Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stewie to the Rescue: A Look Back

Hey all,

I know most people write blogs/emails/letters etc talking about the previous year and their hopes/desires/wishes for the new year. But I'm not going to do that.

2011 was a decent year for Stewie to the Rescue when taking into account all the stuff I had going on (like, having a baby), but at the end of the day, I don't feel like I'm doing enough.

The only sense that I had that we're making a difference was getting the Humanitarian of the Year Award from The Companion Animal Network's Pet Mobile, whose owner, Garo Alexanian, said that we helped them stay afloat, making it possible for them to, if not thrive, at least continue to operate when times were tough. If you want to see how we get involved with them, read this and this.

They have now helped save over 7,000 animals due to their low cost vet prices.

Come to think of it, I guess we had a damn good year.

I will post my "Look Ahead to 2012" tomorrow (eh, who am I kidding, probably Saturday)

Harris Bloom

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Burnout in Animal Rescue

I don't have to tell anyone who already works in animal rescue that it's an exhausting, and often times, thankless job. For every happy story, there seems to be ten that end sadly, which can wear on even the strongest of people.

Perhaps that why the burnout rate in animal rescue is remarkably high (per one of my wife's social worker books, which, by the way, is another industry with a high burnout rate - we're made for each other, huh?).

What can you do to help prevent it getting the best of you? Here are a few tips...

1 - Get  Your Own Life In Order - It's amazing to me how many people involved in animal rescue have such precarious personal situations (e.g. unemployed, broke, sick, etc). The stress of your personal life is not only affecting your life now, but will continue to add up, resulting in additional health problems later on, causing you to either curtail your work with the animals or even be forced to quit. How exactly will this help the animals?

2 - Spend Some Time With People Not Associated With Animal Rescue - Any time I hang out with someone involved in animal rescue, the conversation ALWAYS ends up being about the ACC or the "business" in general. And rarely is it to discuss all the happy stories. My suggestion is to hang out more with people not involved in rescue OR at least make a promise when hanging with rescue peeps to NOT discuss anything rescue related once on a while. If you're stuck, here are a few things to talk about....

a - Does the "God Particle" exist?
b - Why are there so many $%@#$ stink bugs??
c - Sex

3 - Make More Time For Your Hobbies (or Get One!) - Make a list of stuff you like to do (besides rescue!) - Do something from that list every day. It'll help your attitude and give you a break from rescue (and other) stress. Here are a few possible hobbies to try...

a - Handcuff collecting
b - Collect typewriters from the 1940's.
c - Suing people

4 - Keep Track Of Rescue Successes - As I mentioned before, there are so many sad endings in rescue that it can feel overwhelming at times. Keeping a list of your successes in rescue will help remind you of the difference that you are making.

5 - Set A Finite Rescue Goal and Then Take A Break - It seems like though we all take vacations from our day jobs, no one takes breaks from rescue work. This is insane as we all need time to charge (recharge?) our batteries, not to mention, to get away from it all. So, set some goal (e.g. find a home for three cats) and then take a week off - No Facebook, no emails, and no blogs (except this one - just kiddin')

6 - Forget All of Your Troubles/Worries -  GO TO A COMEDY SHOW!

Rock On,

Harris Bloom

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Dog Named L.L. Bean

Ok, so I am gonna really try to blog every day or two - I know, I may've said this before but this time I mean it!


I love this story about a shelter dog, that they named L.L Bean, which was subsequently adopted by an employee of, yup, L.L. Bean! Not only that, but employees of L.L. Bean chipped in to pay the $800 of transportation expenses to get the pup to it's new owner!

One of the smaller criticisms of the ACC shelter here in NY is how lazy they are in naming the animals. At the very least, they can use corporate names that are well-liked and that people feel a connection to. Here are some good ones...

Dr. Pepper
Cheesecake Factory (what!?!)

Harris Bloom