Thursday, February 24, 2022

It ain't all glamour...a day in the life of a rescue worker

I got up Tuesday morning to receive a message that my Facebook account, the one I have used for many years to save animals and help other rescues, shelters and pet owners, was disabled. And this isn't the first time. Because I use Facebook to do my work, I've been stalked, attacked and my account hamstrung over and over by a bunch of people who hate pit bulls.

People who know me will tell you I am a go-getter. Who else would start a pit bull rescue in the town where lacrosse icon Dianne Whipple was mauled by a Presa-Canario. I say dog in the singular, because I was rescuing in San Francisco from the pound where Hera, the female was locked up for a year awaiting to be used at evidence in a trial where she was already sentenced to be destroyed. Let me tell you, the good people who work behind the scenes caring for these animals had to do so with a heavy heart. Many of them developed a bond with Hera as they cleaned up after her and fed her the prison rations of kibble and tap water. She was not an aggressive dog according to these technicians. This is described more fully in my book, Pit Bull Nation, a behind the scenes look at what goes on in high kill shelters like San Francisco Animal Care and Control.  One of the animal control officers who arrived first on the scene at Whipple's Pacific Heights home told me confidentially that Hera was terrified when they kenneled her. After her arrival at SFACC, her kennel tech told me also in confidence there were traces of canvas from her dog bed in her feces. This was misrepresented, as much was, in court when the prosecution claimed the material to be Dianne Whipple's trousers. A lie.

I'm certainly not saying that all dog attacks need to be excused, but like all trials, they should be fair and follow the rule of law. There was much about the Whipple case that veered from the rule of law. I am one for the truth and nothing but. This is the reason the hate groups started after me, groups that have a nice comfy presence on Facebook.

Another huge dog issue arose and also in San Francisco. It was the case of Charlie, the pit bull that chased the horse in Chrissy Field. At the time, I was writing a column for the Examiner, American Pit Bull Examiner. I took on many topics to do with pit bulls and other animals as in the title of this blog. The anti-Charlie hate group streamed from every corner of the U.S.A. and beyond took up residence in the APBE comments section. This was the group who started en masse complaining to Facebook about me and resulting in my many stints at Facebook jail. To do the work, I'd create another account to share animals on death rows across the nation and beyond. I will say, thousands were saved at the last minute by good people who'd seen the photo and read the piece I'd written.

Finally, the group won. They teamed up with a woman who runs, of all things, a media group formed to cite newspapers for unethical issues. The group and this woman contacted Examiner and had me fired based on a series of untruths. I've documented the entire incident in a petition with details that were altered by the hate

groups and also a list of the people who involved themselves in the mob to get rid of Cindy Marabito. Amazingly, some of these people are involved in rescue, but let their hate and jealousy overcome their mission. I get mad, too, but never let it override the most important job, saving lives. That's the difference between them and me. Sadly, I see the big picture and all of the saved animals whose stories and photographs were wiped out in one fell swoop by haters. Now, that's sad.

What I'd like to do is have one Facebook account with the option to merge my materials into that one presence. It will be some job, because I've collected and posted many photos and essays through the years. I'd like to have those items documented somewhere and until now, Facebook was a good place for that. I spent many years creating business pages for each of the Reunion Rescued dogs, health pages on how to treat your animal holistically and not have huge vet bills, awareness pages, the books I've written for something fun, an Austin, Texas music page among others. None of these pages of which I'm an administrator can function any further.

So between trying to find a new raw food supplier for the cats and dogs here at Reunion Rescue, mopping up urine, keeping the dogs entertained in 28° with rawhides and marrow bones, running the Cracker Jack for America's Favorite Pet campaign without even being able to vote on Facebook, and my bookkeeping job, my writing, cooking and housekeeping among other motley and assorted duties, I'm jotting down a few gripes here. I have more, but I'm a positive person and like to concentrate on the good

things in life, nature, wildlife, birds and these wonderful rescue animals that I am truly blessed to have in my life. It's my reason for getting up with a twinkle in my eye each morning.

I'm blowing off a little steam and hot air, but don't worry about me. Or, the animals in my care. I have suffered through every kind of hardship you can imagine. I'm old enough to remember when Obama started the home modification program for people like me who almost lost their homes during a rough financial period. I remember all of the rescues getting kicked out of their homes and forced to send the animals in their care back to kill shelters. I was one of the lucky ones and never had to lose an animal and in fact, kept writing my articles and pulling dogs the whole time. 

So, on the side of gratitude, I like to look a the photos from time to time. Seeing the image of a dog who was facing a cold death on a shelter slab enjoying a marrow bone or running free in the grass is worth its weight in gold to me. A couple of days ago, I could find tens of thousands of those shots on my Facebook pages. I guess I put cleaning up that 57K in my photos app on the list. Like the manager at work used to say, "There's always something to do."