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Valentine’s Day

On a day focused on love, I figured I would share this post I have been brewing on for a while:

The last year of caring for domestic violence survivors pets has taught me new love.

❤️A love for the pets I care for every day, for days to months of their too-short of lives. I provide basic needs, fun, and attention to pets that are only mine for a short while. I worry for them as if they were my very own because in that time, they are. I cannot control their past or future, but I can love them and care for them as much as possible in the time they are with me.

❤️A love and fear for them every time I see a symptom of the abuse they have had. The love I try to show them just by not raising my voice, or moving too quickly, or having a man take care of certain ones, because I know that those little things can bring back bad memories for these poor animals.

❤️A love that the pets provide me because at that moment I am the only mom they know. The excitement when they see me, tails wagging, jumping on me, licking me every chance they have shows me that no matter what hate they have been through, they have not lost their capacity to love humans.

❤️A love that makes it all worth while for me. A love for the volunteers when I see their mix of sadness and happiness as I tell them a pet they have been playing with is going home.

❤️A love for the survivors which is the most complicated love I can feel. From the first tear-filled phone call to the last goodbye, I am with them in sometimes the worst part of their lives. They decide to trust me, a total stranger, with their fur baby. And for that I am so thankful because it means the animal is out of harm, even if just for a little while. I feel a love for these survivors and children knowing what they are going through, hearing their story, and wishing they knew a healthy love I know they deserve. Always holding a mix of trying to understand what they are going through, but knowing I never will, and hoping that I say and do the right things to make their situation just a little bit better.

As each animal leaves, they take a little bit of my heart with them but leave a little bit with me. I think about each of them often, even as I have new ones coming in.

***This photo is of me bringing a dog back to his owner after a few months of caring for him. Even though he was not easy and loved to poop in his kennel, I really loved how sweet he was. I also unfortunately had a pretty good idea that the survivor would eventually be going back to her abuser, a pretty common thing. So as I was happy to bring him to his mom, I felt a loss and sadness as well. I cry each time I drop an animal off and I hope that never changes.***

The First Month

Wow! It has already been a month since I started full-time as the Executive Director of Hope’s 2nd Chance Animal Sanctuary. What a wonderful month it has been; I absolutely love working on this mission and growing the organization!

Here is some of what I have done with my first month:

  • Applied for multiple grants totaling $91,230 to support my salary, veterinary care and pet supplies and food.
  • Created a store for continuous funding through selling shirts, bags, and mugs. View here.
  • Set up AmazonSmile for donation and our Amazon Charity List so donors can purchase items to support our foster program effort that are then sent directly to us.
  • With the help of a wonderful friend, created this new website that allows more capabilities to support H2C.
  • Created policies for H2C, including personnel, intake, and care policies.
  • Picked up over $300 worth of cans for donation.
  • Continuously met and communicated with other organizations, businesses, supporters, and potential supporters.

This month has showed us more than ever before how much our organization is needed. Check out this WZZM13 story and this story from a local survivor: