One of my best friends forever, Deb Davis, is a full-time dog rescuer. You may love rescue dogs but do you have what it takes to go full time? Take a look at her life since 2011 as the Volunteer Coordinator with God’s Dogs Rescue, San Antonio, TX.
Julie Marchbanks shares a little background about God’s Dogs Rescue and where they travel to deliver rescue dogs. “We pick up from all across the country, and deliver all over the country too.”
Deb Davis – Full-Time Dog Rescuer
There are over 200,000 strays in San Antonio alone. That’s a lot of work for full-time dog rescuers like Deb Davis and other team members who are passionate about loving rescue dogs.
Deb honored me with a phone interview, here are a few tips, her saddest story, and the toughest part of being a dog rescuer.
Take Time To Know Your Rescue Dog
A controlled play is important with a new stray. If you bring him into your pack, only allow two or three dogs together at a time and never allow negative energy to escalate.
During your walks, use the first ten to fifteen minutes for mental stimulation, as you stop they sit, speeding up slowing down, etc. Let the rest of your time be just a walk. Treating the first few minutes of each walk this way will help to fatigue your dog. Resulting in a calmer temperament.
Using a feeder puzzle (toys you stuff food into) stimulates mental activity in thinking dogs. It is in their nature to work for their food instead of eating out of a bowl. Examples are Shepherds, Catahoulas, and Healers.
Always remember, you can never trust your dog 100%. There was an aggressive Red Coonhound mix named, Remington. He was dumped in the doggie park at 6 mos. old, he went after all the dogs. And when that happens, everyone joins in! Introduce slowly and know your dog before you go public with him.
Saddest Story Is Vivi And Her Puppies In A Bag
One of the biggest disappointments in this business is witnessing the unwillingness of society to take responsibility for anything – respect is lost and puppies are dumped everywhere all the time. In this case, Vivi’s pups were found in a plastic garbage bag at the end of a driveway, in a subdivision, waiting for the garbage truck. In the midst of lawn clippings and food, some neighbors heard puppies crying. The puppies still had their umbilical cords attached. Vivi was chained up in an empty lot next door and extremely malnourished.
“Ultimately it’s the owners who set dogs up for the kill room,” says Davis. Vivi’s pups are doing great now, they have homes and are feeling the love. Which goes to prove, even the saddest days of a rescuer have silver linings if you wait long enough to see it.
The Toughest Thing For A Full-time Rescuer Is…
The need never ends. People call at all hours. The toughest thing for a full-time rescuer is finding balance in the home. “They see a dog in trouble but instead of making the difference right then and there, they call for us to do it. Or they pick up the dog and bring it to my house. If you commit to picking up a dog, commit to caring for it. At least overnight. I understand people are afraid and unsure of what to do, yet sometimes we all need a little break.” Even doctors and garbage collectors get a break, right?
The Saddest Cases Are Those We Can’t Help.
There are so many cases with a lot of medical needs, amputations, parvo, the ones who never stood a chance. “The saddest cases are those we can’t help,” sighed Davis. A really difficult case for her was the Pit Bull who arrived with his throat sliced and a festered head – “All you can do is pet him and love on him until he’s put to sleep.”
There you go, a small insight into the life of a full-time dog rescuer. Do you feel the tug?