Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why rescue?

Recently, I found a question posed to both myself and a friend who does ferret rescue in the lower mainland. Paraphrased, the question is essentially this: Why do we choose to invest countless hours, resources and dollars to rescue ferrets?
This is how I view the question: Why do we choose to step in when nobody else will? Why do we choose to give a second chance to an animal who has never been treated well, never loved and never taken care of by the people who purchased it, often on impulse, without a thought for its needs? Why do we take in a damaged animal and give it the help that it needs when so many others would leave it to die? Why do we spend hours teaching animals that, despite what may have happend before, some humans can be trusted, what happiness feels like, what freedom feels like, and above all, what it is like to be truly loved and cared about? Why do we take in broken animals and pay to have them fixed, pay to give them the opportunity to experience what life can offer, what it is like to live without pain, pay to let them live the life that they should have been given the chance to live, had they only been lucky enough to find themselves with an owner that cared rather than the owner that they wound up with?

Why do we do this?

Because nobody else will.

And above all, because we know what it is like to see an animal experience life, love and simple pleasures for the first time. The first dook and kiss of an abused and frightened ferret, the first time the the ferret gets a toy, a cuddle, a kiss, a gentle hand, a treat, and enough food to eat, warm, soft bedding and love.

The first time that the ferret gets used to the idea that he or she does not have to be in pain, does not have to suffer, and will not be forced to live out its life alone in a small cage, forgotten by the family that was so eager to buy it only months before. We can see what others may not be able to see when they look down at a rescued ferret. They may see damaged goods, but we see an animal ready to live life and love, if only they are given the chance.

Why do we choose to rescue, despite the long hours, hard work, the expense, the frustration and the heartbreak?

Because we can see what others can't - we can see potential, and we know that if everyone could see the world as we do, it would be a much better place. This is why we choose to rescue.