Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Newest Trend

As we all know, the bad economy has taken it's toll on many, many families over the past couple of years.  Many of these families have downsized, many can no longer care for their beloved four-legged companions. Some pets have been surrendered to the care of shelters while others have been let go to survive on their own...the lucky ones have found their way to the arms of compassionate human beings.  I've been noticing some changes over the past year or so related to dogs at the ARL.

Babe - severe dental disease - had 19 teeth extracted.
In the past, small breed dogs, spent all of two hours on the adoption floor.  People flooded through the doors and snatched up those small dogs faster than we could prepare them to go.  Lately, it seems, the small breeds are spending much longer in our care.

Another noticeable change is the amount of the dogs coming to the ARL with horrendous medical conditions.  Conditions that can cost hundreds of dollars to treat.  This type of money is not always easy for the shelter to come by.  These dogs are wonderful, sweet souls that deserve to have a better life.
Phoenix - severe ear infections & dental disease -
would scream in pain anytime we touched her.
 The staff struggles everyday wondering how are we going to pay the medical bills.  We often spread the word and donations thankfully trickle in (as I mentioned, the economy is hurting everyone).  The staff and many wonderful volunteers often times reach into their own pockets.

Carma - entropion in both eyes, upper & lower lids.
If we can't scrape up enough money to help these "throw away" dogs, what's to be done?  Should they continue to suffer?  Should they be humanely euthanized?  As I said before, these are sweet souls that look to us for help.  Often, after just a couple days at the shelter, even before their desperate medical care is given to them, they already look relieved and happier, as if they know we will take their pain away.  That look is bitter sweet.  What if we can't cure them?  Once again, we ask ourselves, where will the money come from?

Dusty - extreme ear infections that drained into the side of his
face causing a large abscess in his cheek that burst! - Dusty was a "stray"
If only pet owners could keep up on their pet's medical care.  Look over their teeth, check their ears, feel over their bodies for any strange wounds or lumps.  Conditions could be found early on and taken care of fairly inexpensively.  They need to understand, just as people feel pain and discomfort, so do their pets.  And, if they can't find a way to pay a veterinarian, then call a shelter to ask for resources or, if needed, about surrendering their pet before things get out of hand....and too expensive.

Thank you for hearing me out, as there are just some things I need to share.  (This blog is geared towards dogs of the ARL, but the sad truth is that we see many cats, bunnies, and other pets coming to us in a variety of alarming conditions.)

Please say a prayer to help us help these deserving creatures.


  1. Thanks for bringing more attention to the needs of these beautiful animals who add so much happiness to our lives.