Rescue Education Sanctuary Quarantine
RESQ is dedicated to providing care at low-to-no cost using recycled goods and materials.
Who are we?
Two female full stack web developers founded RESQ.
Moe and Jenn have traveled to more than 20 countries. Two consistent problems really struck them in each country: 1) the incredibly high numbers of stray animals desperate for medical care and basic sustenance; and, 2) the abysmal use, or disuse really, of "trash" materials and "expired" foods. Empty market streets are rife with stray animals foraging through leftover market trash, much of which is plastics.
Giving this global issue careful thought, the idea of RESQ was sparked in 2015 and implemented in 2017. The RESQ team has over 50 combined years of experience working with animals, while using refurbished and reclaimed materials. The answer seemed simple:
Convert the discarded foods into viable animal feed & use the discarded market materials to collect, process, and deliver the feed to undernourished animals in the local area.
Currently, RESQ #1 consists of two full-time volunteers (the Founders), who handle everything from market pick-ups to in-field medical care, and one part-time volunteer, who handles food processing and on-site animal monitoring. We work with local rescuers to assist the ill, elderly, or disabled with their animals. We also have low-cost / donation partnerships with local produce vendors, butchers, and seafood vendors.
We hope to see new RESQ Chapters taking form all over the world!
We are developing RESQ-DAO to help.
How do we do it?
The Process starts with the basics: FOOD
Countries all over the world have food markets with frequencies ranging from daily to weekly. RESQ #1 collects on a weekly basis as our local produce market is held weekly.
So! Starting with Market Day we collect the foods: bruised apples, soft oranges, green peppers that will go bad before the vendor's next market day, or surplus green beans that weren't sold due to low demand.
Whatever the case, a produce vendor will usually keep a crate or two of "trash" produce beside their stall tables. We simply go around asking each one for their "trash". The crates then get loaded up into the RESQ car to be delivered to processing.
From MARKET to PROCESSING
Once the produce has been brought back from the market we then need to sift, organize, and wash it all.
One market can yield up to 15 pounds of unused and reclaimed vegetables and fruits.
The fruits and vegetables are quickly determined to be more or less than 50% overripe. An apple, with significant bruising, can have the bad half cut off and still be 50% edible. Awesomely, the seeds can be harvested, planted, and eventually used to produce more apples. By planting food trees in recycled pots, we're also creating deliverable plants that will produce food and oxygen, helping to reduce RESQ's carbon footprint.
While walking the market, we talk to produce vendors and keep an eye out for butchers, bakers, seafood vendors, and groceries. You can stop in and talk to them to get their throwaways. While we, at RESQ, strive to provide the most nutritional food as possible to our charges, we recognise that it is cruel to withhold day old bread from a starving animal just because bread has processed sugars. And so we do allow non-toxic (no chocolate, no candy, no onions, etc) store-packaged foods to be carefully mixed into the animal feed.
We are also RESQ Makers and so we process materials for shelters as well. It's not just about food, but a comfortable and balanced life for everyone.
Many produce vendors will throw out older, broken, and disposable crates and are happy to let you have them instead.
We see HUNDREDS of crates of varying shapes and materials getting thrown into dumpsters EVERY WEEK!
Most of these can be used to make shelters for stray animals. Styrofoam, in particular, is incredibly hard to break down in landfills, but is one of the best insulators for RESQ volunteers to use in DIY shelters to keep strays warm in very cold weather and cool in very hot weather.
To get pointers on how to use market materials to create housing try out our DIY Guidebooks.
From PROCESSING to COOKING
Nice! Now, we have our sorted and cleaned produce. Then, it gets cut up into bite-sized pieces. This is the longest and most tedious part of the entire process. Get yourself a sharp knife or a food processor.
Meat, bones, fat, and skin that was donated by the butcher go into a large pot of water to boil. Separate the bones out and strain the water (which we keep to cook the rice and pasta in), leaving the meat, skin, fat, and cartilage for our slobbering charges to eat.
Seafood vendors will also have fish heads, shellfish, and older produce that they will give you. This is a great source of oils and proteins for cats and dogs alike, but BE CAREFUL to de-bone and de-shell all seafood as they can cause serious medical conditions in your animals. Seafood is cooked the same as butcher's meat: large pot with water, boil, separate.
Cook up a big pot of rice and pasta using the liquids from the meat. Mixing the fruit, veg, meat, rice, and pasta together with a few scoops of a farm grade dog kibble is the last step in food preparation for RESQ #1.
Food? Check. Now it's BUDDY TIME!
So, we've cut, stirred, and mixed this incredible feast together. What now? Well, only the best part, and yeah you guessed it, delivery time. We load the food into the RESQ-mobile again; this time with giant buckets of dog and cat mix. Each stop delivers food, love, and basic medical care to strays and undernourished local animals.
It won't take long for your strays to learn you and your routine. They will be waiting with wagging tails and drooling mouths. The cats complain that we have been away too long. They don't really opt-in for the medical treatment, either.
Buddy Time is the few extra moments that you take to look them over after they have eaten. This gives them much needed human interaction and gives you a thank you for the effort. While we feel the animals over, giving "pets", we check for fleas, ticks, wounds, unnatural movement in the limbs, gently press for abdominal pain and check eye, ear, and mouth health.
Let's be real here peeps, THESE ARE STRAY ANIMALS. EXERCISE CAUTION AT ALL TIMES. You have no idea what has happened to an animal in it's past, nor do you know to what extent this animal has been people trained. DO NOT FORCE ATTENTION ON AN ANIMAL.
New strays should be treated with the least amount of contact as possible until a routine has been established. Leave food and observe only. Even the friendliest of animals has an uncertain past and could decide to defend themselves. Also, you don't know what diseases you could be bringing home to your own house. So, let's all be adults here, wear gloves and wash your hands.
Why do we do it?
Animals are citizens, too!
No, really. The strays are part of local ecosystems. An animal that finds itself without a home will unknowingly destroy property, disrupt traffic, cause accidents, eat local wildlife, and defecate in streets. An unhealthy animal can disrupt the health of a large portion of the animal population, including spreading disease to humans. By providing strays with food, homes, and basic medical care, we also have the opportunity to train them to specific areas and behaviors like helping them become well-mannered. A trained animal has a much higher chance of getting re-homed than an overly-cautious stray.
We have also found that interaction between animals and people is mentally healthy for the animal and the rescuer. A petting session with an animal registers the same in the human brain as a mother looking at her newborn baby. It must be because they're fluffy.
We feel better. They feel better. Everyone wins!
Not only are we caring for the animal population of the world, but also the skin of the Earth herself. Reducing waste in a consumer world is an uphill task. By following the RESQ guidelines we can make a local difference.
Feel free to look through the different pages to get ideas for your own RESQ. You have a life, we totally understand. Pick out the activities that you can start doing without extra trouble and go from there.
Help us out by spreading the word about RESQ!
Visit the Donate Page to see how you can help us to help the world.
We have plenty of donation activities and options. Money is not the only thing that makes the world go round. But, money sure will fix the RESQ car's transmission, put new tires on the RESQ van, and help us pay rent on the RESQ facility. ;)
We support eXtinction Rebellion, Future for Fridays, All for Climate, 350.org, Climate Reality Project, and many others who are leading the fight for Planet Earth..