Anyone who is involved in dog rescue in BC knows it is a viper-pit. There is much good work that is done but much energy is sapped within this atmosphere. There is very little room for error. If you happen to make an error, even if you admit it and try to fix it, the rescue community here will eat you alive. Rescue boards require moderators to enforce very strict rules on conduct. After several years, I have learned to stay away from these conflicts. I rarely read any of the boards as it is the same arguments over and over.

The strategy of staying away from the boards has worked well for me. As we* have become more involved with supporting Turtle Gardens. In the rescue community those who have grievances will come at anyone associated with that particular rescue. True to form I have been contacted by someone with a grievance to air.  I believe in open and transparent communication. I then told Stan that I had received this email. After reading it Stan asked if he could post it on the TG blog. I said yes. I felt it was also important to advise the woman who sent it the decision I made to pass it on to TG.

Rumours and innuendo only have power if they are kept secret. Once the information becomes public and the rescue has a chance to address the issues the rumours stop and the rescue can defend itself. The big issue here is the fact that TG forgot to spay one dog. Once the error was found TG took care of it. Instead of letting it go she decided to dig through the blogs looking for any inconsistency she could find. While all this was going on, Yvette was barely out of the hospital where her very survival was in question.

TG is a rescue that re-homes in excess of 200 dogs a year from remote sites in the north. Most rescues don’t even come close to that number in 5 years. The Labatte family does most of the work for the rescue and at the center of the hub is Yvette.  She does all of the administration which includes: screening homes, arranging for home checks (all done by volunteers in southern BC)**, booking vet appointments, issuing tax receipts, writing blogs, managing dog behaviour, fundraising, juggling money to ensure all bills are paid, fielding calls from people who want to surrender their dogs to TG, helping new adoptive families with their dogs, doing public education and keeping track of everything that happens. She does this for over 200 dogs per year! She is not paid. She is also living with a very debilitating disease that compromises the amount of oxygen she is able to get to her body.

It would be nice, if for once instead of bashing a rescue people would instead ask what they could do to help. After all we all want to help animals. Trying to tear down a successful rescue only hurts the animals. Dogs need all the help they can get given the circumstances, into which, some of them are born.

*we= Deb and me.

** Most TG dogs are adopted to families in southern BC and Vancouver Island.

One thought on “Rescue Politics

  1. Those who can, do. Those who piss and moan and live to find fault are small, pathetic, sad people.
    I know, in my heart of hearts, that I could no more do what Yvette, Dave, Stan (and Brian and Bear) do than I could win the Boston Marathon. Physically I wouldn’t last, psychologically I’d never make it, but it would be the emotional trauma the Labattes endure that would do me in. I’m weak, they are not.
    To those who can’t, or won’t, help, shut up and stop causing harm. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

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