There’s not a cloud in the sky but everyone is soaked. Everyone.
I check and the temperature on my phone says “95.” I turn my head further down toward my shirt and, as several beads of sweat roll off my forehead, see that it’s stained dark all the way down until the last couple of inches. (the lead photo is Jaime, by the way, taken seconds after he stepped out of the van).
This time of year, you go out and hit the streets trying to help people with their pets – and find pets who could use a hand in the heat – it’s expected. And from what I can see anytime I’m with our outreach team, it’s not just something they expect, it’s something they tolerate without complaint.
None of them will hesitate to get out of the air-conditioned van to rescue a stray walking the streets. Or stop to ask someone who has pets in the backyard if they need anything.
No whimpering. Ever. Even the people along for the ride today who aren’t in outreach. They just help get the job done.
“They know it’s part of the job,” says Kristin Roth, PRCKC director of engagement. “They do not complain about the weather regardless of whether it’s rain or shine. They’re just so dedicated to the pets and people we serve.”
On the Go
Several days each week you can see our vans – the Mobile Units – out on the streets. They might be delivering food, transporting animals, dropping off supplies, providing parasite and fly control, doing a mobile vaccination clinic or just offering up some pet-care advice.
All with love, of course.
“Our mission is to help,” says PRCKC founder and CEO, Michelle Rivera. “We do that without judgment. It’s a central part of who we are and how we help others. I think that’s why we’re so trusted around the city. People know we’re going to listen and try to find answers without treating them poorly or being critical.”
The day in question, when the heat bore down like a soaking wet heavyweight blanket, the team was assembling a run for a pair of dogs who lived with one of our outreach clients. He’d had a stroke and was somewhat unstable and both dogs were big and strong. So his only option was to put them outside on tie-outs for some exercise. One, Beast, is big enough and strong enough to break everything.
We held a fundraiser and soon had enough funds to get two runs (thank you very much everyone). Nobody even batted an eye when we asked for help assembling them in our client’s backyard. They just got to work in the sun and the heat and kept going even though it was one of the days in KC when it felt like we were baking in a sauna.
I want you to know this about the people I work with here at PRCKC. Not because they want praise or thanks for what they do every day to make sure pets and people have the opportunity to stay together. And not because they’re tough or dedicated or know that this is what they must do for their jobs. Though that is certainly true.
No, I want you to know it because they care. Because, everyday, that’s who they are as people.