Sunday, 20 May 2018

The other side of rescue


As you would see on our website and Facebook page, Moving Paws Inc has always had a steady stream of homeless dogs coming into our care and going to loving forever homes.

We are a small team and we care deeply about every dog that we rescue. The organisation was started because we are passionate about dog rescue and want to help animals in need.

We are all invested deeply in the welfare of the animals that come to us; no one more so than me.  When a dog is surrendered I become its legal owner - it is my responsibility, its future health and happiness is my responsibility, and this is something I take very seriously.

Most of the time, these dogs have had a very difficult start to life. I am responsible for their future, and it is a huge responsibility. More than anything, I want them to be successfully re-homed with a minimum of stress and live out long and healthy lives in their forever homes. They deserve 110% love going forward. It is up to us to ensure the very best outcomes.

This responsibility weighs heavily.

I love animals so much and their plight takes a huge personal toll on me. I very often take on their problems and their owners’ problems. I have had a strong sense of empathy since a very young age, and I always wanted to help make the world a better place. When I founded Moving Paws, I soon came to realise the emotional toll that this takes.

In rescue, we witness some terrible suffering, and this stays with the majority of us. Dogs may be sick, neglected, and traumatised, but it is extremely rewarding when we know we have made a difference; and this is why we continue to rescue and change lives.  We look at the bigger picture – that of the second chance.

Adoptions are always tinged with sadness as we say goodbye to those we love very much. It doesn’t get any easier, and each dog is a new goodbye. When we approve an adoption, we place a huge amount of trust in the new owners to continue what we started and we pray that this happens.

It is hard to truly explain the heart and soul that is put into caring for and rehabilitating the special needs dogs we take into care.  I have always tried to remain focused on our goal to rescue and rehabilitate without judgement.

We greatly appreciate all of our supporters, and we would like people to understand that adopting a dog from us is more than a transaction. We put everything into their rehabilitation and we say goodbye with very mixed feelings. A lot of work goes into ensuring our dogs are equipped for their new lives. We also work hard to ensure they go to the most suitable homes possible. Not all dogs are suited to all situations, and we carefully consider all applications to ensure the best outcomes.

We are very fortunate that the majority of our adopters stay in contact and remain part of the Moving Paws family; however, there are some that prefer not to. There are no rules, but it makes our job easier when we can see that our dogs are doing well. 

Over the past year, I personally have taken on more than I should have, as the dogs’ lives have always been my number one priority.  This meant that carers, adopters, and lots of people and situations didn’t get the support that I feel is needed by the founder of an organisation. I had spread myself too thin… Something I made a commitment not to do.  I have also experienced some fairly deep bullying and nastiness from members of the public.

Occasionally I used to feel that it may be time to take a step back from outside pressures, but I never did - thinking myself weak for having such thoughts.  My rescue work continues behind the scenes everyday with our sanctuary dogs, foster carer communication, book work, enquiries, vet appointments and running the organisation.  All this doesn’t leave much time to deal with much else.

But the time did come - and has come - that I needed to take a step back for the sake of my own personal well-being.  Moving Paws is my reason, my passion, and it always will be.  The Moving Paws team are dedicated, caring, and love animals and I am very proud of this organisation.  But for now, I will not be personally fostering any more dogs. My commitment at present is to my sanctuary dogs and the MP team.  The pressure of re-homing has weighed deeply on my heart for too long and it needs a break.

We need to put the animals first and ensure that we do everything in our power to help them and this I will always do - and I will be better for it having had a break.

Regards, Debbie
Founder - Moving Paws Inc.

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