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July 30, 2022

Life in Rescue Dog Advocacy: Death by Shelter affects us All

Rescue dog advocacy is hard, I often hear, when I share with friends and acquaintances what I’ve gotten involved in as of late. It is, is all I can say, because I’m not even involved at the ground level, but removed by six degrees. I write and advocate, share and sponsor, coordinate and communicate on behalf of dogs at risk. Occasionally, I get to save one or two indirectly, as was the case with Wrigley two weeks hence.

And I’m coming to know that more often than not, this heart of mine that once grieved for their plight and feeling so very alone, is joined by thousands in the rescue dog movement, each and every day.

This week has been one of great loss, despite a most magnificent win lightening up my ever-hopeful Democratic heart, for the loss of four beautiful, sentient, vulnerable and loving dogs in a shelter in Victoria, Texas put to death for want of homes and space upcoming for the next victims. Four dogs, who once lived and roamed about as young pups, romping and playing, hoping and resting on the couches or backyards of others. Four dogs who will never know the love they needed in this world nor the kindness or compassion that could have been bestowed.

It happens, people say, shelters have always killed animals. To which I say, it doesn’t need to – and there are millions who feel the same way.

Each time a healthy, loving animal is killed at a shelter, the heart of an animal lover breaks just a little bit more. Each time a vulnerable dog is walked through the doors of a shelter unbeknownst to anyone who could care, the spirit of an animal lover is dulled like the shine on silver. Each time a shelter worker follows through in carrying out the lethal policies set down by the disinterested or the disconnected, the heart of that shelter worker aches just that much more.

Whether you love animals or love an animal lover, the result is the same: death by shelter, no matter how justified, is a death of a more compassionate culture, one dog at a time.

What you can do:

*Spay or neuter. Your dog’s gonads aren’t yours, dude.

*Ban backyard breeding. More dogs suffer in shelters as a result, including being cast aside as strays and left vulnerable for shelters to then manage

*Educate and advocate, so as to eliminate shelter killing of loving, healthy dogs.

*Support foster-based rescues, step up and foster a homeless animal through a rescue, donate, volunteer. Let’s change the shelter system, one dog at a time.

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