I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

A place to share rescue-related issues, vent, get advice, and debrief on the challenges of the work!

I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby Boss*sMom » Tue Sep 13, 2011 10:36 pm

Today was my first day to actually volunteer and work at a shelter. I have always donated but never made it to volunteer, mainly because I am an extremely emotional person. I finally balled up today. I did alot of work and got to walk a few of the dogs, and spend some time with the bullies there for adoption. One boy a lab/bully mix has been at the shelter 2 weeks past his time for... you know.... He is SUCH a sweet boy, walks so well on a leash (I walked him and played with him for the longest)... I spent a good 30 minutes absolutely balling in his kennel... My emotions hit a high and I just couldnt take it.

There are several bullies there that are absolute dolls, it is so sad to see. I dont know how you all do it, but I know why... The love from volunteers and helpers may be the only love these dogs ever see... I am really stepping up to start helping my local shelters advertise and share dogs and information.

Any tips on how to check my emotions would really be appreciated... I know its not good for the dogs for me to be like that. i am trying to work on it but with both local shelters being no kill shelters its just very very hard.
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby Amie » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:35 am

When I cry (not if, but when) I get away from the animals. It does them no good. Go for a walk alone, go into the bathroom, whatever.

And remember that animals live in the moment. They don't know that things still suck, they only know that this is better. Try to share that outlook.
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:02 am

:hug: Thank you for going.

I don't know how to help you stop crying-Amie gave great advice. I think remembering that you're able to provide this one dog (or however many you can get to) with a fun and love filled 30 minutes and otherwise they wouldn't have that might help.
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby Boss*sMom » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:17 am

I found out last night before bed, one of the bullies at another shelter I am helping got adopted... So far this is coming along really well with alot of people wanting to help find these bullies a home.

I will remember the tips and I appreciate them. I guess I will just have to get used to it, but it was so awesome to hear that the bully girl got adopted that I cried again.
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby buckaroo » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:53 am

Quite frankly, for many dogs and cats in shelters, the first time they do know cruelty, neglect and violence is in the shelter system. That shouldnt stop you from volunteering but pay close attention to what you see and don't be afraid to report anything.
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby Mya&theSiebenDackels » Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:55 pm

I applauded anyone who can volunteer at a shelter that euthanizes their animals because I just could not do it. I know it is selfish but, I could not deal with getting attached to a dog and then it being put to sleep. I would cry everyday.

I volunteered at the Humane Society of Memphis(which they are no kill) for a year and it was the most rewarding experience of my life. Us volunteers nicknamed the humane society "The Pit bull haven" because that is mostly what we took in so, I enjoyed working with my favorite breed. It was hard at times seeing how cruel and abusive people can be to animals and it always hard when they get returned(most of the time for the stupidest reasons) but at the same time, you are helping make their lives better and they truly appreciated it! It is also really awesome when they get adopted into wonderful homes with people who are going to give them a great life and spoil them rotten!
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby Boss*sMom » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:54 pm

I am really, really trying to get this chocolate lab mix adopted before they put him to sleep.. he has been at the shelter far past their 3 month mark and really needs a home. I even asked my teachers today if I could give a quick spill about him before lectures started, 2 declined but the others let me, and hopefully he will get adopted soon. I know there are great dogs that get euthanized every day, but this dog would be perfect for a family with children or an elderly couple.. he doesnt have a huge amount of energy to deter adopters, but he is very shy in the kennel, and I think that puts people off from taking him outside and really seeing what he is like. I have learned that most of the dogs are TOTALLY different when you get them out of that environment and outside for some 1 on 1 attention....

I wish there were more no kill shelters in our area.
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby ilovetyson » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:58 pm

When I was younger.. I was probably 17 or 18 I think. I volunteered for my local SPCA. I Drove 30 min north of me to get there. I LOVED Animals, and wanted to help. Once there.. I too had a tough time seeing all these animals. I wasn't working at the time, so I spent every moment I could there. I Volunteered usually 6-7 days a week most weeks. Open to close mostly. For about 2 yrs! I was there, I wanted to get to know all the dogs.. So I could help the people looking. To tell them about these dogs.. how they are outside of the kennel is almost ALWAYS different then in. And it is tough.. very tough. The things I saw, the things I knew.. from being there so long.. Made it very hard. But I did it for the end result, Seeing the dogs i grew to know and love.. walk out the front door.. and jump into a car with a family that would love them forever.

