Reading and writing this story about Wall-E, our euthanized then brought back to life Zombie Dog Overlord, really got me thinking about HOW dogs like Wall-E end up in this predicament in the first place….
My daughter had the opportunity to volunteer at the city shelter in Ingleside, Texas….population 9,000. She was interested in being a vet and we were fosters for Last Chance Rescue who was housed at the city pound. So she spent the summer helping with animal adoptions and caring for the animals. She came home with horror stories……and she told the tales with empathy but a matter-of-factness that led me to believe, there were no other alternatives than euthanasia.
The facts are, you only have so much space and so many resources in which to work with. You hear people say “We can’t save them all” and that is painfully true. But people don’t want to think about it. It’s easier to just turn away and pretend it doesn’t exist. Hopefully Wall-E’s story will pull the veil off this preventable tragedy so people will just SEE.
So many of us are part of the PROBLEM……but change to be part of the SOLUTION!
But how can we do that oh wise Dog Treat Lady? It’s so SIMPLE!
#1-Educate yourself! Did you know 25% of dogs available for adoption in the US today are Pure Breeds? Want an Afghan Hound? pure bred Yorkie? Great Dane? They are ALL sitting in shelters waiting for YOU!
#2-Don’t BREED! I know I know your dog is the best….yadda, yadda, yadda….you want his son or daughter….blah, blah, blah…..look, let’s cut the crap ok? Unless you are breeding champion show dogs, hunting dogs, working dogs, therapy dogs or whatever, you have NO BUSINESS bringing more dogs into the world. Seriously, “backyard breeders” , in my opinion, are the BIGGEST reason shelters are overcrowded in the first place. Again, this is aimed at people NOT in the dog “industry”. Ya’ll know who you are…..”oh let’s mate our Skippy the Boston Terrier with the Marshall families Boston Terrier and we will each keep one and SELL the rest!”…I know who you are because I thought of it MANY times! But you MUST RESIST and spay and neuter…seriously….you will get a lot more life out of your pet and you will simultaneously save 7 or 8 Boston Terrier puppies sitting in a Boston Terrier Rescue…..and someone will get frustrated because they can’t find anyone selling Boston Terriers in the paper or on Craigslist…..and they will visit that rescue and take home one of those dogs sitting there….and YOU will indirectly save her life……. THAT my friends, is how you do it!
#3 Adopt! Adopt! Adopt! So maybe you are the one who wants that Boston Terrier….what do you do now? It’s So EASY! Visit Petfinder.com! It is an online network of shelters and rescues! Enter in your zip code, the type of breed you are looking for, male or female and even age! It will find available pets in your area and beyond! Many rescues offer shipping under the right circumstances or a team of volunteers will often “shuttle” a rescue pup to a different state! These are PASSIONATE people here!
You can find puppies, young dogs or adults. Don’t want to deal with housebreaking your new Lab? Not a problem! Many pure breed rescues are already house trained! Looking for a Poodle that likes kids? One might have been surrendered yesterday by a divorcing couple! And she is already fixed and up to date on shots! PERFECT!
And let’s not forget all the adorable mutts and mixed breeds! Many believe mixed breed dogs are more calm and better with families….may or may not be true but there are a lot of best friends waiting to be adopted! You can find the scruffy little terrier mix to chace baseballs with your son. You can find the fluffy little white dog for your daughter to put bows in. You can find your best friend…..
#4-Be An Advocate tell your friends about the importance of adoption. Your neighbor says she is thinking of getting a Jack Russell? Encourage her to visit Petfinder.com! Volunteer at a local shelter or be a foster family! There are LOTS of ways to help!
Isn’t it time, as a nation, we put the horrors of animal shelters behind us? It’s so easy…….be a part of the solution.