- Shelter or protection from danger, difficulty, etc.
- a person or thing that gives shelter, help, or comfort
- a place of safety; shelter; safe retreat
- an expediency or shift; action taken to escape trouble or difficulty
To save (someone or something) from danger or harm.
Sometimes I believe seeing the definition and understanding the definition can often be different. I use the dictionary definitions to give a clearer meaning of what I learned in Spain.
I am the President of a 501C3 non-profit rescue in the United States. I have been doing dog rescue in the States for close to 10 years give or take. I go to Peru and sponsor Spay and Neuter clinics in the villages to help keep the overpopulation of pets down. But I do not rescue. I travel and help move dogs, I foster and I can say I really have not went out and rescued. All the dogs I work with in the states are owner surrenders or we get them out of the shelters.
I found myself questioning was I really helping. Is this what rescue is? Well yes it helps everything helps but for me I do not rescue. I believe the term is being use wrong. I went to Spain to help at a Refuge and learned firsthand the definition and what that mean to me now.
I learned about the Galgo and Podenco’s about a year and a half ago. It came into my social media but I never stopped to pay attention just blew it off as one more country with animal problems. A few months later I saw the Galgo dogs plight again but still not paying much attention. Last Oct. I had just returned from Peru and seen the Million Paws March for Justice. I then took time to read and learn. I spent many hours reading and educating myself on the situation in Spain. I never cried so much as I did through the education. While doing the research I seen where people could volunteer to help at the refuges, it took another 4 months to run the idea over and over in my head till I knew I had to do my part. I looked at many websites to see which one I thought could use my help the most. I contacted a few but settled on Pepis and spent three and a half weeks there. Where I was educated in the real meaning of refuge and rescue.
When people can give all they have, even their way of life for the dogs. I was humbled in there presences, to see how life was for the humans and dogs. To use every last dollar to give to the dogs. It is not a way of life I could live and hats off to those who can. To use what they have and keep the dogs safe to get them medical help and to suffer the heart ace of loss when puppies die of Parvo the broken and tortured dogs that come to them. The mental, emotional and financial drain that is 24/7 makes the physical labor looks like a walk in the park. There is no end to the work but how does one keep up the pace every day no days off no time to do things for themselves. Every element of weather causes a new need, every new dog taken in has a new need. There is no end, it all keeps coming like a freight train and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is no future no time to dream. Only worry about how they will survive, pay the vet bill, the long hot summer, the threat of floods, how to keep all the dogs safe.
Without the help of strangers volunteering and donations coming in these refuges cannot survive. I know not everyone can just get on a plane and go help. There are many ways to get involved. I was touched and believe in a higher power guiding me. Now I am hoping to encourage some others to reach out to the folks who have sacrificed so much to help the beautiful hounds and dogs of Spain. We need to understand that they do what they can with what they have. Some have a little more than others but to understand they all love the dogs. They need us… To adopt to foster the dogs is a big part, refuges are not a way of life for the dogs they are there to keep them safe till they can move into foster or permeant homes. The need us….