Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sanctuary - Love wrapped in Active Faith

I am so ready for Valentine's Day to be over so I can get rid of these tiresome hearts.  I have gone through 3 backgrounds to keep myself entertained.  They are getting old.  Well, so am I - HA.

Duke - black hound mix - BIG - adopted
This past week I heard particular concerns from people who should be rescue minded about justifying the feeding of large dogs in rescue (cause they eat more than small dogs or cats, you know) and how, after dogs are adopted out, well, more will just take their place, won't they?  Uh, yes - it is why we rescue - you know, when you adopt one, you save two, the one you have adopted and the one who can now take her place.  Feeling limited on a dog's size because of her potential impact on food resources is akin to breed and species specific prejudice.  Oh, and networking to save a large dog - isn't that just a smokescreen to bring that large dog in to rescue who will then eat all the profits?  Oh, woe, ye who email on behalf of a large dog!  Of course, these concerns were voiced by people who, IMHO, are close minded to vision and about resources, particularly financial,  and then, more concerned about the sky falling than saving lives.   People with this mindset are all over - I daily read or hear about the difficulties of rescues, individuals, shelters trying to do the best for the animals in their care being rebuffed by those who should be more than willing to step up and help, to be open to opportunities in life saving.  The Whistler dogs come to mind :(.  The Alabama 44 "rescued" by H$U$.  Really - if we do one thing, we set a precedent and then, this may happen and this may happen and woe is me, where then will we be?

Sunshine - collaboration, adoption
Well, hopefully, having saved and rescued a lot more animals, established collaboration at the least with multiple other rescue groups and begun/participated in innovative programs to save more animals.  I believe and have seen that when a good work is begun with prayer, planning, and persons wanting to save animals,  well, then, resources, community support and publicity follow.   It is part of the No Kill equation - take killing off the table, stop wringing your hands and get creative so you can save lives.  It has been done in open admission shelters and in shelters without open admission who consider themselves "no kill."

Yes, we all need to watch the bottom line but the bottom line cannot define us in rescue and sanctuary.  The bottom line needs to drive us to creativity, to community support, to service beyond our comfort zone - it cannot be the goal - else who would go into rescue?  Believe me, it is not a money making venture :).

Victor:sponsored by owner till death
I once read a definition of Sanctuary (in regards to animals) defining such as a place from where adoptions do not occur but all animals are cared for, respected and assisted to pain free deaths when their time comes.  Silverwalk has several dogs who most likely will be and frankly, have been, here for the last years/months of their lives.  It is why Silverwalk is a sanctuary, not a rescue, not a shelter.  It is why I modeled Silverwalk five years ago after 7 Bells in Cole Camp, MO and Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary in Jackson, MO - those who are not adopted (which, by the way, is NOT the same as "unadoptable" - take that word right out of the dictionary!) are safe and welcome for their entire lives.   We do adoptions but we also ensure those who are not adopted have a home, feel loved and are comforted in their last days. 

First, follow God.  If She leads you to rescue/sanctuary for animals, He will lead you the entire way.  Act in faith that this is true - because it is.   Sanctuary is love wrapped in active faith. 

Safe Harbor @ Silverwalk is a small division of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc. in Jackson, MO, a licensed, 501c3 tax exempt sanctuary mostly for cats with some dogs and now Silverwalk. Silverwalk is in Cape Girardeau County, MO, specializing in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Safe Harbor @ Silverwalk for more information about Silverwalk and Safe Harbor, our dogs and "adorable adoptable" cats needing very good homes.


Kristine said...

I am outside of the rescue world, for the most part, so I don't realise all of the arguments going on within. Since I don't know and I haven't been there, I am not so sure I should comment. But the idea of refusing to rescue large dogs because they use up more resources... I find it a little shocking. I see the point on one level, but on the other, I really don't. Perhaps it is because I have always kind of favoured larger breeds? But I can't imagine turning away a large dog, or putting him down, just because he will eat more.

Thank goodness for people like you who work so hard and tirelessly to help all animals that cross your doorstep. It may not be every group's mandate, and I get that, but I am so glad it is yours.