TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Cats S.O.S › I think I need some words of encouragement
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I think I need some words of encouragement

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Some of you may know that I volunteer with an animal rescue in the Detroit area. Up until recently, I was really only involved in what I call the "back end" operations - AFTER the animals come in from-- wherever and I look after the cats at one of our Petsmart adoption centers. Haven't wanted to do actual rescuing - too softhearted.

But recently I have allowed myself to be pulled into a more active role in rescuing cats from a local high-kill shelter... and in changing policy there.

There are several people involved and a handful of rescues... and we are running ourselves ragged and spending precious financial resources to spring cats from this animal control... while the AC director refuses to meet with us to discuss changes in policy that would benefit the animals. And all the while, she is counting up the money and laughing, I am sure.

Here is my problem - I don't think I can bring myself to go back in there anymore ... I cannot look at these sweet, sad, scared little faces that gaze at me with hope and expectation..... that meow,trill and cry and reach out from the bars at me ... or cower in a corner of a cage out of sheer terror.

I cannot look at these cats and not want to bust open my piggy bank and buy them all their freedom from the spectre of euthanasia. And if I do that... then what? Where would I put them? Foster homes are running at a premium. Pleas to other rescues have fallen on deaf ears because they, too, are full.

I don't think my poor heart can take it.

Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 19
Just reading your thread and have to admit that you have more strength then I! It took a lot for me to finish reading it, I knew it was something I don't want to hear or see about, the thousands of kitties that have been abused, lost, sick, homeless............. I respect you so much to have the strength to give a second chance, a new life, a voice to those kittens and cats, they are just as much grateful to have someone who cares looking out for them.
It's not about the money, it's about the love, and if you know anything about love, money can't buy it.
post #3 of 19
I can't imagine doing that Hang in there.
post #4 of 19
I'm so sorry. I wish I had some words of encouragement. Your post made me cry. I guess you just have to be strong to save the kitties you can. You are such a wonderful person!!
post #5 of 19
You're only one person, and you're doing the best that you can. You can't save everybody, as much as you would like to. I hate going to a local shopping center because I always see stray/feral/abandoned cats there. I don't have the resources to TNR, and it breaks my heart.

Every little bit that you do helps. The negative things will happen whether or not you're there to witness them. But if you're there, at least the cats have you speaking out for them.

I'm sorry. I'm trying to be rational, but I don't know that I'd have the heart for that kind of work either.
post #6 of 19
I am so sorry for you, AddieBee. I can just imagine how your heartstrings hurt, but as the others have said, you are doing a world of good for those that you can.

We only have a "kill shelter" here in our county and I will NEVER step foot in there again. The men who run it are not nice people, and they seem to have no consciences either.

I would personally like to thank you for all that you have done, on behalf of all the cats whose lives you have made better. Hang in there - each day is another life saved.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post

Here is my problem - I don't think I can bring myself to go back in there anymore ... I cannot look at these sweet, sad, scared little faces that gaze at me with hope and expectation..... that meow,trill and cry and reach out from the bars at me ... or cower in a corner of a cage out of sheer terror.
One thought: Is there any way you could go back to what you were doing before and not have to go see the kitties?

Some people are able to do this job, others, well it pulls too much at their hearts.... You are doing a wonderful job doing what you can, and knowing your limits.

post #8 of 19
I don't really no what to say, but:

Please remember that whatever you are able to do, it is so much more that what a lot of people are able to do. I know I have thought about volunteering at a rescue or shelter, but I know that I would see those kitties and be so depressed that I could just take them all home!

Whatever you are doing, you are helping kitties. You can't help them all...and it's not your fault that they are in those cages. That burden lies on the people who threw them away or allowed their unspayed/neutered cats to walk the streets.

Please, do what you can, and try not to worry about what you can't do. I know it is easier said than done!
post #9 of 19
I can only commiserate with you, Addie There's a reason I don't volunteer with a rescue, I'm way to soft-hearted too and I couldn't take my heart breaking into a thousand tiny pieces everyday What the others have said is true, you are doing so much good in a world where, unfortunately, not many seem willing to do anything for these kitties
post #10 of 19
God Bless You. I have two shelter cats; I could not even go there to pick them out - my husband, or kids, or another friend did.

God Bless You.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you. It just makes me cry. All of it.

To answer Snake Lady (Chris) - Yes, I can just go back to looking after our storefront kitties and doing other tasks. I intend to continue to work with the local group of concerned citizens to try to change things at that AC.

