I write a lot about shelter animals on this blog. They’ve been a passion of mine since I rescued my pit bull mix, Phil, from my local Animal Control facility seven years ago and started volunteering at my local humane society. I advocate for people to get their pets from shelters, as opposed to pet stores or breeders, because I’ve seen first hand the many dogs in need of homes.
Human failure is usually the reason these innocent babies end up in shelters and the reason for these dogs’ pain, so humans should be the reason they are saved. We owe them that.
For every scared dog, there is a human who brought fear into its life.
For every dog needy for attention, there is a human who never showed it affection.
For every dog emaciated, there is a human who let it starve.
The place I got Phil is an open, public facility. They have room to house 300 dogs, and last week they sent out an SOS all over social media that they are full, and they put out a list of super urgent dogs–dogs that are days or even hours away from being killed.
Last month, this facility was in the same situation they’re in now. They were full and begging for people to adopt or foster their dogs. The public came through, and there was a record number of adoptions for January.
Lots of dogs were saved.
But then February crashed the party and adoptions slowed, while the line of people surrendering their dogs to the facility splayed out the door. If eleven dogs were adopted, twenty-nine were left at the shelter by their owner.
This is another way humans fail these dogs–they give them up. Shelters are filled with animals people no longer want. The most common reason is the dogs’ families no longer have time for them.
It’s heartbreaking because after a life of living in a home, these dogs are left in a stressful, crowded place, filled with barking dogs. These confused dogs have no idea what is happening or why they are there.
Some dogs simply shutdown.
I’ve been monitoring the Animal Control’s Facebook Page to keep up with the status of the most urgent dogs, and it seems I’m not the only one. There is an entire community of people networking for these dogs. It’s so inspiring to see and gives me so much hope that more people are seeing that dogs in shelters are not broken, and they are deserving of a home.
Millions of dogs are killed every year. Please adopt your next pet. If financial reason are keeping you from adopting, please consider fostering. Shelters and rescues pay all expenses. If you’re concerned about getting attached to a dog and then having to say goodbye, I understand. I’ve considered that, too. But I decided my temporary heartbreak is worth saving a life. If fostering isn’t an option for you, volunteer at your local shelter, or support them by donating.
Phil wants the rest of his furry friends to find their furever homes, too.