Monday, August 22, 2022

animal rescue and customer service

                                                                                                                          a post by the mom

If you hang out in rescue long enough, you will eventually hear someone say "I get into animal rescue because I don't like people". And others will snicker or whatever.

But in fact the opposite it true - animal rescue is still a PEOPLE oriented service group. Very few aspects of rescue will keep you away from people, though some will allow you to avoid the general public (and maybe that is more what they mean when they say that).

However, I think with that general mindset, some forget that people - the general public - are our most important audience. They share our posts on social media, they are donors, they are adopters. I think sometimes rescues act like they are doing the public a favor. 

Of course, I've had people from the public act that way with me - as though I need to be even more grateful for their attention or ignore things on applications because "they are doing us a favor by adopting". Yeah - not how that works.

But recently I've seen a couple of instances where adoptions could have gone very wrong or not happened at all because of things that were handled badly. Rescues need to remember they can live or die by their reputation - and bad word of mouth spreads much farther and faster then good. I can't begin to tell you the number of people who have told me "bad" rescue stories. 

Don't get me wrong - rescue is hard and sometimes you are catching people on a bad day. I've had it happen. But I think we all need to step back and remember that we are ALL human and we ALL need to get along and take a breath.

So if you are in rescue remember the public sees cute animals not the work that got them ready for adoption. If you are the public remember that rescue is hard and heartbreaking. Let's meet somewhere in the middle.


  1. An excellent post!
    It's true, we all LURV cats, yet we must have the community on our side, and talking down to people or ignoring them is a serious no-no.
    I was at a lecture once, discussing how to work with city leaders on adopting TNR. The lecturer said that the person who bottle feeds babies is probably NOT the person who should stand at the microphone; each person in rescue has their role, and it's important to make sure the public-facing people know how to handle the public, especially the idiots who say dumb things.

  2. Well said. I could not be a rescuer (except via adoption) as I know how difficult it can be, especially when a kitten or cat doesn't make it. I appreciate those who do the hard work.

  3. There have been occasions when I have wondered what drove a rescue's decision. Years ago, friends in Chicago wanted to adopt two kittens together but the rescue would only let them have one! I think it is always good to have a certain flexibility so that you can get the best outcome for the animal.

  4. ***clapping paws*** for this most pawesome and spot on post!! You covered the problems that both sides have and you did it in a caring, non-judgmental way, well done! Thank you for all you do!


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