Animal shelters are depressing. Even with the most wonderfully maintained facilities, you can see cats piled into cages and two dogs sharing a cement block cage. Looking at them, your heart breaks for these animals that were dumped mercilessly by their owners who no longer loved them.
When you walk down the cell block of this animal prison (for it is a prison of the cruelest kind as these poor creatures are innocent of any crime), dogs press up against the bars of their cells as they wiggle and bark for your attention. You are drawn to each of them as they try desperately to impress you so that you’ll take them home, staring into their soulful eyes, wondering what these little furballs are thinking about their predicament.
Not all of them are so energetic. Some huddle against the walls, shivering in fright, looking up at you as if to say “How dare you?” These looks make you feel guilty, as if it were you who put them in these careless cages. Others don’t seem to care either way. These are the ones who lay curled up, staring up at you as if to say “I’ll be happy if you take me home, but I know you wouldn’t.”
Animal shelters take in hundreds of thousands of dogs every year. People lose them and can’t find them, others dump them there when they get too big or rowdy to take care of, others are moving to a place that doesn’t allow pets, and others just don’t care enough to care for them, period.
On the way home today, my mom and I stopped by the local animal shelter. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes, barking, wiggling, and shivering. Looking at them today, I longed to go up to the desk and fill out the paperwork for one of them. It was hard not to let them all out and take them all home, but with a heavy heart, I turned around and left the shelter, knowing that some of them would never know another home. But as I’m only one human, I can’t take them all home nor have the means to take care of them all.
If you’re looking into adopting a pet, please considering adopting one from your local animal shelter. These dogs, more than any other, long for a new place to call home. They are lovable and willing to please their new family, if only are given the chance.
Seeing these animals today made me thankful that I’d found my first dog when she did. She was a stray picked up by some kindly people who didn’t want her left on the side of the road. They put an ad in the paper, hoping somebody, anybody will claim her. If not, they’d be forced to take her to the pound. It was love at first sight and thus spent 13 lovable years together. I shudder to think of the possibility that she could’ve been where those dogs were, shivering with fright and huddled in the back corner, hoping for a new home. Sometimes it only takes one person to make a difference.