But I don't know if I can go back into AC - I think I will go one more time - to save this fluffy black cat who is really, really very special. I wish I could take him as my pet, especially since black cats are so terribly difficult to place.
post #12 of 19
for all the hard work you have done.
post #13 of 19
I know how you feel, I was the only one going and after being in there I dont sleep for nights. Now the last batch we took ended up really sick and drained our resources so we aren't helping but I can't help but feel selfish because normally I would push to go an help some but I just dont think I can go anymore and no one else will either.
post #14 of 19
At our shelter we just gave all our volunteers a gift for volunteer appreciation week. Along with a key chain we gave them a copy of this story. When I'm feeling discouraged & like I can do nothing to help all the homeless animals I remember this story & the cat that some of the other volunteers refer to as my star fish (I noticed and infection he had and if I had not I know he would have died). So here's a gift from me & Bandit (My starfish cat), and remember YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

------------------------------------------------------------

adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work.

One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean.

He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"

The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
Thank you. It just makes me cry. All of it.

To answer Snake Lady (Chris) - Yes, I can just go back to looking after our storefront kitties and doing other tasks. I intend to continue to work with the local group of concerned citizens to try to change things at that AC.

But I don't know if I can go back into AC - I think I will go one more time - to save this fluffy black cat who is really, really very special. I wish I could take him as my pet, especially since black cats are so terribly difficult to place.
I can commiserate - I have a morbid hobby of visiting animal shelters whenever I can. Yes, it is heartbreaking, and yes, it makes my cry....BUT......I try to make eye contact and speak, even if briefly, with every cat that I see. AND I say a silent prayer for those that I am suddenly inspired to pray for; sometimes I am able to handle them and I ask God to bless them. And sometimes it does work in that they get adopted! For many, I'll never know. but at least I know that, as I wish that you know, that those kitties have seen at least one caring face, known at least the briefest second of love, no matter what their fate....and for the moment, they are given a glimmer of hope, of diversion from their sorry plight....and those who are sent over RB will be able to look back down and see you, someone who truly cares and loves
I am sending you mega prayers and vibes of encouragement God bless you for your good works Susan
post #16 of 19
You can only do what you can.....Don't make yourself sick over it.
You have done more then most would have...
Sending love and blessings
post #17 of 19
A friend and I used to take pictures for Petfinder at our local shelter; she would regularly come back to work, start posting them on the internet, and literally have breakdowns while at work. She admitted that she couldn't do it anymore, witnessing the horror.

I tried to make her understand that regardless of whether she's a part of the process or not, kitties are still imprisoned and suffering. That taking herself out of the equation was strictly self-serving; the situation didn't become more positive simply because she removed the negativity from her mind.

Think about it this way; instead of you removing yourself from the situation, what if many others threw themselves into the situation, so that the kitties were being assisted and had a bit of company for virtually all of their waking hours. Wouldn't that be wonderful?! Now, what if they had half of that time? Still pretty good, eh? Half of that? Hey, it's something, right? Okay, now what about if there was no one to help them...

You are doing a beautiful thing, and your contribution is appreciated more than you realize. Think about it before throwing in the towel. The smallest expression of love, even if just a few soft words and a pat on the head; the realization that those cats are loved and are worthwhile, has got to be better than a world with its collective back turned.
post #18 of 19
If it weren't for people like you, there would be a lot more cats dying.

I think this is the true meaning of sacrifice- to go where a lot of people will simply not go, to do your best to rescue as many as you can, to care for the sick ones and spend your own money if necessary- to give until it hurts, literally.

I do rescue and feel the same way; it is extremely stressful. My husband is a big support and gives me hugs when I break down just from sheer emotional and physical exhaustion. Do what you can but also preserve your own health and energy or else you will not be able to continue helping. So if that means taking a break, then that is what you need to do.

God bless you, there is a special place in heaven for you. The world needs more people like you.
post #19 of 19
I know exactly what you mean. I work in a kill shelter and was heartbroken today when some kittens I've worked hard to socialize were put down. There was reason to suspect they had herpes. Still...

I get mad every time an animal is destroyed and I think about quitting every single time but I remind myself that if I quit, I take myself out of the equation and I no longer have a voice to advocate for the animals. I guess I'm really stubborn because in spite of the hurt it causes me, I keep going back and making noise on behalf of the animals in my care.

I hope you'll find a way to fight for the cats in the shelter and to do what's good for you at the same time. It's a hard balance to achieve but when you know you've placed just the right cat in a super home it makes it much easier. I try to focus on those times to get me through.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cats S.O.S
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Cats S.O.S › I think I need some words of encouragement