Strength In Animal Rescue

"Anyone can give up. It's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together, when everyone else would understand if you fell apart... that's true strength." ~Author Unknown

This is one of my favorite quotes about strength... and life. As I've said, life is hard... animal rescue is even harder. And when it comes to running an animal shelter, strength can be a daily struggle. 

I won't lie... there have been so many times in my own life when I've wanted to just give up. Haven't we all? When the pain is too much... when the fear is too great... when the obstacles are too large... it'd be easy to say, "I quit." 

When the world is too cruel... when the sadness is too overwhelming... when the suffering is never-ending... it'd be easy to just give up. 

When donations are too few... when the help just isn't there... when the "adopt a dog" pleas go unheard... I sometimes wonder just how much I can take.

I don't always feel strong. Often, I feel very much the opposite. Weak. Fragile. Inadequate. I feel sadness, uncertainty, and despair. Some days, I cry. Other days, I pray for mercy. Every day, I'm forced to say, "I just can't do it all." 

But here's the difference: I still do what I can.

In admitting our limitations, we shouldn't deny our own opportunities. In confessing our helplessness, we shouldn't deny our own power. In accepting our weaknesses, we shouldn't deny our own strengths. 

Inner strength is strengthened when we face our truths... when we acknowledge our circumstances... and despite our grim reality, we choose to keep going

Because within each of us... lies strength. Within strength... lies hope. Within hope... lies the power to go on.

Strength isn't born, or given, or taught. Strength is earned... through facing adversity, time-and-time-again, and never giving up. Strength is a choice... made daily... by those who have everything to lose... and everything to gain

When you feel like giving up... just remember that someone, somewhere, needs you to keep going. Even if that someone... the only someone... is you

You're stronger than you think you are. I am, too. Because this is what I've found: within my weakest moments... I find my greatest strengths. 
And no matter what, I keep on going... 

I focus on the positive. I do everything I can. I push my own limits. I challenge my own heart. I leverage my strengths, and I acknowledge my weaknesses... but I never let them win. 

I can't ever do everything, but I can always do something. I face many obstacles, but I always overcome them. I take some hard hits, but I always fight back. I fall down often, but I always get up.

That's true strength.


  1. You really are amazing Ashley! At times, when I can't bear to read the stories, or see the pictures, I have come to force myself to realize I have to do as much as I can for the animals, and to help people as dedicated as you are. I share, advocate, donate, have adopted, have fostered and walk dogs when possible at our HS. I've not seen even a small portion of what you have seen. I don't know how I could handle it, but I would hope I could find the strength to do so. I am humbled by being a small part of what you do. I am looking forward to someday meeting you and helping with your rescue on a more hands on way. Thank you for all you do. You are so very much appreciated.

  2. I love what you wrote, its really hits home. Please keep doin what you are doin.

  3. I love your blog Ashley.. It's so very true with all the horrible things you see going on around us, with animal abuse and when an animal does not get any attention until it's too late. It really takes alot out of us. Makes you just want to Quit.

    Just need to move on and help the next animal. If we save 1 thats better then none.

    We need to move Forward and think positive, we will face all kinds of obstacle in our lives, then pickup the pieces and there's always a lesson to be learn from it. What every it maybe.

    Saving animal lives it harder then our regular task in this world that can be so cruel.

    Keep Up The Great Work.

  4. amen sista!!! needed that, so THANK YOU..once again :)

  5. There are no words to tell you how special of a human being and soul to do what you do. I found you on facebook with pet pardons and then several months after saw your site. You are an encouragement to the way we should all love. Being on the front lines and seeing just how cruel people can be can effect you on so many levels, especially when the cruelty is so often directed at what you love so passionately. Your site and your message made me cry (and Im not teary eyed usually). You have saved so many lives and I am so encouraged by you. Thank you!!

  6. So true Ashley! I walk the dogs at a shelter here and everyday I hear people say "I can't do that because I'd get too attached" and it angers me to the core. Do people not think we cry for these animals? I know I do every time I leave but don't they deserve the tears? Don't they deserve a few minutes of love, even if it means that I feel blue for the rest of the day?

