Linda Edwards about animal rescue

She has been living and working in Spain for many years. Her heart goes out to the animals in need. And there are many, many who need help. Linda is a volunteer at El Amparo del Sur, a non-profit dedicated to help Andalusian street dogs (and maybe even an occasional cat).

She has also worked with Viktor Larkhill for quite some time now, in fact, Linda knows many of the animals featured on the old LAG page or has helped to rescue them herself:
Gala, Jack, Tula, Duke, Lolo, Claudia.

She wrote the text below. Kind of says it all, doesn’t it?
Thank you Linda, for your commitment!

lindarescue

Some people don’t seem to know what animal rescue is all about. Well, here it is (again):
For animal lovers like me, animal rescue is the most incredible, rewarding job… in the history of ever.
At the same time… it’s also the most heartbreaking…
The truth is…
You see a lot of things… you never thought you’d see.
You witness a level of cruelty… you didn’t think was possible.
You feel a degree of helplessness… you never thought you’d know.
You stare at painful images… soon burned into your memory… that will haunt your thoughts forever.
You try to pick up the pieces… so many pieces… of the damage you didn’t do.
You do everything in your power… but even still… you’ll never reach them all.
You’ll try to stay strong… but you’ll mostly feel weak.
You’ll build walls to protect your heart… but they’ll never keep you safe.
You’ll place barriers around your soul… but the pain will always reach you.
And no matter how hard you try to fight it… over time… here’s the truth about what happens in animal rescue…
The neglect changes you.
The abuse hardens you.
The suffering breaks you.
The ignorance angers you.
The indifference disturbs you.
The injustice destroys you.
On a daily basis… your faith will be tested.
Your heart will be wounded.
Your soul will be altered.
On a weekly basis… you’ll question yourself.
You’ll question your strength.
You’ll question the world.
On a monthly basis… you’ll fall down.
You’ll get up.
You’ll go on…
On a yearly basis… you’ll look back…
You’ll see faces…
You couldn’t save them.
You’ll learn to mourn.
To grieve.
To sob.
You’ll learn to trust a little less.
To do a little more.
To fight a little harder.
You’ll learn to try.
To hope.
To pray.
You’ll learn to fail.
To succeed.
To accept.
You’ll learn when to hold on.
When to give up.
When to let go.
You’ll learn who you are.
What you stand for.
Why that matters.
Then… at times… you’ll forget why you matter.
You’ll question what you’re doing.
You’ll wonder if it’s worth it.
But… here’s the good news…
When you forget…
When you question…
When you wonder…
All you have to do…
Is take a look around…
And you’ll see them.
You’ll see their faces.
You’ll see their smiles.
You’ll feel their love.
In their eyes, you’ll see their journeys…
You’ll remember their beginnings…
You’ll know how far they’ve come…
You’ll remember when they didn’t know you…
When they didn’t trust you…
When they’d given up.
You’ll remember how you healed them…
How you loved them…
How they loved you, too.
And as you look back…
You’ll want to move forward…
For them… and because of them.
In your darkest hours, you’ll look around…
To find the differences made… the hope given… and the lives saved…
Because you existed.
In those moments, when you look into their eyes… every doubt will be erased.
Every question will be answered.
Every worry will subside.
Because in that instant… in each of your hearts…
You both share the very same thought:
“Every bit of pain was worth it… for this moment here with you.”
And honestly… no matter what else happens…
Those moments hold all the strength you need…
To keep going.
Rescue is pain.
Rescue is joy.
Rescue is worth it… because they are worth it.
And that’s the honest truth.”

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Beautiful Amy, a promise for the future

Spain is a country of extremes. In its history and culture, the role of most animals has always been subordinate to that of their human ruler. We all know the gruesome details of bullfighting. Alas, the majority of the Spanish congress still feel it’s part of their cultural heritage deserving of protection. And subsequently so, a majority of the Spanish citizens.

In the olden days of Let’s Adopt! Global, and now Viktor Larkhill Extreme Rescue, the plight of the Spanish sighthounds used for hunting was introduced to a larger audience. For many years, animal rescue organizations all over Europe and the United States, have done their part in trying to help as many Galgo and Podenco dogs possible to escape from certain death, inflicted by those that use and abuse these wonderfully elegant and sweet beings. Our utmost respect goes out to those who live the nightmare of animal rescue work day in, day out.

Every time we see and hear about yet another dog being found, we cringe. Broken bones can in most cases be healed. But what about the broken souls? We’d like to introduce you to Amy. You can read her story by clicking on her name.

The story of Mateo

Here is a story that needs to be told. Some of the names are changed to protect the vulnerable ones among us.

mateocrying

Ivan shared this in the old board group. These pictures were taken back in 2013. In December, the last month. This is Mateo. As you can see, he is crying in the picture above. Do you recognize any of the dogs? They’re Ivan’s. Mateo was leaving. He was going back home. Not only to his family but WITH his family. What happened before these pictures were taken?

