I’ve mentioned before here that I volunteer for this organization. I can truthfully say this article is absolutely true-it isn’t about the money. For one thing-none of us are paid.
I probably put in 20-30 hours each week on this. Why? Because if my horses were missing, I would want to know that somebody cared enough to be doing what I do. Now what I do isn’t the ‘oooo, isn’t she wonderful? I want to be just like her!’ stuff. Far from it. I answer emails (yeah, isn’t that exciting?), look for places that we can ask if we can come in to speak to their members or at their events (and hope we can get them to at least partially pay the bill for getting there and back), write articles to put on our web site, look for funders that will consider us for funding (which is really tough because we have to fit their criteria of what they want to fund-and we are a star-shaped peg for round and square holes), conduct fundraisers such as selling T-shirts, send out ALERT messages to our network and targeted emails, research various projects, monitor volunteer activities, and various and sundry other things. Like I said-nothing anybody would want to emulate, but every bit of it necessary to keeping the place going.
I’m not the only one-not by a long shot. We have a team of volunteers who do nothing but scour the auctions every day for horses in our database. It’s tedious, time-consuming, and, frankly, I can’t do it. It breaks my heart. But they do it. Every so often, they hit pay dirt-and we send another horse home. Sometimes the horse has only been gone a week or so, but sometimes it could have been missing for years. It’s like panning for gold. You just never know.
Others work on updating our databases for auctions, Quarantines, transporters, and just good contacts to know about. You’ll never know their names or see their faces, and they don’t get paid. But their work pays off when we are moving fast after a missing horse.
Our report managers deal directly with the clients and law enforcement. They take the heat-the anger, fear, frustration, denial, accusations of cruelty, and so on-and they keep on going. They are lied to and about regularly. Yet they persist and yet, when the horses are located, they are ignored and forgotten without a word of gratitude. It makes you wonder about the human race. It really does.
All of us ‘bust our butts’ constantly to locate horses. We cannot promise miracles. Yes, some of the work is dependent on what the owner does or doesn’t do-there are only a few of us and we cannot be everywhere. But we do everything we possibly can and we keep doing it.
Is it really too much to ask for a Thank You and support?