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The Heart Of A Rescuer

By Penny Dewoehrel

I can speak of this due to my experiences as a horse rescuer. I began A.A.P.I. in 1993; we rescued horses/ponies fully intended for human consumption. We barely made enough money to cover our costs involved to save an animal. I have earned the right to say this to the people that simply sit on their couches & watch the computer. A rescue begins out of the heartache of one person and thru shedding many tears, trials and errors, ups and downs, it grows and grows. Not always steady it grows but it grows. You people that do not do what the heart of a rescuer does, you need to experience it first hand.

You hear A single heart beat from one person, whom sits on a cold bench waiting to see the next victim come thru a tiny door of despair and prays there is enough money in their pockets to make a difference for at least one lost soul. The rescuer gets an animal home, it is dehydrated, hungry, scared to death, been abused by the hand that swore to care for and love it. The rescuer slowly calms the animal down, gives it some food and water and tries to teach it to trust and love once again. It does not always have a wonderful ending. There are times when the rescuer wipes away the tears, holds the horses head up, forces it to get to its feet when it just wants to lay down and die, pushes their own body limits to help save the animals life, The rescuer struggles as much as the animal itself, that was so casually tossed away. The rescuer goes without luxuries, without common every day items, you take for granitite, the rescuer literally crawls into bed at night only to have the squirrel in their head running in its cage casing the “what if” thoughts to no end. The rescuer drags themselves out of bed in the morning and races to the barn to see if the horse survived or if they have to heartbreakingly dig yet another grave. What you do not see is the rescuer has tortured their bodies, devastingly broken their hearts repeatedly, have been emotionally crippled, financially crushed, and all the days mental tormoil is always on the back burner, for another lost soul will come thru that tiny door tomorrow. A.A.P.I was started from the heart of a rescuer in 1993, mine. One heart that had the courage and strength to step up and do what no one else would, save one lost soul before it slipped thru the tiny door to no where. A.A.P.I. became 501(c) 3 in 2001 and since then has become 110% for the animals. This rescuer has suffered, gone without, shed those tears, held those heads up, dug those graves, fought to save that life, sat beside the horse while it took its last breathe so it would not go alone and to show it love once again. I have sat in the rain, in freezing snowstorms for hours on end just to make a few donations to help the animals. Only to hear, no thank you, not today, maybe tomorrow, I have to feed my own, I do not have enough, your just a scam..., from the one that sits on the couch watching, you still turn your back away.

I do not get paid to do my 50 hat jobs, I run the humane society, shovel the manure, heal the sick, bury the dead, fundraise, handle the adoptions, carry the hay, fix the boo boos, mend the fences, cover 3 counties as a humane officer and yet, not one red cent goes into my pocket, and you still sit on the couch and watch. I have suffered and earned the right to say “you have no right to judge the heart of rescuer” unless you have stepped in every step and felt every heart beat of a rescues heart, you simply have no right!!

A.A.P.I. today is a humane society for all animals, we have NO adoption fees for our animals, being a new age humane society it is more important to get the animals into loving forever home than it is to leave them sit and wait for someone to pay an adoption fee. I still do not get paid nor do I get days off, vacations, sick days, luxuries...all I get is you telling me your unearned judgements/opinions.

So, as you see, the heart of the rescue bleeds from many things but continues to beat because that heart knows there is another lost soul at that tiny door praying there is someone on the other side that will love them and not abandon, abuse or neglect them just one more time.

So when the rescuer stand and begs for your almighty dollar will you say:

  • 1) not today
  • 2) maybe tomorrow
  • 3) I have to feed my own
  • 4) do not bully me
  • 5) your just a scam
  • 6) no thankyou
  • 7) or simply look the other way

Or will you remember enough of what the heart of rescuer beats for and step up and make a difference for the lost soul behind that tiny door.

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