While we are so excited about being in the new Meyer Finlay Pet Adoption Center AND we will be able to save so many more lives, I find myself disappointed every day with mankind. This is a photo of a 15-year old Yorkie that was surrendered to one of the local municipal shelters. This dog has a bad wound to her head and weighs half what she should weigh. For the most part, this little Yorkie will require a great deal of TLC and simply cleaning the wound to her head several times a day. What is amazing to me is that as soon as she arrived at our clinic, she was able to stand and was interested in eating, which showed me she had a desire to live. Her eyes were still gazing at us with hope.
This is my question: Why would anyone take a beloved pet to a local municipal shelter? Especially an elderly pet in this condition. We all know the local municipal shelters are overwhelmed with too many pets and they have limited care that they can provide to the animals that are surrendered. It was obvious to us that this was a purebred Yorkshire Terrier with a beautiful coat that someone at some point paid a great deal of money for when she was a puppy. So a person can afford to pay $400 to $2500 for a purebred, but can’t afford to provide medical care and ensure that their beloved pet lies in the hands of the person that loved her for 15 years as they cross rainbow bridge?
I hear the excuse of money all the time when it comes to the care for a pet. Well, many times I find that statement to be an acceptable excuse by our society and an easy way out for the owner to abandon the pet with little to no guilt associated with their action. Even in this tough economy, I still see most everyone walking around with the latest, greatest technology or the top name brand apparel. So I have to wonder if denying your pet care has more to do with priorities than money. It isn’t easy watching our pets or our parents grow old, feeble, and helpless but I would hope if you truly love the elderly that you will make their dying process as loving and compassionate as possible.
Thank goodness there are good people in this state that are willing to support Pawmetto Lifeline’s mission of extending love and compassion to those who have no voice. We are faced with this every day as we look in the eyes of much healthier adoptable dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies in our local municipal shelters that must die because someone made an irresponsible decision. Thank goodness for the more than 120 partners that we now have at Pawmetto Lifeline that work with us every day to try and save these companions from euthanasia.
This behavior will change when it becomes shameful by our society to do such. The problem is everyone does it: the educated, uneducated, poor, and affluent. Within the last month, a minister walked into our center and behaved in a way that would be shocking to most. He had found a stray dog and wanted to accept NO responsibility for helping this helpless creature.
So the next time, someone tells you they took a stray or family pet to a municipal shelter, simply say “HOW COULD YOU?” Perhaps it will begin a dialogue that will help educate people and make such decisions unacceptable in our society.
If you care and are willing to help you can make the right decision. Pawmetto Lifeline has numerous resources that can help you but require partnership and patience.
Denise Wilkinson, CEO