By Mandy Buhle
I am a 24-year old woman, a college graduate, with two careers. Given the crumbled state of this economy, you probably would think that those two careers would be soap operas and newspaper cartoons. Much to the relief of my parents, you would be wrong. By day, I am a merchandiser, stocking and arranging things for other people to buy, but by night, weekend, and every minute in between, I attempt to be a superhero. And I am not alone. For you see, I rescue animals.
It all started last fall when I got tired of being underemployed and decided to “put my money where my mouth was,” so to speak. I went onto the internet to find a volunteer organization that would allow me to put my talents and skills to use. I looked for groups having something to do with animals because I realized that I have so much love to give and not enough creatures to receive it! The Animal Coalition of Delaware County (ACDC) popped up right away.
As soon as I applied to volunteer and went to the orientation meeting, I realized that these were powerful people. ACDC is entirely run by volunteers, even the Board of Directors, and while there is a hierarchy, it isn’t all that strict. Volunteers are allowed to do as much as they want. I initially signed up to do outreach events, and found myself rearranging and folding the merchandise, to the delight of our then-President. However, I still didn’t feel like I was doing enough.
I found the ACDC fan page one evening while I was browsing Facebook, an activity that became a business for many when I was in college. It is the most popular social networking site on the internet right now, and as such, has become a superb way to reach people to share information about events, groups, companies, etc. I messaged the current administrator about working on it. Even though I had only officially been with the group for a few months and had barely participated in activities, she agreed to let me.
I have had so much fun and have been able to network with so many other rescuers across the globe because of ACDC’s fan page! We have even gained a new foster mom who found us through Facebook.
The best thing about working with ACDC (besides all of our cuddly, gorgeous animals) is definitely the people. Everyone is so dedicated to rescuing animals in need and finding them their “purrfect” homes. They may be accountants, designers, marketers or more by day, but their spare time is devoted to the care and placement of the animals.
They spend their nights and weekends driving all over the tri-state area to transport animals between vets’ offices, foster homes, shelters, and more; working for hours to get the perfect picture of the bunny who won’t hold still for the website photo; dreaming up and sketching out ways to raise more money so that we can give medical care to more animals; and holding paws as heartworm treatments are given.
Oh, and a lot of our volunteers have families, too. I don’t know how everyone gets everything accomplished. I like to think there are little furry angels watching over us. There’s nothing like the joyful feeling of saving an animal’s life and watching them change someone else’s. My only hope is that someday the number of our successes equals the number of animals in need.