Real Rescue News
Blog for Real Rescue Inc on the straynomore.com website
Dear RRI Supporter,
April 15 makes most Americans think of one thing: taxes. But this tax week, we are thinking about generous friends like you, and the true value of your donations.
As you review your giving for the year, here are some of the totals you probably didn’t know. Your tax-deductible gifts to Real Rescue in 2014 gave:
- 25 PETS special veterinary care providing them comfort and survival and became more available for placement in forever homes.
- More than 200 animals, including our pot bellied pigs, had a good meal every day with nourishing food, a safe place to sleep, or other vital care.
- More than 150 animals had the flea and tick and heartworm preventative they require.
- Your support helped to shelter 20 more dogs in new waterproof kennels.
- Many older pets that are not adoptable are getting elder care at a special location similar to a nursing home for them. This makes RRI truly no kill.
This tax day is almost behind us. But in 2015 many more pets will need our help for sanctuary and a chance at a forever home of their own. Strays struggle to eat before they are caught and their needs met. Surrendered animals will come from those people who cannot find work and can’t make ends meet. Our more frail and most elderly residents in the sanctuary need help daily in regard to medication and special food.
Please take a moment to give another tax-deductible donation now.
Those waiting to be pets again are without a voice, other than our own. They are counting on all of us and your continued generosity. Thank you for thinking of them at this special time. All donations are fully tax deductible up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.
Your friends at Real Rescue Inc.
Your gift will provide support to pets in need. To help deliver the most effective solutions to the greatest number of pets, your donation will be combined with other funds and used where it is most needed at the sanctuary.
We thank you for your compassion and generosity.
Yes. It is Spring, and June 6, 2015 will mark Real Rescue’s 13th year at the 80 acre farm sanctuary near Arcadia, Oklahoma. We’ve learned so much in that time, and shared so much with two legged as well as four legged animals which could easily fill a 130 page book devoting 10 pages to each year. Looking back, it is understandable why people relish the onerous but wonderful time lines provided by diaries.
During the week, I go to the farm sanctuary to work and check on everyone there, and now, it is still daylight. Been a long time, a winter’s time, since that has happened. It adds a weekend type festivity to the weekday air.
The yard dogs are always glad to greet me as a carefully make my way up the drive, but I can see them now as they approach and no matter what kind of day I have had at the office, their wagging tails always cheer me up. “Look whose here, they seem to say in unison, and we are happy you are!” I know there are skirmish among them at times, and some days the older dogs feel better in the bone than other days, but for that brief time, that wonderful time of greeting, all seems right with the world as it is.
So it is with Spring. In that brief moment, that first realization of another Spring, another bloom making a whole tree pink, or orange, or white… well all seems right with the world one more time.
Now for the tarp and straw removal, the spring cleaning, the hoped for keeping of the ticks and fleas at bay, the renewed determination to fight for life, for less distress and dis-ease, and to experience the eternal springing of hope for a perfect home for every animal I greet!
Thank you to Hugg & Hall Equipment Co. of Oklahoma City for their much appreciated help of equipment rental and delivery of food generously donated by Merrick! Your help is so appreciated! And again, a heartfelt thank you to Merrick for your very generous wonderful donation of canned dog food for the dogs at RRI!
Thank you very much to the following companies who provided a donation to Real Rescue Inc in 2014.
Dolese Concrete Inc.
General Materials Inc.
Delco Electric Inc.
Merrick Foods Inc.
Sams Club Inc.
Crest Foods Inc.
Combined Federal Campaign Inc.
The webmistress is an amateur photographer who went to high school with Chris Venters. 100% of profits from ANY AND ALL sales go to Real Rescue Inc! Notecards which you can personalize to say whatever you want to say inside it are a great way to feed some dogs for a month! Buy them as a gift for a friend, and let them know the profits will help feed dogs and cats at the sanctuary rescue. Go to the links to get to the page or go to coertje-feil.artistwebsites.com/
AND PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOUR ANIMAL LOVING FRIENDS!! Thank you so much!
A special note to all federal employees who may be ‘checking us out’ at this time….First, thank you all so much for last year’s contributions !!! We are very appreciative, and due to your generosity we were able to help many lost, abandoned, and generally unwanted precious pets at Real Rescue. Our rescue work depends on your continued support, and we hope that you will donate to us again this year. There are many worthy causes, and we know it is hard to choose, but here are a few facts about Real Rescue. We try to help any animal that we become aware needs help. If someone calls, and we are not able to personally help them, we will give them suggestions and phone numbers of those who can help them. We try especially to be of service to elderly people and elderly animals, both of whom are under served in our community. Our rescue is also a life long sanctuary for animals that do not get a home. We are a no-kill facility. Thank you again for your help this past year, and we thank you in advance for your support in 2016!!!
