After sharing the beautiful dog rescue video I found on Facebook this morning in today’s, “One Tiny Step Per Day”, I went back to Facebook to finish catching up with the news from my friends and rescue acquaintances, before I wrote my blog post here. I’ve got several happy things to write about–my friend’s decision to foster a dog, the continued adventures of Giovanni, and a number of small but fascinating new things my dogs did yesterday–and I’ll do that, later today.
But when I went back to Facebook, I found the following post about a pair of sister dogs whose picture had appeared the night before they were supposed to be euthanized. This particular pair really got to me. The beauty of the dogs; their body language, one cowering, her sister appearing to try to protect her…I hated this picture, and I hate it more now.
I immediately wrote a comment above the picture and posted it on my profile, asking all my friends to ‘share’ the picture, and some of them did, right away. But just now I learned that, for these dogs, it was too late.
I’d wondered when I ‘shared’ it why the dogs’ picture and information hadn’t been shared long before that night, and I still wonder. Who dropped the ball at that shelter? Or was it just impossible to keep up with all the pets whose pictures needed to be shared? I sit here, crying at my computer, and I thought I’d let you see another side of the truth about the pet rescue business.
A lot of the time, it’s horrible.
It’s impossible to see and read about the animals in danger of euthanasia…hold on.
I’ve just decided something. From now on, I will not use that word. Euthanasia is a term which should be reserved for situations like this–a cat has been hit by a car, the vet determines that there’s nothing he or she can do which will help it survive, and so its life is ended, gently and respectfully. Or a dog has cancer, and the treatment for that cancer would be just as painful or uncomfortable as the cancer itself, or even–and although I would not make this decision, I do understand that others might need to–impossibly expensive for the owner. In that case, the word euthanasia is the right one to use.
It’s not the word to use for the wholesale slaughter of dogs and cats happening in ‘shelters’ in the United States of America in the year 2011. What, exactly, is humane about this horrible waste of life we’re seeing day after day, in city after city, every time we turn on our computers?
So from now on, I will reserve the word euthanasia for its proper use, and for what goes on in the ‘shelters’ in this country, I’ll call it what it is–killing. Maybe, ‘murdering’ would be even better. I’ll have to think about that. The next word to go will be that word, ‘shelter’. Shelter! It would be laughable, except that it’s not at all funny. Shelter means something completely different from what these places are doing.
Can you tell, by this poorly written, ‘uncensored’ blog entry, what I feel, a lot of the time? I’m even sorry to be sharing it with you. But I have to suppose, from the fact that you’re reading this, that you want to stand next to me and fight, and this is why we’re fighting–to try to end this terrible situation, to remove the source of the pain for the animals and for ourselves.