As so many have heard on the news, parts of Texas are underwater. There is flooding everywhere and not a lot of dry weather in the picture. Just like homes and businesses, animal shelters are finding themselves in trouble. The Daily Dot published a story, “Texans are Adopting Dogs in Droves to Rescue Them from Flooded Shelters” which describes how so many of the people in the community have come to the rescue and are helping shelters find homes for all of the animals.
It is amazing to see so many people come out to help the shelter and to save the dogs. The shelters are even waiving re-claim fees and adopting dogs out for free for a limited time – all to get the dogs out of the shelter and into safety.
No one wants to see the dogs suffer or die is what it comes down to. Yet, every day in shelters across America thousands of dogs are suffering and dying – no flooding needed.
I don’t want to take away from the compassionate people willing to adopt dogs in Texas during a natural disaster. I don’t want to lessen the generosity of people willing to temporarily house stray dogs until their owners can be found. I don’t. But, the truth is all animal shelters are flooding – with dogs.
Killing good dogs for space isn’t much different than letting them drown in flood waters, yet, most people are okay with it. Well, they must be. You rarely see droves of people coming out to animals shelters during a normal week.
Does there have to be a natural disaster for people to get involved and to care?
I know I sound cynical. I saw the article on Facebook and as I read it tears streamed down my cheeks. I was overwhelmed by the goodness in people. Seeing the lines of people willing to help was miraculous.
However, within seconds I was angry because I know dogs die every minute in shelters because no one comes to adopt them. If there can be lines of people during a flood, surely there can be lines of people on a sunny day.
Am I supposed to start praying for natural disasters, so that dogs can finally make it out of shelters alive?
I know there are shelters who often waive re-claim fees and make adoptions less or free on certain weekends. Those shelters find themselves empty by Sunday. Why don’t more shelters do this periodically? It obviously works.
Yes, they are sacrificing dollars, but it costs money to care for dogs – hell, it costs money to kill dogs, so why not make it easier for people to adopt or to reclaim their lost dogs and empty the shelters? If the goal is to get the dogs home and to safety, what are we waiting for?
I keep this blog short because the message is simple. Every day is a flood of homeless dogs in shelters – Every. Single. Day. Don’t wait for the storm – get in line today and save a life.
And the situation for cats and kittens is even more dire than that of dogs in the vast majority of so-called “shelters” in this country. If more people knew the reality of number of lives lost in animal shelters (most notably municipal/government animal control facilities), things might change.
The city of Austin, Austin Pets Alive!, Austin Humane Society, Austin Animal Center (animal control), and so many other rescues in the area do a fantastic job of letting the public know when they need help. They show people how wonderful the animals in their care are, and how people’s lives will be even better if they add one of these sweeties to the family. They don’t blame the public for problems, they trust them to come forward and help. That is far different than how the public is treated by most other shelters and certainly municipalities/animal control entities.
So I’d say No, there doesn’t need to be another natural disaster for people to get involved. But they do need to be made aware that there is a problem in their area, and shown how they can help.