On Mother’s Day and Doing Something
This is Willy, he’s a boxer mix who’s up-to-date on his shots and good with kids and dogs. He was first rescued from Miami Dade Animal Services, where there was distemper in March and the chosen solution was to kill all of the dogs. After a brief battle, rescues were given a short window of time in which to pull the dogs and they did. Willy is one of those dogs. He was taken in by Comfort Kennels in South Florida, which then abandoned its dogs shortly thereafter and he was re-rescued by South Florida Recycled Dog Rescue.
South Florida Recycled Dog Rescue is housed in a 5,000 square foot facility about 35 minutes south of me. Though I did once try to volunteer, Sky in tow, within five minutes that revealed itself to be a terrible idea. How much can you get done at a rescue when you’re supervising a 10.5 month old human? Not surprisingly, the same amount you can get done at home when you’re supervising a 10.5 month old human, which is to say, practically nothing. And definitely nothing of quality.
For Mother’s Day, my husband stayed home with Sky so I could help at the rescue. I wanted to be able to do something. And that something was walk a bunch of dogs and transport a handful from an adoption event. It wasn’t much, but the point is that I’m not in a position to go down there on a Tuesday and do what needs to be done for the dogs. But I do have a car, and I do have a free babysitter (his name is Dada), and without transportation to events each weekend the 40 dogs at the rescue will likely never get adopted.
A neighbor of mine said, “Yeah, but they’re just 40 dogs, and if they ever even get adopted there are 40 more right behind them.” Part of veganism is respect for the individual. And regardless of breed or the situation they came from, each of these individuals deserves a loving home. And you might be surprised by what you can contribute. Check out the Wish List of your local rescue. They might need towels and blankets. Got a bunch you’re not using? Maybe they’re having a food drive. Got $20 for a big bag of food? Some need office supplies or cleaning supplies. Some need washable dog beds and maybe you have a handful too many (like I did, but was irrationally thinking I’d be betraying Charles if I gave away his beds).
If you can foster, add your name to the Charlie to the Rescue database, if you want to make yourself available for transport, Yahoo has a Dog Transport Volunteers Group, and if your Facebook page looks anything like mine, every day you see opportunities to transport animals to and from homes, rescues, fosters, and even vets. The couple of hours you have on a Sunday afternoon to drive someone to the airport or across your state could be the one piece of the puzzle necessary to save that individual’s life.
But back to Willy. The founders of the rescue prefer not to have photos of the dogs in kennels. It’s depressing and they look like they’re in jail, they believe. Or maybe, depending on the breed perhaps, the bars make them look mean to some people. Others think that the kennel shots tug at heartstrings and are preferable for that reason. We all see so many snapshots of animals, and for some reason we look twice at some of them and not at others. I know there might be a variety of reasons for this, and I know that readers of this blog aren’t representative of the general public, but I’m going to ask anyway: What are your thoughts regarding images of animals behind bars, assuming the photo quality is the same as that of an animal not behind bars?
–Photo by Mary Martin, who needs to get some fun photo software and welcomes ideas.