*forgive me, the document I recieved wouldn’t let me load the picture here, which would be Kelly*
Tell us about your book, Love To The Rescue.
BRENDA: Love To The Rescue is a contemporary romance. Amy, a young widow, meets a handsome police officer when he attends a B and E at her home, and they experience an immediate attraction which both of them attempt to ignore. Amy adopts Rover, an abused rescue dog. Her new pet helps a depressed child recover from a devastating loss. These new additions to Amy’s life stir a renewed desire for a family of her own, but will she risk the devastating pain of losing a loved one again?
In your book Amy adopts Rover from the Calgary Humane Society. Do you volunteer at the shelter?
BRENDA: No, I don’t, but recently I interviewed three volunteers—Stephen, Tina and Carol—to learn how shelter volunteers cope when dealing with abused animals on a regular basis.
I bet that was interesting. What did you learn?
BRENDA: Firstly, I learned there isn’t a ‘typical’ volunteer. Volunteers are female and male, young and old, housewives and professionals, cat lovers and people who prefer dogs. Even teenagers make excellent volunteers, and they learn to stick to a commitment while having fun. Mentally-challenged and physically-challenged volunteers are assigned duties that match with their abilities, and these valuable volunteers do a wonderful job. Volunteering is rewarding, and every small contribution of time counts. The Muppet Babies sing a song ‘Animals are my favorite people’. Many shelter workers would agree.
The staff at the Calgary Humane Society put together a wonderful YouTube video. You’ll find the link at the end of this post. From watching the video you’ll notice the variety of faces working toward a common goal.
You mentioned there’s no typical volunteer. Is there anything these people do have in common?
Most of the people who work and/or volunteer at the shelter have several pets of their own, many of them high-need animals who may or may not have been adopted otherwise. These people love animals and welcome new furry family members into their homes. They believe animals just require time to adjust to their new environment while learning what is expected of them. In time, these new pets will show their own personalities and return the love given to them. And they all believe in spaying and neutering their pets.
So, in the course of their work the volunteers encounter cases of abuse, neglect and all manner of cruelty to animals that eventually are placed in their care. How do these wonderful people cope with it all?
Workers and volunteers must remember not to judge and don’t head down the anger road. Who knows what drives certain individuals to abuse innocent creatures? Shelters see the worst and the best of humanity. The front line admitting staff and vets deal with the abuse, initially, but some volunteers are just not suited to handle that, preferring to work with animals now up for adoption. Dogs require walking, cats require cuddling, some animals require someone to play with them, and cages require cleaning. There’s always a job and there’s always someone suited to that job. No volunteer is forced into a situation or job where they are not comfortable.
The volunteers agreed that sometimes the best way to deal with the abuse they encounter is just sit down and have a good cry. Makes sense. Some volunteers derive comfort from going home and cuddling their own pets. Others dig out the chips and dip, lose themselves in a book, meditation, exercise, whatever it takes. Even talking to other volunteers who understand what they’re going through helps. There’s no right way to cope, just whatever works for each individual. And they all agree that clinging to the happy stories and concentrating on the big picture helps.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I asked the volunteers if they had a favorite success story. Instantly, they piped up with the animal that touched their hearts the most. One was Roger, the cat with the hairless tail. He was adopted into the lap of luxury by people who saw past his outward appearance. Another was an obese, terrified cat who couldn’t play or even clean himself. The volunteer took him home and now he’s at a healthy weight, grooms himself, and plays again. The third volunteer mentioned two large dogs that shelter staff insisted be adopted together since they were very emotionally connected to each other. Someone living on an acreage adopted them both. All of these animals were given a second chance despite being considered high-need animals. Those are the true success stories.
When considering adopting a rescue pet, try to look past the cute puppies and playful kittens that no doubt will be adopted. Consider an older animal or high-needs animal that simply requires someone to love them.
Thank you for dropping by today. Where can we purchase Love To The Rescue and where can we find you?
I enjoyed our time together, and hopefully we inspired a few people to volunteer at their local shelter. Anyone leaving a comment will be entered to win one of ten digital copies of my book When Dreams Collide, the sequel to A Bandit Creek Miracle, at the end of this blog tour. Winners to be drawn on March 15th. And check out the special ‘Irish Day’ blog post on my website on March 17th.
Here’s the link to Love To The Rescue in Ebook and Large Print version http://amzn.to/Si97FR
If anyone has rescued a dog or cat, please email me your pet’s story with permission to post it on my website at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please check out my website to read the rescue story of our family dog, Beau, and other rescue stories at www.brendasinclairauthor.com . You can also find me on Twitter @bsinclairauthor and on Facebook brendasinclairauthor.
Here’s the link to the Calgary Humane Society YouTube Video on Reflections of Animal Shelter Staff http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-8TEGcylCY Excellent job!
The next stop on the LOVE TO THE RESCUE BLOG TOUR is tomorrow, Friday, March 8th with Alyssa Linn Palmer at Musings of a Writer and Unabashed Francophile http://www.alyssalinnpalmer.com/ when Brenda will discuss Calgary as the setting for the book and setting goals as a writer.
What a wonderful interview! Thank you a TON for being an animal lover and for everything you do to help! 🙂 You’re my new hero!!