Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Overwhelmed, But Still Motivated

I am feeling overwhelmed today at just the sheer numbers of pets that are facing euthanasia. We are in the middle of kitten and puppy season, and I am reading emails almost hourly of mamas with puppies/kittens who will all die together. This is one of those family. Unless someone steps in before tomorrow morning, they will all leave us. We become a crueler, sadder world with every euthanasia, but I am particularly haunted by the killing of these very new lives and their devoted mothers who just want to take care of their new babies.

On most days, I can keep an eye on the long-term goals, and manage the heartbreak of knowing that we, as a community, allow the killing at least 219 animals a day because we, as a community, can't come up with a better solution. Every day, I look at every email and read about every pet that the shelters are trying to get out alive. It reminds me that even when I am tired, and frustrated, and angry, and broke, I need to just keep moving. It makes me continue to have some hope that eventually, we won't accept mass euthanasia as a viable animal control method.

But today, it's just overwhelming and sad and heartbreaking. Today, I feel the pain on a level that I don't often allow myself to feel. My challenge today becomes what to do with this pain. I can sit and just be sad. Or I can stay motivated. I can continue to work for these and other pets who face immediate death. I can continue to write grant proposals for more money to support our spay and neuter program.

And I can continue to ask you for help. Maybe you get tired of my asking. I understand. I am often tired, too. Maybe you think someone else will help this time. Sometimes, I think that, too. Then I get an email from a shelter rescue coordinator about pets that are still waiting after three or four pleas have been sent out. Maybe you are angry at me for asking again. That's ok -- I am often angry, too, at the people who refuse to make a lifelong commitment to the pets that rely on them.

I am asking for your help today. I am asking you to stay motivated and to stay engaged. I am asking you to take one action today that can help save the life of a pet who is danger of dying because we, as a community, are allowing it to happen. I am asking you to help keep me motivated.

These are the dogs and cats that are depending on you. Below are pictures of about 25% of the pets that I have been emailed about in the last hour before writing this post. Multiply this by 4 and then by 24, and you'll roughly imagine how many pets a day that I know are dying.