The Herald Bulletin

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November 23, 2013

Maleah Stringer: Those who do rescue work trying to make a difference

First responders to crime and tragedies as well as people who do rescue work whether it is for animals, children, victims of domestic violence, the elderly or any other living creature who doesn't have a voice have their hearts broken on a regular basis. We often find ourselves sad, mad or depressed because it never ever ends. We see the worst that humans do each other and other living creatures. This is one reason the turn over rate for staff and volunteers in shelters for animals and humans is so high.

So why do we do it? Well, this is just my take: To make a difference, to not let evil win and because of the incredible joy we experience when we help save a life or make that life better for someone else — animal or human. We do it out of compassion and to validate our humanity, which brings us to Animal Protection League volunteer Lindsay and Georgia the senior Great Dane who came to us last year.

Georgia was surrendered to the Animal Protection League by her owner at the age of 7. She was so obese she could not get up or down on her own, her nails were so long she could not put her paws flat and the inside of her ears were caked with filth. The owners said they could no longer care for her.

We put her in a kennel on the kennel floor but that terrified her; so she ended up in our office for two days before Lindsay, who loves Danes, took her home. Georgia was put on a diet and exercise program and improved rapidly under Lindsay's care. Georgia had joint problems and we knew at some point that would become an issue, but we wanted to give her a great life for as long as we could. Lindsay and Georgia fell in love. The big baby loved to carry her stuffed toys with her everywhere she went and lived for her special canned food. She was a pig at heart.

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