Celebrating Six Years of Rewards and Challenges Leading Saving One Life
Director of Saving One Life
September 14, 2020

Today is my sixth anniversary of leading Saving One Life Animal Rescue and Sanctuary.  It has been quite the experience.  Our volunteers often hear me say, “Rescue is hard.  Rescue is emotional.”  Those two sentences seem ever-present today as I write this.  Every year on my anniversary, I tend to write something.  I always want to acknowledge everyone who helped bring Saving One Life through another year of saving lives.  But, today, I also feel a bit of–not sure what word yet.

Today is my sixth anniversary of leading Saving One Life Animal Rescue and Sanctuary.  It has been quite the experience.  Our volunteers often hear me say, “Rescue is hard.  Rescue is emotional.”  Those two sentences seem ever-present today as I write this.  Every year on my anniversary, I tend to write something.  I always want to acknowledge everyone who helped bring Saving One Life through another year of saving lives.  But, today, I also feel a bit of–not sure what word yet.

I Couldn’t Have Don’t it Without our Dedicated Volunteers

Every SOL volunteer has many other commitments (family, friends, jobs, and everything in between), but they show up.  Our foster volunteers show up every day even after a night of no sleep or a tough day at work.  Our adoption center volunteers help their children with school work and then come to the center to teach their children another valuable lesson – our innate responsibility for one another (two or four-legged).

In six years, we have met and surpassed many milestones we set.  I couldn’t be prouder of the volunteers we have leading the teams and all those in the trenches fostering and caring for the kitties in the adoption centers.  But, still, there’s an ache in my heart.  There’s a bit of sadness that tugs at my soul for more.  The requests for help are never-ending, and every time I have to say, I’m sorry, we can’t help, shatters my heart a bit more.  After six years, I can bear that burden but so wish it didn’t have to exist – not for my heart – but for all of those animals that go without care.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the volunteers we have leading the teams and all those in the trenches fostering and caring for the kitties in the adoption centers”

We’re a Never-Kill Rescue, Not a No-Kill Shelter

Never kill means that we will go to extraordinary measures (beyond what no-kill shelters/rescues will do) to save an animal’s life. We don’t euthanize animals unless there are no other options – no chance at survival. We don’t place animals for adoption; we rescue them; we often save them from a horrific life or death.  We commit to feeding animals every night for animals who aren’t meant to live inside (feral / community cats).

We step in to help financially and emotionally for those who love their pets but can’t afford their care.  We often say that once an animal is a part of Saving One Life, it is always a part of Saving One Life, and we will be there to help our adopters no matter what.

Yet, We Don’t Get the Same Recognition as a Shelter

It is disheartening when I share our successes or milestones because they are often met with a response of diminishment or disregard.  We seem to be viewed as less credible or less worthy because we aren’t this or that.  Let me give you an example.

We aren’t deemed to be as crucial as other organizations when it comes to grants and donations because we don’t have a shelter.  Despite not having a brick and mortar shelter, we have saved over 1,400 animals in 2020. That is over 1,400 animals who were cherished, loved, celebrated, and SAVED because someone opened their home.  We rescue more animals than some organizations with shelters, yet it feels like we aren’t being taken seriously.

We also get discounted because we are a 100% “volunteer-run” animal rescue. Why does that make us less worthy?  Less relevant?  As I write this and work 60+ hours per week for this organization, I have never received financial compensation. But I have had the pure joy of saving so many lives.  Even this week, as I worked with a spicy kitten, my reward was that spicy kitten purring for the first time.  He relaxed and melted into my arms and sighed.  He finally knew he was safe.  He would never again have to fight for survival.

My Wish for the Future

My wish for this next year is for Saving One Life to be recognized and cherished by our community and that people see the value of rescues who give everything they have every day, every hour, every minute.  Despite having no staff, we saved over 1,400 animals in 2019 and did so on less than $250,000.  We scrimp and pinch every penny to ensure no animal will perish because we don’t have enough or can’t give more.  We fight for every Life that enters our door, which is why our euthanasia rate is so astonishingly low even though we welcome animals that are often on death’s door. 

Saving One Life has been in existence for 12 years.  April and Claire, our co-founders, had such vision but also forethought when they started SOL so many years ago that the mission and core values continue to be our unwavering guiding principles. 

Words Can’t Begin to Express My Gratitude to All of Our Selfless Volunteers

For those who make sacrifices in the service of Saving One Life (and there are hundreds of you), please know that you have my profound gratitude.  I work hard every day for you and the animals we save.  Thank you for doing the hard work!  Thank you for celebrating the wins and sharing the sadness.  You are all heroes!

We Need Your Support to Keep Saving Lives

When you are looking for an organization to support, I hope you consider Saving One Life because we are a volunteer-run, foster-based, never kill rescue.  Please help us celebrate those three guiding principles.  Share our mission, donate when you can, volunteer to help save lives in whatever capacity you can because your support means more animals get to live.

Apply today to become a Volunteer!

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