We've started to get news trickling in from the dogs we just took on transport, and oh boy! This is when we're all reminded about why we do the work we do, why we sacrifice until it hurts and put up with so much misunderstanding. While it baffles us how some people can defend the abusers and those who willfully neglect these innocent creatures, those types do exist. The wounds these animal carry from the abandonment and the cruelty never leave them. But they do forgive, setting the bar very high for those of us who struggle to save them.
Gretyl is the perfect example. Pictured above in her Very Own Home, she is a prime example of how forgiving a dog can be. She was dumped on the side of the road at five weeks, far too young to be weaned or away from her litter. She was abnormally quiet for the first few weeks we had her in rescue, very subdued. But after her requisite fourteen-day quarantine, our pack brought her out of her shell. She got lots of attention from people and animals, and by the time she was adopted, she had made a huge emotional recovery. Her new family says she is sweet, affectionate, and very playful. A true success story!
We hope to hear more from the other dogs in days to come. We did get a report back that said EJ is living in the manager's office at the new rescue until adoption, and that he's playing and being silly and winning the hearts of the whole staff. Maybe soon we'll have pictures!
Back here at home, TARC is much quieter without Barkley. The other dogs have returned to their regular kennels, and the atmosphere is a lot more peaceful. It's conceivable that we can get through the winter with this number of dogs, although I do expect one or two more to leave on commercial transport at some point. Still, winter is hard here. This is a very old house with few modern amenities. We've never been able to raise enough in donations to have the plumbing repaired or the electrical updated, so the only heat we have is a single space heater run on a newly installed (and therefore safer with Romex instead of cloth wiring) circuit. The incoming water line still lies on top of the ground, and we only have one working indoor faucet. We can survive this way, but in a developed nation, it's pretty sad that we have to.
I, the Director, operate this rescue mostly alone, with one part time volunteer and very little community support. We no longer ask for donations locally. The social media abuse that ensues simply isn't worth it. We rely on the generosity of northern rescue partners and Steem. For those who don't know, I am disabled. I've been diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and sometimes the medications to suppress my immune system are worse than the disease. I'm not saying this for sympathy. I'm putting the information out there to thwart any remarks about why I don't just go get a job. I had one. I am no longer allowed to work. Spend an hour with me in person, and you'll know exactly why.
With the dogs, I manage. They keep me moving. I'm very happy with the choices I've made to invest my life in this rescue. I do, however, wish we could find a steady source of sponsorship or donations. My volunteer and I do the work. It's brutal, back-breaking, and sometimes heartbreaking. We produce results. They are tangible results, with actual faces and personalities of the animals, their histories and outcomes all very transparent, results that supporters can see. @Gmuxx, @jayna, and @sircork have all been in person to this rescue and will attest that we do the work we claim we do. We're a 501c3 designated non-profit in the U.S., a state-reporting rescue in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and have a violation-free track record with inspections. It just seems to me that we'd be an easy choice for someone looking for a charity to support...but so far that hasn't been the case.
We DO have supporters. Don't misunderstand. Without them, we wouldn't exist at all. Our Steem wallet is a very busy place with small, consistent donations trickling in round the clock. These people and groups are supporting this rescue quite palpably. When transfers leave the TARC wallet, you can bet your bottom dollar that dogs are getting fed, vetted, housed, and cared for with that money. Immediately. Directly. It does not filter down through a salaried executive board.
The bottom line is that we're receiving enough in donations to stay alive, but we haven't made any progress as far as helping more dogs or improving their housing conditions. Who would consider a regular monthly donation of fiat or Steem? Paypal has a feature for automatic transfers. You can find our information about this HERE. Any help the Steem community can give this cause would be deeply appreciated. We ARE making a difference! We simply want the work to continue.