives. I'm protective of my mental well-being, and I don't indulge people like this or let them close to me.
- Why do dogs get killed over minor offenses? I don't know the details of this case, but consider the fact that this person believes that her side of this exchange is completely reasonable. Imagine what she might be like in court, or when she talks to animal control officers? For that matter, what must the home environment be like?
- Why don't rescues return my calls or emails? There are a number of reasons, but the fact that we have to deal with time-suckers like this lady is a big one.
There's a good chance that any rescue you know of is being negatively impacted by someone like this. This certainly isn't the first time I've dealt with it. The problem is that it's the dog (or other animal) that's paying the ultimate price when people refuse to behave in a reasonable manner. I hope Brindi can be saved, but with this lady as her advocate (who didn't know what an advocate was) I fear her chances are slim.