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A Thanksgiving wish for shelter cats and dogs

Help save a shelter cat or dog by fostering, adopting and networking.
Help save a shelter cat or dog by fostering, adopting and networking. istockphoto

Ric Browde is a music producer and author. He's also a rescuer working with a shelter in Southern California. He wrote the following in an email I received today that went to California rescuers. It’s a poignant reminder of the challenge and heartache those in rescue experience on a daily basis. Hopefully it will inspire you to redouble your efforts to save the life of a shelter cat or dog.

At the shelter we try to find homes for all the pets who are unfortunate enough to come into our care, but often we feel like we’re rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, as we get forty or fifty pets to safety one day, only to discover while we were filling the lifeboats up, another seventy pets came in. Backyard breeders, irresponsible owners, inadequate spay/neuter laws and a lack of a “pet owners bill of rights” which would forbid landlords from refusing to rent apartments to pet owners all conspire against us, and as a result our shelter is always full of highly adoptable pets.

We try not to get discouraged, but every time we lose even one pet, it is a tragedy that brings tears and anger to all of us both volunteers and employees. In the last two weeks, we lost four pets off our last networking list, plus another hundred or so who were anonymous, ones you never knew and ones who society has failed. We hate it, and hope that if we try a little harder maybe we might save them all. One can always dream - but sadly one can also be chased by nightmares of the ones who didn’t make it. It sucks. But we will and must keep trying.

Every two weeks our shelter volunteers gather to photograph and video the attached list of our favorite pets at the shelter who are in need of your help. Anything you can do to help by adopting, rescuing or networking these fabulous companions is appreciated and urgently needed!

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