It is probably a good rule of thumb I heard not to blog before 8 am. But what about blogging about things that happened before 8 am after 8 am? (A mind is a terrible thing to waste but it does not seem so with questions on it like this.)
Well my mind is caught up in a 4:30 am event that happened today. I got up to do the animals I try to clean and feed before I go to work and to go to Moore, Oklahoma to get the dog food donations at Crest and still have time to get my 50 cent coffee at McDonalds for seniors like me. That is kind of my reward for making it to work on time… for a change.
But at 4:30 as I stumbled out of bed to find my clothes and shoes in the front bedroom where our dog Sophie is staying, I saw her laying on her bed sound asleep. I woke her by my actions. Ever been awakened at 4:30 am? I can think of a few choice words. But as I sat in a chair in there to put on my shoes, Sophie raised herself up to come over to me whining in that loving way and placing her head under my hand to be petted. She wanted to tell me how much she cared and to show me some love and attention even at that wee hour. Sophie is a rottie mix an elderly couple rescued under a bridge in Midwest City because school kids were taunting her and throwing rocks at her on their way home from school. She is about twelve now and quite arthritic and it is not easy for her to get up and come over like that in the wee hours. I said to myself. It is no wonder that people love dogs like they do. They have such caring and forgiving natures. They find the best in whatever situation is presented to them, and give of themselves without question or hesitation if they can. I was there and she was there and she needed to acknowledge that. After she was finished, she went back to her bed, and laid down and looked at me in that loving way and with that cup of kindness, my cup of coffee later on, was only icing on the cake.
We started rescuing the pot bellied pigs and goats from the shelter because no one else would. That meant that basically the City had little alternative except to end their lives and it is not easy to humanely end the life of a very large, fairly healthy, animal. Since we have filled our acre now with 22 pigs and goats, I wonder who has stepped in to take our place in all that. I hope someone does because they are an interesting group to rescue and care for. We have placed two goats and six pigs since we started in 2003 but we have to be very careful to find experienced people with forever homes who want goat and pig pets. It is nice to know they exist though.
One of the things I have noticed is that they are a strong group of animals to simply pass by. If they need something, they send out the strongest vibes on the farm from their pen. It always turns heads in their direction. It is a collective look at me. I think the relationship between barnyard animals and humans is so ancient and so universal that a secret network is on alert at all times for needs back and forth. One can almost feel if things are not going right in the pig and goat pen. Sometimes it is that they have run out of water if they have already been fed, or they need their bathing hole restock in the summer. There is one thing they like to do that is almost unexplainable. They love to run with a car or truck. Their acre is long and if you pass by in the field next to them in a pickup the whole group of pigs and goats take off like a bullet following the truck up the hill and then down again. Pigs are much faster than their bulk and stubby legs allow for, but if the goats catch up to one they simply leap over and keep their own pace. It is something you can tell that they are all truly enjoying. No matter what they are doing they will turn in mass toward the moving truck and take off like a massive bullet train. It gives me pause and a good laugh and I am glad they are alive to have that moment in time…. happy time. ~Chris
Seven years into caring for dogs, I have found a couple of interesting things that might be helpful to others. I cannot remember most of them until I am in the middle of my need for them so I cannot write about those in the comfort of my office. However a couple always come to mind.
The first is the incredible response of most all dogs to the word “Here.” If I call a dog to come or go a certain direction, they always respond better if I use the word, “here..here..”.in succession…instead of any other word. I think the word is very clear and distinct sounding to a dog’s hearing. At any rate I can usually get them to respond or come or whatever if I use that word.
The second thing of interest is about “calling“ deaf dogs. We have several blind or deaf dogs and one blind and deaf dog. We have found that white dogs of any breed or mix are more often deaf than other colors. But I had to have a way to get them in the house without calling for them. One evening after dark, I accidentally discovered that a deaf dog will come to dinner and learn to come easily by blinking the porch light off and on. I began doing this routinely and the learn time was about two days.
And surprisingly all the other dogs in the group that can hear also picked up on it. Now all I have to do to call the group in, is blink the porch light, and voila the crew descends upon me. Kind of nice when the neighbors are asleep. ~ Chris
I heard a story on NPR that might be a winner for us at the rescue. It concerns gift card balances. Gift cards are now a 30 billion dollar industry. Many gift cards are lost, or abandoned in drawers and even if used, the balances are abandoned in drawers. The retailers do not know what to do with the value so they have been asking and half the states have started unclaimed property funds for gift card balances. For example, New York did this and collected 6 million in gift card balances as of last year. In all they paid back $2000 in claims and the rest the state took for itself.
