Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#AnimalRescue: #Difficult #Choices...

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another installment of my tongue-in-cheek Animal Rescuer's Guide To Staying (Relatively) Sane!  Today I'm going to talk about some of the nitty-gritty details of rescue that can pop up when you lease expect them.  Specifically, the fact that animals won't always cooperate and go along with your plans.  This is a fact of rescue and I hope this might give you a few ideas to help cope with it. :-)

Some Things You Need To Come To Terms With And/Or Remember:
Your personal pets come first. This goes both for their physical health and their emotional well-being. Some animals become stressed when confronted with strange animals in their territory and can react in detrimental ways. This may or may not become an issue for you, but if it does you have to remember that your first loyalty and priority has to be your pets. If your pets have a hard time adjusting to strange animals coming into your home you may be able to mitigate the problem by creating a separate area for your rescues. A basement, garage, bathroom, spare bedroom, or outside kennel/run/enclosure often work, depending on what type of animals you are rescuing. You can also try various methods to calm your pets, such as setting aside time where you pay a lot of attention to them, or products like Rescue Remedy or Feliway. There are some strategies you can use to help prevent a problem. Such as when you first bring a rescue home, get them situated in their space as quickly as possible. As soon as you have made sure that all of their physical needs are met, leave them alone and go spend time with your pets. This will help prevent your pets from becoming jealous and also give your rescue some time to calm down and adjust to their new surroundings. Usually, over time, your pets will become accustomed to having new animals come in and go out and it will cease to be a problem. However, if every strategy fails, and your pet still has a problem with your rescues (or with a particular rescue), you need to adjust the situation to accommodate your pet, not your rescues. This is very important. You have made a commitment to your pets and they deserve your loyalty. If one or more of your pets is not able to adjust to your rescues, and you have tried every possible method to help them adjust, you may have to postpone further rescue work until that pet is no longer with you. This doesn’t mean you get rid of your pet, or rehome them, it means you wait until old age or disease takes its toll. This might be hard, but a pet is a long-term, life-long commitment. How can you possibly ask others to live up to this responsibility if you do not do so yourself?

This goes double for your pets’ physical health. No matter what type of animals you are rescuing, there will be some type of communicable disease that they may carry. You have an obligation to protect your own pets from these diseases. That means any new animals need to be examined by a vet, as well as undergo whatever type of tests are usual for those type of animals (for instance in cats a test for FeLV and FIV is necessary for every new rescue, for horses it might be a Coggins test that they need, dogs need to be tested for heart worms, etc.). New rescues also need to undergo a period of quarantine. Even if you don’t isolate your rescues for your pets’ emotional well-being, it is necessary to do so (for a time at least) to protect their physical health. It might seem cruel to lock an animal in a room away from the rest of the house for several weeks (and yes, it really DOES need to be several weeks, a month or more is better), but not nearly as cruel as losing one of your pets to a contagious disease brought into your home, by you, through one of your rescues.


  1. Very interesting! Your own pets should always come first.

  2. Having this exact problem right now: we had to take in my mother's cat (age 14) when she moved, and one of our guys (age 8) really hates him. We've been disciplining both with a water gun, but will now take pains to give our own boy extra attention and try to segregate rather than discipline. Thanks so much for the advice!

    1. You're welcome! I hope it helps. Getting older cats who are both set in their ways to get along can take some patience. Best of luck with getting your furbabies to calm down. If you want more specific ideas related to this, I included a method that has never failed to work for me that's specific to cats in the advice section of my free animal rescue manual. You can download it free of charge from any major retailer of ebooks. Just enter my name in the search bar. Again, good luck! :-)