What AARCS Has to Say
Katie is a young and energetic animal lover and our vice president! Katie has been an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer, unselfishly donating a large amount of time to helping our animals. During this time, she has been a dependable volunteer who is always willing to take on a new project to ensure the growth and success of the organization.
Katie?s greatest asset to the organization is her natural ability to communicate with animals, making her an ideal candidate for our rescue team. We have witness many times her ability to stay calm around frightened and/or aggressive dogs. In addition, her knowledge of medical needs makes her a great candidate for special needs dogs. Katie is the foster-mom to our special needs dog Maui and has altered her life and her home to ensure Maui?s comfort and will be her foster mom for as long as it takes, if that means forever.
Katie also assists in many other areas of the organization including volunteer, donation pick up and storage, food coordinating and storage. She also manages incoming phone calls and emails from the reserve as well as from the public.
Katie recent completed a dog-training course in Victoria and recently developed a number of programs for people looking for all sorts of training/assistance. (www.thegoodmutt.com). Thank you Katie, for sticking with us through the hard times, for always showing ambition and drive and most of all for giving your heart and soul to these very needy animals.
A Few Words from the Volunteer
he road to rescue isn?t an easy one but it sure is rewarding. Rescue has never been a glamour job by any means. I?ve often wondered why I took a shower before going on a rescue run. People always say you think you?ve seen it all and then something will happen that surprises you. Well, I think that?s mostly true, but I think the AARCS rescue team can tell you we?ve come close to seeing it all; lice, ticks, mange, worms, vomit, diarrhea, open wounds, puss, goo and other things I won?t even tell you about. None of it is new or surprising to us anymore. Not only have we seen it, but smelt it, felt it, and been covered in it. Aside from a million puppy kisses on the way home the real reward is the hot shower when you get home after an exhausting day rescuing dogs. It?s a dirty job but someone has to do it and yet you don?t have to twist my rubber arm to get me out there. Its often been the highlight of my contributions to AARCS. There are so many other parts that go into rescue that not everyone knows about. Rescue hasn?t quite made me a jack of all trades yet but I?m definitely a more well-rounded person when it comes to completing a myriad of tasks. Donation pick ups and requests, assisting other volunteers, business, networking, rescue of dogs, aftercare and so much more I?ve done a little bit of everything. I joined AARCS when it was very much still in its infancy and seen it grow into the master piece it is today. Other hobbies and interests weren?t as fulfilling and I started a journey looking for something to make me feel like I belonged, and was a part of something bigger then just me. All my life I have been an animal person so rescue seemed like a natural choice and I was hooked instantly. If it?s true that everyone on this earth has a higher purpose I certainly think I found mine. Rescue isn?t just all about dogs. We help people too. We believe in responsible pet ownership and spread the message wherever we go. We provide education and assistance to those that need it. We provide peace of mind to those that aren?t able to help animals, knowing that we can step in on their behalf. We fill hearts and homes with the affection of a faithful companion. And at the end of the day I know I made a difference. When you send money to a lot of charities you don?t actually get to see your contribution put to use first hand but with AARCS I have seen the lives over 500 dogs change. Many of those wouldn?t have been possible without the help of AARCS.
In rescue, the ultimate goal if put yourself out of business, hence the motto ?Until there are none, rescue one.? Sadly, rescue never stops. There is always a need far greater then I even want to comprehend. Many will not be saved but I can?t focus on those ones or I would have given up long ago. Instead you have to look at the ones you were able to save. You know that you just changed the whole existence which that animal knew before you saved it.
AARCS has been so much more then just a volunteer position for me. I have given unimaginable amounts of time to AARCS but every bit of it has been worth it. I have fostered Maui since she was a 4 week, 4.1 pound pup for the last year and half. We have dealt with numerous medical issues, complications and limitations but I got to see her grow into the beautiful soul she is today. What?s not rewarding in that? I adopted Sydney who had a partially severed foot after being shot and nearly starved to death. I almost forgot to mention that she was mom to 9 puppies that were all saved too. She had 3 surgeries to save her leg and it was 8 weeks of bandages, stitches, vet appointments, and hoping that the stitches would hold and the surgery worked to keep her as a 4 legged dog. Not a day goes by that I can?t help but think she wouldn?t be here today without my assistance. Sydney was the first dog that I received an emergency call about and went out to pick up without the usual rescue team. I had no idea what journey I was getting into that day but over 2 years later I?m so glad it happened. It wasn?t all easy and I can tell you stories that will make you laugh and me want to cry about some of Syd?s antics. I have literally spent days at the vet, thousands of kilometers driving, hours on the phone and computer, done presentations, handed out cards and pamphlets and told the world about the work AARCS does. I have been rewarded with a family of 2 and 4 legged companions, support and praise from family friends and strangers. We have loved and lost together, laughed and cried together. There aren?t too many other experiences I can think of that could have brought me the stories, rewards, memories and friends that I have made during my time with AARCS. It?s been an amazing run and I?m always excited to see what the future has in store. We joke that once you start, you?re a ?lifer? and I honestly couldn?t picture it any other way. I have said it before about Maui but it rings true to all parts of my experience of volunteering for AARCS ?the care and attention you put in is returned tenfold.?