Artica, “the painfully shy and terrified dog,” had retreated so far into herself while in a Los Angeles shelter that it seemed as if she would never come out of it. After having been rescued by Animal Rescue, Media and Education (“ARME”), however, she has blossomed. (See previous article.)
People in the world of animal rescue take on a variety of roles. Some individuals network animals via social media or email; some volunteer at shelters; some foster animals until a permanent home can be found; some transport animals; some pull animals from shelters to be placed with a rescue, foster or forever home; some donate funds to accomplish the foregoing tasks and/or for vetting and training; some hold adoption and fundraising events; and, the list goes on. Many of these roles overlap. Whatever their role or roles, all are important in animal rescue.
However, there are some whose contributions are, and have been, extremely vital in saving an animal’s life; yet, they somehow remain unrecognized. It’s not surprising that they don’t even realize the huge impact they have in the rescue community every single day. But, these individuals actually don’t concern themselves with all of that kind of fuss, anyway. After all, it’s all about the animals who had the misfortune of being born unwanted, or later unwanted and discarded with nary a second thought.
The recent rescue of Artica is a good example of these unsung heroes.
Andrea Braver is an unpaid shelter volunteer who has dedicated many hours at the shelter over the past 10 years, despite a demanding, full-time job. Like many shelter volunteers, she walks and plays with the dogs, strokes the cats, and gives these wonderful, homeless creatures as much unconditional love as she gets in return. While doing all of these things, she will take countless photos and videos of the shelter animals, compose their background descriptions and begin the task of networking them, so that maybe – just maybe – they will make it out alive and get into a good home.
This is how Artica’s story began. Braver took notice of a terror-stricken, yet gentle, jindo-mix at the South Los Angeles Shelter. She took a photo of her, wrote up a rescue plea, and disseminated it to her trusted fellow rescuers/networkers. So compelling was the plea that it took on a life of its own and quickly made its way around the rescue community.
If not for dedicated and committed rescuers, like Braver, many animals would die, including Artica, who was scheduled to be euthanized on July 23.
Similarly, Shannon Keith, an animal rights attorney and President/Founder of ARME, came across the rescue plea for Artica. Keith took precious time out of her busy day to visit the shelter that formerly housed Artica. This, she did, without need for any fanfare or recognition. This, she did, with no knowledge that pledges were being made towards Artica’s vet care.
These silent and unseen rescuers are in the “business” of animal rescue and advocacy because they have a genuine love for animals. Their hearts are pure. Their spirits are golden. They seek no glory, kudos or accolades. “No need to thank me, thank you very much!”
These unsung heroes dedicate their lives for the sake of animals, like Artica, who is now thriving in Keith’s foster care. No longer the terrified “shrinking violet,” Artica is a vibrant dog, full of personality, freely giving of her love and affection to her savior. (See her video.)
Though many would rather not hear it, to all who are involved in animal rescue, thank you.
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