Awhile back I wrote about dogs who spend most or all of their lives in a shelter. I wondered out loud: how long is too long.
I caught some flack from some who thought I was promoting euthanasia. I also received some very thoughtful messages from folks who also had conflicting thoughts and emotions about the quality of life provided in a kennel run at a "no-kill" shelter. That resulted in a second blog post.
At the time, I ended up just feeling glad that the dog that caused me to confront the issue, Hailey, found a home.
My friend, Kim, has forced me to confront the issue again. I'm still conflicted and find no good answers within myself. Pro-euthanasia? NO. However, dogs deserve better than to live in a kennel for years.
Kim is a professional photographer with her own business, Creative Photography by Kim Hansen. She is also a passionate advocate for animals and donates her services to Dogwood Animal Shelter in Osage Beach, Missouri.
Her goal is to show people the beauty in these dogs and cats that she sees, to capture their spirit in a photograph that will get them noticed. As Kim says:
With so many of them, it takes patience, kindness, understanding, and the ability to connect and gain their trust in order to capture an image that I feel is worthy of using as their 'life line' on a site [Petfinder] for all of the world to see.
That may sound a little dramatic and over the top, but really, aren't these animals worth it? worth my time, effort, compassin, dedication and ability to do something so important and so life changing? My answer is YES! A million times YES!
Here are two dogs whose photographs were taken by Kim over a year ago. Though I don't know how much longer than a year A-Rod has been there, I do know that Carley has been there for five years. Almost all of her life.
Carley is listed on Petfinder (by the shelter) as an Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) and Labrador Retriever mixed breed dog. She looks like a Rottweiler mix to me.
She is 5 years old and has spent her whole life at the shelter.
Carley came to Dogwood Animal Shelter as a puppy and has been there ever since. Her brother was adopted, but she is still waiting.
Primarily black with some tan, Carley weighs 65 pounds and has been spayed. She just completed the shelter's 6 week obedience class. Carley is a smart girl. She learns fast and is very eager to please.
Adoption fees have been reduced to 1/2 price for Carley.
A-Rod is a Labrador Retriever mixed breed dog. He's shy so it make take a moment to get acquainted, but shelter staff report A-Rod is a sweet boy. Primarily black in color, about 4 years old and already neutered. This playful boy needs a place to call home. Adoption fees have been reduced to 1/2 price for A-Rod.
Please share Carley and A-Rod via social media. Use whatever networking means you have at your disposal and let's try and get them real homes.
Those of you reading closely, may have noticed:
- same "no kill" shelter as Hailey, the dog who'd spent all 8 years of her life in the shelter
- all black dogs
- same shelter where we found our birthday boy, Jeffie (and our puppy, Rosie, too)