A Helping Paw
Have you ever seen the “Who Rescued Who?” bumper sticker? It begs a good question. The healing power that animals provide is underestimated. There are many people who talk about their rescued animals, but not many talk about how their animal friends have rescued them.
Animals have secret super powers—the ability to heal broken humans. People talk to their furry friends and tell them their worries and their secrets, knowing that they’ll keep them safe. They don’t realize that by rescuing these animals they’re not just helping the animal, they’re also helping themselves. These animals fill a void in people’s lives by giving them something to take care of and focus on other than themselves. Humans provide forever homes for animals and animals provide unconditional love for humans.
Types of Support Animals
Although all pets can provide an emotional connection with their human, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are animals that are prescribed by a licensed mental health professional, such as a therapist or a psychologist. They believe that these animals can provide specific emotional support to help them deal with their feelings. An Emotional Support Animal offers therapeutic assistance to their human through support and companionship in order to repair symptoms caused by mental or emotional impairment. Since Emotional Support Animals are known to ease mental disorders like anxiety, depression, phobias, and PTSD, they are prescribed by mental health professionals to help with these conditions. ESAs are different than service dogs. The AKC states that service dogs are trained to perform certain tasks for people who are physically disabled. Psychiatric Service Dogs are dogs who are trained to do certain tasks that help aid with mental illness. For example, if someone is prescribed a Psychiatric Service Dog, it might help remind them to take medication or keep a disoriented person from accidentally walking into traffic. These animals play a critical role in many individual’s lives by significantly improving their quality of life and emotional health.
Suwanee Town Center hosted the 4th annualJonny and Xena “Spread of Words” 5k Run/Walk/Fun Run festival on Saturday October 27th for free pet adoptions. All the proceeds went to support for Autism programs and Animal rescues.The festival allowed different non-profit organizations to display their rescues so that people could have the opportunity to adopt or foster them. Many organizations have beautiful heartfelt stories that mark the beginning of their success in saving animals in need. Among these organizations, Caitlin’s Vine of Bravery had a particular story that stands out. Caitlin had a booth set up displaying some merchandise and fliers along with three dogs that were up for adoption.
A Warrior’s Story
Caitlin’s story is astounding. In 2009, she was involved in a tragic boating accident. During her long recovery, she utilized an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). For Caitlin, rescuing and nursing dogs back to health helped her throughout her recovery and that’s how she found her passion for rescuing abused and stranded animals. Her organization takes these dogs and looks after them until they are healthy again. Once they are nursed back to health, she puts them up for adoption. Her very first rescue was Daisy. She said that she has two more dogs that she rescued and kept for herself, but since Daisy was her first rescue and was there for Caitlin through her toughest time, her bond with Daisy is stronger than any bond she has experienced with other animals. She has rescued a total of one hundred and eighty four dogs after Daisy in the two years that she has started her non-profit; currently, she’s fostering eleven dogs. Since then, Caitlin has become an advocate for animals for emotional therapy. The organization’smission specifies that “Caitlin’s Vine of Bravery is God’s healing agent used to bridge the gap between rescuing hurting animals and providing emotional therapy for children undergoing traumatic life changing experiences.”
Rescue Dog Olympics
Last year, Caitlin’s Vine of Bravery participated in another annual festival hosted by another large rescue organization, Rescue Dog Olympics. This festival’s purpose is to bring together the organizations that rescue and foster dogs that are in need of safe homes. In order to raise awareness and give these dogs a voice, they educate people on how they can help save dogs’ lives and offer opportunities to adopt dogs. This year, the Rescue Dog Olympics festival is in Piedmont Park on March 10th 2019. As it does every year, the festival will celebrate rescue dogs and their forever families with events like dog Olympic game stations, a dog and human photo booth and disc dog demos, and many other fun events tailored for dogs and their humans.
Organizations like Caitlin’s Vine of Bravery and Rescue Dog Olympics work hard to give these animals a voice. They bring awareness to the problem that there are a lot neglected animals in need of forever homes. They advocate for them and they treat them with the kindness they deserve, setting an example for the public. By giving others an opportunity to take in and foster rescued animals, they are giving animals safe homes to thrive. Non-profits encourage people to get involved in the rescuing and fostering animals in need. Caitlin’s Vine of Bravery has a fostering program in place for those who want to take part in saving the lives of dogs in need.
Who knows? You might find your forever friend. And you might find yourself wondering, “who rescued who?”
Eman Odeh is a Kennesaw State Student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in professional writing. She hopes to use her experiences and her education to help her reach out and connect with people through different platforms. See her blog @ Coffee, Tea, and Mental Serenity