What is the most common weakest link at an Animal Rescue or Shelter?

I would like to share with you a rather disappointing experience and hope something good comes of it.  I was told that there is a rescue that needs urgent assistance (for reasons I don’t want to share or it will give away who I am talking about).  We made ourselves available to assist today (which included booking a babysitter - assuming that by today we would've heard from them).

After many phone calls to various ‘contacts’ I never got a phone call back to even say thanks, but no thanks. Just one person responded via message : "has anyone contacted you yet?"

I wonder what is really going on behind the scenes?

Now I understand that they must have their hands full and possibly cannot get to all the calls (Im assuming). But it makes me really think about the state of many rescues and shelters around South Africa (and the world). I understand that these people have HUGE hearts and all they care about is the animals, but after all – for the sake of the animals - it should be run like a business if they wish to make it a success. It should not be run like a ‘welfare state’!

Always too busy caring?

These lovely people are so busy rescuing, feeding, cleaning and nurturing that they don’t seem to have the time to cry for help. There are so many of us out there wanting to help. But a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

What do successful shelters do?

A rescue / shelter should have a marketing (type) person on board that is dedicated only to marketing their every move. There are many people out there that can help. The best rescues and shelters have great marketing campaigns and you can see why they get such good support. They have volunteering programs with good guidance and direction. You arrive; you get greeted and put to task. They have social media marketing and newsletters. This takes time and a lot of hard work too. But these rescuers can’t do it all and that is why they have people on board to focus on the other important tasks at hand. All for the love of the animals ...

Thumbs up to them, because they are not only doing it right, but in the end of the day, it’s the animals that benefit the most.

My message for today :

Rescues and Shelters should be working very hard ON their business, planning, delegating and co-ordinating what needs to be done IN their business – for the sake of the animals. You cant do it all on your own. We, the people, would love to help. Please just ask.

Juanita Aitkenhead (Ed.)






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