“Success at the highest level comes down to one question: Can you decide that your happiness can come from someone else’s success?” –Bill Walton
Animal rescue is a cause, not a competition.
In the short time that I have been in animal rescue there is still one thing that I cannot comprehend about this industry. There are literally tens of thousands of people working together to help animals and the majority of them (including myself) are volunteers. Yet it seems that when one organization gets some PR, or focused attention, there are many that want to try and knock them down as though they were competing for a title or a trophy or some prize. I just want to ask them, “Who are you competing with?”
Our mission in animal rescue is common
I have blogged before about the common cause that we are all undertaking. Each of us in the animal rescue industry has a passion and a place in our heart for animals. We cringe when we hear about animals being neglected or abused, we work nights and weekends trying to pull resources together to help them, and we celebrate in our own quiet way, every time we help an animal get on their journey to their forever home.
Our passion and inspiration for saving animals is the same
Is one organization’s passion greater or more powerful than another organization even though they are both helping animals? Sure, they may be different in their approach, their focus and their resources but it would be difficult to proclaim one organizations’ passion over another to be stronger, more impactful or better in any way.
Our focus in animal rescue should be to celebrate and congratulate, not condemn or criticize
When we see an organization in animal rescue that is being recognized, celebrated and lauded, it seems that many in the industry want to poke holes, or point out their faults in order to knock them down to size. Some seem to be jealous of the attention that their fellow rescuers are receiving and let their own egos get the best of them, lashing out with harsh criticism about how the accolades were not well earned.
As fellow rescuers, why aren’t we proud and appreciative that the cause as a whole is receiving the attention that it deserves, and that there are peers among us that are as passionate about saving animals as we are? Why doesn’t each of us share with our social media followers, blog about the success of the organization and use THEIR success as an opportunity to grow our animal rescue ranks of volunteers and donors and ultimately save more animals?
It’s not about us! It’s about the animals.
When I started developing Doobert over 5 years ago, my focus was to add my talents, time and resources to the animal rescue cause in a way that would help others save time so they could save more animals. For those of you that have been volunteers or organizations since the beginning, I’m sure you would attest to the fact that Doobert has evolved tremendously over the years growing larger with more volunteers, more organizations and more features.
I have tried to provide the features and functions to better engage the volunteers, and the capabilities and functionality to the organizations to help save them time and find the animal rescue transport volunteers and animal foster homes that they need. No, we don’t have the resources of a Facebook or Google and yes sometimes features and functions take longer or do not go as planned. But rather than bashing our faults, why not celebrate our success and applaud us for our efforts to learn from our mistakes and provide the best service possible to the amazing volunteers and organizations using our software?
In the end, it’s not about me, it’s not about you, and it’s not about any particular organization or group or coalition. When each of us chose to make the conscious choice to spend our time helping animals, we dedicated ourselves to their safety and security, committing to each other and ourselves that we would not rest until they were all safe. Remember your choice the next time you feel the need to knock down or point out the faults of another volunteer or animal rescue organization. Bite your tongue when you feel a tinge of jealousy creeping up on you and swallow your pride when you feel less than happiness for your fellow animal rescuers that are receiving their moment in the spotlight.