What is Rescue Work Like?

Rescue Title

What is it like working with rescue animals?

I gather it is a little like working with people that have also been abused, neglected or even abandoned. You can see that they have things on their mind and troubles in their hearts. I think the thing that hurts the worst while being at T-bar is meeting the dogs that no longer want any human contact with people. After the rescue of Summer, the neglected and abused dog, I have seen first-hand how dogs can go through so much and still trust humans.

To see dogs that just have no interest in people is gut wrenching because it makes me wonder what happened to them that they gave up on those things that walk on just two legs. When meeting animals at T-bar I confess that some I feel closer too than others. It’s hard to explain. When I first met Seven, the rescue horse, he had just come back from Juan’s and Melanie was working with him in the barn. Melanie said he was a bit rough around the edges and didn’t really like to meet people. But when it was time to take his picture he nuzzled me gently and posed for me as if on cue. Melanie beamed at me and was glad that Seven trusted me, but the feeling really went both ways. Often I meet an animal at T-bar and I feel like I know them already, as if perhaps we met before in passing. Those animals I often drift to when I visit and chat with them, since they all are such great listeners.

When they are adopted out or find a new foster home it is always a little sad, but you have to be better than that, and think that they will be happier with more one and one attention. I think that is what keeps me going back and bonding still with animals that I know could be adopted tomorrow. Sometimes an animal will zero in on you. I have to say that it is an honor when they decided that you are worth the time of day. Certainly I feel like a million bucks when a shy creature decides that I am trustworthy.


What is rescue work like? It will change your view on things. I confess that I have at times passed a field of horses and looked at them closely to make sure they were not starving, once on a roadtrip I saw donkeys in a small field and there were also three new babies and my first thought was, “I hope they plan to keep those donkeys.” My next thought was, “Is that land big enough for so many?” Only my last thoughts were that the babies were adorable. This could do with the fact that donkeys are always dumped on my Aunt Karen’s land! Being the person she is she has them fixed and keeps them as pets. But really she is up to eight donkeys now and she didn’t have to buy them!


What is rescue work like? Like any cause close to your heart, if you are not careful it can devour you. Instead of seeing beauty or being light hearted you can start to go negative. I have worked hard to not let that happen to me. I let the victories stay in my heart and head and let the cases that I just couldn’t get to go. If you do not take care of yourself first you cannot take care of anyone else. It’s just a simple fact. We are only human. We require rest, food and love to keep going. Sure there are tons of sad stories and photos all over the place. But you cannot bask in them day in and out. You have to remember that even if you only save one dog it means everything to that little guy. You cannot beat yourself up about the five others that you were unable to get to. You have to have faith that someone else stepped in because it does happen. Don’t think all of the problems are just on your shoulders because there are so many wonderful people just like you, who are trying to fix things.


What is rescue work like? So rewarding. Seeing an animal come in bad shape and then watching them slowly recover is awesome. You cheer them on in your mind as they gain weight, start to trust people or just heal from abuse. The best moment in your minds recorded history of time in their life is when they find a forever home that fits them and their needs. For some animals it is a long wait, while others find their match right away. But the day feels no different no matter how long of a wait it has been. It’s like watching a touched down when a family smiles a knowing smile at an animal and has that same feeling I get while at T-bar. “I know you.” And they take them home.


How can I help I live in an apartment? I cannot foster. I do not have the finances to help.
If you cannot help with money then please know just sharing and commenting on the T-bar Facebook page is a huge help. It gets the word out and helps gain T-bar views, which in turn helps the animals get exposure. It may seem small but it makes a difference. If you cannot foster, a donation of any size can help. Yes one dollar helps, because it was a dollar we did not have before. A lot of small donations go so far in the animals lives. Never think your donation is not enough.


TBAR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit no-kill animal rescue organization. If you would like to help animals such as this one please consider donating to TBAR, volunteering, fostering, or adoptingDonations go directly toward care, feed, and veterinary care of the rescued animals and every little bit helps us to help another animal in need of safety and rehabilitation. Save a life: adopt instead of shop and spay or neuter your pets!




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