It is easy to become immersed in the world of animal advocacy and rescue...to surround oneself in the day-to-day ups and all-too-often downs of animals at risk, and animals in need.
Unfortunately, with that immersion, especially in the "world of Facebook," comes a lack of understanding of those people who are not deep within the same world.
There is a huge portion of the population who pays no attention to "death row" dogs. There are thousands of people who either choose not to keep a pet, or who have always had a dog (or cat) but they have never rescued or adopted.
Though it may seem unheard of, there are many people who still believe that shelters are indeed, shelters. There are people who think that most dogs (and cats) at those shelters actually find homes.
There are many people who may be aware that dogs are sometimes killed at "shelters," but they believe that all puppies and/or other young, healthy dogs are exempt from ever facing death because of a lack of a good home.
There are people who would never think of taking a stray dog to be scanned for a microchip because they are simply unaware that microchips exist - for many people, an identification tag on a dog's collar is the only logical way to find a lost dog's owner.
There is a large number of people who choose not to learn about the problem of homeless pets because it "hurts too much" to know. There are thousands of people who never want to read about stories of animal cruelty for the exact same reason.
It may seem hard to believe, but there truly are thousands of people who never consider any of the aforementioned topics.
Of note - this editorial was inspired by a recent conversation with a friend who falls into the category of people who believed that shelters are always shelters and that all homeless pets find somewhere to go. When I told her that is not the case, she asked me to write about it, with the hopes that more people like her would be made aware.