In my adult years, I was the one who lost my way for a time, and then it was the animals’ turn to rescue me. Dogs have always held a special place in my heart, and one day in November of 2008, instead of spending another night in my house alone, I decided to do something with my free time instead of feeling sorry for myself or running my anxiety off at the gym. I found a local animal shelter in need of volunteers and I offered to help. After that my life was never the same. What started as walking dogs as part of my cardio routine, turned into a new life and a new found purpose. I remember marking on my volunteer application that the two things I could not do were foster an animal in my home or going anywhere near a pound where animals were euthanized. Three years later, both of these tasks are a major part of my existence.
I realized that the animals who are most in need reside in city pounds where many potential adopters are afraid to go. They don’t want to see the faces of the lost souls who may not make it out. They couldn’t fathom choosing one dog and leaving the others behind. I understood why because I used to be one of those people, but once I did see their faces, I could not turn a blind eye and make believe they didn’t exist anymore. I decided that my efforts could be better spent focusing on the dogs that were left behind after the adopters and the rescues picked up the rest. As you can
expect, most of those dogs were pit bulls, a breed I knew nothing about when I started in this world. But as anyone who works in rescue knows, it is the most misunderstood and wrongfully maligned breed on the planet.
I made a promise to change the stigma they face and to help change others’ opinions about them as well. I began reading every book about dog behavior I could find, watching every TV program, and talking to every person in the dog world I could find in my quest to learn. I took shelter dogs to obedience classes, volunteered for adption events, and spoke to everyone I knew about adopting pets versus buying them from stores or breeders. I started offering to help people who were interested in adopting find their perfect match. I began meeting people on facebook who shared my passion and stumbled upon a world I didn’t know existed before. The time, money, and energy that people who rescue animals spend is incredible. It is a roller coaster of emotions and heartbreak, but at the end of the day, it is all worth it when you know that you made a difference in the life of an animal that was once discarded like trash, and is now loved and cared for by a deserving person.
I am one of many people out there who do this. My story is not unique. I am a small part of a huge network of inspiring individuals who are choosing to act on behalf of something they believe in. I am hoping my story can serve to inspire others to follow their passion and do something to make a difference, however small it may be.
I welcome any inquiries or people contacting me who are interested in getting involved in animal rescue or who are looking to adopt.
Deidre lives in Connecticut, USA.
Regardless where you live, if you are interested in learning how to get involved with saving or adopting animals, please contact Deidre via email: email@example.com