As we head into New Years Eve, here is Sean’s end of year statement.
Sean is Co-Founder and a BHRR BOD Member of BHRR. This photo is of him and BHRR’s Daffodil from our traditional XMAS Even Photo shoot – December 24th, 2017! She remains Available For Adoption!
In Sean’s Words:
‘Here we are again – at the end of another year. Time to reflect on the great, the good, the bad and the ugly and set our sights on the year to come.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t specifically take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made a positive contribution to BHRR. I couldn’t possibly name everyone – but you certainly know who you are!
The contributions you’ve made through time and effort, vet bills, food, auction donations, cleaning supplies, transport, etc. is precisely what allows us to do what we do! We are a community – and stronger because of it. I offer my most heartfelt thank-you to all of you. I count our interactions with all of you as part of the highlight reel.
So many wonderful people have come into our lives.
Together we’ve done a lot of great things in 2017. There are so many BHRR dogs in forever loving homes, there have been successful events for awareness, education and fundraising. One of the most significant and recent successes for this year is The Bakers Dozen and demonstrates perfectly how everyone came together as strong links on the BHRR “CHAIN OF SUCCESS’ when needed.
This was a huge outpouring of support!
It blows my mind to contemplate the amount of puppy formula that was donated and consumed! This would not have been achievable without the enormous outpouring of support given. Seriously – the amount of formula we went through would make several mortgage payments look like chump change!
And the ugly…… I’m not generally one to dwell on the negative – but I think it is important to acknowledge and address what I feel is a growing and unfortunate trend. Let’s address something that is very real yet seldom openly discussed.
A trend not just with us, but across the internet, business and personal interactions all around. Over the past several years, we’ve seen an increasing amount of destructive and abusive interactions.
This year we were subjected to a new low – as at least one person out there already knows – BHRR was subject to a malicious attack. In the end, we were proven/validated to be operating a stellar, highly responsible, excellent and much needed organization for the animals. As this was not based in fact or naive ignorance, they received a cautionary warning and we are now investigating possible further legal venues.
However, our initial response from the actions of this vindictive individual was a ‘Wow – never saw that one coming…’
We have hosted regular BHRR events here – 6 a year for over 2 decades – for people’s benefit and for the animal’s of BHRR.
We open up our home to the scrutiny of strangers and, we have done so gladly, and, openly for we have nothing to hide………..
We commit to giving up what could be very precious, valuable coveted family time for the sake of our guests. We feel it is so important for people to witness firsthand what we do and, why we do it and, that we are not like ‘every’ other group or org. out there…..
We have even had people from approved Volunteers, the curious, the interested, stay here overnight, for days and even weeks at a time.
We have always remained full of disclosure and have shared the ups, the downs, the good, the bad and the ugly with all of our followers, supporters, friends and family.
But to the individual responsible for a baseless complaint – thank you so much for putting our family on edge and under the microscope. I can’t tell you how much we appreciated the surprise and shock instead of an open dialogue with anyone who may have had questions or concerns.
So much better to lob a hand grenade from the bushes and run away. This doesn’t feel constructive, or motivated by the best interests of the animals – this feels very personal and malicious. We are very proud of what we’ve done with our lives – can you say the same?
While I’m also not prone to extolling our own efforts – we have dedicated almost 22 years of our life to the protection of animals, particularly the special needs dogs and the giant breeds – those least likely to be picked up by high turnover rescues. Animals others cannot or will not assist. 99% of those we help are the truly medical and/or behaviourally broken, We are small, personal and dedicated. We’re not trying to be dramatic when we say this – even those who know us have absolutely no idea the level of personal commitment and sacrifice this has taken from our family. The sheer amount of physical work, the hours night and day, the successes and the heartbreaks.
Responsible/quality rescue is 24/7. We do not ‘dabble’ in rescue, only do the ‘fun’ things, hang out, visit and then get to go home to relax and enjoy 9 hours of restful sleep. The stress, lack of sleep, financial drain and complete lack of freedom for something as simple as a family vacation – or even a movie or dinner night out is our lives day in and day out and we have done this gladly! The cyberbullying endured, the tens of thousands of pounds of food transported and stacked. Hydro bills – OVER $1,100/ month and enough laundry – up to 12 loads daily – to choke a laundry mat.
We’re not looking for the thanks, the praise, the accolades, or parades in our honor. We do this for the dogs, not the recognition or for any ‘pats on the back’.
At the same time, we have grown even less tolerant of the abuse, the hand grenades thrown from the sidelines, the armchair quarterbacks who find it so easy to second guess and criticize – to judge, without ever actually seeking to understand or becoming involved.
Cyberbullying is a very real problem and after much research and conversations held with cyberbullying experts, professors and lawyers, note that regardless of the occupation, paid or volunteer, everyone has the right to work in an environment free from personal threat, free from worry about emotional and/or physical harm and the right to not be bullied. This is punishable by law.
Social media is an amazing thing, it is also an awful thing that so many spanning across a vast amount of businesses, non-profits, other professional venues and personal arena’s have been enduring some level/form of bullying.
Those who want to blame, point fingers instead of learn and understand, shame on you. Those who want to take shortcuts and then foist their problems on us, shame on you. Those who want to be coddled and told they are doing everything properly when in fact they are the issue, not the animal, shame on you. Those who are turned down for an adoption and respond by spewing accusations, sour grapes and names, shame on you. Since our inception in 1996, we have retained a zero tolerance approach with the amount of nonsense, armchair quarterbacks and negativity endured.
Setting our sights on the year(s) to come – what’s next for Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services? Same wonderful people – same Birch Haven Rescue & Rehabilitation Services – same strong rescue mission. Absolutely nothing will change
overnight – we will continue to do what we have always done. We continue to help the next dog in need – we continue to place adoptable dogs into their right matched forever homes and we continue to provide a safe haven for those animals that need us.
Over the coming years – we will gradually transition to our long held vision of more of a haven program (which is already a large part of what we do). We will always focus on the giant breeds and canines/horses with special needs. These are the ones that need us – these are the ones we feel we can provide the greatest benefit to with our education, experience, knowledge and heart.
As of January 2018, one of our changes shall be to our adoption area’s covered – we will adopt up to an including the Barrie and Cambridge, Ontario area’s from our location and into Quebec, we will cover up to the Montreal area. We will still rescue all across the world.
Over the next year, will also be implementing an ‘Advisory Round Table Board’ of like-minded BHRR approved Volunteers in addition to our BHRR BOD Team.
We will be adding two more BHRR approved Volunteers to our Community Education Liaison Member Team too.
I look forward to working with all of our supporters in 2018 – let us do as many wonderful things this coming year together as we were able to accomplish in 2017!
BHRR BOD Team Member’