I got very attached to this one dog, Sam. He was a Boxer / pit mix. I Still to this day remember the first time I saw him walking from the Clinic area to come out to the kennels.. And from a distance, I thought he had a cast on his leg. He was a dark brindle.. one white leg. He sat in the kennel maybe 2 -3 mo. I was there every day to walk him min of 2x a day. And finally, this older cpl sat down at his kennel door..and I just knew it was his family. He had been looked at a lot. But they told me they just lost there pit mix of 15 yrs. And was interested in him. And I was so excited to bring him out for them to meet this wonderful dog I had grown so attached to. Well, he won them over..and they took him home. They saw how excited I was, and yet how sad I was to see him go, they gave me there phone number to come visit him. And I visited a few times in the fist yr,and then one more time about 6 mo after the last. And they lived on the water, in a BEAUTIFUL home. With a boat that he would go in. He was SPOILED. I Have a cpl pics they gave me of him the last time cpl times I Was there, and I still tear up thinking bout him. But, to know that I helped him find his forever.. Makes it all worth while. He was very special to me.. And now, he is special to them.

That is what keeps me going to shelters, Fostering, and volunteering for rescues.. the look on the families face when they just KNOW That this dog is theres. And seeing the dog go with them.. knowing they now have a home. Yes, going to the shelters is a tough thing to do, really is.. But, think about the good you are doing.. And smile cause you helped that dog find a home. Like the quote I see all the time says "You can't change all the dogs of the world, But you can change the world for that one dog" And I truly believe it!

After I wrote this, I remembered I had pics of him I could scan in to show you how handsome he is :)

This was a pic they gave me from there house
Image

And this was one i took at the shelter before he left.
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:21 pm

Boss*sMom wrote: I have learned that most of the dogs are TOTALLY different when you get them out of that environment and outside for some 1 on 1 attention....

I found this to be true too, and I would encourage potential adopters to take the dogs out and wait about 15 minutes. And then that was the real dog. Being in the kennel with all those other barking dogs, weird sounds and smells, people staring at them, etc has to stress them out. You wouldn't be your typical self in a jail cell right? Then when they get outside most are sofreakingexcitedohmygodiamfree that they need to get that energy out. I've found that others are more shy, they don't know what to expect and they'll display calming/displacement behaviors-sniffing the ground, sneezing, avoiding eye contact...and they just need some time to see you're there for their benefit.

My husband and I first started going to the shelter because it was part of our training from animal behavior college. I'm pretty confident the first three times I cried...and I remember one very specific time where Austin had to "go get some fresh air"...the dog he was putting back in the kennel was fighting being put back and he had to push her in. There was an old girl there-Jezebelle that I was really attached too-she was there for quite a while. Every time we went I walked her. One time we went and she was gone. Initially I was afraid to ask about her, if she'd been put down, I'd really rather not know. Then I talked myself into asking, telling myself-this is the reality of the shelter and I can't live with my head in the ground. Lucky for me she was adopted. I still think about her.
Then there was another-and he was the reason I tried fostering (though I didn't foster him). He was young and had been to two different shelters. His inital owners dropped him off at the shelter in Orlando. Someone adopted him and dropped him off at my shelter-after having him for only a short time (a week or two).
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:29 pm

Here are some threads you might be interested in-same stories, volunteering at the shelter and unsure of what to expect:
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=146070&hilit=shelter
http://www.pitbullforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=124173&hilit=shelter

One is from a member that was overseas (it's the really long one).
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Re: I dont know how you do it... But I know why.

Postby Boss*sMom » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:41 pm

Thank you so much for sharing... Right now I think I just need to get to know myself and how I feel about this. I know how crazy that sounds.. But I am an extremely emotional person. And word about this bully rescue is spreading fast... I have over 20 messages and emails to sort through from shelters wanting to know if they can send me information about their bullies, shelters sending me stuff about their bullies, and potential foster homes and adoptors.... I really think this is what the bullies in our area needed.! A voice. And thankfully I have met a longtime bully owner in the area who is helping with giving advice and tips to people, she fosters bullies from time to time and owns 6 of her own :)

Right now I am just really trying to get this lab out of that shelter... I really wish I could take him in myself...
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