This week on Instagram, I came across a post that struck me deeply.
Written by @wolfmotherk9, these words address the enormity of the crisis currently overwhelming our animal shelters and rescues.
I'm sure this isn't what you want to read right now.
It's easier not to learn about, not think about what is happening.
Please read this:
The single most important truth we need to come to terms with is this:
This is not a "shelter problem."
This is a community problem.
They are being surrendered and abandoned faster than we can save them.
They are being bred faster than we can save them.
They are being given up on faster than we can save them.
If 20 dogs are pulled to rescue, 40 more take their place that same week.
There is a point where we can no longer keep up with the demand from the public. We have far exceeded that.
These dogs all had families. They had homes. And in so many cases, whatever that was, whatever that looked like, was so much better than the life they endure at an animal shelter.
And it may be easy to forget, to go about our days because there are so many things we struggle with in our own lives every day.
But today I ask you. I beg you. Please think about theirs.
Please think about their faces as they watch a life go by behind a kennel door with hope.
Please think about the confusion of losing their home and the life they had, everything they knew, not knowing the odds stacked against them.
Please think about their final walk to a euthanasia room. Their final breath. And how quickly they are forgotten.
Over 390,000 dogs every year. Every one had a name. Every one deserves at least a chance.
Shelters are not dumping grounds. They are not redemption for impulsive decisions or a lack of effort. They exist to support their communities.
When I read things like, this I'm overcome with simultaneous feelings of needing to do something and helplessness. What can we do? How can I help?
As a start, please:
Donate - Volunteer - Adopt - Spay - Neuter
- Teach your children and those in your community that dogs and cats feel emotion, and pain, and have needs similar to ours as humans.
- When you hear someone in search of a breeder because "the breed they want won't be in a shelter," jump on Petfinder and share a few animals that fit their wishes.
- Share adoptable animals and shelter/rescue wishlists on your social media and within your communities and networks. You never know who is looking for the sweet face you post or who has a stack of much-needed newspaper lying around.
- Engage with the social media accounts of shelters and rescues to improve their reach (so more people see their posts).
- Set your local rescue as the beneficiary on Amazon Smile.
Do you have ideas on how to help? Share your thoughts in the comments–we'd love to hear from you.