Ok - I'm gonna get on my whiny box for a minute, lol. Well - turns out, an hour
WARNING: LONG LONG LONG POST....
I'm almost at the breaking point... I know we NEED to go on, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how we are going to do that.
And it's not necessarily funding - although that is always nice. If it wasn't for our merchandise (shirts/paintings, etc) - we wouldn't be able to continue. But that is also something we do, in-house... along with everything else. We don't have a webmaster, graphic artist, marketing guru, photographer, adoption bio writer, intake/adoption director, grant writer, receptionist, etc. - it's only us. We don't have a staff, or many volunteers - only Dana and her 3 children (13, 10, and 9).... which is great - because it's so amazing to see the kids with the dogs; but also sad because we can't get adults to commit to volunteer...
What we do have is people saying they want to volunteer, or donate, or adopt - but never follow through. Or wanting to help us by putting on a donation drive, but want us to be there, as well. When we are at events, we are taking time away from working with the dogs. It's a vicious cycle - trying to decide which is more important. The dogs, of course - but if we don't make money to care for them, then what?
I don't know how much more we can take, honestly. We have our haters - as everyone does. Hating on us because we know our limits and can't take in any other dogs... hating on us because we don't take in mixed breeds. Hating on us because we call it like it is and force them to look at themselves as the problem. Hating on us because we advocate for pit bulls. These same haters condemn humane societies and other shelters for not being a no-kill facility - but have no idea what is involved in that. The do-gooder Armchair Warriors.... I don't even have the words for that, lol
Then we have rescuers condemning each other left and right. Usually not based on (all the) facts - but hearsay and BS from disgruntled former volunteers, staff, etc. We, ourselves, have experienced that from former board members that were given the boot because either (a) they didn't do a damn thing; or (b) they couldn't even understand our mission or why we do or do not do certain things and would spread false information; or any number of reasons we weren't on the same page....
We not only fight the usual suspects - lack of volunteers, donations, funding, haters, etc. - but we are also in a constant battle with anti-pit bull assholes and those that are all gung ho about a rescue until they find out we are pit bull-specific. I can't tell you how many times we have handed out literature at events and as soon as they realized it was for pit bulls, they threw it back at us and/or spewed some anti-PB BS. We fight BSL and the ignorance that comes along when a dog does bite someone. We fight the constant crap with lowlife dog fighters and breeders (of all dogs, but especially pits).
We fight the ignorance of landlords, neighbors, ordinances, etc. that prevent good dogs from being adopted into loving homes. We fight the defeat that comes every time a dog comes back - because of ignorance or lack of effort on the potential adopters part. And you all know that no matter how good an adopter seems, they can always turn out to be jerks. We fight the depression that comes with knowing we can't help them all, no matter how hard we try. It's a battle also with the foster option - to do or not to do? We have decided not to - as it is not feasible for us, especially with pit bulls, and especially in our area.
That being said - there are (and were) a few that could benefit greatly from being in a home. But how do we organize potential adoptions then? More time involved - that we do not have... but which is more important? And what happens if the fosters don't understand the dogs and something happens? We are responsible.
We recently did transfer two mix dogs to another rescue 'in exchange' (I hate that term, but it is what it is) for two pit bulls. One has been adopted (YAY, Gordy K!); and the other is in a foster home, learning how to be more socialized and come out of his shell (he is very skittish around new people). There is no way we could give Chibs the socialization he truly needed (time constraints) and an experienced foster home was the better option. Chibs was 100% fine around us and our volunteers - but needed more exposure. However, and I'm going to get into something here... the rescue we 'exchanged' with has recently been on the receiving end of some drama. So, then, I can only assume that we are shitty for even considering 'teaming up' with them. Again, more drama. But we did our research - and we kept/keep up with the dogs. And I don't understand how that is much different than sending dogs up north? There's zero follow-up there... Not condemning that process - just using as an example.
Everyone in rescue is surely approaching burnout and/or compassion fatigue. We need to be there to support each other. If we don't like what someone else is doing - if you can change it, then help. If you can't change it, be alert, but let it go. Not one rescue or shelter is run exactly the way we would run it. I'm sure people don't like that we are an outdoor facility. But we also have taken many factors into consideration and believe the dogs need sunlight, fresh air, etc. But we don't preach that or condemn anyone that has an indoor facility. There are holes in both - cold in the winter for outdoors; sanitation complications indoors, etc. But who is to say who is right? It doesn't matter. Whatever works for that particular rescue/shelter. Point being - unless it is hurting you, or the dogs/cats - let it go. We fight enough shit without fighting each other - and should be a united group.
We, of all people, should understand the drama, depression, anxiety, defeat, anguish, and physical and mental toll it takes on every one of us. If we - as rescuers - don't get it, how do we expect anyone else to? If we can't have each others backs and attempt to understand things, how the hell can anyone else? And this isn't about rescuers supporting rescuers, really - just that if we can't - how can we expect it from JQP...
I know ya'll are tired of reading - if anybody even made it this far, lol. But I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I'm in a rut and needed to vent.