Angels & Bitches: the real world of animal rescue as I see it

The angels and bitches of cat rescue
The angels and bitches of cat rescue
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Before writing this article, I contacted webmaster Michael about whether I could actually use the word ‘bitch’ in the title. It’s not meant to offend, but to offer insights into the world of animal rescue (especially cats and dogs), that requires a special ‘bitch mentality’ to get the job done. In other words, a bitch in the world of rescue is someone I’d appreciate having in my corner, should I find myself locked in a cage and being threatened with euthanasia.

I’ve been reporting on animal abuse, shelter pet rescue and other topics related to saving dogs and cats since 2010. I’m messaged several times daily now with one shelter or rescue or another needing help in saving lives. Thus, the angels and bitches title. A lot of animal lovers adopt from rescues, never realizing the time and effort that went into saving a life. Families go to an adoption event, pick out little Fluffy or Bandit, and go home.

I, on the other hand, study the different shelters in our country. Especially the ones who are being deceptive about what they’re doing and don’t want the general public to know. I can tell you that picking a few animals shelters on Facebook, then following the ladies and gentlemen who diligently work to save lives, is much better than any show on television. It’s live action drama, as money is raised to free an animal, transport arranged to get that animal to wherever it will be safe. Thus, the title, as these animal advocates tend to fall into one category or the other.

RELATED: Animal rescuers are suing New York City Animal Care and Control (ACC) for violating their First Amendment rights

The Angels

I love sitting back and following the angels of rescue. These are the participants who ask politely where the rescues and foster are. Where the pledges and donations have gone. This is particularly true since Julianne Westberry damaged the credibility of many in the animal rescue world by claiming to love cats, then leaving them in and under her home to die of thirst and starvation.

The angels don’t have much negative to say. They’re basically polite, asking other angels whether a new temporary foster cat or dog would be welcome in their home. Some of the angels have an ‘edge’ to their personality, but not to the degree as the others involved in rescue-the bitches.

The Bitches

As I mentioned earlier, I’d love to have any of these ladies or gentlemen fighting to get me out of a cold shelter cell before time ran out. The personalities of these rescuers is an awesome thing to witness-even if it is on Facebook. I can literally sit for hours and watch the conversations go back and forth. Many times, it’s similar to an election, with arguments ensuing as to whether a particular rescue is deemed worthy to even save the cat or dog. Again-thanks Julianne. You’ve killed the desire for many who used to support the legitimate rescues with donations.

It’s really amazing to watch those who don’t mind saying what they mean and meaning what they say. Especially when a comment is directed toward a shelter that isn’t truthful in how their facility is managed. In other words, if a shelter kills without reason, meaning humane euthanasia, those with this brave bitch mentality are all over them. A lot of bad shelters have been exposed because of those who aren’t afraid to question, to speak up, to risk being thought of as an absolute bitch.

The only downside I’ve seen is when rescues are reported for situations that are outside of their control. I know of several who have been turned in to animal control in their area after rescuing cats (yes, it’s mostly cats) who are critically ill. The next thing you know, an individual who doesn’t know the whole story sees the sick cat on the rescues Facebook page and calls in the authorities, when it was the shelter that didn’t provide good care and the rescue is having to deal with the fallout. It’s amazing how people in other states, who have never met the rescue or rescue volunteers, to pass judgment from 1000 miles away.

The problem with calling animal control is that sometimes a rescue IS guilty of running what poses as a rescue, but is a hoarding situation in disguise. I’m following several cases this week alone where this is happening. Rescuers who have gotten in over their heads, and have more cats than they can care for. One person recently even asked the question about whether “must we all become hoarders to save the cats on the kill list.”

Join the world of animal rescue

I invite you all to join the world of shelter animal rescue. Pick a local shelter, or follow a shelter your friends on social media are keeping up with. You won’t be disappointed, and you may feel the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a cat or dog. Place a few $5 donations on shelter pets you’d like to see saved. Offer to be a temporary foster for a cat or dog who needs help for only a few weeks until a rescue can arrange transport. This will make you part of the solution, rather than part of the problem that’s created by standing by and doing nothing.

I hope none of you took the ‘bitch’ term literally. How many of you admit to being a bitch when it comes to saving a cat or dog? Are you a 5-foot, 100-pound weakling who can put the fear of God into someone threatening to harm an animal? You can put me at the top of the list, because I can be mean as well. You know when a cat or dog is about to be killed at the shelter and no one is doing a thing to stop it. Please leave a comment below, especially if you have a difference in opinion.

Those in animal rescue are amazing, regardless of personality conflicts, which happen often.