Now that is fine. Only half the states though have caught on so far… and besides maybe you would rather help the animals at Real Rescue than the states? If so, you can send us the gift cards as a donation-no money needed–just check those kitchen drawers! etc…. If you want I can send back a 501c3 tax receipt for the amounts on the cards, if yourequest it, but please just send us the old cards or unwanted gift cards! I think it is a winning idea, according to the state of New York anyway, and we can get in on the ground floor before a lot of other states.
Just send old gift cards that may have a balance on them to Real Rescue Inc and we’ll do the rest. Thanks. ~Chris
PO Box 358
Arcadia Ok, 73007
Ad on Craig’s list-
Gift Card Balances to the Rescue
“Got an old gift card with a too small balance in your drawer? Real Rescue Inc can cash these no matter how much is left on them. A forty four cent stamp multiplied many times can be a God send to the animals at this no kill shelter. Please consider it. States are collecting millions in gift card balances. Send your card where it can do the most good for stray and abandoned pets. Send them to RRI P.O. Box 358 Arcadia Ok 73007. And thank you.”
This from various writings from Chris… “We have rescued all kinds of animals and even have a rescued iguana and exotic birds too… and guinea pigs and rabbits and goats and pigs and even keep rescued emus for our vet now… and we help anyone and everyone including people who need help with a dog they cannot keep or just found on the street and did not want to take to the pound, and a lot of older deaf and blind dogs and a lot of crazy looking or mangy puppies and dogs, or crippled animals including a crippled cat… and dogs with cancer who are not ready to die yet, and older or younger dogs and cats with people who are dying or died and want to save their pets from the pound. The need is over whelming. I never knew on a daily basis what a crisis it was, and that is why getting into the rescue business remains so compelling every day. I heard today that 14,000 people a day lose their health coverage from lost jobs. It is staggering and it is kind of how I feel with the animals… thousands need us everyday, and we can only reach a few of those in need.”
“We have one horse still with me. Lucy has bad feet and I cannot ride her, but I saved her and that makes me glad. The vet gave her a 10% chance in 1990 so she beat his odds by far.”
“I figure we have about 180 dogs at any given time and 75 cats and 22 pigs and 3 goats and one iguana and one horse rescued” (and currently at the shelter).
I have not mentioned the pigs and goats much at the sanctuary. They come from all animal shelters in the area. Found on the street or left at abandoned homes after their people moved out… things like that. Sometimes we have to go to the abandoned barn or house and try to catch them. We have had to invent techniques for this. We have about 22 pigs there and 3 goats and one barbado sheep; we have placed 5 pigs in the last seven years and about 4 goats. In placing these animals, one really has to feel comfortable that they are going to be pets and not passed along through the food chain or sold at public livestock auctions after being used to clear brush as far as the goats are concerned.
Betsy is our largest white pig although she came to us as our smallest pig. Pot bellied pigs are white or white/black or black usually. We have a couple of golden brown ones but people tell us that is a sure sign of another type pig being involved. Betsy was left in a nurse’s front yard in a small basket as a baby. She had a note with her that said, “Please take care of Clementine for us. We had to move and could not take her, and we thought you would be the best place. She is very sweet and cuddly.” The nurse was an animal person, but she did not know how to care for a baby pig or have a place for her. When she called, I wanted to encourage her to keep her as a house pet, but when there is reluctance on the other side in regard to trying something new, well, it is not something to push when it comes to animals. So we took her in as one of our pot bellied pigs. And in a very short time, she was the largest pig we had… almost doubling the size of our other pot bellied pigs. Someone saw her at the farm, and said, ‘That’s no pot bellied pig… had to have some Hampshire in her.’
So little Clementine became big Betsy like sweet Betsy from Pike who crossed the wide prairies with her husband Ike…
She is sweet. They were right about that, and although she doubles the size of most of the pigs, everyone, even the smallest pot bellied pig, pushes her around. Why is that, I wonder. It may simply be the fact that she is different. She did not grow up with siblings either fighting for a place. But I wonder if there is a pecking order having to do with smell that says… hey… you are not really one of us, and I do not care how big you are… so go to the back of the line. At any rate, she does not fight it, but obeys the internal pecking order.
