Thursday, January 29, 2009

The "R.M.C."

Anybody who has rescued animals for more than a few months will eventually start accumulating stuff in their own Rescue Medicine Cabinet. (RMC)

I was disgusted by my unproductivity yesterday and decided to go through all the stuff in that cabinet this morning. Holy smokes. I can't believe all the medicines - some expired - that were in there! There were labels on some medications that had cat's names that I don't remember fostering. Unbelievable!

Last night I received a call from another foster home looking for an antibiotic for her foster cat. I did find some Clavamox, after looking through 15 expired envelopes of the stuff. Needless to say, I was inspired.
I envy some shelters and rescues that have a lot of money to treat a rescued cat at the vet every single time they are sick. For those rescues who have limited funds but who have a lot of experience with sick cats, it often means we trust our instincts to properly care for them. Certainly I'm not a veterinarian, but I can assess whether or not a vet trip is necessary. I've asked a lot of questions over the years to those who are more educated and have more experience than I. I have no pride. I'll ask.

Rescues should be grateful to find experienced foster homes willing to give medications, SubQ fluids, and care that often means getting up in the middle of the night. These are the volunteers that save rescues thousands of dollars each year! I find it sad when these volunteers are often mistreated, underappreciated...or worse....ignored.

If nobody else will tell you, I will: "Thank you." Thank you for buying, keeping and storing medications, food, and shit that you would normally throw out. Thank you for buying kitten formula "just in case" you might need it. Thank you for SHARING the stuff you bought with your own money and your wealth of knowledge with new volunteers who ask.

And those that don't appreciate you? Screw 'em.


Anonymous said...

What can I say. Your message couldn't have been sent at a better time. Sometimes I think power struggles and the need to control gets in the way of the animals or running an effective rescue group. There is no doubt you have to have thick skin to put up with the crap that some people continually dish out. But when you are on the receiving end you have to step back and do a reality check and take into consideration that the imbecile that is giving you grief isn't worth the time of day. What is important is saving lives.
Thanks for your support and common sense approach of knowing what is important.

House of the Discarded said...

Thank you for posting your comment. I *still* don't understand the whole "power struggle" bullshit in an ALL VOLUNTEER rescue group. Why on earth would you WANT a power struggle? "Just rescue some cats, have fun and remember The Golden Rule." Why do some folks make it all so difficult?

Anonymous said...

This is hysterical Beth! I did the same thing yesterday when I couldn't jam anything else into the cat drawer and realized it was full of misc junk, meds, ear crap and more stuff!! And realized that I'm a bad foster mom for not giving those entire doses of antibiotics!! Super bacteria unite!!


RHz said...

Thanks for the kind words.

And, what I've learned from a few of the vets who help out my rescue: If the antibiotic isn't mixed yet and is stored properly, it's good for up to a year after its expiration date.

No wonder we all have overflowing RMCs!

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list! I have a pretty big hinged bin that I keep all my stuff in. I also love it when a member of my organization has enough experience in the minor stuff to save me a vet visit. I don't even have to pay for those, I'm just lazy. Over the years I sent many kittens on to their new homes with what was left of the eye ointment I'd been giving them. I love it when the new family doesn't balk at the idea of having to keep up with a kitten's care. Having said that I still have tons of medication left over. Thanks for the heads up, I will scour my booty (old meaning!)for expiry dates.

Steve Bartlett said...

My cats would LOVE to see stuff all piled up on shelves like that. You wouldn't have to clean anything up; it would all be under the couch!