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We are all painfully aware of the tragic events of
September 11, 2001. The only good that came out of that horrific day is
the compassion that the human race displayed; not only amongst one
another, but also towards the companion animals who were affected by the
disaster. Literally hundreds of people from all across the country, even
from overseas, offered to adopt and/or foster an animal who was left
orphaned because of the disaster.
This was not the first time something like this has
happened. In New York, a cat named Scarlett walked through a fire five
times to save her kittens. The story hit all the newspapers. More than
6,000 concerned people called the shelter where Scarlett and her family
were staying. Adoption offers poured in.
During a crisis, people make room for an animal in need.
During a tragedy, people who never planned on having a companion animal
suddenly feel the urge to open their home to one. So where are all these
people while shelters are killing healthy animals because they need to
make room for the next batch to come in?
"Fluffy," who was dropped off by "Jane Doe" because she
was moving, didn't get her picture in the newspaper. This cat wasn't a
"celebrity" and therefore she quietly died, no one ever knowing she was
"Fido," dropped off by "John Doe," was just another dog
dumped at the shelter by an irresponsible guardian. There was nothing
remarkable about "Fido's" surrender; he was just one of hundreds that
passed through the shelter's door. "Fido" also quietly died, his demise
never considered a "tragedy."
Every shelter and rescue in the USA is suffering through
a disaster at this very moment. Companion animals are surrendered on a
daily basis by people who have suddenly developed allergies or just have
no need for a pet anymore. They are abandoned by people who neglected to
spay or neuter their companion animals and now have a litter of babies
and do not want them.
Shelters and rescues have faced a disaster long before
September 11th. Most people are aware that animals are being killed
because there are not enough homes. I can't help but think -- where is
their cavalry? Are they waiting for a formal announcement?
Well, here it is -- here is your call to action. There
is a crisis happening right this minute at your local shelter or rescue.
Animals are dying because they don't have homes. They need you now, they
needed you yesterday, they will need you tomorrow. If you have room to
take in a companion animal because of a crisis, right now is the time to
do it. Please do not become desensitized to all the deaths that occur on
a daily basis behind shelter doors; do not accept animals dying on the
street as the "norm." This is a tragedy.
These animals are facing a quiet crisis, an ignored
disaster -- and they are paying for it with their lives.
September 28, 2001
Go on to Eat The Baby
Return to 30 September 2001 Issue
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