Paula and I are officially on the road. Woke up at 3am. Put all dogs in the van. And we out by 4am. I managed to film the two little sheltie pups who appear to be doing much better after being dewormed.
I have been reflecting about my trip on my way home. I didn’t cry much while I was down there going through the shelters. I feel sort of guilty about it. There was a time when I couldn’t even open emails with dogs in need of rescue by a certain deadline.
Once I received an email with about 25 dogs. I was told I could only pull two dogs. That was because they didn’t have anyone who could hold onto them down south for a couple weeks to have them vetted and fully quarantined. As I scrolled down the page, I had tears streaming down my face as I looked at all the little faces with pleading eyes. I ended up pulling three dogs – two little ones who shared a space and one big dog.
The further we drive away from Tennessee, the sadder I feel. I am anticipating it getting worse once I get home to Massachusetts. All the faces I walked by and couldn’t save will be embedded in my mind. I can remember almost every single one of them except for the place that holds about 200 dogs.
Ruth, one of the favorite DDR volunteers, wrote me and several others an email about a skit that was on David Letterman. She said that he had a comedian on who was talking about people who rescue dogs. He said that’s all that matters to them. If you ask them what kind of dog they have, they will say, “I don’t know, it’s a rescue.” They brag, “This is my German Shepherd rescue mix.” He said rescue is an adjective. You wouldn’t say “This is my Siamese sleeping cat”.
It’s true. Rescuing dogs and cats have come a long way and more and more people are proud of rescuing a dog. I love when they say that because it’s spreading awareness. The sad part, is that we are only putting a band-aid on this devastating epidemic. So many more hurdles to overcome… Spay/Neuter laws, educating young people so hopefully they grow up to be more compassionate, educating the ignorant politicians who allow shelters to still gas and not put effective laws in place to protect dogs.
I enjoy working with many shelters in the south. The places who care about the dogs and will do their best to help rescues like Double Dog Rescue. They are compassionate and are very helpful. I appreciate them very much and tell them so. They have so many dogs to take in on a daily basis, I am sure it’s overwhelming for them.
Now I’d like to discuss the shelters who ARE NOT helpful. I cannot name these shelters as they punish people like me for standing up to them. I have heard first-hand about a shelter where the so called “man in charge”, beats the dogs close to death if they don’t stand still for the euthanasia needle. Then there are the shelters who put a dog to sleep despite knowing a rescue said they will pull a particular dog. And then there are the malicious, like a shelter in LA where they gas the dogs after four days. The evil woman who works there feels powerful because she uses dogs as leverage toward rescue who want to pull them to safety. Must be nice to feel so powerful toward something that can’t even fight back.
You see, if we/volunteers bring attention to this, they will ban us from that particular shelter. Therefore, we can’t save any at all. Most of the volunteers are in fear of these bullies. Some shelters don’t even allow cameras so dogs can’t even get exposure. Unless laws change, these people will continue to boost their ego at the cost of poor, innocent, homeless dogs.
You can hear the frustration in my final blog about my experience. I feel somewhat defeated and frustrated at the same time. I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut about the truth. The more we expose these people and talk about them, the more someone will have to address this issue someday. I refuse to let this go.
Until then, I have 14 babies being delivered safely to their foster or forever home. They are the lucky ones. And so are my 4 babies. They’re going to get smothered with love tonight… whenever I get home.
P.S. The dog pictured in this blog will not be left behind. I am going to post them to raise money for them. Gunther, the large boy with the mange on his face, needs extra sponsorship so we can pull him. He weighs about 120 lbs and is a Lab/Great Dane mix. To donate toward Gunther, go to doubledogrescue.org and click on the PayPal button.