Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We'll take our puppy kisses to go, please

Deployments are always physically challenging. The very nature of the work we do -- temporary emergency animal sheltering -- means lots of bending and lifting and scrubbing and walking. Repeat until done. Then do it again the next day. It is exhausting work, but the reward of helping the helpless makes it worthwhile.

This deployment is a particularly busy and physically demanding one. Even with the largest team of RedRover Responders volunteers deployed so far in 2011, volunteers are feeling the pressure of taking care of 545 dogs and counting. A total of 35 RedRover Responders volunteers have deployed so far, and there will be at least 5 more RedRover Responders volunteers deployed before our team is through. A large contingent of volunteers are from the Montreal area, and others have traveled from Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Ontario. The RedRover Responders volunteer team is acting as the main sheltering crew, with some help from local shelter affiliates.

By this stage in the deployment, day 6, volunteers would normally blog about the individual animals and their personalities, and tell their stories. However, with the huge number of animals that RedRover Responders volunteers are caring for, the day is so long and so full of moment-to-moment activity that volunteers simply haven't had the time to revel in puppy kisses and develop favorite animals, let alone sit down and write their stories.

The volunteers' focus, as always, is on giving the dogs the best care they can receive in the temporary shelter environment. Starting on the first evening the dogs arrived after their long trek from the breeding operation, litters of puppies are being born at the shelter, making the total number of dogs a moving target. All the nursing moms require extra attention to make sure they are eating and getting the support they need to care for their litters. Older puppies are carefully introduced to soft, solid food as they become ready. The work demands attention to detail, and on a large scale.

A press conference was held today, and some updates have been published in the media:
Thank you RedRover Responders volunteers, once again you are doing an amazing job in a challenging situation, making the best of the available resources and keeping the animals' needs first.

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