I’m writing this in my new home office with Cheese curled up in a little orange fuzzball behind me. I’m so at peace in this room, it is a wonderful feeling. You know what else is a wonderful feeling? Meeting people that inspire you, are kind to you, and believe in the same things you do. That’s been especially true in the rescue world. A world that is often made up of people who often say “I hate people.” Allow me to explain.
When you work in rescue, you see a lot of bad. I’ve only seen a tiny bit compared to others, but it can be heartbreaking. Animals come in with lacerations, broken bones, scars, gaping wounds, and so many other awful circumstances. Even animals that are simply surrendered by their owners is heartbreaking. Senior pets dropped off, babies without their moms left at shelters.
In these moments, it’s easy to think to yourself, “I hate people.” I’ve said it countless times in my head and out loud. Cursing the individual that would harm a defenseless animal that depends on them for love and care. It’s awful and I’ll never downplay that. But when I say “I hate people” I’m almost always surrounded by two or three people that are helping the animal. People that I don’t hate, people that are really good.
Call me naive (I’ll stay that way thank you very much) but I have met far more kind people than unkind people in this world. Specifically, because of the rescue community, I’ve seen the goodness in people. For every sad story I hear, I am reminded of the power and strength there is in people that care. People coming together for events, running marathons for rescues, donating pocket change, volunteering on the weekends, sharing posts. Out of these sad stories I always see the goodness of people. Here are just a few people that care, a lot.
Kristen Gerali from ALIVE Rescue goes above and beyond for the underdogs. She gives feral dogs a chance at a happy, healthy life and spearheads campaigns to make Chicago a better city for its animals.
Shelly Casey and Chris Guttierrez are the founders of The CatCade and if they’re not the nicest people you’ve ever met, you’re plain wrong. They are the definition of loving everybody for who they are, judgment-free. Oh, and they’ve saved like 400+ cats in a year.
Anna Johnson from Chicago Canine Rescue loves senior dogs and has poured money and time into giving them the best end of life care. She gives them a chance to live their golden years in loving homes.
Lydia Krupinski the Director of Community Programs for the Anti-Cruelty Society who went out of her way to help me with my foster kittens. She always goes above and beyond her job responsibilities to help so many animals.
Sarah Lauch from Live Like Roo Foundation works a full-time job (as an Emmy winning producer) and then comes home and works her ass off to raise money to help people pay their dog’s cancer medical bills.
Heather Owen from One Tail at a Time quit her job as an attorney to help Chicago become a No-Kill. She and OTAT are one of the most powerful voices for animals in Chicago.
Josh Feeney who volunteers to take photos of animals for Chicago Animal Care and Control in his free time. I’ve truly never seen so many dogs obsessed with one person.
Susan Russel, the former Director at Chicago Animal Care and Control gave everything she could to the animals of our city. She created such positive change at CACC, we are lucky to have had her.
…and so soooo many others.
Amanda Burchfield, Beckie Tomala, Johanna Bertini, Natalie Ruzgis, Dana Zemanovic, Jes Hiltner, Lindy Sidelsky, Abby Dickman, Cara Schwalbach, Jenny Schleuter, Natalie Darcy, Margaret Rajic, Katie Koosman, Alicia Boemi, Erin Kowalski, Erin Linklater, Tara Laffey, Carolina Hernandez, Cynthia Bathhurst, Jon Davis, Heather LaGrippe, Sarah Gaziano, Christopher Nendick.
I’m missing people, I know I am and I’m sorry this list isn’t full or complete. It’s just to give you an idea of how many wonderful people are out there. They’re doing amazing things that I only recently have had the pleasure to know.
So, in conclusion, do people suck? Yeah, sure there are some real shitty people out there who do barbaric things to animals. I hate what those people do. But I don’t hate people. There are too many amazing individuals out there to hate an entire species. I won’t let a couple of bad people ruin that for me. I will choose to see the good and the many kind, caring, helpful people that are doing some amazing work for our homeless animals.
Lucy – this senior sweet is an angel. She needs someone who will be patient with her and help her learn to trust again. She’s had a tough life in and out of the shelter so she is ready for her forever home. She’s a very sweet girl and would do well in a quieter home. For more information on Lucy, click here.
Reggie – Oh you want a beautiful, purebred Australian Shepherd?! Meet Reggie… this boy has brains and beauty. He’s so smart and knows so many commands. He has a bit of separation anxiety and would do well in a home with someone who is around often. For more information about Reggie, click here.
Duckie – Found his forever home!
Wearing my #StrongBitch tank and this Orphans of the Storm tank!
All photos Josh Feeney