I love my dog so much my heart aches. I’ll bet you feel the same way about yours, too. Ever since we took her into our home from the streets of Breckenridge, Texas as a rescued stray, our little shepherd mutt has bonded in all the ways every dog lover can hope for.
The same can be said of her brother, Charlie. An equally intelligent, loving and deserving Labrador mutt just one year into life, he was rescued from the streets of Shawnee, Oklahoma, by the good people at http://www.sparpets.org/adoptable-pets/.
But I can’t stop there, because there are so many more dogs not as fortunate as Smudges & Charlie still in need of furever homes. And I believe that it takes a tribe of dog-loving hearts connected together, to save these dogs from death by ignorance and abuse, euthanasia by shelter policy, or harm at the hands of the ill-informed, the overwhelmed and the apathetic.
We are still in need of more spay and neuter laws and having veterinarians willing to do so at low-cost (a Colorado favorite: Spay Today). We’ve made progress, and yet, we’re not quite there. Not when two thousand animals are put to death daily, according to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
Adding to the homeless population in ever-increasing numbers, are breeders more concerned with the balance in their bank accounts than caring about the lives already here. They operate on the principle that the health and beauty of a mixed-breed/mutt is inferior to the purebreds they are churning out into an overpopulated animal world.
I’m not against purebreds per se — there are plenty of rescues trying to re-home those that haven’t worked out — and that’s a different story. I am simply of the belief that until we have homes for all of the beautiful animals already here, we should not be adding any more to the population. Ordering up a purebred is akin to putting a needle to the paw of a rescue mutt, saying,
No room for you, I guess you have to die today.
On the rescue dog end of the spectrum, we advocates are fervently working to help as many as we can before shelters decide they are at capacity and put the needle to the paw of the next one in line.
Here in Colorado, we are indeed fortunate to have a plethora of foster-based rescues pulling death-row inmates from the high-kill shelters in New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma. And yet, there are far more in need. During these pandemic times, even more remain in shelters out east, where the overwhelm is focused on solving more urgent demands of humans in trouble due to Covid-19.
In the mayhem, I’ve learned of a few long-term residents in the shelter in the Town of Hempstead, New York that have been abandoned by their people, rejected or unclaimed by those they once loved and trusted. I share them because I hold their stories close in my dog-loving heart. I know that there are some good people out there willing to give them a second (okay, maybe third) chance. Should you know any such dog-loving spirits out east near Hempstead, NY, please consider sharing these stories:
Wherever you sit on the spectrum of rescuing and advocacy, if you could consider sharing stories on behalf of those still in need it will increase their public exposure and thus their chances for a loving, stable life outside the shelter. We’re lucky here in Colorado — but LexiMama, Juniper, Diego and several of their other friends are not so fortunate. They need help from us dog-lovers here, who can keep spreading the word.
Anyone who’s ever rescued any creature stray and homeless already knows the depth of a rescue dog’s gratitude, that the love they give is reflective of the depth of suffering and deprivation they’ve experienced. We also understand that rescue dogs in particular have an affinity and devotion to their people, because they’ve been at the bottom of life — sometimes in a shelter for years and counting. They know just how fragile life can be. They also know that when someone comes along with a gentle hand and reaches down to pull them out of the misery of an asphalt bed and perpetually rumbling empty stomach, they are forever bonded to and grateful for a second chance to enjoy a life outside those shelter walls.
For rescuers like us, nothing can feel more gratifying than being able to help alleviate the suffering of a vulnerable, beautiful, sentient being who has been overlooked, abused, neglected, or suffered the horrors of cruelty by society in the daily deluge of our chaotically transforming culture. In a world overwhelming any one soul in its speed, density and mass, it’s a small measure that takes on vast meaning for one individual.
If we dog lovers can better connect to help the hard luck stories live a little better life in a furever existence by sharing to increase their exposure, we can feel we’re doing our part, which is all any one of us can do.
Namaste, and thank you for listening…Please pass this on.