A few weeks ago, the Animal Welfare community lost a wonderful advocate, who made it her mission to rescue the dead and dying dogs in a field, in Memphis, Tennessee.
The dogs dumped in this field were either shot or poisoned to death, or simply dumped and left to die. Over time, these dogs became known as The Field Dogs.
Every day, Tonya would go out to the field, collect the bodies of the dead dogs, and bury each dog individually. And every day, Tonya would collect the living dogs, making sure they received food, water and when possible, medical attention. Many of these dogs were able to be adopted out, and many were not.
When Tonya suddenly passed away, there was no back-up plan in place for these dogs. Tonya lovingly did this on her own, every day. She was helped with monetary and dog food donations, but the rest was done solo without a failsafe in place.
It’s a wonderful thing when anyone steps up to make a difference and JUST DO SOMETHING. But even the best intentions can fall by the wayside if something happens to interrupt the flow of something great.
In this situation, since Tonya’s efforts for The Field Dogs were so well known, another reputable Rescue organization was able to quickly formulate a plan and engage a group of volunteers to step in and take over the feeding of these dogs. Of course, at the time, those volunteers were only focused on feeding the living dogs, so not much is known (yet) about tending to the dead dogs in that field, or being able to pursue anything from a legal standpoint in terms of monitoring the field for abusers.
So, my point? If YOU are doing something wonderful to make a difference in the life of an animal in need, please – get a back-up plan in place so in the event your efforts are interrupted, that animal will still be taken care of. Write it down, tell a few people, and ask around to see if anyone would be interested in learning about your efforts in the event that someone else needs to step in.
There are awesome people doing awesome things to help animals, but sometimes it’s done so quietly that it might go unnoticed if they were to stop.
Life changes on a dime, and that means it can change for you, also. Make sure YOUR changes don’t impact the great works you are doing to save or better the life of an animal in need; it matters to that animal.
So, what’s YOUR plan for that? Hopefully you have one, and hopefully you are also a back-up for someone else. It matters.