Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Don't Stop Believin'

Adoptapet.com -
The number of emails that flow through our group on a monthly basis is astonishing listing all the dogs and cats that need so much help.    Our group has been pretty swamped lately with animals looking for homes.   Some of our fosters have also needed to limit numbers due to a variety of reasons, so we're stretched especially thin right now.   Add on top of that,  we've had a rash of returns lately.    Suffice it to say, we really have zero room right now.

When people complain that they don't hear from a group member about accepting an owner surrender or pulling a certain dog out of a shelter, etc, they don't realize this isn't the only dog we see.    I don't know how our director does it.   I know she's always overwhelmed with emails and phone calls imploring her to take every last dog that needs a home on a daily basis.   The problem is, we just can't.   We don't have the volunteers to house the dogs and even if we had 100 more volunteers,  we wouldn't have the money to cover all the vet bills.    So when these emails go out, especially right now, they're pretty tough to look at because if I don't have space at my house and I know our group doesn't have space ... I can feel utterly helpless.
I am lucky in that I am only exposed to a small percentage of the emails.    Some that come across my inbox are sent to the group at large and some that are sent individually between us.    It is so disheartening to see these emails and to know the number of animals that need a chance.   Knowing it's not even a drop in the bucket when you get an email listing 30-40 dogs and cats.   To say it's overwhelming is just to sugarcoat the feeling it brings up in me.

Tonight I got such an email and I decided to go ahead and went through looking at the photos of the available cats.   Since one of my cats had to be put to sleep a few months ago, (Quincy the best cat that ever lived)  I'm always looking for his resurrected spirit.   I know, sounds crazy, but I think I've figured out that's what I'm doing.    There were 17 cats on this email that I received tonight and I couldn't even look at the pictures of half of them.   Almost every cat I looked at was under 4 months old.   The picture that stopped me dead in my tracks tonight was a picture of three 5 week old kittens.   They have these beautiful  eyes and they look so scared in the cage they're  in.    Take a look at the kittens.    I went to a seminar on pet adoption in August and one of the frightening statistics was that more cats than dogs are neutered and spayed, but there are more cats than dogs euthanized in shelters every year.      Looking at the pictures of these sweet adorable kittens, I know they have a very small chance of making it out of that shelter alive.    I *really* know that - it's not some offhand mental awareness - but I know it deep inside my soul.  And because of that,  I have a limit of how many pictures I can look at.   Their faces and their eyes kind of get stuck in my brain and then I'll be no use to anyone.    Some people in our group have to pull themselves off the group email for a while just to take a break from seeing the pictures and seeing how great the need is day in and day out.

Again, what can we do but what we are doing?   I have my fosters and I'm showing them love and giving them a home until they find a  place of their own.   I had a very promising call about Saburo today.    He will be missed - he's so full of life and just a joy to have around.     Can you imagine that Saburo was abandoned in a yard?   He was left behind like a bike that was rusty and didn't work anymore.    It's shocking because I've seen what a warm and loving and loyal dog he is.     If we didn't have room for him, who knows if he would have made it out.   But you know what?   He did make it out and he's brought a smile to the face of every person he's met.   And do you know why Saburo made it out?   Because Becky sent me and some others in our group an email letting us know he needed a second chance.   That's why we can't give up and that's why these emails have to keep being sent around.   Here's a look at Saburo "behind bars."    Who would have ever known by that picture what an amazing boy he is?        


  1. It is also so hard for people to get a feel for the animal with the pics some shelters are able to take, most people will overlook them. I also hope at some point we would be able to get a pro photographer that would volunteer a day a month to come in and photograph a bunch of fosters.

  2. As emotionally distraught as I am today, I got a smile and some tears out of this one! So very glad Saburo was saved, he is such a blessing and it wouldn't have happened if you and Joey weren't willing to foster him!