Thursday, May 5, 2011

The 3:3:3:1 ratio in helping animals

Here's sharing something else that I've learnt recently, which I think, makes sense and might be useful for us to consider.

Many rescuers have their own thoughts and beliefs about how best to help animals. 

I think the opinion below, which I learnt from a vet, makes a lot of sense.

There is this 3:3:3:1 ratio involved when it comes to helping animals.

30% - what the vet can do.

30% - what the caregiver can do (and this includes lots of love and tender loving care).

30% - what medicine can do.

10% - "faith", "belief", "guardian angels", "the universe", "sheer luck", "pure chance", etc.  (whatever we want to call it!).

For those of us who are not vets, here's where we can help in that 30% - caregiving.  The best is, of course, to find the time to personally nurse the animal, failing which, we source for willing help, but we should never dump the animal on someone else, or worse, emotionally-blackmail someone into taking the animal.

Examples of emotional-blackmailing: 

1.  If you don't take this animal, I'll leave it on the street to die.

2.  If you don't pay in full, I'll just throw it back on the street.

3.  If you don't take in my animal, I'll get it euthanised.

I've heard plenty of such tunes.  To such people, I've now learnt to say: It's your call and your conscience.  Are you interested in working together for the animal or not? 

So, caring for animals is not quite about rescuing the animal and dumping it on the vet or on another caregiver (that definitely does not constitute 30%, does it?).  It's about doing that little bit more, walking that extra mile...even if it is about making the effort to source for another reliable caregiver (should one is unable to do the job herself). 

In short, it is NOT about dumping. 

In these few weeks after the Petfinder.my event, I've been dealing with a sudden "influx" of people requesting help for their animals. 

I've had to deal with all sorts.  It's been very trying, yet, "enlightening". 

It brings to mind what my friend, Amanda, shared with me recently, about what her father, who was a vet, had told her.  I hope Amanda doesn't mind me quoting her verbatim here as I feel these words of wisdom would benefit many others:

He used to get so weary of young people telling him that they wanted to become vets because they loved animals but couldn't stand people.  My father would remind them that the animals don't call for appointments, describe their own symptoms, or pay their own bills.  A vet who cannot deal effectively with people cannot practice well.  It's really hard to find the vets who are equally skilled in both realms.

I thought this really made so much good sense. And it serves as a reminder to me that no matter how difficult the human, we'd still have to deal with him/her as diplomatically and graciously (and patiently!) as we can if we have the animals' best interests at heart. There is really no point in lambasting the human (not that I do that, of course!), but it is a good reminder for me that in order to help the animal, we have to learn how to deal with the human effectively in order to garner the best possible help for the animal.

Most humans do not like to be criticised.  Critique, on the other hand, is more proactive, provided the said human is open to learn and change.  There is a clear difference between criticism and critique.  The motivation is totally different.  The former is fault-finding, the latter, serves to improve and share the problem.    

I know I used to say, "animals first, humans second".  Perhaps I should revise that to "animals first, humans too."

Life is short, we could all do better with more kindnesses and pleasant encounters. 

I shall now take my leave and get back to marking my final exams papers. 

Cheers!

3 comments:

Alex Kam said...

Those that do emotional blackmailing ought to be ashamed of themselves!

synyii said...

In response to what Amanda's father words, so true! We even have professional communication as a whole course in 1st year of vet study.

After almost 3 semester in study, I also find that people who actually really really love animals couldn't be a vet. I see people crying every time we have to cut open animals for education purpose.
I guess compassion got its level.

chen said...

I think this is why so many Malaysians want to assume that Animalcare is a shelter. It´s because they want to find places to dump animals without the guilt (yes, they know it`s wrong). I also think that this attitude of dumping is also related to the `tak apa` attitude of many Malaysians who refuse to take the responsibility for the community and society that we all live in. People want to live in a nice place, but yet don`t even make the trouble to throw their garbage responsibly and then complain to the MPs, Datuks, etc to clean the garbage in front of their houses. The attitude of `Dump it, it`s not my problem!`is something that we all have to re-educate - like what Animalcare is trying to do - kudos.