Depression in the Animal Rescue and Animal Activist Communities

Who Chains You

Depression is rampant in 21-st century America, and especially pervasive in the animal rescue and activist movements due to constant exposure to pain and suffering on the part of our animal friends.

We are often told that depression is anger turned inward, yet in the world of animal activism and rescue, depression more adequately equates to anger meets helplessness.

Not to overstate the situation, but there is an overwhelming amount of NEED in the animal rescue and activism world. Even if you were financially-set and resource-laden, one person still could not stem the flow of animals that need places to go and daily help. 

So how does one animal-loving human—without significant financial resources—feel when accosted daily with both the overwhelming need AND anger at those who abuse animals or allow abusers to get away with it?

Helpless, hopeless, frustrated, furious…

DEPRESSED, that’s how.

And with just cause.

Unfortunately, wallowing in…

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Adele, a sweet and oft-overlooked rattie companion, is charming readers and librarians alike!

I adore this new book from Who Chains You, AND this review from Lynn S.: “As a children’s librarian and pet rat lover, I can’t say enough good things about this book. Children will love the rhyming verse and sympathize with Adele’s plight. The story accurately describes these incredible, misunderstood creatures. It is a perfect read-aloud for kids from 3 and up. I will be using it in my preschool and elementary storytimes. A big thank you goes out to Ms. Leughmyer for a truly wonderful book.”

Who Chains You

The reviews are coming in for Adopting Adele, and fans are raving about a book they have declared “long overdue”!

We’re so excited for Adele and other rats like her who are oft-overlooked when it comes time for adoption. A big thanks to author Heather Leughmyer and illustrator April Pedersen for raising awareness on their behalf.From a Librarian:

Five Stars from Lynn S.: “As a children’s librarian and pet rat lover, I can’t say enough good things about this book. Children will love the rhyming verse and sympathize with Adele’s plight. The story accurately describes these incredible, misunderstood creatures. It is a perfect read-aloud for kids from 3 and up. I will be using it in my preschool and elementary storytimes. A big thank you goes out to Ms. Leughmyer for a truly wonderful book.”

From fellow rat-pack fans:

Five Stars, from Jenny L. Branhamon: “This book is so…

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Captain America Rescues Three Cats, Giving Me an ‘I Do Declare’ Swoon Factor

(Like all movie reviews, this blog contains spoiler alerts. Mostly about cat-rescuing. Which you got from the title…so, there’s that.)

OK, so Chris Evans wasn’t really playing Captain America in the new movie Gifted, out in theaters now (see trailer below).

But hey, once Captain America, always Captain America to my mind. And, it sounds a lot cooler to say Captain America rescues three cats than Uncle Frank rescues three cats, doesn’t it?

Yes. Yes it does.

I go to a lot of movies—it’s my hubby’s and my date thang—because we’re over 50 and I think there’s some rule about it. But yesterday, after the cat-rescuing scene, I told the hubby he had to pack his bags, because I have a new love in my life—Captain America. (Shhh. Don’t rain on my parade with such things as FACTS. And truths.)

I think it got him so scared he was gonna lose this great romance we have goin’ that he actually gave my cat Tuna a pet on the head when we got home in an effort to compete.

Your effort is duly-noted, honey! Now, where was I…

So I’d never seen this trailer before (which is odd given that, as I said, we go to a lot of movies), and to be honest we only saw Gifted because there was nothing else out we wanted to see. But I’m so glad I did, because it far exceeded my expectations!

At one point I was break-down sobbing, which, let’s face it, isn’t a good look on anyone at a movie theater.

There is a happy ending, and if you want to see Captain America burst through the shelter and single-handedly swoop up and rescue three cats, then go see it. It’s worth your time.

In addition, there’s a couple happy animal scenes in the movie Ghost in the Shell, because Batou feeds and talks about his love for the stray dogs…and hey, what’s not to love about that? I enjoyed the movie more than I expected, too, and I think the animal scenes had a little bit to do with that. But, also, it wasn’t as hard to follow as the trailer made it out to be, and for me—an uncritical moviegoer—the story and non-stop action were enough to keep my attention throughout.

