Be That Voice
New Years Day 2013 opened in an unexpected way for us. What started out as quiet ended with a flurry of activity. As you may remember, it was extremely cold and the wind had a pretty good bite. The phone rang. It was our neighbor. There were two dogs that wandered in and were extremely cold. No identification on them. Having dogs of his own, there wasn't a place to contain these two wanderers. The dogs were walked over here and the three of us fixed a place in the garage. Both dogs were shivering. We grabbed two Styrofoam sheets, a couple of heavy furniture pads, some small sections of cattle guard paneling, and quickly put together a kennel. Not pretty but able to contain these two dogs. A heat bulb was hung over the furniture pads and the garage furnace was turned up. When we put the dogs in the makeshift kennel, they both laid down under the warmth of the heat bulb. It would take awhile for the furnace to warm things up. They were given water and food - neither of which they wanted. The only thing they seemed interested in was heat. Both dogs were well-behaved during their brief stay with us. And, did start eating and drinking once they were warm.
Now to find a place for them. A place more secure where an owner would be able to find them. A call was placed to the Sheriff's Dept. They had no missing dogs matching the descriptions. The Sheriff's Dept. had no place to contain the dogs. They suggested calling the humane society. So we did. What we got was a recording. It said for emergencies, call the Sheriff's Dept. Back to square one. So we called the humane society again and left a message regarding two found dogs.
The following day we received a call from the humane society. No reports for these missing dogs. We took the dogs to the shelter. The staff was attentive and caring toward these two strays. They checked a log of animals lost and found. Hopefully, someone is looking and a match can be made.
Thanks go to the neighbor who worked at catching these two dogs. One dog was friendly and the other dog a little more nervous. Had he not made the effort, the dogs may not have survived. It was so very cold and the dogs didn't appear to have heavy hair coats. Thanks also to the staff at the humane society who received these two dogs.
My question: Why can't animal shelters provide their Sheriff's Dept. with a key so animals can be brought to a shelter in emergency situations? Not everyone can house an animal or safely handle an injured animal. Why can't animal welfare organizations have emergency contacts in case these situations come up? Is it money? Perhaps. However, the animal shelters will probably get these lost animals anyway. Sooner rather than later could make a huge difference in the life of the animal.
Going back to being a voice for those who cannot speak. Are we that voice when it's convenient or are we that voice that goes above and beyond? If we want to expand the ranks of those that offer assistance, it’s up to us to set the example.