I have a huge caring heart for others, especially those who have experienced pain, suffering, and loss. Not only do I care about people, but I also care about animals. At one time I strongly considered becoming a vetrinarian. I have supported a large animal sanctuary and care organization called Best Friends. They are located in Utah. As I was reading their latest newsletter I was reminded of how traumatized animals and traumatized people are in need of very similar care. Many of the animals Best Friends receives have been physcially, emotionally, or psychologically affected by disaster, abuse, neglect, or accidental trauma. They help animals that have no other hope and who are labeled as “beyond help”. How often are people, even in our churches told similar things?

Here are some tips they provided for rescuers. I think they apply for both animals and humans.

  • Think of every animal/person as an individual – don’t make assumptions and give them all the time you can
  • Ignore all bad behavior – don’t react to bad behavior
  • Go slow – distract them and help them focus on something else
  • “Can’t see me!” – a physical barrier or not being in the center of attention may provide comfort or a sense of security
  • Get help from another animal/person – a companion may provide support and comfort
  • Get help from volunteers – the needs are great, it takes many people to provide the best care and support
  • Relationship –  there is a need to open up to relationship – we are not designed to go through life alone