As I ponder my thought of the day, I have to come realise that we exist in extremes. Extremes of the very best and sadly, also in extremes of the very worst kind, an ugly word, cruelty.
In the past few weeks two stories unfolded in the news media which caught my attention, touched my heart and also incited deep anger within me. Last month six little puppies were carelessly stuffed into a suitcase and abandoned next to an outdoor trash bin while their mother, who was tied up next to it, was pacing beside the suitcase. Many emotions go through my mind at the thought of the suffering and fear the puppies must have felt and also the maternal instinct of the mother, who was frantically pacing. It is hard for me to imagine what kind of person would do such an inhumane act. If not for a passerby, this story would not have a happy ending.
The Toledo Area Humane Society received 132 requests to adopt the puppies which led them to hold a lottery and all the puppies and their mother have found loving homes. Many people following this story, are probably all feeling a sense of relief, I am also but it is short-lived. While I am very happy for these adopted puppies and their mother I can’t help but ponder about all the other abandoned dogs and cats. The statistics are heart breaking. Millions of them enter shelters each year and more than half of them will not make it out of the shelter alive.
Somehow we have become a nation where everything is so easily disposed of, unwanted, thrown out without a thought. We seem to disrespect our planet, the animal kingdom and even each other. While I do still believe there are many caring and selfless individuals out there, I think we have reached a time where it’s no acceptable to just exist in our own little world, we have to step up and say, “It’s enough”.
I have learned that these words “Adopt, not shop”, are words to think about. If you take a moment and analyze that every day 10,000 people are born in the United States and every day about 70,000 kittens and puppies are born, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out there will never be enough homes for all these animals. I can argue the point now about the need to spay or neuter your pet but I think if you don’t know this by know you should not own a pet.
This statistics speaks for itself…..
” In six years one unspayed female dog and her offspring can reproduce 67,000 dogs.” – thedogrescuers.com
Does it make sense as a society we accept that over $2 billion is spent each year to shelter and ultimately destroy 8-10 million adoptable cats and dogs because we continue to breed. Is it acceptable behaviour to be able to knowingly look the other way when we want another pet and just “buy” a new one from a breeder? Is compassion something we turn on when we feel like it?
This brings me to share a story of an abandoned poodle. This is a story about extreme neglect and animal cruelty and extreme caring. The founders of Hope for Paws, a Los Angeles based animal rescue organization, owned by the Hagars, found the poodle which they named Fiona, lying down in a heap of trash, blind, sick, badly flea-infested and filthy. No clue to how long she had been abandoned, they carefully gathered her in their arms and brought her home. They shaved her matted, filthy fur off and gave Fiona a chance at life. Upon learning that partial vision could be restored in one of her eyes by replacing the lens, they initiated a fundraising campaign to raise the $4000 needed for the surgery. Hundreds of people donated and Fiona gained sight in one of her eyes. Today, Fiona has been adopted and is doing great. The Hagars filmed Fiona’s story and have posted it on Youtube to inspire others to help or adopt an abandoned dog. I know it has inspired me to try to do more for homeless pets. I started a few months ago, with adopting “Gordy” and from being a very quiet dog to a happy, loving dog, I can see all it took was to give him a chance, a home, some love, some compassion. Please watch Fiona’s Story
While many will say they don’t abuse or neglect animals, in some way we all do, we all are participating by the sheer fact we know they are there, the statistics are there, millions of abandoned pets are just there. They are there sitting, just waiting for someone to care. A country of millions has a voice, this extreme neglect to those who depend on us and offer everything, from unconditional love and loyalty deserve some extreme behaviour from us, some extreme compassion.