Now this presents a little quandry for me at feeding time. I call the goats in… the real pigs of the bunch, to lock them in the carport area so they will not eat all the pigs’ food. I then go to the pig pans one by one. Betsy is always bumped pan to pan until we are out of pans. I continue my route and call Tilly, Elmo and Pepper to the bottom lot to feed these 3 older pigs separately, and they come running even if they have a pig pan and are eating away with the other pigs. They leave the food. They like to be fed separately in their very own area. They bump each other around but they are small bumps with only three pigs and close by pans to contend with. And when I give the bread over the fence, they have all they can eat down there.
Well Betsy has caught on. Yes, that is a good deal she sees and wants in on it. But I am reluctant to let her in on the deal. She is young and big, and does not seem to fit in with the three old pigs either. I am concerned she would eat most all of it. She has done that when the gate was not closed tight, and she snuck in after me. I block her at the gate, and tell her no. She looks at me and slowly turns around. She looks back, and I shake my head, and she trots off quickly trying to find a pan before it is all gone. It took me a while to learn how verbal pigs are. Almost more than dogs and cats, they respond to oral statements. This makes them easy to work with. Otherwise size would prohibit turning her around. Betsy asks me every day, and I say no, and she turns around. I will have to figure out something special for her. But I also think. Every day it is something new, and with every group of animals I approach there is a world of life and interaction taking place which we only get a glimpse of as we pass by. At a time when I used to eat my bacon and rush to work, I am now trying to figure out how to help Betsy. ” ~Chris
The two new pups about six months old came from the El Reno shelter on a mass save that stopped about 40 euthanasias. The lady who asked us to get them out, placed the easiest 20 first, but these two pups, well, I do not know what they are, except happy little guys expecting love and friendship from the world, in spite of their mangy look. When they realized they would get fed and some attention with us, they calmed down and the mange cleared more on one than the other but I have my hopes up on both someday. At any rate, I single them out for another tale.
Their names are Jimmie and Charlie. And Jimmie must be the equivalent of a dog genius. Charlie puts him in his place any time he feels like it. And that seems to be more often these days. Jimmie tries to get in the dog house when he feels one of those outbursts coming on. But at feeding time the tables turn and it must be true that necessity is the mother of invention.
I first tried to feed them in their pen together. Charlie ran from bowl to bowl keeping Jimmie at bay. So I put Jimmie’s bowl out in the foyer. Charlie then ran from his bowl to Jimmie’s bowl out in the foyer so I shut the gate to keep Charlie in. When Jimmie saw the plan, he made his move the next night. I got the first scoop of food, which of course, had to go to Charlie. Jimmie bravely ran over to Charlie’s bowl to eat it. Charlie was appalled. How dare that little squirt be so brazenly brave under the circumstances. He ran over to claim his bowl of food! Right at the last minute when Jimmie had Charlie totally committed to the bowl, he bolted out the gate and over to where I had placed the food in the foyer the night before. And looked up at me. I quickly filled his bowl and immediately shut the gate between them. We do it regularly the same way every night now and it makes it all very easy on me. Thanks Jimmie for being so smart! ”
“Big Red was at the farm when we arrived there in the summer of ’02.” I like to do that… like writing a western novel of those country western days when they wrote… it was the summer of ’02 and the railroad tracks were almost laid down across our valley constant reminders of un imagined things to come…’
Well, but he was a typical yellow tabby short haired male… the leader of a group of 10 short hair yellow tabby cats… and I never really understood from Lou, their human, who was who in regard to moms, dads, and offspring, except for the three siblings that always walked behind her across the yard with their tails completely intertwined like a barbershop pole. It stopped me in my tracks each time I watched them move along as a unit. It was their form of visual purring. And Big Red, he watched too from a distance, leader of the pack.
I caught them to have them vaccinated and fixed when we moved there, but once was enough for Big Red, and when Lou moved two years later, Big Red could not be caught. I hated that because he would lose his group but worse than that my dogs did not accept him as part of the farm, and every time he showed himself they chased him into the woods.
Yesterday marked the seventh summer when I have looked into the woods or well house for Big Red, wondering each time if he had survived his wild life style. I do keep food for him in the well house, but he has to get there in all kinds of weather and compete with all kinds of critters for it, and just plain survive the constant vigilance of being small in a wild world.
Yesterday, well, yesterday, he was on top of the well house, a goodly distance for the wild side, and I was unloading the goat and pig food and day old bread we get. He meowed, and so I went and checked his food bowl. All was well, and I told him so. He meowed again, and I looked right at him.
Now mind you, I had no spare minutes by my watch, only his, but it intrigued me. He seemed closer on the well house than before, and I reached up at him. He let me touch him and start to pet him and leaned hard into my hand. I could not believe it. He did not want me to stop, and I know that he had not been petted for at least seven years.