62 thoughts on “Angels & Bitches: the real world of animal rescue as I see it”

  1. Of course I helped with this colony, which was relocated to a woman’s house where they could remain outside since the abandoned house they lived in was demolished. The colony also happened to be in the median of a 6 lane-highway. You still did not answer my question as to what YOU do when you find feral cats in the shelters. Funny how one can AVOID a question while continuing to POINT fingers.

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  2. I don’t work for a shelter. Go to my Facebook page & you can pictures of all the cats I’ve saved with a rescue that I volunteer for and that is not even half of them. I love them, but I am also realistic. I have seen a feral cat colony near my house live in horridic conditions & multipky due to not being TNR’d or moved. I have also personally cleaned up a hoarding condition, along w/ a friend, and I would not wish that on any animal. I’ve also spent a lot of my own money & treated some extremetly sick cats, who were slated to be euthanized. What do you do when you find a feral at in a shelter?

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    • You have a feral colony near your house and you haven’t taken it upon yourself to TNR?
      Please don’t say that it’s not your responsibility, because it is.
      Knowledge makes you responsible.

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  3. I must admit, her torrent against us non-pound workers had me upset for awhile, but I am so over it. I don’t do what I do for people, I do it for cats, and don’t have to explain myself when I speak out against abuse and for the cats. She sounded very peta-ish to me; the part about meat eaters and leather wearers is a tactic used by petaphiles to veer off the subject. And I don’t eat meat. And the one pair of leather shoes I own is probably 12 years old.
    And, Dee, there is a “butt” in there either way! 😉

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    • Brenda, how much time have YOU SPENT in high-kill animals shelters?

      TNR and low-cost spay/neuter clinics, more foster homes, and more responsible pet ownership comes into play as opposed to humanely euthanizing unwanted pets (what you call murder.) We cannot sit behind a computer and call a veterinarian or shelter worker a murderer when they’re just doing their jobs and the majority who I’ve met are extremely compassionate. Do you or I have the funds and space to provide for EVERY single unwanted animal? Or should we just expect others to do it because giving them to someone else is always the answer? How many of us wear leather shoes or eat meat? Were those animals once healthy animals too? Does this differ because they are not companion animals? Back to companion animals, how could we become part of the solution and NOT part of the problem?
      How dare we sit back and condemn the shelters for cleaning up society’s messes! We can’t change others, but we can help the animals in the shelters and not point. Until anyone can provide for the 9 million animals who are euthanized daily, what other suggestion do you have? I’ve personally spent tens of thousands, put miles on my car, rushed to the ER in the middle of the night, cried and gone without sleep, and yes, euthanized sick fosters because their former owners took the easy route & dumped them in shelters and rescues. Am I a murderer?
      Are the vets and shelter workers who see countless numbers of unwanted animals with a ton of excuse, who clean the cages, pet and hold the animals, stand by the mama animals as they give birth IN the shelter because someone failed to spay/neuter their pet? These workers who fill water & food bowls daily, ensure the animal is treated if sick, work hard to get them off to rescue, NAME the unknown who come in off the streets, and try to make the animals comfortable, all while doing a job that many of us could or would NOT do? Then after showing all of that care and compassion (and yes, getting attached,) must carry that animal off and see them to their last breath because they cannot take all of them home and because NO ONE came to rescue or adopt them!!!!!! How DARE ANYONE sit on their computer throne and criticize. Yes we need to find another way, but it isn’t fair to condemn those who do a job.
      “It is always easier to see a thorn in someone else’s eyes than a dagger in our own!”

      Reply
      • I visit a high kill shelter often to look at the cat areas, particularly the feral cat area which is less than optimal for any animal, even an iguana.

        Heaven help them if/when I find a feral with an eartip that is scheduled to be killed. In most cases, there has been no check for a microchip. Either no one could be bothered or they were “too scared” to do it. Oddly, no one is “too scared” to insert the deadly needle.

        Heather, I accept that you feel workers are compassionate and caring. Perhaps, some are at the beginning. But, I have found the seasoned workers to be matter-of-fact and nearly dead from the head up. They go about their business as if they are numb.
        Who wouldn’t be with the horrors they see every day?
        But, they keep coming back for that paycheck.

        Many, many things need to be in place, especially in preventing the “dumping” in shelters (hefty fines come to mind), mandatory neutering, TNR ofcourse, temporarily banning breeding, etc.

        It all needs a shake up.

        Reply
      • Again, Heather, please upload some photos.
        I have a special interest in seeing your high kill shelter, especially the area where ferals are held.

        Reply

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