    You are such an inspiration...I look forward to reading your blog every time you post and I hope every person that stumbles across it realizes that they can help too and they WILL make a difference. Keep up the remarkable job you do, you are truly a blessing to the animals you rescue!

  7. Deb Infantine-RealtorSeptember 8, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Great blog,thank you :)

  8. Ashley, you are an inspiration to all of us who love animals and feel that sometimes it is all too much...whenever I feel that way I will read your blog and look at the quote and remember we do it for the animals! Thank you for all that you do!

  9. Y'all always make my day. I'm truly touched. Thank you... each of your comments mean more to me than you could know

  10. Ever think of doing a calendar of you and the pets you rescued. You can do them on the Internet and sell them on the site. Might make some profit on it.

  11. Ashley, did u get my order from your wish list?
    Everyone if you can't foster or physically help- you can donate money or food, or food bowls, chew toys etc..

  12. Thank you for this Ashley. So many times I question myself about things I do when they are not going as planned or become a struggle but I always do my best to hang in there. Has any one told you how awesome you are lately? :D

  13. Wish the world could be like this.

  14. I have had moments of just not trying. Therapy and medication definately improved my situation, but, even then, I needed God. When times seem like they are the dreariest, I seach for a word from Him; a personal word of encouragement and ministering. I even pray. This has helped me to find my inner strength, and when I find it, I discover that it does seem like you said, that there are innocent voices out there crying out for help, and so many don't care.

  15. Thanks Ashley you truly are an inspiration. I needed that, I lost my husband 9/11/01 and as the 10th anniversary nears I'm right back to that awful day. I have two daughters, they were 10 and 13 in 2001, so I had to do what I had to do. Just as you said you don't know where the strength comes from, but its there when you need it. I was watching the news, and of coarse everything was 9/11 I was thinking I can't do this anymore. But now i came on the computer and read your blog and I realize I can't continue with my pity party. Thank you for all that you do, u are truly a blessing to the animals you rescue!

  16. Ashley, I have no money nor room for a pet (apartment doent allow) I can repost. Please I know what you mean. Im ss I cry alot doing repost. My animals were never mistreated, except oour cat Miss Pierre was poisioned, but she died in her place in the garage. Im ss
    Thank you for all you do. God be with you

  17. Thank you for all that you do. There are so many wonderful dogs waiting for a good home, and you have made it possible for alot them to have one.

  18. Ashley,

    For you and all who do their part, however small it may seem to them, realize it all adds up. It takes a group effort to bring about change on a large scale, to face the almost endless need, but one person can do a lot.

    There are many animals in desperate need of help. To all the rescuers, cross-posters, and animal advocates hoping to bring about change, by sharing the despair, the fear, and then the hope, and the high when a difference has been made, please don't give up; it does work. Don't ever doubt it.

    The cruelty must be balanced with those who have no fear in speaking their minds, or sharing their thoughts, by opening their hearts, and often their wallets to undo the harm done, people like you and those who follow you in making change happen, we see we are never alone in wishing for a better world where animals know no fear or pain.

  19. Ashley, once again you have proven that you are wise beyond your years. I know that you wrote this because of the animals but I am sharing this with some wonderful women, some are struggling with the fact that their children will soon be in harms way and some that have felt the loss of a child. Thank you Ashley for putting it into words I never could.

  20. i needed to read your blog today, thanks

  21. Hi Ashley! I am so glad that I clicked on your FB page a few days ago. I wish you could "bottle" your attitude and compassion, and inject it into everyone. Take care!

  22. Ashley.... I am so glad you are there to fight for these animals... I am not in the position to donate at this time, but I will keep sharing and advocating the animals...I love the way you expressed your feelings in this blog.... I have been dealing with alot of obstacles in my life in this past year.. It has made me extend myself to the point of breaking...Whatever doesn't kill you, definitely makes you stronger...God does help those that help themselves... God Bless you and your gigantic heart.....

  23. How is the amazing max doing? I am from Tennessee and know u have him can u imbox or ppst lots people would love to know about the sweet baby.


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