Thursday, December 29, 2011
Thoughts While Waiting for Paint to Dry...
Because of the writing.. and of course the art.. and my own personal interest, I have been obsessed with the world of shelters for some time now. I have followed many stories about good rescues and bad and I have watched groups work to make improvements in shelters and some who place blame. It is such an emotional issue. It is one that is easy to stand back and throw blame, but one that once you get your hands dirty you have a much better understanding of the truth. One thing that has been bothering me for sometime is the idea that some people have about shelter workers. I have seen such horrible things said about them- people call them murderers and say that they hope they go to hell. Horrible stuff. I even saw a group say that the workers at the Miami shelter "enjoyed killing". It is sick the things that I have read. I can honestly say that I have met several shelter people and not one has ever said they enjoyed killing or liked that part of their job. It wasn't just that one shelter director that I have seen become emotional .... I have seen intense emotion from many people who work at various shelters who are so overwhelmed and disturbed by that aspect of their job.
If people would just stop dumping their pets it would make the killing stop. If there were truly enough homes for them all it would end.. but, there is no end in site. Too many people fight against the simple fact that dogs and cats must be fixed- there are simply too many. People are still buying pets that come from backyard breeders and puppy mills. It is big business and there appear to be people who want to divert the attention of the need to stop the breeding and push the blame to the people who work in the open door shelters. The euthanasia is not the cause - the euthanasia is the effect caused by the affect of those protecting the breeding industry. We need to be careful about where we point our fingers.
As I have seen firsthand is that "no kill" shelters can exists successfully, but in order for them to be a success they cannot be open door. If they accept every dog and cat then they end up in the same boat as the "kill" shelters - a shelter full of animals with out enough people wanting them. It is a case of want that also adds to the problem. People want certain types of pets. People who want cute fluffy dogs will not be interested in the thousands of pit bulls and labs sitting in shelters right now. Too often, those people that have specific wants don't even bother with the shelter because there is such an over abundance of breeders out there spewing out popular dogs. The sad thing is that a simple search on Petfinder would let those people who want ..see that those same dogs and puppies are in shelters all across the country.. and often for a much lower adoption fee than a breeder charges. Some "No Kill" shelters understand the fact of the want and take in only those dogs or cats that are highly wanted.
I just felt like just getting those thoughts out here tonight.. doing this blog writing while I wait for paint to dry on some mixed media paintings I am doing ... using images of dogs that were never adopted... they were never taken by "no kills" or fosters.. they died.. and I know the person who had to make the decision to euthanize them.. and I know that she didn't take it lightly.. because I was there one day when that same decision was made on others.. and saw her cry.