We were hanging around the lobby of our local pound last weekend trying to get a neuter voucher for Scout (we weren’t successful). A family was there adopting a puppy. I was sitting in front of a corkboard in the lobby where people had put up lost pet notices. The little girl from the puppy adopting family – I would guess she was about 6 – came over and was looking at the notices. She pointed to one with a big white dog on it and asked me, “What does he like to eat?” I told her I didn’t know, the notice didn’t say. She replied, “If we knew what he liked to eat, we could go to the last place he was and leave a trail of his favorite food from there to the animal shelter and he’d probably follow it and walk right in the front door!”
I told her that was an excellent idea. I held back my fears for any dog who did walk in the front door of our local pound.
She was too young to realize that not all shelters are safe havens for lost pets. It wasn’t my place to tell her. And besides, I am hopeful that by the time she grows up, all shelters will be exactly what she, and many others, believe they should be: a refuge for the lost, the homeless, the victims of neglect and cruelty; a place for the sick to receive treatment and for the weary to rest in comfort; a peaceful stop at the end of life’s journey to relieve suffering for medically hopeless pets; and a house of joy where owners are reunited with lost pets and adopters find new family members.