On Tuesday of last week, I was driving home when I saw an emaciated dog running on a rural road. As I slowed my car, she attempted to approach so I took it she was friendly. I was very close to home at that point so decided to go get her something to eat. We don’t personally have the resources to do the job our taxpayer funded shelter is supposed be doing, but we always try to help as best we are able.
At the house, I grabbed a hunk of cornbread that was ready for the dogs’ dinner and Billy grabbed a raw meaty bone. We drove back to the area where we had seen the dog. She was still there and walked right up to gently take the cornbread from my hand. Her tail was wagging like mad when we left her with the bone. On the very short drive back, Billy suggested we should leave her some kibble. So he scooped up a gelato container full of kibble at the house and we returned to the dog eating her bone. Lying down, she was hardly recognizable as a dog, looking merely like an oddly stacked pile of bones under a towel. She was again super friendly and devoured the kibble, although she was willing to leave it in order to return to our car for some love. On the way home, I said we should have thought about bringing her water since kibble makes dogs thirsty. Billy went inside the house and emerged with a container full of water.
This time when we returned to the area, the dog was nowhere in sight and her bone was at the roadside. There were two cars stopped in the road ahead, the drivers talking to one another. One of them had a Dalmatian puppy in the cab of his truck but I couldn’t see inside the other vehicle. They drove away and we left the water but never saw the dog again. The only thing I could imagine that would make that starving dog leave her bone was the opportunity for human affection. I assume one of those stopped drivers picked her up.
My heart sank when Billy said, “Oh no. I hope they didn’t take her to the animal shelter.” It was a real possibility because so many compassionate people believe their local animal shelter is the proper place to take animals in need and that the people who work there love animals. The truth is that our local pound, like so many others across this country, is little more than a pet slaughterhouse. They kill 3 out of every 4 pets in their care and the only effort that seems to be expended is in covering up the killing and hiding it from the public. They like to promote how, instead of doing their jobs, they ship the dogs they are supposed to be caring for up north, where animals in shelters are also killed. Our local public shelter is no safe haven and if this dog was brought there, she would have very little chance of survival.
I’ve been thinking of this poor dog every day since Tuesday. My hope is that she was picked up and brought home by someone who was in a position to care for her. I am clinging to that hope. If it weren’t for the actions I hear about every day from the so-called irresponsible public, whom pound directors blame for the killing they do, I would have no such hope. Thank you irresponsible public for defying the labels hung on you by shelter pet killers everywhere. I will keep working for shelter reform so that one day, my local shelter will truly be a safe haven for dogs and cats in need.