Ivan came across a homeless guy some day, months earlier. They somehow connected and Ivan decided to give this guy a place to sleep. He took him home. His name is Mateo. Ivan then saw Mateo had a strong connection to the animals, they all loved him. There was something very odd about Mateo, but his connection to animals was profound. And so Ivan found himself the ideal petsitter while he was out on rescue missions or at the veterinary clinics, at the boarding facility or on the road. Ivan was gradually teaching Mateo something, and vice versa. They hung out together, they dined together, Ivan took him to the hairdresser and the homeless guy had found some purpose in life.

mateohairdresser

Then one day, everything was off. Ivan had to take Mateo to the hospital. Mateo was in a psychosis. He hears voices in his head, and for a long time he had managed to control those voices. But not this time. Ivan spent hours in hospital waiting with Mateo. Who was totally zoned out. Ivan showed us in the old board group, and we all freaked out. They all knew, they all worried, they all advised Ivan to do the right thing by himself and his animals. If Mateo was in a psychosis hearing voices, what if those voices told him to hurt the animals? Mateo did say he was fighting those voices who wanted him to do bad stuff. Raciel freaked out, everybody freaked out, everybody was concerned for Ivan and his animals. But Ivan didn’t know what would be the best thing to do, he couldn’t and wouldn’t just dump Mateo, or leave him on the streets again, and he realized it would be an impossible responsibility to be taking care of a guy with a condition like Mateo apparently suffers.

Mateo was fine again when the hospital gave him medication. But it would still be a risk, or too heavy a responsibility for Ivan. Ivan also realized this, and then he decided to try and locate Mateo’s family. He managed to track them down, we helped looking for names and possible addresses, and Ivan at some point found what he believed was Mateo’s family and he called them.

THEY WERE OVER THE MOON. His mother, his brother.

Mateo went missing a couple of months ago, and they looked for him without any luck. The whole family came to Valencia to pick him up. Mateo was also glad to be reunited with his family, and it was a very emotional reunion. But it was also a very emotional goodbye. Mateo loved Ivan’s furry family very much, and they loved him dearly as well, as you can see in these pictures when he is saying goodbye to his friends. It took a little time for Ivan to realize this was the best thing to do, have Mateo reunited with his family, even if it meant taking Mateo away from the furry family he had grown so close to in the months they lived together. Ivan has nothing to feel bad about and can even be proud, he really made a difference in Mateo’s life. For the better. He did not abandon his friend.

mateoreunited

mateosayinggoodbye

Ivan did not want for any of us to talk about this, but it’s a story that needs to be told. I have never been so angry and sad about what has happened with Let’s Adopt! Global as I am these days. Ivan is not a saint, and he’s the first one to admit to his flaws, faults and mistakes… but he is not the embodiment of evil.

So here it is, this is part of Mateo’s story. I hope that the old board members who took over the community Viktor founded and who now run LAG, remember what it was like, how for once the whole board stood together to help both Ivan and Mateo. I hope they will do the right thing, by the animals they once took under their wing together, as Let’s Adopt! Global. (Update. Alas they didn’t. They did not honor their commitment and abandoned the LAG animals. They refused to pay their bills. Very sad.)

Have a good summer!

Hi everyone!

Our stats show that certain folks visit this blog almost every day, apparently anxious to see whether we will post any updates about what has been a hot topic in some animal rescue circles. Sorry to have to disappoint you, but it’s not going to happen. The Dark Side of Animal Rescue served its purpose, but has reached the end of its cycle now that everybody seemed to have moved on into their own respective directions.

Although it’s not nearly the kind of summer we used to know, we will still embrace it and go with the flow of each new day. Our suitcases are packed for new adventures elsewhere already. Thanks to those who supported our efforts to find justice and keep things fair and real.

Be kind to animals, and kind to each other.

suitcases

Jordan Animal Rescue

Jordan Animal Rescue

We’d like to introduce another rescue in the Middle East to you. This time we’d like you to meet Jordan Animal Rescue, run by our friend Faten Haddad and her friends. Please check them out and offer your support where possible!

Jordan Animal Rescue is a non-profit network of volunteers dedicated to the rescue, treatment, and adoption of homeless animals in Jordan. Their primary focus is upon finding loving families and “forever homes” for the multitude of abandoned dogs and cats on the streets of Amman. They also support the efforts of other animal rescue operations, both in Jordan and in neighboring Middle Eastern countries, occasionally partnering with other organizations to facilitate international adoptions.

Information support is an important secondary focus of Jordan Animal Rescue. In a cultural climate where animal welfare is not a high priority, raising awareness of proper pet-care techniques is vital, particularly concerning spaying/neutering, nutrition, health care, and anti-theft measures. Other secondary goals include prevention of animal cruelty and government lobbying to implement animal welfare laws.

Jordan Animal Rescue is firmly opposed to the breeding or selling of animals. Their rescue and adoption procedures are strictly not-for-profit, and our volunteers work tirelessly to combat the various breeding networks in Amman. We believe that animals should be loved and cared for, not used or profited from, and this ethic infuses every aspect of their operations.

Mica