While I’m talking animal movies, there’s supposed to be a real gem of a documentary building up steam called Kedi, about street cats in Istanbul, that I haven’t seen yet. I’ve tracked down a couple of places it’s playing coming up in my nearby vicinity. If you want to find a place near you, visit their official site for links.

Enjoy! And yes, you don’t even have to ask. I’ll share Captain America with you. Because I’m giving like that.

The Trap of Over-Rescuing Animals: Saying ‘No’ When Your Heart Says Yes

Who Chains You

Delilah, a mostly-blind dog the author rescued from her chain

Most in the animal rescue movement are here because they have a strong love for animals, and a desire to take action on their behalf—this action usually manifesting itself as fostering or adopting.

Sometimes, though, somewhere along the way, an inability to say “No” paired with deep subconscious psychological drives can get a rescuer into trouble…ending with a spiraling disaster and a filthy home full of animals that aren’t getting the care they need and the living situation they deserve.

There’s no doubt that rescuing FEELS GOOD. When I used to pull a dog off a chain, there was no greater joy than having the power to bring him/her FREEDOM. None.

Delilah took to life after chaining like a duck to water

And watching that very same dog, inside of a week, curl up on the couch or a dog…

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New Children’s Book Highlights a Rescue Rat’s Search for a Home of Her Own

I adore this new children’s book out from Who Chains You Books! Take a look.

Who Chains You

Meet Adele, a gorgeous little white rat who dreams of a home of her own. Yet every day in the shelter she’s passed over, met with looks of disgust from parents telling their children “it’s just a filthy rat.”

Yet they couldn’t be further from the truth. Written by author Heather Leughmyer in a beautifully singsong prose, this book is sure to change hearts and minds about this oft-overlooked companion. The verse is accompanied by 13 full-color illustrations by artist April Pedersen, and includes a children’s activity section at the back.

Enjoy this snippet from the book:

“In a shelter Adele lingered in a cage made of glass, where she patiently waited as people walked past. With delicate ears she listened each day, to the mewing of kittens and puppies at play. Curiously twitching her pretty pink nose, she sat groomed to perfection from whiskers to toes. Her…

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Animal Advocacy: the End of Innocence

Good post from Up on the Woof that goes along with the blog I published a couple days ago.

Up on the Woof

Last week, I saw a video on Facebook that a lot of people were outraged over — it was of a woman beating her dog with a frying pan — and I wasn’t horrified.

I watched the video three or four times, because there was an unevenness in the filming that made it appear like it was cut and looped. The first place my mind went as I watched was the weapon. I don’t think it’s all that unusual for a dog owner to smack a dog with a rolled up newspaper or perhaps a chewed up slipper. But what on earth made this woman grab a frying pan? I could only conclude that by grabbing something metal to hit the dog, clearly, she wanted to hurt the animal, not correct a bad behavior.

be kindLet’s just get this out of the way: you shouldn’t hit your dog. Hitting a…

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Been Told You’re ‘Too Sensitive’ for Caring About the Animals? Four Challenges Sensitive People Can Overcome to Make a Difference

Who Chains You

Are you an animal activist or rescuer who’s been repeatedly told you’re ‘too sensitive’ for caring about animals? You are not alone.

One of the Universe’s little ironies is that the most sensitive among us are the ones tasked with doing one of the most difficult jobs…protecting the animals.

Yet this very same sensitivity—the gift of the ability to empathize, to put ourselves into the shoes, hooves, or paws of another being—puts us at greater risk for pain, depression, and immense suffering, whether we are following through with our chosen mission or not.

There are four hurdles to be overcome in working for the animals which can prove especially challenging to the sensitive soul.

1. Overcoming the Fear of Taking Action

Sensitive folks believe they’ve come to this planet to make a difference. When that difference is scary, such as advocating for animals left out on chains, animals that…

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