Posted by: runfordogs | June 3, 2012

Reality

The dedication by the front door of Operation Kindness:

Image

I’m continually running into folks who ask me questions about why I help in dog rescue.  Some know the reality of the situation, but most do not.  I try to keep everything I do very upbeat and positive, but the reality is neither of those things.  In general conversations with people I hint around about “shocking numbers” of highly adoptable pets being euthanized per year in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.  Some then ask me what those numbers are, and the reaction is (without fail) one of complete shock.  

I help in dog rescue because I feel I must do something to help turn things around.  It’s getting harder and harder to keep my mouth closed on the reality of what dogs face, but I know if I yell it too loudly from the mountaintop people will turn their backs rather than rallying behind to help.  People need to know, because none of the kind people I know would be ok with this reality:

In 2008-2009, the City of Dallas shelter alone (there are many shelters in the Dallas/FW area who could report such numbers) took in 33,617 dogs and cats and:
  • euthanized 26,542 dogs and cats (20,022 dogs and 6,520 cats)
  • adopted out 2,517 dogs and cats
  • redeemed back to owners 2,425 dogs and cats
  • rescue organizations saved 1,420 dogs and cats
Estimates are that 200,000 are euthanized each year across the Metroplex.
 
This is a modest estimate, I’m afraid.  
 
–Shelters euthanize puppies, kittens, pregnant moms, and tons of adults EVERY SINGLE DAY.
–Black dogs have a terrible time getting adopted compared to their colorful counterparts because they don’t photograph well or aren’t as “fancy” as colorful dogs.  This is called “Black dog syndrome” in the shelter, and the dogs are labelled BBDs or “Big Black Dogs”  
–Some dogs develop “shelter stress” and are given labels that don’t pertain outside of that terrible environment.  Still, no one even gives them a second look.
–Dogs are labelled by the shelter: “too old”, “too nervous”, “too aggressive”, “too shy” They may as well just be branded with a death sentence.  
–Some dogs are “owner surrender”, which means that their owners dumped them at the shelter because they are moving, having a baby, going through a life change, etc.  The owners are told that their dog will be immediately killed if the shelter is full, but they do it anyway.    
–Pit bulls are in huge danger just simply by being labelled “pit bull”…last year alone 72,800 pit bulls were euthanized in the city of Los Angeles.  
 
If you the math on the national numbers, you will see my distress.  A huge percentage of these animals are highly adoptable, wonderful, loving pets, but a full shelter is a full shelter… 
 
What now?  There are so many ways to help!  One of my favorite posters:
Image
  
Almost every person fits into one of those options.  Can’t donate?  You can always join my Operation Kindness fundraising team!  You’ll get your own Crowdrise page, but can link it to the Pibble 50K project that I’m currently working on, and raise money amongst your own friends and colleagues:  http://www.crowdrise.com/thepibble50k/fundraiser/ErinHannigan
Looking for ways to lend a hand?  I’m happy to help anyone get started…just ask! 
 
Erin
 
 
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