First, everyone thinks that all you need is a big heart to work in dog rescue. Wrong. You need to be able to think smart and have a strong backbone, to know what you can humanly do and not do. You need to make tough decisions about when to put a dog down for health or public safety reasons. You may have to walk away from a beautiful Saint in the shelter, knowing you have no suitable foster home for him, or if he’s animal aggressive. If an animal is placed in a home, and injures someone, your rescue could be liable, and be shut down by an insurance claim or lawsuit. Sometimes, you let one animal go for safety reasons, so that you can continue to SAVE many more. It can seem cruel and heartless at times. You must keep focused and keep your eye on the gold: Finding forever homes for as many Saints as you can.
Dog rescue can be very depressing. You wonder, "we are only saving one Saint at a time, while thousands are dying and/or being abused." Yes, we aren't even approaching the TIP of the iceberg. Sunny Saints volunteers must remind themselves that they are removing sadness and misery from the world with each dog saved, and bringing joy - lots of joy - to families. Removing sadness and misery, replacing it with joy. Not a bad thing.
It takes all kinds of people to form a successful rescue. It starts with passionate people, and you must assemble a team of people with diverse talents and skills. It takes business savvy, sometimes legal knowledge, dog training and behavioral knowledge, accountants, nurses, marketing pros, computer pros, vets, etc. This is just a very short list of the types of people we have involved. Sunny Saints seems pretty straight forward in its mission, but it takes a diverse village to run smoothly to continue it's success.
It doesn't take a large yard, tons of time or even lots of money to help save Saint Bernards. Volunteering at an event for a few hours, donating $5 for food, helping transport a dog to a new home... priceless. And we can't do it without you. Even posting a flyer for a dog that needs a foster home. You may have just saved a life. It's so darn easy.
And the number one bonus of being a Sunny Saints volunteer is that you meet the nicest people, from ALL walks of life. To all of our Saint-loving, big-hearted friends: we can’t do it without you! You are appreciated!
Now, it's your turn to add to our list of "things you'd never know about dog rescue."
Thank you for opening up your hearts and homes!