Unfortunately, despite all the heroic efforts, some dogs still do not make it out. And lately, there have been a lot of them.
Since I started volunteering with PBSOC, I haven't really been that aware of which dogs end up getting euthanized, although I know it happens, and there are certainly a few I've known about. Right now though, I'm a little more in the loop and am hearing more of the stories. And, yes, it's tough. The shelter is looking for any reason to be able to make space and the pit bull type dogs are going first.
Partly it's numbers; there are an awful lot of our blocky headed dogs at Bradshaw. Partly it's because other dogs get adopted faster. The two German Shepherds that came in recently both got adopted almost immediately and one of them, Sigmund, had tons of people commenting and sharing when his photo was posted on Facebook. That doesn't normally happen for the other dogs. Partly, too, it's because the pit bull type dogs are judged more harshly. A shepherd was adopted and then returned for being aggressive with another dog in the new home; he went back on the adoption floor and was adopted again the same day. Mitzi, a pit bull mix, had a very similar return situation and she was walked straight back to euthanasia. It's heartbreaking.
Whatever the reasons, I want these dogs to be remembered. People at Bradshaw cared about them, loved them, showered them with attention. The dogs played in playgroups, and took walks, and got chicken treats and kissed the PBSOC volunteers. Some are dogs that we did videos on. Each one was special to someone.
We cannot save them all. I know that. I know that the problem lies in the community, in not enough dogs being spayed and neutered, in breed discrimination in housing options, in economic hardship, in some people not understanding what it really takes to be a good dog owner. I believe that almost everyone at the shelter is pouring out their soul every day trying to take good care of these dogs and get them adopted. It is just never enough for all of them.
So, today, a little tribute to some of the ones who haven't made it out, a small sample of the many dogs who are euthanized every year. Each of them was an individual. Each of them deserved better.
They were all beautiful.
Tomorrow we'll be back at the shelter making another video. Shannon will be taking pictures. Delyse will be running playgroups with the help of lots of great people. Volunteers will be walking dogs and once 12:30 arrives, adopters will come and take new blockheaded family members home for Christmas. We'll remember the ones who didn't make it out, but mostly, we'll focus on the ones who still can. And we'll smile and laugh and get hugs and slobbery dog kisses. Because every single day we get to begin again.
If you'd like to help, please consider donating to the PBSOC fund to send six dogs to Canada. It's tax deductible and every little bit helps. For each of the six dogs who get to go, it means absolutely everything.