Animals are More than Just a Number
To say I’m devastated is an understatement.
Here is the shelter “euthanasia” report from Friday (10/26/18): https://www.gwinnettcounty.com/static/upload/animalshelter/reports/2018/10/26/euthanasia.pdf
We lost Ludo, Tanner, Latte, Figaro, Dell/Malone, and another dog (64776). To make matters even more sickening, if you look at the reasons given as to why they were killed, none of them had anything to do with this Strep Zoo ordeal. As volunteers we have worked with all of those dogs (except the unnamed one). Though they may have their own issues, they were NOT bad dogs.
Animals are more than just numbers especially to someone like me. Here’s the problem with focusing on numbers like 98% and shoving it down people’s throats constantly. These are lives. When I was a teacher, I didn’t look at the students as a statistic. They are each individual beings just as the animals are. So why is okay to fluff up this 98% number when things like this are occurring? The shelter has tried to reassure everyone that they DO NOT KILL FOR SPACE. I swear, back in Summer people higher up continued to say as the shelter got full that they would even put crates in the garage if it got too full. So now what? I guess those lives don’t matter. I guess higher up feels it’s okay to give people a false sense of hope, to lie straight to the very people who bust their ass for this place just for the animals.
We started to defend the shelter and support them in many ways.
But I am sorry, I will no longer defend this as Friday’s blood bath is pure evidence of the likes and lack of compassion.
You know, sometimes people find loopholes. And the loopholes Friday clearly were to target dogs that they saw as “aggressive” or “injured”. I find it hard to believe that anyone in charge really knew those personalities. In fact, I can generally go in the shelter and tell you the names of most the dogs and even sometimes their pen number. Meanwhile, people making these decisions likely don’t know these animals. In fact, I have had many situations where I have mentioned a dog and people there were CLUELESS about who I was talking about. Why is it that I, who have a life outside of the shelter, am more cognizant of the precious lives in that building? Maybe it’s because I care. They haven’t sat with them multiple times outside, been in videos with them, loved on them, enjoyed their personality. Yet, their lives are just thrown away…just like that.
Were they pushed for a final plea? Nope.
Were they networked by the shelter more than just one time a few months ago? Nope.
We did 5 videos of Ludo (the handsome boy as the featured image of this post). FIVE FREAKIN’ VIDEOS. We tried on our end and we still feel defeated.
So although, the reason on paper may not be for space it’s apparent that these dogs were killed with that as a motivation. The shelter has been closed for any adoptions for a week. Yet, they still had to take some dogs in from the public into the old shelter. When the shelter was quarantined it was already pretty packed full. Please be aware that the first few dogs that died on their own due to illness (Strep Zoo) happened at the BEGINNING of October. Unfortunately, this was brushed off in the beginning. Then when more lives were lost, it was taken more seriously. So it was not until things got out of control, that a big deal was made of this. Then ultimately it lead to a week of nothing leaving the shelter. That is DAMAGING to a shelter that is this full. So it looks like the solution was to knock out the ones who are “less favorable” in their minds or “less worthy” of a life.
Additionally, the pods that these dogs came from today (minus the unnamed one) were still under quarantine. So it’s pretty poor logic to get rid of these dogs right now when nothing can even be put in their pod. Almost like killing just to kill.
Sound like deja vu and it’s absolutely terrifying.
I wish I could say what I would have said before. I wish I could say they are safe. I worry everyday already for any bite incident dogs. Also, coincidentally they aren’t listed on the shelter website. So, not sure how they are ever expected to get out of the shelter alive if not being networked. I worry more for them now. I’ve said this before in blog posts, to people I’m close to, etc….last year was the worst year of my life. I never experienced the amount of grief I did. I’ve never recovered and I won’t ever. The faces of the dead ones haunt me…daily. Honesty, I whole heartedly believe that most of my pain stemmed from this place. And yes, I could have left, but my issue is that I cannot turn my back on the animals there. This year things started to improve. I started to have hope again. I didn’t feel constantly on the edge and guilty that I couldn’t do more. Now, those feelings are rehashing in a bad way.
It’s so sad that the ones who actually care and spend time with these precious animals are the ones who hurt the most. I’m so fed up with crying in my car or in the shower on a regular basis because of how helpless I feel in these moments. I can’t even explain the amount of guilt and the burden I carry with me because I feel like I’m not doing enough. The sad thing is, I’m doing a lot. I’ve sacrificed a lot of myself and my life to help. However, people like me still feel the guilt even though we are not the bad guys.
And I know I’m not the only one feeling so broken down over this behind closed doors.
So the moral of all of this is… no the shelter is NOT a no-kill. Please stop going on Gwinnett pages & saying this to people. Sure, it’s not Walton or Barrow or any other high kill place, but it doesn’t matter. Animals are still dying. I do NOT believe in just celebrating the vast majority when those other individual lives matter.
PLEASE STOP bringing animals there. Please try to find a rescue. Please try to find its’ owner. Please step up to foster. Please rescues…help these animals too.
I’m afraid for these babies that I have come to love so deeply.
I’m so sorry to these babies and that humans have failed them so badly in one way or another. Regardless of the reason they died or were killed, I find it right to remember them. They were deserving. Unfortunately these guys get judged by those who lack empathy & compassion. And for that, I am so incredibly sorry. For the ones I interacted with, though I’m in so much pain about this, I am so grateful for the times I did spend with them so they knew love for at least a bit. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more, but I promise your deaths will NEVER be in vain.
*Update from 10/29- more lives lost*
And I’m sure I missed some from recently.
This doesn’t even include the cats, but it’s been almost a loss everyday for them too lately…
I’m not sure where to go from here to be honest guys, but I had to get this off my chest. I have the biggest pit in my stomach and the heaviest thoughts in my mind. I’m not a robot. I refuse to just accept it and move on. Change does NOT and will NOT happen that way.
Humans…we need to do better.
**I’m not proofreading this thoroughly right now as I emotionally can’t. So I’m sorry for any mistakes.”
Also, this is MY personal blog. These words and ideas are all of my own. This is America and I’m pretty sure I have freedom of speech.