hope, love & second chances
The REALITY of a shelter pet
For anyone who’s ever dropped off a pet at a local shelter, it’s mostly a passing hell. There’s some paperwork, maybe some tears. Occasionally, people from a local animal welfare group are camped out front, hoping to change your mind.
Of course, no shelter can refuse an animal. But they can and do euthanize them. Often in a matter of days. Those days can be some of the most stressful, confusing and sad days of a dog’s life.
Do people who drop off their pet at a high-intake shelter really know what they are doing to that animal? We believe if they truly understood what their pet goes through after they walk out the door, shelters might be empty – or at least, less crowded.
If you can no longer keep your pet and want to find him/her a good home, dumping that furbaby at a shelter might not be the best option. Every year, approximately 1.2 million dogs are put down at shelters across the U.S. It’s simply a matter of quantity. “The vast majority of dogs don’t make it out alive.” They face astronomical odds. No dog deserves the cards stacked against him/her. Especially one who once was a cherished and loved family member or ever faithful companion.
What you can do?
As grim as the shelter life reality is, there is hope. You can see it in the wagging tails, even at the busiest shelters. You can see it in the army of animal lovers and organizations who dive into shelters day after day, looking to give even the oldest, saddest and least desirable dogs a second chance.
If the steady stream of unwanted dogs appearing on shelter doorsteps makes you angry and sad, you can help. Get involved. Help out those already working diligently to slow it down.
Have you visited a shelter lately? Just about every animal shelter in the U.S. is looking for more good hands. In fact, as we’ve so painfully seen in our experiences, the quality of a shelter dog’s life is directly proportionate to the number of volunteers at the shelter. So reach out to your local shelter through its website. Volunteer to lend your hands.
Of course, you can also give an incarcerated dog the greatest gift of all: FREEDOM. Take one home. There’s an unexpected, joyful feeling that washes over both dog and human. Never underestimate the transformative power of foster care.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
― Anatole France
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