I had to get ready to go to work and finish the chores, so I finally begged off, but he jumped down and followed me. I watched the dogs carefully. Three of the other cats were there, and he kind of blended in, and if one dog showed an interest I distracted him or her… so he was not chased in that setting. I fed the pigs and goats, and he was right there. I walked up to him, and he did not run, but let me pet him while he watched the dogs. I went to feed the cats, and he came over there, and I put some feed on the ground for him.
It was the strangest behavior in an animal that I have ever seen. He was almost completely tamed in an instant and wanted people. I thought he might be very ill, but he was not. What happened to him after so long? I had barely caught a glimpse of him through the years, and I could never get close. Why did he trust me so now and want to be close and be petted? It was not like he was looking for an opening all those years because I know I tried before I gave up.
I could have stayed there all day getting to know him and encourage him, and I even thought of taking him into the cat trailer, but he had his freedom and had made it, and I hated to take that away just to protect him.
What happens to us sometimes? It is strange and sometimes just unexplainable. We have a life course or a certain belief and then one day, all has changed in that regard. Big Red had turned a corner and wanted people in his life again. He had made that choice, and for the remainder of his years, I hope to give him that feeling again. ” ~Chris
Fall is CFC time!
Any time is a great time to remember to ask federal friends to sign up for CFC # 62513. federal campaign giving pledge for 2016!
Each season brings its own set of needs to Real Rescue. As it gets much cooler, it reminds us winter is around the corner. Right now in addition to the ever present food and vet bills needs, we are looking for funds for winter medications, winter tarps, dog houses, and new fencing. The Combined Federal Campaign is a great and easy way to help Real Rescue meet monthly needs every year, and we and the animals in our care are so grateful for those who gave in the past and hope they and their federal friends will give for 2016!
WHAT ABOUT THE COME-BACK KIDS? (PLACEMENT AND SANCTUARY VERSUS PLACEMENT OR SANCTUARY) from Chris – from the archives February 2010
One would think placement and sanctuary automatically go hand in hand. But we have discovered that is not always the case, and much confusion can result. Sanctuaries are often confused with people who do not wish to place, and who just keep more animals than they can care for. This is called hoarding. This is like confusing apples with oranges because they are both round and are fruits. The first thing we did when we decided to ‘really rescue’ animals formally from the streets, from people who could no longer keep them and from kill shelters was to look for a proper site for a sanctuary. A sanctuary has to be in a location where many animals can live in peace and within the legal structure which always limit numbers allowed within city limits. This took about six months. We were lucky to find a location within our home county which is way over 50 % urbanized.
Yet as we enter our eighth year there in June, 2010, we have found that many people go into rescue operations with no plans to provide a sanctuary for old, unfriendly, difficult to place animals, or what we call come-back kids, the animals who were not successfully placed and who end up coming back. It might seem to be putting the cart before the horse, but according to the people who have a rescue and yet make no plans for providing a sanctuary, the two concepts are not tied in a knot. One certainly can rescue, for a time, many animals and try to re-home them, and do a lot of good and help a lot of animals which otherwise would be euthanized, and do this without a back-up sanctuary. And we support these efforts of course for the greater good they do. However for us at Real Rescue, the mission would not have been complete without having the sanctuary first. We are truly no kill, and the sanctuary is our guarantee and promise to the animals who cross our path that we will not give up on them if they can not be re-homed or are health compromised or homely or not trainable in human terms. For example, we have a dog that we placed twice who came back both times because she is basically not trainable and hyper. She is doing fine at the farm, but otherwise would have no place to live. One can always hope that someone will come along someday and like her in spite of her traits of being hyper and not trainable, and that has happened before to our great pleasure and surprise with other hard to place animals.
I have learned lately that there are placement only facilities which do not have and would never consider having a sanctuary. Some sanctuaries might be confused with hoarding by some people. Those people abhor so-called hoarding with a passion. These placement only facilities do sometimes give up on animals which cannot be placed due to health or behavior issues or who will not stay placed. These animals are usually sent back to kill shelters and are killed upon relinquishment. At least these animals had a chance, and that is more than so many animals get in America. But we feel even animals who cannot be easily placed deserve more than just one chance. America is a smart country and rich enough to avoid pet overpopulation but has never chosen to do so. It is a matter of choice as it is politically easier for governments to spend the money and time to run kill shelters as compared to spending money on spay and neuter and law enforcement which would save so much suffering in the long run. We have a long way to go as a country but, in the short run, I would recommend to those who have placement only facilities that you try to line yourself up with an animal sanctuary instead of a local kill shelter for animals you cannot place. It just is one more step toward moving the country and humanity forward. ~Chris