What did we learn from the molly the cat experience?
Having your own animal rescue resources prepared.
Something I learned early on is that in an animal emergency such as this, albeit a rarity, you need to be able to depend on your own resources alone. I also thought about how individual communities should have all-volunteer rescue groups for animals specifically prepared with the necessary equipment and know how. Public emergency units like the Fire Department and the Emergency Unit of the Police (who were amazing helpful) have countless individuals who want to help you but they usually have to take off very quickly when called elsewhere.
If you can't see, you must hear.
We never saw Molly until we finally reached her by drilling a huge chunk out of the stores wall. But we did hear her throughout. In a situation such as this sound can be your best friend and if we could go back we would have gotten a sound expert involved earlier.
The media helps.
As exhausting as the scene outside the site was (it got so crazy a news crew came to blows) the media brought attention to this story that proved invaluable. Without their help we probably would not have been able to search for Molly as long as we did and they were very respectful when we asked them to be quiet and or move back. In a situation such as this it is imperative to keep them involved and give them stories every day, to keep people interested.
Keeping the owner of the property happy.
I had to show up every morning and convince the owner of the property that this was the day. This was the both the day we would find Molly and also the day the circus would move away from his storefront. I made sure to keep the owner aware of what we were and wanted to do. I also assured him that we would put the building back to original, if not better condition, which we did too.
Get donations while the story is hot.
The rescue of Molly was a volunteer effort and so was the reconstruction effort. In the beginning there was a donor who pledged to cover the entire relief effort and because of this other donor offers were turned away. Unfortunately the donor soured and by that time we had saved Molly and the story had died down. We were now left with all the construction costs and labor to cover ourselves and it was a huge job. Luckily through the efforts of myself, Nancy Gambert and Murray Mockler we were able to complete the job and in a timely fashion too. Looking back someone at the site's sole responsibility should have been raising money but we were all just so concentrated on the rescue. Many of us spent large amounts of money out of our pocket but it was money well spent.Click here to read more about Molly the cat