By: Tonia Cloutier
I am often asked why do I rescue? At times I have had a hard time answering this question. There are also times I have asked myself why do I continue to rescue when I am emotionally drained, physically exhausted and feel defeated because I can not save every dog. Why do I put myself through the stress and heartache of rescuing dogs when dogs are still dying.
I have thought about the best way to answer the question of why? To make a difference, to save a dogs life…that is why I began rescuing…and then it changed. The more I ventured into animal rescue and learned about the real problems, the abuse and neglect that occur on a regular basis the more I knew I had to help. I traveled to Mississippi a number of occasions to bring food donations and supplies and really see firsthand what rescue in the South was like.
I was heartbroken and will never forget my first trip. I will not forget the frightened pups, the night drop box, the over-crowded under-funded shelters and the volunteers who give everything to help one more animal. My passion to be the voice for the voiceless ignited.
I rescue. I spend all of my money, my spare time and energy on rescue. Rescue is hard, it is sad more times than joyful. It is heartbreaking and devastating and there are days when you get an email from an adopter who makes the hard days worth it all. Rescue is physically, emotionally, mentally and financially draining. And I gladly do it everyday.
On my worst day it is still better than it is for the dogs. Imagine what it is like to be them, really imagine what it is like. To be at the mercy and whim of whomever claims you, to accept when they do not feed you, tie you out on a chain, do not pet you or show you love. To accept that you did something wrong when they beat you even when you have no idea what is was you did. To accept being put in a concrete cell with other scared dogs not knowing what is going to happen to you. To not know where you are going when someone takes you out of that cell…are you going outside to play or are you going to that room where no dog ever returns from. Imagine licking the hand of a stranger hoping they take you out of that cell forever and will show you kindness and love and not knowing if they really will. Imagine that life.
Why do I post every dog I can, transport dogs, fundraise, donate and lose sleep over a dog I may not be able to save. Because of the one dog that WILL make it out and get that second chance they deserve. That dog that has a chance to be a dog, to be loved, cared for and be safe. To see a scared dog, afraid of his own shadow become confident, trusting and full of joy, well there is nothing more comforting that a knowing a dog is finally safe. That is why I rescue.